You just got your French press but don't have a coffee grinder yet? Don't worry about it, you can use pre ground coffee you bought from the store and still get great results. Let's look into how you can make delicious coffee without having to grind the beans yourself.
What Is a French Press?
A French press is a coffee maker used for brewing coffee manually, that resembles the drip coffee maker. You make coffee in it by suspending coarsely ground beans in hot water, letting them steep for a few minutes, and pressing it all down into the brewing vessel. After you do this, you are left with a delicious cup of homemade brew.
Despite the name, no one is sure about the origin. The first mention of the French press was in the 1850s when a Frenchman brewed coffee using that method. Nevertheless, the French press was first patented in 1928 by an Italian.
No matter the origin, the French press is an easy way to make delicious coffee at home that you will love. All you need are coffee grounds and hot water. However, even though today the French press is very widely spread, it is by far not the only way to make coffee manually at home.
What Grind Do You Need for French Press Coffee?
The grind you're using to make coffee can be the difference between a delicious cup that gives you a great start of the day and a completely ruined morning. No matter if you're using a French press, a Moka pot or an espresso machine for your home made coffee, you should always make sure your coffee grounds are the right size.
As the French press doesn't need high water pressure to press out your coffee, you don't need finely ground beans. That's why a coarse ground will work perfectly and will give you a delicious cup of French press coffee.
Can You Use Pre Ground Coffee in a French Press?
Yes, you can use coffee grounds you didn't grind yourself in a French press and get a delicious cup of coffee. You should know that it might not taste just as good as a fresh grind and there's a few reasons for that.
After you grind your coffee it'll start to oxidize and lose its flavor. This is why most instructions for French press coffee advise you to grind it yourself. This way you will make sure that it's fresh and that you'll get the best taste. Additionally, coffee you didn't grind yourself is usually finely ground, which doesn't make it perfect for a French press.
If you decide to grind your coffee, you should go for a coarse or a coarse to medium grind as it won't leave a lot of residue in your coffee after you press it. If you ground it more finely, you're going to get a stronger but very likely bitter coffee. On the other hand, if it's too coarse, it will become weak but you're more likely to have a better flavor.
To sum up, using coffee that was already ground, is definitely the easier option but if you want the best taste out of your grind, you should do it yourself. Additionally, this will add to the personal coffee making experience that the French press offers.
How Do You Make Coffee in a French Press with Pre Ground Beans?
Making a delicious cup of coffee in a French press is very simple. All you need is the French press itself, coarsely ground beans and some hot water.
- Heat up some water. The best temperature is around 190-200° F (87-93°C). The best way to achieve that exact temperature is the LuxHaus kettle which has a marking on it.
- Add the coffee in the French press and pour hot water. After you've added the two together, give them a little stir so the grounds are in good contact with the water. The best water to coffee ratio is 1:12 but you can slightly adjust it till you get the best result.
- Let the coffee steep for 3-4 minutes. It's likely you won't get it just right the first time, as the longer the coffee stays in water, the stronger it will be. We recommend starting at 3:30 minutes and then decreasing the time if the coffee is too strong and increasing it if it's too weak.
- After the 3-4 minutes pass, press the filter down and back up a few times. This is the actual manual brewing step that will give you the delicious coffee.
- Voilà! You're all set to pour the coffee in your favorite mug and enjoy it.
What Do You Need for French Press Coffee?
Making coffee in a French press is straightforward. You only need:
- Hot water - every cup of coffee starts there.
- Coffee - obviously you'll need some coffee. Preferably freshly ground.
- French press - that's why you're here, right?
- Measuring cup - going to help you measure the amount of water you're pouring in before you start brewing.
- Tablespoon - to more easily measure your coffee.
What Is the Best Coffee You Can Use?
You already know that pre ground coffee is not the best option for French press brewing. There are a few tricks you can do to make it slightly better. These are letting your coffee steep for longer if it's too bland, or for less time if it's too bitter or sour.
No matter if you go for pre ground coffee or are planning to grind it yourself, you should go for medium roast. It will give you the smooth and robust flavor that makes most coffee enthusiasts pick the French press.
However, if you want a stronger taste with more caffeine per cup, you can go for a light roast. It seems a bit counter intuitive but lightly roasted coffee is actually stronger than a dark roast. The reason for this is that when you roast your coffee, it loses some of its flavor and caffeine. That's why the longer it's roasted, the weaker the grind is going to be.
On the other hand, you have the dark roast that can be significantly more bitter. It'll have such a flavor because some of the beans will probably be burnt.
