French press coffee should be quite strong, dense, and heavy. Mainly known for making black coffee through immersion, the French press has had its own sort of elegance since the start of its journey. The process of making coffee with a French press is simple. But, the question that holds the key comes to our mind – “what is the best coffee to water ratio for French press?” Our answer to that question is, “the best ratio for a French press is 1:17“.
To achieve perfection with French pressed coffee, you may follow a total of 3 coffee to water ratios. The first one is the obvious one and the most common one for the masses—a 1:17 ratio. For a more robust experience, you can apply the 1:13 ratio. And finally, for the true coffee freaks, there’s the 1:11 ratio.
The French Press Ratio Calculator
Let’s talk about the next important issue at hand. How can you measure your French press coffee to water ratio? It’s an absolute necessity to know and understand this easy calculation to ensure perfect cups of coffee at home every time.
Note that, for the French press, the ratio has a range. It starts from 1:10 to 1:17. That’s why you’ll see some suggesting the strongest ratio is 1:10 instead of 1:11 and that 1:16 is the most common one instead of 1:17. But these ratios are so close and ultimately preferred by the individual users. But the ratio range of 1:10–1:17 is absolute for the French press.
For the purpose of this calculation, you’d first have to make your preferred ratio into a fraction. And we all know that a ratio (a:b) can be expressed a/b.
Now, imagine you want to use 300 mL of water for your French press. That’s fine, but you don’t know how much coffee should be needed for that. Let’s begin the calculation below.
- First, pick your water quantity. As in this case, we’re taking 300 mL of water.
- Then, simply decide your coffee to water ratio. In this case, we’re using the best ratio for French press, the 1:17 coffee to water ratio.
- Simply convert the ratio to its fraction. In this case, for the 1:17 ratio, the fraction is 1/17.
- Once altered, simply put your determined water quantity (in this case, 300 mL) in the numerator position of that fraction. So, in our case, it’d look like this: 300/17.
- Now, simply perform division, and the answer will be the necessary coffee quantity (in grams). So, in our case, that quantity would be 300/17 = 17.65 grams of coffee.
The fun factor is that it’s applicable to all measuring units.
So, let’s perform this calculation with American imperial units here!
- Our 300 mL of water would be 10.14 fluid ounces.
- Using this into the same 1:17 ratio, we get 10.14/17 = 0.6 ounces of coffee.
What about the French press strong coffee ratio? Let’s see how much coffee we need with the 1:11 ratio.
- For 300 mL of water, we’d need 300/11 = 27.27 grams of coffee.
- With Imperial units, it’d be 10.14/17 = 0.92 ounces of coffee ground.
Now, it honestly can’t get any easier than this. The best thing is, this same ratio calculation goes for other drinks as well, such as drip brew, pour over, cold brew, ristretto, and espresso.
Best Coffee to Water Ratio for French press
The calculation for coffee to water for French press for both regular (1:17) and strong (1:11), For 8 US fl. oz. (Equivalent to 1 mug coffee)
|Amount of |
|8 oz (237 ml)||1 Mug||Regular||13.94||0.49|
|8 oz (237 ml)||1 Mug||Strong||21.55||0.76|
|16 oz (473 ml)||2 Mug||Regular||27.82||0.98|
|16 oz (473 ml)||2 Mug||Strong||43||1.52|
|24 oz (710 ml)||3 Mug||Regular||41.76||1.47|
|24 oz (710 ml)||3 Mug||Strong||64.55||2.28|
|32 oz (946 ml)||4 Mug||Regular||55.65||1.96|
|32 oz (946 ml)||4 Mug||Strong||86||3.03|
|40 oz (1183 ml)||5 Mug||Regular||69.59||2.45|
|40 oz (1183 ml)||5 Mug||Strong||107.55||3.79|
|48 oz (1420 ml)||6 Mug||Regular||83.53||2.95|
|48 oz (1420 ml)||6 Mug||Strong||129.09||4.55|
The calculation for coffee to water for French press for both regular (1:17) and strong (1:11), For 5 US fl. oz. (Equivalent to 1 cup coffee)
|Amount of |
|Grams of |
|Ounces of |
|5 oz (148 ml)||1 Cup||Regular||8.71||0.31|
|5 oz (148 ml)||1 Cup||Strong||13.45||0.47|
|10 oz (296 ml)||2 Cup||Regular||17.41||0.61|
|10 oz (296 ml)||2 Cup||Strong||26.91||0.95|
|15 oz (444 ml)||3 Cup||Regular||26.12||0.92|
|15 oz (444 ml)||3 Cup||Strong||40.36||1.42|
|20 oz (591 ml)||4 Cup||Regular||34.76||1.23|
|20 oz (591 ml)||4 Cup||Strong||53.73||1.9|
|30 oz (887 ml)||6 Cup||Regular||52.18||1.84|
|30 oz (887 ml)||6 Cup||Strong||80.64||2.84|
|40 oz (1182 ml)||8 Cup||Regular||69.59||2.45|
|40 oz (1182 ml)||8 Cup||Strong||107.55||3.79|
|60 oz (1182 ml)||12 Cup||Regular||104.35||3.68|
|60 oz (1182 ml)||12 Cup||Strong||161.27||5.69|
Advantages Of Using A French Press
If we look through history, the first version of the French press was invented and patented in 1852. In the United States, ‘French press’ is also known as ‘coffee press’. It is quite popular in different countries with different names. Like – ‘cafetière’ in the United Kingdom, ‘coffee plunger’ in Australia, New Zealand.
