How to Make Strong Coffee in a French Press?

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Today, there are countless coffee brewing methods and some are better and easier than others. But what matters in the end is a delicious and flavorful cup of coffee.

French Press is one of the simplest and cheap ways to brew great coffee at home. It’s an excellent coffee maker that ensures that you get the most out of your favorite coffee beans.

Coffee fanatics who love brewing coffee in a French Press reveal that it draws out coffee oils, flavors, and aromas from the coffee beans.

However, the coffee brewed in a French Press is not always as strong as what you would get from an espresso machine.

How to Make Strong Coffee in a French Press?

If you enjoy drinking black, rich coffee and are wondering how to make strong coffee in a French Press, you have come to the right page.

Here, you will discover some essential tips for brewing strong coffee and learn the best way to brew coffee in a French Press.

How to Make Strong Coffee in a French Press?

To make strong coffee in a French Press, you will need the following supplies:

  • Whole roasted coffee beans
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Measuring cup or digital food scale
  • French Press
  • Boiling water
  • Long spoon for stirring
  • Timer
  • Coffee mug

Once you gather all the ingredients, follow these instructions to make strong coffee in a French Press:

Step 1: Measure Your Coffee Beans

The first thing to do is measuring your freshly roasted coffee beans. The amount of coffee to use will depend on how much coffee you want to make.

If you want to make 4 cups of strong coffee, you can use 12 tablespoons of coffee, equivalent to 66 grams. For two servings, you can use about 32 to 35 grams of coffee beans.

Step 2: Grind the Coffee Beans

After measuring the right amount of coffee beans, pour them into the burr grinder. Then grind them into a medium-coarse grind size.

The burr grinder comes with a function that allows you to set the desired setting. For strong coffee, you can set it to grind up to medium coarse.

It will also ensure that the coffee beans are consistently ground to even sized particles.

While the best grind-size for a French Press is a coarse grind, you can use medium-coarse for brewing a stronger cup of coffee.

However, the grind-size shouldn’t be too small as it will be difficult to filter them using the French Press filter.

The general rule of thumb in brewing coffee in a French Press is that the finer the grounds, the stronger the coffee brew. The larger the grounds, the weaker the coffee brew.

Therefore, medium-coarse will be okay to minimize residue in the coffee and increase the surface area for maximum extraction.

Step 3:  Pre-heat the Beaker of the French Press

Use hot or boiling water and pour some in the French Press to pre-heat it before the actual brewing.

Pre-heating the French Press will ensure that your coffee brews at an even temperature. Ideally, use boiling water to warm-up the pot, then discard it from the French Press.

Step 4: Put the Coffee Grounds and Pour Some Water in the French Press

Add your coffee grounds into the empty French Press immediately after pre-heating, then pour a little water over the coffee beans.

If the water is boiling, let it cool for about one minute until it reaches about 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Then pour it gently on the coffee beans.

As you pour the first few ounces of water, you will notice that there are some bubbles formed over the grounds. This is known as blooming.

To brew strong coffee like a master barista, don’t pour all the water at once. Instead, pour a few ounces and let it bloom for about 20 to 45 seconds.

Step 5: Stir the Grounds into the Water

After blooming is complete, stir the coffee grounds gently for a few seconds into the water to ensure that they are all soaked.

This will also enhance the brewing process and ensure even extraction since every coffee particle is saturated. Then pour all the remaining hot water.

Step 6: Let the Coffee Steep

Once you pour all the water into the coffee beans, set a timer and let the coffee steep for about four to five minutes.

If you used coarsely ground coffee beans, you need to wait for up to eight minutes to obtain a stronger cup of coffee.

how-to-best-use-french-press-for-coffee

Step 7: Break the Crust

When brewing is complete, the coffee will create a layer of floating grounds similar to a crust on the top.

You can use a spoon to remove the floating grounds or stir them into the coffee. Keeping them into the coffee will lead to a stronger, full-bodied flavor while removing them results in a lighter flavor.

Step 8: Place the French Press Cover and Plunge

Now that brewing is complete, your coffee should be ready for plunging. Place the top cover of the French Press and push the plunger down to the bottom of the pot.

Then bring the plunger up before pushing it down again to filter more coffee grounds as possible. For a coarse grind-size, filtering will be easy as no coffee grounds will get through the plunger.

Step 9: Remove the Brewed Coffee from the French Press

Remove your strong coffee from the French Press by pouring it into a server or a jug.

Leaving your brewed coffee in the French Press will lead to bitter coffee as the extraction will continue.

Then serve your coffee in cups and store the rest in a thermos to keep it warm and ready for drinking.

Step 10: Discard the Coffee Beans and Clean the French Press

After pouring the coffee into a server, discard the used coffee beans and clean the French Press with warm water and mild dishwasher soap.

Then rinse it twice with clean water and leave it to dry. And that's it!

Cleaning your French Press after every usage is very essential to ensure that you always make fresh, rich-tasting coffee.

However, many coffee lovers usually forget to clean their coffee maker immediately after brewing.

