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Best French Press Coffee Ratio (With Calculator)

French press with coffee next to cup

Arguably, one of the most popular coffee brewing devices and probably the most common coffee maker you can find in households is the French Press. When made correctly, you can craft a smooth and rich coffee better than any other. The key thing you need to know is the correct French press coffee ratio.

We have also included a French press coffee ratio calculator at the bottom!

Check out our new coffee to water ratio calculator!

French Press Background

The French press has been around since 1929 thanks to Italian creators Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta who first patented the design which we now know and love. 

Different countries have different names for a French press. In Ireland and the UK, they call it a cafetière. In French, it is called cafetière à piston. Caffettiera a stantuffo is what it is called in Italy. In New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, they call it a coffee plunger.  

There have been several modifications to the French press design, you will commonly find that cheaper models fall apart easier, but then there are more expensive models that are higher quality materials. 

It’s important when using one of the best brewing devices to understand the perfect French press coffee ratio. You can also find out more about French Press caffeine content here.

Things to Get Right Before the French Press Coffee Ratio

Before understanding the french press coffee ratio, you need to know the key factors that go into making the perfect coffee using this brewing device. If one of these factors is done incorrectly, it can completely ruin the outcome of your coffee.

1. The Water Temperature

The first thing you need to remember is how hot you need the water to be. You don’t want your water to be warm, since this will result in a diluted drink. You also don’t want your coffee to be too hot since this may result in a burnt coffee aftertaste. 

What you need is a perfect water temperature of 195°F which is just below the boiling point. The best way to measure this is to purchase a gauge for your kettle or a gooseneck kettle that comes with a temperature gauge.

2. The Coffee Grounds

How your coffee tastes and the texture it has, depends on the grind size you use. Different brewing methods have different grind size requirements and when it comes to making a good French Press coffee, you’ll need a medium-coarse grind. 

Not only do you need to remember to use a medium-coarse grind, but you also need to take note that freshly ground coffee beans are always better compared to pre-ground coffee.

3. Steeping Time

You should never plunge the coffee straight after you put the water in. You need to allow time for the water to extract the oils from the coffee grounds. The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavor will be, but you should be careful leaving it too long as you may over-extract and end up with a bitter coffee. If you plunge too early, your coffee will be watery and weak.

We recommend waiting 2-5 minutes, ideally 3, for a French Press to steep.

4. Plunging Method

When you plunge the coffee, you should do it in a slow and consistent motion. If you do it too fast, coffee sediment can escape and your French press may break. If you do it too slow, the coffee taste could be altered entirely. You should allow the coffee to rest before plunging depending on your desired strength and pour immediately after plunging.

What Is The Best French Press Coffee Ratio?

The ideal French press coffee ratio is 1:12. This results in 1 part water for 12 parts coffee. This number is varied depending on the source, but the best French press coffee ratio should be between 1:10 – 1:15.

How strongly do you want your coffee? If you want a bolder and thicker coffee, use a 1:10 ratio, in which for every gram of coffee, you’ll need 10 parts water. 

If you prefer a lighter, subtler coffee flavor, then you should choose a 1:15 ratio. 

The key thing to remember here is that the perfect ratio will depend on your personal preference. You should play around with how much coffee and water you add to find the perfect taste and consistency for you. 

The perfect coffee ratio for a French Press Coffee all depends on you, just remember that the water temperature, the coffee grounds, and the pour is also as important as the French press coffee ratio to make the perfect cup. 

Related: French Press VS Aeropress

The Final Sip

We recommend the perfect French press coffee ratio to be 1:12. This is not a set standard, and you should adjust the ratio depending on your preferences. A lower ratio would equal a stronger tasting coffee, and a higher ratio would create a weaker coffee.

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