With so many different coffee brewing methods out there, it can be a difficult task to find one that makes a strong coffee the way you like it. Of course, strength can apply to caffeine and flavor, and depend on many factors aside from the brewing method, but in this instance, we are going to look at: does a French Press make stronger coffee?
Related: Best French Press coffee makers.
What Is a French Press?
The French Press is a classic coffee brewing method that is sometimes referred to as the coffee plunger or coffee press. Having existed for almost 100 years, the French Press is a reliable and trusted brewing method for coffee lovers.
Using a French Press is also incredibly simple. Using the best coffee beans for the French Press, coarse coffee grounds are placed in a carafe-like cylinder, which is often made of glass or steel. Hot, off-boiling, water is added to the grounds until the cylinder is mostly full. It is important to use water that is not still boiling or too hot. Suggested water temperatures hover around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or 93 degrees Celsius.
Be sure to check out the best French Press coffee ratio.
The grounds are then quickly stirred before the lid is placed on top. The lid also has the plunger mechanism attached to it, so it is important that the plunger is up when the lid is placed on top. While there are time differences between bean varieties and preferred brew strength, it is generally recommended to let the coffee and water steep for 4-5 minutes.
Once that time has passed, the plunger should be slowly pressed down into the cylinder using the handle on top. This action pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom of the French Press, while the drinkable coffee remains on top and ready to pour.
Learn more about the French Press here.
Does a French Press Make Stronger Coffee?
In short, a French Press does make stronger coffee when compared to other brewing methods. The immersion style brewing method allows for more coffee to be extracted creating a richer and more intense brew with a thicker texture than others.
First, it is important to note that the type of coffee used is just as important as the brewing method. Certain types of beans and roasts provide inherently more intense flavors than others. Also, the term “strong” may mean something different for some coffee drinkers. Strength may refer to flavor or caffeine levels, which are very different things. Some of the lightest coffee roasts have the highest caffeine levels.
Luckily, the impact of French Press brewing impacts both flavor and caffeine, so the explanation is simpler. Brewing coffee with a French Press does, in fact, make stronger coffee. The flavor of French Press coffee is richer and more intense than other methods, such as drip brewing.
The consistency of the coffee will also be slightly thicker since more residual coffee remains in the brew. Caffeine levels for French Press coffee are also higher than other brewing methods, with a cup of French Press coffee containing between 80mg and 110mg of caffeine depending on the bean and the roast.
Related: French Press VS Aeropress
Why Is French Press Coffee Stronger?
The simplest explanation for the strength of French Press coffee is the extraction period, or when the coffee dissolves and infuses into the brewing water. When using a French Press, the hot water is in contact with the coffee beans for a longer amount of time, providing more time for coffee compounds to release into the water and amplify the flavor.
These compounds include the natural fats and acids in coffee, so depending on the bean, there may be visible oils in a cup of French Press coffee. The longer extraction time also results in slightly higher caffeine levels.
Also, the mesh filters on most French Press plungers do not filter out as much coffee content as other methods. A higher quantity of oils and coffee solids are permitted to flow through the filter, adding to the strong flavor and rich consistency.
Does French Press Coffee Taste Good?
Like other coffee considerations, such as type and roast, brewing methods provide vastly different flavors. Because of this opinion among drinkers will vary due to personal preference. While many enthusiasts love the bold, dense flavor of French Press coffee, some find it too strong or too thick for their liking.
Overall, French Press brewing can result in a delicious cup of coffee. The coffee is intense, rich, and packed with coffee flavor. All of the oils and compounds in French Press allow the drinker to experience more of the natural character of coffee. While it will always produce a strong coffee, some of the negatives of French Press have more to do with user errors than the brewing method itself.
Using water that is too hot, including water that is still boiling, can burn the grounds and result in a bitter, acrid brew. Also, allowing the coffee to steep too long can also increase the bitterness and viscosity of the coffee.
To truly enjoy French Press coffee, it is important to follow the provided guidelines that come with purchased Presses or are found online. Additionally, practice makes perfect, so it may take some time to fully master the art of French Press coffee.
The Final Sip
So, does a French Press make stronger coffee? Yes, a French Press does brew a stronger coffee. That doesn’t mean it’s the strongest coffee, and of course, beans and brewing time will also impact the strength here.