If you don’t want to clean your French Press after brewing, you can rinse it with warm water to remove all the coffee residue.

Tips for Making Strong Coffee in a French Press

1. Measure Coffee and Water

Measuring out the right coffee water ratio for a French Press is a crucial factor that influences the coffee strength.

The correct ratio for a French Press is 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee beans for one cup of water.

If you want to make a stronger cup of coffee, you can use three tablespoons of ground coffee beans.

It’s always important to measure your coffee beans and water to ensure that you don’t use too little or too much of these ingredients.

For a more perfect way to measure the coffee beans and water, you can use a simple digital food scale to measure the coffee beans. Keep in mind that different roasts have varied amounts of density.

2. Invest in a Good Grinder

French Press brews better-tasting coffee when the coffee grounds are evenly-sized.

If you want to make strong, great-tasting coffee in a French Press, you need to invest in a good grinder. In this case, a burr grinder is the best.

A burr grinder is perfectly good for grinding coffee beans for French Press as it allows you to achieve a consistent grind-size.

The best thing about burr grinders is that they are affordable and are built to deliver reliable results. They have a control function that lets you set your preferred grind-size.

If you don't have extra space for the grinder in the kitchen, then you may want to use other brewing methods like pour-over and drip coffee machines.

3. Grind the Coffee More Finely

While the best grind size for a French Press is coarse, you can grind your coffee beans more finely if you want to make strong coffee in a French Press.

A fine grind-size will increase the surface area and lead to better extraction, giving you a stronger cup of coffee.

However, fine grind-size may be difficult to filter using the French Press plunger and the small grains may get through the filter. This usually creates sediment in your cup of coffee.

So, you will want to be careful not to grind too finely. If you find that your coffee is getting bitter instead, you can reduce the grind-size or the brewing time.

When using finely-ground coffee beans in a French Press, you can filter the coffee with a filter paper after plunging to prevent sediment accumulation.

A paper filter will also help remove bad cholesterol from the coffee as the French Press filter usually lets it through.

4. Use Fresh, Delicious Water

The type of water you use to brew your coffee plays a key role in determining how your coffee will taste.

Freshwater produces a strong and flavorful coffee brew while salty and unfiltered water interferes with the coffee flavor.

If you use tap water for cooking in your home, you can buy a water filter to ensure that you use quality for brewing.

5. Use More Coffee Beans

Want a stronger cup of coffee but you only have a French Press in your kitchen? Don’t worry as you can easily brew strong coffee by using more coffee beans.

Brewing coffee in a French Press is like an art. You need to practice and see what works best for you.

how to use french press

If you like strong and rich coffee but you find it hard to achieve that with a French Press, you can adjust the coffee water ratio.

In this case, you can use more coffee beans for the same amount of water used for regular brewing, or less water for the same amount of coffee beans.

More coffee beans or less water means extra flavor and coffee components into your brew.

6. Warm the French Press Pot Before Brewing

Before you start brewing your strong coffee in a French Press, it’s vital to warm up the pot with hot water.

Warming up the pot helps in maintaining a more stabilized heat level throughout the brewing process.

If possible, you can use boiling water to pre-heat the French Press beaker. This will ensure that the temperature remains between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit during the entire steeping process.

An added advantage of pre-heating the coffee pot is that your coffee will stay hotter for a longer time.

Once you pre-heat the pot, discard the hot water and pour your ground coffee beans immediately.

7. Use Hot Water Instead of Boiling Water for Brewing

Water temperature is also paramount when making a strong cup of coffee. If you want to make a strong cup of coffee in a French Press, don’t use boiling water as this will only lead to bitter coffee.

Pouring the boiling water directly on the coffee beans will cause the beans to over-extract.

The right thing to do is wait for the water to cool for about a minute after boiling. It should reach a temperature of about 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you gently pour the water over the coffee grounds, you will notice a bloom that forms as foam. You should let it bloom for about 20 to 45 seconds before adding the remaining water.

Blooming allows for even extraction and ensures that you get a stronger brew with more oils and flavor. It also gives any carbon dioxide time to escape from coffee to avoid a sour brew.

8. Don’t Stir Before the Brewing Time is Up

You should not stir your coffee beans until the brewing time is up unless you want to soak all the beans after pouring in water.

Stirring the coffee before brewing is complete will slow down extraction considerably.

According to Grady Buhler from JJ Bean Coffee Roasters, unstirred coffee extracts much better and has more flavor.

However, you can use a bamboo paddle or a chopstick to stir the coffee beans gently before or after blooming is complete. This will ensure that all the coffee beans are fully soaked.

If you don’t stir after pouring water over the grounds, you will get clumps of dry coffee grounds that don’t get full extraction, leaving you with weak watery coffee.

Some people confuse breaking the crust and stirring, and they end up stirring the coffee thoroughly after brewing is complete. This is a bad idea as you will obtain a muddy cup of coffee.

You should let the coffee grounds steep peacefully without stirring.

9. Skim the Top Before Plunging

Skimming the surface helps reduce coffee sediment in your mug. It ensures that you obtain a clean and smooth coffee drink.

