It’s no secret that coffee is popular for its great benefits and gives us nothing but a smile of satisfaction for the flavorful taste. There are so many ways to brew coffee, and one of them is the French Press. The French press is said to be the “most underrated method of brewing coffee,” and there is an explanation for that. The French press is known for its rich taste and ease of usage. The French press method helps you brew a full-bodied, strong coffee in only a few minutes and leaves you with a great-tasting coffee.
If you love starting your day enjoying a morning coffee, then you will probably want to start learning the French press. It’s super easy and less time-consuming, but you will really need your brewing skills to create a strong, nice, and full-bodied coffee. You may find yourself having struggled at first. However, once you get the hang of it, it will then be very quick and easy for you to brew using the method.
Seeing that the French press makes a flavorful coffee, the key is using distilled water and brewing it to its full capacity. Not only that, you have to know how to grind your coffee as best as possible and set the right grind setting for brewing with a French press. In this way, after the pressing, it will give your coffee a rich taste coming from the oils and flavors in the beans.
So, if you want to learn some secrets to brewing a highly concentrated coffee, stick around, and let’s get to it!
Tips for Grinding Coffee Beans for A French Press
Grind Setting (Medium-Coarse Grind)
To start off, you want to choose a grinder that will work best at giving you coarsely ground coffee. By using an even and coarse grind, you get to slow the extraction process, which is important since the beans are extracted for longer in this method. In this way, it will not be under-extracted nor over-extracted. It’s similar to making pour-over coffee.
Always have a look at the ground particle’s consistency because this will help avoid the coffee sludge at the bottom of the cup. Make sure to grind the coffee medium-coarse so that after the extraction, it will not be hard to press the filter down. This is to ensure that it will not result in your coffee having a bitter and dry taste. And just keep experimenting until you find your desired taste that will please you.
Size of Ground Particles
Since medium-coarse grind is recommended for French press, the particles’ sizes should be around 0.75-1 mm. The size of a medium-coarse grind should be similar to sea salt. They shouldn’t go beyond nor go less than that certain size.
It is important to maintain its consistency to avoid extraction errors and to make sure you’ll get the taste the way you want it. Consistency creates a good taste of coffee.
The coarseness of Ground Particles
The coarseness of the ground particles should result in a texture similar to Kosher. If the texture results in a finer grind, then it won’t work well for a French press. It shouldn’t be either fine and smooth because your goal for the grind type here should be chunky, and beans are big, which can be done by grinding very little.
French pressed coffee requires a careful extraction, so it calls for bigger beans to slow the extraction and obtain a high concentration of oils and flavors from the beans. This is what gives a French-pressed coffee a rich taste.
So, how to grind?
Get your coffee grinder; a burr grinder is what I suggest you use, and start by filling in the beans. Measure it well so it will not stack up too much and will fit enough inside the grinder.
Remember that the grind of your coffee should always be in accordance with the extraction time. In this way, you’ll get the proper grind ideal for a French press.
Since the grind type you’ll be needing is a medium-coarse grind, then you should set your hopper to a level in a way that will equate to roughly around 1000-1400 microns. Regardless of the grinder you use, it should be approximately around that grind setting.
Starting with a coarser grind will be an excellent option, so you can really see how much to adjust and what level you should set for grinding. It will assure you of getting a great grind for a French pressed coffee. Just experiment and try adjusting a few bits, and just see what will work great for the extraction.
Grinding should take you around 8-10 seconds. But, make sure to grind very little so you will not mistakenly grind it too fine.
After grinding, check the particles if they resemble sea salt, as that would be your guide to knowing that you’ve ground it properly. Once you’re done, and you’re certain you’ve ground it well, simply proceed to put it inside the French press, and then you can start the extraction right after.
Tips for French Press Extraction and Brewing
The most exciting part about brewing a French pressed coffee is the extraction. It is where the real challenge takes place and where you will really see if you did well in the grinding process. This is where your crafting and brewing skills can be determined if good or not. Kidding! You’re a good brewer already just by trying to make a French pressed coffee. So good job on that!
After the grinding method, extraction takes the next turn. You must have just the right amount of ground coffee in your French press and extract it for four minutes. That is the golden rule for brewing a French press; 4 minutes of extraction.
The most important thing is how it tastes. After extraction, you can taste and see how it is.
If you find your coffee a bit strong and somewhat watery, then you would want to adjust and decrease the coarseness. So, you will have to grind again, go over the same grinding process, but before grinding, you should go down a little bit from your coarseness. Extract once again for four minutes and see how it tastes.
On the flip side, if you did extract and your coffee tasted bitter, most probably it’s over-extracted. So, go through the same grinding process again, and at this point, you would want to increase the coarseness by a little bit. This way, it won’t taste kind of bitter anymore. Just extract again for four minutes and see how it tastes after.
Seeing as consistency really matters and affects the taste of your coffee, you may just want to adjust in little bits. Just play around and keep experimenting until you get it the way that you like it.
If you still find it tasting bad and you’re not cool with it, just keep repeating the same grinding and extracting process. Yes, it will take you a long time to master brewing your ideal Frech pressed coffee taste, but take it from there. Practice makes perfect. Just keep adjusting until you get the taste that works best for you.
It goes the same with cooking eggs: different ways to cook eggs, different methods and processes. But the same analogy applies to brewing for a French press. You just define your ideal grind setting with the size and coarseness that works great for you. Just keep on adjusting levels until you find your desired flavor and get a great cup of French pressed coffee in your own way.