Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee in a French Press?
There are different methods of preparing coffee, but the cheapest and easiest way is with the use of a French press. At first, it looks like a complicated and intimidating coffee brewer. You might ask silly questions about it like, “Can you use regular ground coffee in a French press?”
This article shows some basic things to know about the French press so that you can brew incredible coffee with no sweat!
What Is a French Press Coffee Maker?
A French press coffee maker is different from regular coffee makers that require electricity in order to brew coffee grounds. It basically works by steeping the coffee grounds and boiling water in a beaker.
After a few minutes, the coffee-water mixture is filtered by pressing the mesh filter down the bottom of the breaker. This step separates the coffee ground from the coffee liquid and oils.
What Are the Parts of a French Press?
At first glance, a French press looks just like a glass jar with cover, but it is actually made of parts that make steeping coffee ground and water possible and convenient. There are two main parts as enumerate and described below:
1. The Lid, Plunger, and Filter
The lid snugly fits into the beaker in order to prevent coffee from spilling when the plunger is pressed. When the coffee is steeped, the plunger is pressed until it reaches the bottom of the beaker. This causes the filter to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee liquid.
The coffee liquid comes with all the coffee elements such as natural oils, aroma, and fine particles. That is why French press coffee tastes better than the coffee prepared using a paper filter.
2. The Beaker, Base, and Handle
The beaker is the container that holds the boiling water and coffee ground while they are being steeped. It is also where the mixture is separated through the mesh filter, hence making it convenient to pour the coffee into a mug. It is typically made of glass, but some new models are ceramic, metal, or plastic.
What Do You Need to Make French Press Coffee?
Many coffee enthusiasts find using a French press as the best method to prepare coffee. One reason is that it is not a fancy piece of equipment, and it doesn’t require electricity and paper filters. You can use it anywhere and anytime. All you need are:
- Boiling water
- Ground coffee
- French press
The strength of coffee depends on your preference. Below is the ratio guide for the three levels of brew strength:
- For three cups of mild brew, you would need three tablespoons of coffee grounds and 300mL/10oz of water.
- For three cups of medium brew, you would need four tablespoons of coffee grounds for 300mL or 10 ounces of water.
- For three cups of strong brew, you would need five tablespoons of coffee grounds for the 300mL or 10 ounces water.
To increase your French press coffee experience, you may consider using a burr grinder so that you can grind coffee beans yourself, which you can brew right away. A burr grinder is a piece of equipment that produces consistently ground coffee sizes which result in a uniform length of steep time.
When you have uneven coffee particles, the larger particles get under-extracted, while the smaller ones get over-extracted.
Other tools that you can use with your French press are the thermometer, timer, and scale. You need a scale to measure the right amount for the ratio between water and coffee grounds. The thermometer enables you to determine the temperature of the water to ensure it is hot enough to steep the coffee.
Finally, the timer allows you to measure the time that you steep the coffee and water. It prevents over-extraction, which results in too bitter coffee, or under-extraction, which results in a bland taste.
How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker?
1. First, you heat the water. Make sure that you use clean water with low mineral content, so you get the maximum taste of coffee.
2. Using a thermometer, check the water temperature and make sure it reaches 195 to 205 degrees, which is the perfect temperature for steeping coffee. Bring the water to a boil if you don’t have the tool.
3. Next, measure the coffee beans that you are going to grind. The abovementioned coffee-water ratio chart is useful for this step. Set the burr grinder to coarse setting and start grinding the coffee beans.
4. You have the option to pre-heat the French press. This is to help wash out unwanted residue that may affect the taste of coffee.
5. After that, mix the coffee ground and hot water into the beaker. Shake the mixture back and forth, stirring it gently to guarantee that all coffee grounds are wet.
6. Put the lid on top of the beaker to keep the water hot. Let the coffee steep for around three to four minutes.
7. Finally, lift the top from the beaker. Try to plunge the mesh filter down to the bottom of the beaker so that the coffee liquid separates from the coffee grounds.
What Kind of Coffee Is Best for French Press?
Pre-ground coffee is excellent for espresso machines, but the ones found in local supermarkets are too fine for the French press. Fine coffee grounds are too small that they tend to pass the mesh filter, so little coffee ground residues get into your coffee liquid.
Therefore, the coarse ground coffee is perfect for the French press. It also results in a cup of coffee with better, clearer flavor.
Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee in a French Press?
The answer is yes. A French press coffee maker enables you to brew any kind of regular ground coffee. In fact, it can brew anywhere from medium to coarse ground coffee. Still, it is always best to consider fresh coffee grounds.
Coffee is always best when freshly ground coffee beans are brewed right away to preserve the aroma and exotic flavors. Whole coffee beans stay fresh for two to three weeks after roasting and stay fresh for 20 to 30 minutes after grinding.
Many French press users typically buy a bag of already-ground coffee because it is easier to prepare. Fair enough, there are many delicious ground coffees in the market. However, real coffee aficionados love brewing freshly ground coffee. It has the maximum amount of flavor and aroma and subtle nuances of the coffee.
So, can you use regular ground coffee in a French press? Yes, you can and remember that freshly ground coffee beans give the best-tasting French press coffee that will kick off your mornings.