Perfect coffee measurement for your French press

Randolf Fredric

So, you’ve got yourself a fancy French press and you’re ready to plunge into the world of rich, aromatic coffee. But wait, how much coffee should you add to this nifty contraption? Fret not, my friend. In this article, we’ll break it down for you in simple, no-nonsense terms. Whether you prefer a strong caffeine kick or a milder brew to ease your way into the day, we’ve got the scoop on the perfect coffee-to-water ratio for your French press adventure. Time to brew up a storm and savor every sip!

The Art of Brewing Coffee: How to Make the Perfect French Press

What is a French Press?

A French press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is a simple and effective method of brewing coffee. It consists of a cylindrical glass or stainless steel container with a fine mesh plunger and a lid. This brewing device allows coffee grounds to steep in hot water, resulting in a rich and flavorful cup of coffee.

Why Choose a French Press?

There are several reasons why coffee enthusiasts prefer using a French press:

  • Full-bodied flavor: The immersion process used in a French press extracts more soluble compounds from the coffee grounds, resulting in a robust and well-rounded flavor.
  • Control over brewing variables: With a French press, you have control over the water temperature, steeping time, and grind size, allowing you to experiment and customize your brew to perfection.
  • Simple and portable: French presses are easy to use, requiring minimal equipment. They are also portable, making them an excellent choice for camping, travel, or home use.
  • Environmentally friendly: Unlike single-use coffee pods or filters, a French press is reusable and produces no waste, making it an eco-friendly brewing method.
See also  Mastering Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press

How Much Coffee to Add to a French Press?

Now that you understand the benefits of using a French press, let’s dive into the details of how much coffee to add for the perfect brew. The general guideline is to use a ratio of 1:15 or 1:17, coffee to water. This means for every 1 gram of coffee, you’ll use 15-17 grams of water.

What is the Optimal Grind Size?

Grind size plays a crucial role in the extraction process. For a French press, a coarse grind is recommended to prevent over-extraction and produce a clean cup of coffee. The ideal grind size is similar to sea salt or breadcrumbs. Avoid using fine or medium-fine grinds as they can result in a bitter and muddy brew.

How to Measure Coffee and Water?

Let’s break down the steps to measure coffee and water accurately:

  1. Weigh your coffee beans using a scale for precise measurements. Start with 1:15 ratio and adjust according to your taste preferences.
  2. Grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency.
  3. Add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the French press.
  4. Heat water to around 200°F (93°C), just below boiling point.
  5. Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds, ensuring all the grounds are fully saturated.
  6. Stir gently to evenly distribute the water and coffee.
  7. Place the lid on the French press, but do not press the plunger down just yet.
  8. Let the coffee steep for 4-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop.
  9. Press the plunger down slowly and evenly, separating the grounds from the brewed coffee.
  10. Pour the freshly brewed coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy!
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Tips for a Perfect French Press Brew

Here are some additional tips to enhance your French press brewing experience:

  • Use freshly roasted whole beans: Grinding your beans just before brewing ensures maximum freshness and flavor.
  • Preheat your French press: Rinse the French press with hot water before adding coffee and water. This helps maintain the brewing temperature.
  • Experiment with steeping time: If you prefer a stronger cup, you can increase the steeping time to 6 minutes. Adjust the time according to your taste preferences.
  • Invert the French press for better extraction: After stirring the coffee grounds and water, invert the French press and let it steep upside down. This can result in a more even extraction.
  • Use a timer: To ensure consistency, use a timer to measure the exact brewing time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a French Press


  • Rich and full-bodied flavor
  • Control over brewing variables
  • No need for paper filters
  • Simple and portable
  • Eco-friendly


  • Slight sediment in the cup
  • Requires more effort for clean-up
  • Not suitable for large batches
  • Can be prone to over-extraction if not timed correctly

Difference between French Press and Other Brewing Methods

While French press is a popular brewing method, it’s essential to understand its differences from other methods:

Brewing Method Strength Cleanliness Time
French Press Full-bodied Some sediment 4-5 minutes
Pour Over Light-bodied Clean cup 2-3 minutes
Espresso Strong and concentrated Clean cup 20-30 seconds

Tips to Elevate Your French Press Experience

To take your French press brew to the next level, consider these tips:

  • Try different coffee origins: Explore single-origin coffees to experience distinct flavors and aromas.
  • Invest in a burr grinder: A quality grinder ensures consistent grind size for optimal extraction.
  • Experiment with water temperature: Adjusting the water temperature can bring out different flavor profiles in your coffee.
  • Pair with a coffee scale: Using a scale allows for precise measurements and consistency in your brews.


In conclusion, the French press brewing method offers a delightful and immersive coffee experience. By following the recommended coffee-to-water ratio, using a coarse grind, and practicing precise measurements, you can create a flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee.

See also  Perfect Steep Time for French Press Coffee

Remember to experiment with different variables such as steeping time, water temperature, and coffee origin to tailor your brew to your personal taste preferences. With a little practice, you’ll be able to master the art of the French press and savor the rich flavors in every sip.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I adjust the amount of coffee I add to a French press to suit my taste preferences?

Yes, absolutely! One of the greatest advantages of using a French press is the ability to customize your coffee to suit your liking. If you prefer a stronger brew, you can increase the amount of coffee you add. Conversely, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of coffee. Experimenting with different coffee-to-water ratios will help you find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

2. How do I determine the right amount of coffee to add to my French press?

The general rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1:15, which means 1 part coffee to 15 parts water. For example, if you’re brewing 1 liter (4 cups) of water in your French press, you should use 67 grams (about 9 tablespoons) of coffee. Keep in mind that this ratio can be adjusted based on your personal preference, so feel free to experiment and find the perfect balance for you.

3. Can I use pre-ground coffee or is freshly ground coffee necessary?

While using freshly ground coffee is always preferred for the best flavor and aroma, you can still achieve a decent cup of coffee using pre-ground coffee. If using pre-ground coffee, make sure it’s suitable for French press brewing, as a coarser grind works best. However, for optimal results, investing in a coffee grinder and grinding your beans just before brewing will greatly enhance the taste and quality of your coffee.

4. What if I accidentally add too much coffee to my French press?

If you accidentally add too much coffee to your French press, it might result in an overly strong and bitter brew. In such cases, you can dilute it with hot water to mellow out the taste. Alternatively, you can also add a small amount of cold water to your cup before pouring in the coffee to help balance the flavors. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance according to your taste preferences.

5. Can I brew a small amount of coffee in a large French press?

Yes, you can certainly brew a small amount of coffee in a large French press. However, it’s important to note that using a smaller amount of water might affect the overall brewing process. To compensate for this, you can use a slightly finer grind or reduce the brewing time. It’s also a good idea to preheat the French press by rinsing it with hot water before adding your coffee and water to ensure it maintains the optimal brewing temperature.

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Randolf Fredric

Randolf Fredric

A young brewmaster of words, crafting captivating tales over coffee's rhythmic symphony, stirring minds with each blog post.


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