Common Mistakes When Brewing French Press Coffee

French Press Coffee

One sip of perfectly brewed french press coffee can be more than enough. People like me love to love to have a cup of ‘perfectly-brewed’ french press coffee in the morning. But there are some common mistakes when brewing French Press coffee that keeps people from having the ‘perfectly-brewed’ french press coffee.

If you want to know common mistakes and how to avoid them, this article will help you. Just stick to the last to know every informative fact regarding this topic, you won’t regret it!

Without talking more, let’s just start talking what matters. Shall we?

Common Mistakes When Brewing French Press Coffee

Here you go for the common mistakes people often make when brewing French Press coffee.

1. Mistakes You Make with Coffee Beans

Don’t mess up when you choose and purchase the coffee beans because poor quality beans can make things even messier. You should concern these things below while it comes to coffee beans.

  • Buy quality coffee beans: You need to be careful while processing coffee because the process has an effect on the flavor. But the beans are the sources of flavor. So, you must ensure you’re buying quality coffee beans to get the source of taste.
  • Using the right coffee containers: Yes, which container you’re coffee comes in can also affect the taste of your coffee. More specifically, sunlight and oxygen may affect the shelf-life and taste of your coffee beans. So, you should choose air-tight, solid bags instead of open, clear containers. It will keep the taste of your coffee delicious.
  • Determine Arabica or Robusta beans: Since there is more than one type of coffee (Arabica and Robusta are the two biggest types), you must go for the one you like most. If you want a soothing, nice cup of coffee, pick Arabica beans as they way too sweeter than Robusta. On the contrary, Robusta beans come with a bitter taste as well as more caffeine. So, if you want to get an extra morning buzz and ready to sacrifice the taste, go for Robusta beans!
  • Buy coffee from the right place: You will find a variety of options depending on what you are willing to buy. If you go to the supermarket, there are mostly pre-ground coffees that are the right choice for busy-bees. But if you want to buy nothing but whole-bean Arabica coffee, going to your local coffee shop would be a better option. You can even browse online where you’ll find a lot of options to make sure what you exactly want.
  • Make sure your coffee is fresh enough: It matters whether you are purchasing pre-ground or roasted beans because they require different time frames to stay fresh. You can freshly store the green coffee beans for several weeks before you roast. But if you don’t buy green coffee, you should use your coffee beans between two and four weeks after you roast them.
  • When you should buy whole coffee beans: It depends on your lifestyle because whole beans require extra time for preparing the cup, the taste is worth it though. But if you are a busy-bee and don’t want to spend the extra time, then it’s a better idea to pick pre-ground coffee for the french press.

2. Mistakes with Water

The water you are using to make your coffee also affects the taste. For this, you need to make sure that you are using the right amount of water. Also, temperature matters. But the thing is, it’s cheaper and easier to handle the water you’re going to use than handling the coffee beans.

  • Make sure the water is at the proper temperature: The temperature should be around 195℉ to 205℉. And, you should not hit the high end of the range because getting it too hot may burn your coffee as well as run its taste. Moreover, you also avoid boiling water to make sure you’re not burning your coffee.
  • Use regular-bottled spring water: In case, you use soft or distilled water that is empty of minerals or any other organic substance, your coffee will not get anything to react with, but the reaction helps to increase the flavor. On the other hand, if you use hard water that comes with a lot of minerals, will make your coffee taste bitter. So, if you want a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste bitter rather than have a nice flavor, pick regular-bottled spring water instead of soft or hard water.

3. Using Over-Brewed Coffee

Using Over-Brewed CoffeeYou never should underrate the brewing time while making a cup of tea because timing can hugely affect the taste of your coffee.

What an exact time-frame is needed for your coffee depends on which brewing method you are following.

Here’s a shortlist that breaks down the required time for different brewing methods:

  • Espresso brewing: 20-30 seconds.
  • French press brewing: 2-4 minutes.
  • Drip-brewing coffee: 5 minutes.
  • Cold brewing: 12 hours or more.

Sticking to these time frames is crucial if you want to get the desired taste.

4. Following Improper Brewing Method

following the proper brewing method plays an important role to have a delicious cup of coffee. Firstly, determine whether you want light, normal, or strong coffee because each type requires an individual brewing method.

  • Light coffee: For one cup of coffee, add 1 tablespoon of coffee to the water. Then, set the temperature at 195℉ and brew them for 30 seconds.
  • Normal coffee: For one cup of coffee, add 1.5 tablespoons of coffee to the water and set the temperature at 200℉. Finally, brew them for 25 seconds.
  • Strong coffee: For one cup of strong coffee, take 2 tablespoons of coffee and add it to the water. Next, set the temperature at 205℉ and brew them for 20-25 seconds.

