Is French Press Coffee Stronger than Regular Coffee?
Nowadays, more and more coffee lovers are switching to using French press coffee makers. And why not? A French press is easy to use, economical, and creates full-flavored, aromatic coffee. However, there are also some who are still quite hesitant, asking questions like, “Is French press coffee stronger?” and “How to make coffee out of a French press?”
This article aims to shed some light on these questions. Before we answer those questions, though, let us first discuss what French press coffee makers are and how they work.
What Makes Up a French Press Coffee and How Does It Work
A French press is made of three components: the carafe, the plunger, and the lid. These three components are the key parts that you should examine when buying a French press coffee maker.
The best French press coffee maker has to have a stainless steel plunger and a glass carafe. Plastic parts are not recommended because they might contaminate the coffee and affect the taste and aroma.
The carafe is a container that holds the water and the coffee grounds. It has a small tube where the brewed coffee flows out into a cup. A French press’ carafe can be made out of one of the following:
- Tempered glass, which easily breaks but doesn’t interfere with brewing
- Stainless steel, which is strong and doesn’t affect the brewing process, but it is dense so you can’t see the brewed coffee inside
- Plastic, which doesn’t break easily, but many people don’t recommend it
The plunger is the part of the French press that you push down to force the coffee grounds to the bottom of the carafe. Its three components are the plunger, handle, and filter. The edge of the filter is usually made of plastic, which breaks down over time, allowing the coffee grounds to slip through the cracks. On the other hand, a metal edge is more durable and doesn’t degrade.
The lid is a basic component that may vary in different French presses. Cheaper French press coffee makers often come with lids that don’t block the heat. The heat goes out through the carafe spout while the coffee is brewing. On the other hand, more expensive French press coffee makers have lids that prevent the heat from escaping. With this type, you simply twist the lid when you pour the coffee out.
How to Make French-Pressed Coffee
Using a French press is one of the easiest methods that is done to prepare coffee. It doesn’t strip the oil and aroma off of the coffee grounds, which result in bold, full-flavored brewed coffee.
To make a perfect French press coffee, you would need the following:
- Evenly grounded gourmet coffee beans
- A French press
- Coffee grinder
- Stirring spoon
- Coffee mug
Once you have all of these things, then you can now start to prepare your French-pressed cup of coffee. Here is a simple, step-by-step guide to doing it the right way:
- Most French press aficionados recommend re-heating the carafe by rinsing boiling water into it. Once you’ve warmed up the carafe, add one heaping tablespoon of coffee grounds for each cup of coffee. You can add more or less depending on your personal preference.
- Bring the water to a boil but do not pour it too soon into the carafe. Its temperature must be between 195 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can just wait for around 40 seconds for it to cool down a little.
- After that, pour the hot water into the carafe and stir it. Wait for at least four minutes for the coffee to steep. Some people prefer to steep it for only three minutes, while others do it for five minutes. You perfect your coffee over time by trial and error.
- Nexy, slowly press the plunger all the way down to the bottom of the carafe. Use a slow, strong force to make sure you filter out the coffee grounds and achieve the oil and aroma of the coffee.
- Lastly, pour the coffee into a coffee mug and enjoy it immediately.
So, Is French Press Coffee Stronger?
When thinking about switching to French-pressed coffee, the most frequently asked question is this: Is French press coffee stronger? The answer is quite simple—it all depends on how long you steep the coffee grounds. Obviously, the longer you do, the more bitter the coffee will be.
Some people like their coffee bitter. Unless you are aiming to make an espresso shot, you don’t want an unbearably bitter coffee. This process is called over-extraction. Just like any method of coffee making, there will always be the perfect spot where you extract the right amount of flavor and oil from a French press.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from wondering whether a French-pressed coffee is stronger, there are also many other questions that linger the mind of those who are thinking about doing the switch. Here are some of those questions:
Should You Leave the Coffee In the French Press?
The straightforward answer to this question is that you should drink your coffee right after you brew it. Leaving the coffee in the French press makes the coffee too bitter or over-extracted. This is because it continuously brews even after pushing the plunger down.
If you can’t drink the coffee immediately, you can transfer it to a glass carafe or make just the exact amount that you can finish. A French press can usually make four to eight cups of coffee.
Do Coffee Grounds Need to be Evenly Grounded?
One common mistake that French press users do is not grinding the coffee beans properly. This is very important when making coffee using any kind of coffee maker. When it comes to preparing French-pressed coffee, the beans should be evenly and finely grounded. After all, freshly grounded coffee beans always make the highest quality coffee, so if you don’t own a grinder yet, better buy one.
One tip to determine if the coffee grounds are too fine or too coarse is when you press down the filter. If the coffee grounds are too coarse, you can easily push the filter down. If you have a hard time pressing the filter down, then that means that the coffee grounds are too fine.
What Is the Right Water-to-Coffee Ratio?
The secret to creating the perfect cup of French-pressed coffee is using the right amount of coffee grounds and water. It is the art of combining water, coffee grounds, and time. For the French press, the general rule of thumb is one is to 10. This means that one gram of coffee grounds should be steeped in 10 grams of water in order to achieve the right flavor and aroma. This ratio can differ depending on your preference, though.
Now, we understand that you do not want to measure the water-to-coffee ratio every time you make coffee. There will be times that you can’t measure the exact proportion too, most especially when you travel. However, for the best cup of joe, it would be worth it to have a consistent means to determine the approximate.
Just like any other methods of preparing coffee, a cup of French-pressed coffee is made according to your personal preference. People who prefer bitter coffee steep the coffee grounds for a longer time, probably for more than five minutes. On the other hand, some people steep it for only three minutes. More than the brewing time, though, the ratio of fine, gourmet coffee grounds and water is another secret to a perfectly brewed French-pressed coffee.