This is why the medium roast is the way to go to get the best taste out of your grind. We have some suggestions on what is the best pre ground coffee for French press brewing.
Royal Kona Coffee
This is one of the tastiest and most aromatic pre ground types of coffee that we found. Made from Arabica coffee and selected from the best Kona harvest. It is free of GMO, perfectly roasted and medium to coarsely ground, just perfect for your French press.
Additionally, this coffee ground has a lower acidity level, so if you're sensitive to acids, this might be the way to go.
Bulletproof Ground Coffee
Another coffee that is medium roast. The manufacturer claims that the beans were roasted in smaller batches, which would make them more evenly roasted, giving it a sweeter and smoother taste.
There are few different flavors you can choose from: cinnamon, hazelnut, plum and chocolate. If you're a fan of interesting coffee flavors, this is probably the way to go.
Bean Box Coffee
The Bean Box coffee comes in four different flavors, making perfect for the coffee enthusiast in you. Additionally, Bean Box have a unique roasting technique, compared to the traditional coffee roasting process, giving their grind a unique taste.
Water to Coffee Ratio
The best coffee to water ratio when brewing French press coffee is 1:12. This will give you the smooth flavor you will love, and just the right amount of caffeine.
How Do You Clean a French Press After Using?
There are two ways of cleaning a French press after brewing coffee. One is for your every day wash, after each cup of coffee, and it takes significantly less time. The other is something you should do around once per month. It will get rid of all the stubborn coffee grounds and is a way to make sure you get the best taste of your coffee with continuous usage.
Cleaning Your French Press After Each Use
- Throw out the remaining coffee grounds. Most of them are probably on the bottom of the press so you might want to use a plastic or wooden spatula to loosen the grounds up. Avoid using any metal utensils as they can leave scratches.
- Rinse the individual components with hot water. There is probably going to be some coffee left on the inside of the coffee maker and you'd want to get rid of them. Heat up some water and give them a rinse.
- Add some dish soap and add some warm (or hot) water. Add a few drops in the French press and pour some hot water, filling it half the way up. Then add the filter in and press it down a few times as if you were making coffee. This way you will get rid of all the remaining coffee grounds.
- Pour out the water and rinse. Here you will need to make sure all the soapy water is gone, so it doesn't get in your next cup of coffee.
- Make sure there are no coffee grounds or soapy water left.
- Let your coffee maker dry.
Deep Cleaning Your French Press
- Throw out all the remaining coffee and rinse under running water. Just like with your regular cleaning you will want to make sure there is no coffee left in the French press.
- Disassemble the coffee maker. This time you will need to take apart, including the filter. Unscrew it gently from the plunger.
- Prepare a cleaning solution in a big bowl. Mix two cups of warm water and a tbsp of citric acid powder with two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide.
- Soak the filter and the plunger. Make sure they're both fully submerged and let them soak for four to five hours.
- Wash the carafe and the lid. Some water and dish soap will do the trick. Don't forget to make sure there are no coffee grounds or soapy water left.
- Let it dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Scoops of Coffee Should You Put in a French Press?
The amount of coffee you need for brewing depends on the size of your French press. The rule is to use one tablespoon of coffee for every 4 oz of water. This means that if you want to get the best taste out of your coffee and you have a 16 oz coffee maker, you will want to use 4 tablespoons of coffee.
Can You Make Cold Brew in a French Press?
Yes, you can make cold brew coffee in your French press. You will even be able to use the same coarsely ground coffee you'd use for a hot brew.
This method works as for cold brew you need to add some coffee to water and let it steep. The difference here is that instead of having your coffee ready in a few minutes, you will have to wait 12-15 hours. When you have the mix, put it in the fridge.
When the time passes, push down the plunger to filter the coffee and you're done. You can use this method to enjoy a cup of cold coffee on hot summer days.
Final Thoughts on Coffee Grounds and French Presses
It's no coincidence that the French presses are among the most widely spread manual ways to brew coffee at home. You will immediately understand how good coffee brewed using this method is, and will want to repeat it.
While buying coffee that was pre ground will not give you the best possible taste, it's still a good option. Nevertheless for the real French press coffee, you will want to grind your coffee yourself. This way you can be sure that it's fresh and your brew will taste great.
The last thing you need for delicious coffee is to know the exact temperature of the water you're going to use for brewing. The best way to do that is in a LuxHaus coffee kettle. It has a temperature gauge that shows the exact temperature of the water and what's even better is that you will also be able to use it if you want to try pour over coffee. Get your kettle now.