5. Other Mistakes

Brewed Coffee Other MistakesWhen you take care of all the above-mentioned things, you may forget some little stuff that matters and affect the taste of your coffee.

If you leave the equipment dirty, the bean oils may turn bad inside your appliance. This will lead you to have an acidic, bitter-tasted coffee that you never want.

While making coffee, you should never load down your cup with sugar, creamer, or any extra sweetness like these. Because these coatings will keep you from getting a fair amount of caffeine and mask the coffee flavor.

How to Deal with The Coffee Beans That are Too Old?

You must be concerned whether you are purchasing fresh coffee or not. However, if you mess up with the purchase somehow and find your coffee is too old or stale, there are some open doors to fix things up.

  • To stop getting things worse, make sure you store your coffee properly.
  • You can cinnamon (⅛ tablespoon) to one cup of ground.
  • Adding ¼ tablespoon vanilla extract to one cup of the ground is a good idea.
  • To get 6 oz of coffee, mix ⅛ tablespoon of salt with your grounds.
  • Add nutmeg (⅛ tablespoon) to one cup of ground.
  • In this case, using a lower temperature like 175℉ is a better idea.
  • You can cold brew your coffee if it’s too old.
  • Make the coffee-to-water ratio a bit higher, it will increase the flavor.

You Need to Use the Right Amount of Coffee

How strong your coffee will depend on how much coffee you use. In general, for one cup of coffee, you should add 1 or 2 tablepoon/s of grounds. But if you think you need to make your coffee lighter, you can lower the amount of coffee, no problem.

However, for a strong cup of coffee, using 2 tablespoons of grounds is perfect. And, you should use it in moderation, adding a lot more grounds (more than 2 tablespoons for one cup) with the French Press is not a good idea.

Are You Adding the Right Amount of Water?

Not only the amount of coffee but also the amount of water decides how strong your coffee will become. To fix things simply, you can take the amount of water you want to drink coffee-wise.

The amount of water you use, you will get almost the same amount of coffee as a result. After that, add the needed amount of coffee ground according to the amount of water you used.

It will control the amount as well as the flavor of your coffee.

It’s Important to Grind the Beans Properly

For getting the most flavor out of your brewed coffee, you need to make sure of a few things when you grind your coffee beans. People mostly make two mistakes while grinding.

You should grind exactly what and when you need it.

And, make sure you grind to the ideal size according to what you make.

  • French press- coarse grind
  • Flat drip machine- medium grind
  • Espresso- fine grind

You also should be careful which grinder you are going to use. For example, if you use a Burr grinder, it will provide you a consistent grind. On the contrary, blade grinders are inconsistent.

The Size of Grounds Matters

The Size of Grounds MattersNo matter if the grounds are too large or too small, the more important thing is, they need to be right. Suppose, you have ground the beans so finely that they made their way through the filter, will you like it? Well, if it was me, I wouldn’t find it appetizing.

So, it’s if you go for medium and fine grounds because if your grounds are so coarse that they get pressed very quickly, you will not like it as well. And, the reason for it is, it will not give you enough time that’s needed for brewing.

What if You Leave Some Coffee in The French Press

Are you one of the people that tend to make more coffee than they drink right away? If you are, then you may leave the remaining coffee in the french press and come back to it whenever you want to drink it.

But do you know that your coffee is still brewing for the entire time it’s in there? So, you are not going to find the second cup of coffee as tasty as the first one, it will feel over-extracted. For this, you should pour the entire coffee as soon as you finish it.

Why You Should Never Leave the French Press Dirty

If you leave your french press dirty after using it, you will find the coffee acidic next time you drink it. To have the most possible fresh coffee, make sure you clean the press right away after using it.

It’s a good habit to get rid of the old grounds as well as the rancid oils out of your press regularly. Because it really does worth it to make sure you are getting a consistent coffee.

Additional Tips

And, here we have compiled some additional tips that might help you with brewing French Press coffee.

  • To make sure you are measuring water and coffee, you can use a scale.
  • You should go for a medium-coarse grind.
  • Do not underrate using quality water.
  • Before you brew, warm up the pot.
  • Avoid using boiling water, use hot water instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait to press down the french press?
Answer: 4 minutes. Yes, you should go for an up and down motion and then steep for 4 minutes.
Do I need to stir the french press?
Answer: Yes, you should stir french press once the water goes in because you need to make sure that all of your grounds are properly soaked.

Conclusion

Now, tell me one thing, have you got a clear understanding of the common mistakes when brewing French Press coffee?

Hopefully, your answer is a big yes since we tried to come up with every possible mistake people make during brewing french press coffee. However, isn’t it pretty easy to avoid the mistakes? They totally are! Just be careful each case and deal with it according to our instructions.

Good luck and happy brewing!

Mumtahina Adira

Hello World! This is Mumtahina Adira. I am a Home Improvement blog writer.

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