How to Measure Coffee for French Press

I love coffee. I adore coffee made with a French press. I was so lucky a few months back that I found a French press for sale at a rummage sale for an extraordinary price! The man selling the machine said he never was able to make a decent tasting cup of coffee using the machine and he simply got tired of experimenting and wasting coffee beans.

I could sympathize with him, coffee beans are not exactly cheap, they sure are not cheap enough to be wasting them and throwing them in the trash. I thanked him for the French press and then I happily headed home anticipating the best cup of coffee in the world.

It took me some time, a lot of experimentation, a lot of wasted coffee and frustration, but I finally mastered the French press, and decided that I was going to share what I had learned with others and save someone else money, time and frustration.

Keys to making coffee in a French press

Before you begin to brew coffee make certain that your French press was thoroughly cleansed after the last use. If any grounds were left stuck in the mesh it will cause the coffee you brew to have a bitter taste.

Grind Your Own Coffee

I believe that after all my experimentation I can safely say that the best tasting French press coffee is made from coffee beans that were freshly ground right before the coffee was brewed. Coffee that has been ground will start to lose some of its flavor immediately after grinding, and if it is allowed to sit, even in an airtight canister, for any length of time it continues to lose flavor and aroma. After four weeks pre-ground coffee has become stale in comparison to freshly ground beans.

Use Scales

I am also going to tell you that you will make a better cup of French press coffee if you weigh your coffee and water using scales instead of measuring spoons and measuring cups. You get a more precise amount of coffee and water so your coffee is perfectly brewed and replicating the coffee is easy to do.

When you measure coffee grounds with a measuring spoon you might have slightly more or less in the spoon. When you measure water in a cup you might have slightly more in the cup or slightly less in the cup than you had last time. Those slight amounts make a huge difference in taste, strength, and satisfaction.

How Much are you Brewing?

The first thing you have to do is determine how much coffee you want to brew. I have narrowed my coffee to water ratios down so that they can accommodate pots of coffee that will serve three cups equal to about 12 ounces, four cups equal to about 17 ounces, eight cups equal to about 34 ounces, or twelve cups equal to about 51 ounces.

Your standard coffee mug will hold about twelve ounces of liquid.

How Strong do you like your Brew?

The strength of the brew is increased by adding a higher ratio of coffee in the coffee to water ratio.

Frequently Used French Press Ratio’s

Brew Strength         3 Cup – 12 oz    4 cup – 17 oz    8 cup – 34 oz   12 cup – 51 oz

Mild                       coffee   18 g                      27.5g                  55g                     82.5g
                                water   300ml                 450ml                 900ml                1350ml

Medium                 coffee   23g                      34g                      68g                    102g
                                 water   300ml                  450ml                 900ml                1350ml

Strong                    coffee   30g                        44.5g                  89g                    129.5g
                                water    300ml                  450ml               900ml                 1350ml

Some people like a very bold coffee, and I found using a 1:10 ratio in the French press creates a bold, thick coffee with a heavy flavor. That is a ratio of one part coffee to ten parts water.

Some people like a much lighter coffee that has a subtle flavor that is more like tea. For those preferences I use a 1:16 ratio. That is one part coffee to sixteen parts water.

You will have to do some experimentation and play around with your ratios before you develop the perfect French press coffee for your tastes. It is always nice to know how to make a few other strengths in your French press so you can impress your friends and make coffee the way they prefer it.

700 – 800 very accurate calculations? Charts?

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1 thought on “How to Measure Coffee for French Press”

  1. Anything about the way the water is poured over the coffee, fast, slow? and also steeping time?
    Thanks for sharing the calculations.Looking forward to making a better brew.


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