Towards the end of brewing time, coffee grounds form an island on top of the water, and you need to break this crust before plunging. But this doesn’t mean stirring the coffee.

You just have to break the crust you see on top and skim any floating coffee grounds on top for about 10 to 20 seconds.

Skimming helps in removing some fine grounds that would otherwise get through the French Press filter.

When skimming, it’s advisable to use a wooden spoon to avoid breaking the glass.

 However, if your French Press isn’t made of glass, you can gently use a metal spoon to skim.

10. Keep Your French Press Clean

Brewing coffee in a dirty French Press will produce bitter coffee. This is because the leftover oils and residue impart the coffee flavors of your newly brewed coffee.

It’s important to clean your French Press after every use to ensure that it remains fresh and ready for the next brewing.

To keep your French Press clean, add lukewarm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap then press down the filter a few times until the water gets foamy.

Warm water and soap help to clean the inside effectively and remove all the residue and coffee oils.

How-do-you-make-strong-coffee-with-a-French-press

Then dump out the soapy water and rinse the French Press twice with clean fresh water.

When cleaning the French Press you should also clean the filter with warm water, as grounds and oils may get stuck in it. These oils and grounds can ruin your coffee flavor.

If the residue in the filter isn’t coming out, you can use a brush to remove it, and then rinse with clean water.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a French Press?

As with other brewing methods, French Press has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here is a list of its pros and cons:

Pros

  • Cheap

Generally, French Presses come in all budgets from cheap to expensive. The good news is that even the inexpensive ones are effective and easy to use.

You can find a decent French Press for less than $20 for brewing coffee at home, depending on what size you want.

  • Easy to Operate

French Press is one of the easiest ways to make coffee at home, even with less experience. You can easily brew coffee within a few minutes. 

All you have to do is follow the simple instructions given and brew a delicious cup of coffee with your favorite coffee beans.

  • Better-Tasting, Strong Coffee

While French Press doesn’t necessarily use finely ground coffee beans, it still produces better-tasting, strong coffee with full-bodied flavor.

This is because the coffee beans are fully submerged in the water to promote efficient extraction of the coffee flavors.

  • Flexible

French Press is one of the most flexible equipment you can ever have in your kitchen. It offers unmatched reliability and flexibility.

You can use a French Press for a wide array of applications, including brewing coffee, frothing milk, making whipped cream, and rehydrating dried foods.

A quality French Press also comes in handy for making a cold brew and mixing drinks.  

Cons

  • Unfiltered Coffee

Recent studies reveal that unfiltered coffee usually has some bad cholesterol.

However, French Press has not yet been proved to increase cancer risks or any other harmful diseases. So, there is nothing to worry about.

  • Can Lead to Over Extraction

It's easy to brew bitter, over-extracted coffee with a French Press, especially if you don’t have experience in using it.

Fortunately, this can be fixed by following the instructions given carefully and using the tips provided above.

FAQs

How Do You Make Strong Coffee When Using a French Press

It’s easy to make strong coffee when using a French Press as you just need medium-coarse or coarsely ground coffee beans and hot water.

Then follow these steps to make strong coffee in a French Press:

·         Boil fresh water in a kettle and pour some in the French Press to preheat it.

·         Measure your ground coffee beans and pour them into the French Press.

·         Remove the boiling water from the heat source and wait for it to cool for about a minute before pouring it over the coffee beans.

·         Pour a little on the coffee and leave it for about 20 to 45 seconds to bloom. Then stir for a few seconds before adding the rest of the water.

·         Set a timer and let the coffee steep for four minutes. When brewing is complete skim on the top to break the crust and remove the floating grounds or sink them.

·         Then place the top cover and press the French Press filter down to the bottom.

·         Pour your coffee into a server, jug, or coffee mug and throw away the used coffee beans.

·         Wash the French Press with warm soapy water and rinse it twice with clean water.

How Many Scoops of Coffee Should I Put in a French Press?

2 scoops for every cup of water. You can use 2 scoops of ground coffee beans for every cup of water.

If your French Press brews four cups of coffee, you can use 8 scoops of ground coffee beans when brewing in it.

How Long Should I Let My Coffee Steep in a French Press?

4 Minutes. When brewing coffee in a French Press, you should let it steep for about four minutes.

However, you may realize that different roasts work better with shorter or longer steeping times. For instance, dark roasts tend to brew faster than light roasts.

Does French Press Coffee Have More Caffeine?

Yes, French Press coffee has more caffeine. French Press allows the coffee beans to steep for a longer period of about four minutes. This leads to more caffeine extraction.

Generally, the longer the coffee makes contact with water, the stronger the coffee, with more caffeine.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for an easy way to brew strong coffee at home, you may want to invest in a high-quality French Press. It’s one of the fastest coffee makers.

French Press will help you make bold, great-tasting coffee, and you can also use it for other applications in the kitchen.

To make strong coffee in a French Press, you need to ensure that you have the right tools and know all the steps involved. You can use the guide provided in this text to make a perfect French Press strong coffee.


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