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The French press coffee maker is a popular brewing method used to achieve a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. It is an easy-to-use, hands-on device that requires minimal effort but yields tasty results.
The French Press coffee maker was patented in 1852 and its design has remained fairly consistent with minor modifications over time.
What's The Best Grind For French Press Coffee Maker
A coarse to medium-coarse grind works best for the French Press brewing method. This produces a deep and rich flavor with less of the bitter notes associated with overextraction.
A coarser grind also helps to keep fines out of your cup, resulting in a more enjoyable coffee.
The reason grind size is so important for a French Press (and every other brew method) is because the size of the coffee grinds determine the extraction rate (how fast the flavor is extracted) and ultimately, how much of the coffee's flavor you experience in your cup.
Coarse grind for French Press. I used #13 on the OXO Conical Burr Grinder
Coarsely ground coffee beans have less surface area that's exposed to water, thus resulting in a slower extraction times. Conversely, finer coffee grinds provide more surface area and therefore, faster extraction.
If your grind size is too course, the water will not efficiently extract flavor from the coffee beans, resulting in a weak coffee. If your coffee grounds are too fine, you risk over-extraction, which can lead to bitter and unpleasant tasting coffee.
Therefore, it's important to find the right balance between grind size and extraction time for optimal flavor.
The 3 Main Types of Coffee Grind Sizes And Their Characteristics
You can categorize coffee grinds into three main types; fine grind, medium grind, and coarse grind.
Each size has its own unique characteristics that will affect the flavor of your coffee.
Fine Grind Size:
A fine grind is very powdery and feels almost like flour or cocoa. It has the smallest particle size, and this leads to the fastest extraction times. Because of that, a fine coffee grind can also quickly lead to an overextraction, which ends up tasting bitter.
Medium Grind Size:
A medium grind is a little coarser than a fine grind and has a gritty, sand-like texture. Medium ground coffee is ideal for drip coffee. It yields a a good balance between extraction time and flavor.
Coarse Grind Size:
Coarse-ground coffee has a large particle size and is often used for brewing methods like cold brew coffee, percolators, & French Press. It has a gritty texture and provides slower extraction times, producing flavorful coffee with a deep, intense flavor.
A coarse grind is ideal for French press, as it doesn't allow too many fines (small particles) to travel through the filter and into your drink.
Other Grind Sizes:
Of course there are other grinds that fall somewhere between and outside the realm of these three categories, like a medium-fine grind, medium-coarse grind, and extra-coarse grind, but these 3 main types are most commonly referred to.
Tips on How To Achieve the Perfect Grind Size Every Time
Invest in a Good Quality Burr Grinder
A burr coffee grinder is essential for achieving the perfect grind size every time. It's designed to produce consistent and uniform coffee grounds, so you can be sure that your coffee has the same depth of flavor every time you brew it.
Use the Right Setting on Your Grinder
Different coffee grinders will have different settings for coarse, medium, and fine. Make sure you use the appropriate setting based on the type of brewing method you've chosen.
Experiment With Different Grind Sizes
Once you find a good starting point, feel free to experiment with going slightly coarser or finer to see what works best for you.
Test Different Coffee Beans
Different types of coffee beans and roast levels will require a different grind size and brew time for optimal extraction. Experiment with these variables to unlock the best flavor from your specific coffee beans.
Pre-Ground Coffee For Proper Grind Size
If you don't feel like grinding your own beans, there are many varieties of pre-ground coffee available on the market. Just make sure to choose one that is specifically designed for brewing with French press.
How To Brew The Perfect French Press Coffee
Making a delicious cup of French press coffee is much about the grind. When it comes to finding the best grind size, you want to look for something that is coarse enough to filter out all of the fine sediment, but still small enough to extract all of the flavor from your beans.
The ideal grind for French press coffee makers is a coarse, uniform grind. The coarseness of the grounds should be similar in size to that of sea salt or cracked peppercorns. If you can't find pre-ground coffee that is this coarse, you may need to purchase a burr grinder and grind your own coffee beans at home.
When grinding your own beans, it's important to use the correct settings for your grinder. Here's a great resource for grinding coffee for French Press using your specific grinder.
Make sure to adjust your settings as needed and test out different levels until you get it just right.
Once you've got the perfect coarse grind, the next step is to measure out the right amount of coffee grounds. A good starting point is 2-3 tablespoons of ground coffee per 8oz of water. However, this ratio can vary depending on your taste preferences, so it's important to experiment and find what works best for you.
Once you've got the right grind size and the correct ratio, all that's left to do is make your coffee. Add the grounds to your French press and then slowly pour in your hot water.
Stir your coffee, put your lid on, and let it steep for 4-5 minutes before slowly pressing down on the plunger, and then enjoy a rich cup of freshly brewed French press coffee.
With just a few simple steps, you can easily make the perfect cup of French press coffee. Just remember to use a coarse grind setting, measure out your grounds correctly, and let it steep for the right amount of time before pressing down on the plunger.
Why Invest In a Burr Coffee Grinder?
One of the most essential factors to amazing French Press coffee is using freshly ground coffee beans. This can be easily achieved with a burr grinder, which is more expensive than a blade grinder, but provides a much higher quality grind.
Burr grinders use two rotating abrasive surfaces in order to precisely crush and grind the coffee beans. This allows for greater consistency of the grind size, as well as an even extraction of flavor from the beans.
Plus, you can precisely adjust the settings on a burr grinder in order to get that perfect coarse grind size for French press coffee. This allows you to be equally precise with every cup, ensuring that you're getting richness and flavor out of every bean.
You can also use your burr grinder for other brewing methods such as pour over and drip coffee.
Burr grinders are the preferred choice for French Press coffee makers because they can create the perfect coarse grind for the dense filter mesh on the plunger. This ensures that the coffee grounds will be filtered out effectively, while still extracting all of the flavor from your beans.
The two essential qualities that make a burr grinder preferable are its versatile settings and precise grind size. Burr grinders allow users to adjust the grind from extra coarse for cold-brew, to a fine grind for an espresso machine and provide a superior grind to that of blade grinders.
Overall, investing in a burr grinder is well worth it if you want to get the most out of your morning cup. Not only will you enjoy greater control and versatility, but also a much better quality grind that makes for an incredibly flavorful brew.
As you now know, the size of the grind plays an essential role in the quality of the cup of coffee. By using the appropriate grind for your preferred style of coffee, you can ensure that each cup is rich and flavorful—not bitter and flat.
A finer grind will be suitable for an espresso machine, while a coarser grind is ideal for a French Press.
French Press—Unique, Delicious & Special
The key to making great French press coffee is finding the right grind size. A coarse grind allows for slower extraction times, producing a flavorful coffee with a rich, smoky taste and none of the bitterness that comes from overextraction.
Hopefully, this post has provided you a bit of guidance on how to perfect your cup of French press coffee. With uniform grind consistency and proper grind size, you can easily brew up café quality coffee from the comfort of your own home.
Don't forget to check out our other articles on top-notch grinders and coffees. Now go enjoy your delicious French Press coffee!
From a very young "growth-stunting" age, Clint Doerfler has had a deep-rooted love for coffee. As a result, he founded Coffee Gear Gurus® to share his passion for incredible home brewed coffee with others. When he's not watching true crime shows with family or playing music, he's devoted to helping fellow coffee feins make amazing coffee at home - regardless of their experience.