There are some pretty good reasons why a French press makes not only the best quality coffee but also one of the most convenient coffee-making devices out there.
- Filter Mechanism: Regular coffee makers use paper filters, which take out the flavors and oils. The French press doesn’t use such a filter and, consequently, doesn’t soak up the flavors and oils. It also includes tiny bits of ground coffee in the final cup, which percolates flavor.
- Steeping: Just like a good cup of tea, which requires several minutes of steeping for a mouth-watering cup of tea, the same is true for a French press. Steeping the grounds instead of filtering the coffee can bring out the deeper flavor notes from the grounds.
- Consistent Temperature: French press maintains the right water temperature throughout, which gives a quality brew. The right temperature has an authentic up and down point for the whole brewing cycle.
- Least Complicated Bean-To-Cup Formula: Using a French press allows you to control every aspect of brewing. And nothing external comes in the way. You know what you’ll be getting in the cup, which adds to the experience. All five senses get to celebrate your coffee experience.
- Quality Coffee Grinds: Since the French press only works with coarse grinds, which is the specialty of the device, you’ll be forced to use freshly ground beans for your coffee. It immediately increases your coffee experience by design.
- Portable: French press is entirely manual. And it’s easy to take apart. All the key signs of a good portable coffeemaker.
- Thorough Saturation: The French press steeping and plunge mechanism don’t allow you to miss any of the grounds. Meaning, you’ll get a complete saturation of the coffee and oils.
Steps Of Making French Press Coffee
Remember, it only takes 4 minutes to brew in a French press.
- Step–1: Bring your coffee water to a boil. For a 17-oz press, you’ll need 12 ounces of water (300 mL).
- Step–2: While the water is boiling, grind your coffee beans. Always do a coarse grind.
- Step–3: Gently pour water on all of your ground coffee inside the French press in a 2:1 (water to coffee) manner. Gently stir the mix and let it bloom for 30 seconds.
- Step–5: Add the remaining water and secure the lid. Let the mix steep for 4 minutes.
- Step–6: Press the filter down now and gently start plunging. Pressure-wise, it should be around 15–20 pounds.
Serve the coffee immediately after plunging. If you let it sit, it’ll turn into an over-extract blend.
French Press Has Its Alternatives
As the name suggests, this coffeemaker is pretty “clever” and amalgamates the principles of immersion and pour-over. By using a weight-controlled valve at the base of its dripper cone, it lets you suspend the coffee immersion until you want to release the coffee into your own cup. Once the valve is up, the coffee will slowly drain out.
Thus, the combination of pour over-extraction mixed with a more prolonged immersion produces a well-balanced cup with a delicate flavor that’s well-suited to the French Press.
AeroPress has a traditional technique (outlined in any manual) or the inverted method. The inverted method feels better as you’d have more control over the brewing without worrying about coffee dripping out of the filter. The AeroPress also uses full immersion, but unlike the French Press, it relies on paper or metal filters.
The filters separate the grounds from the final brew. Thus, you’ll get a full-bodied cup on par with the French Press that’s free of unwanted sediment in your cup. A quick wash of its filter cap, plunger, and body, and voila! You’re all set.
How much coffee is required in a 4-cup French press?
You should add 1.25 ounces of coffee for every 4 cups of regular strength coffee in your French press. You can add 2 ounces of coffee instead for a stronger brew.
How much coffee is needed in a French press for 2 cups?
For regular strength French pressed coffee, it’s 0.6 ounces and for a stronger brew, it’s 0.95 ounces.
How long I should steep my coffee in a Bodum?
You should let the mix steep in a Bodum (French press) for 4 minutes exactly, no guesswork!
How hot should the water be for a French press?
The ideal temperature range is 200–212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I brew with regular fine ground coffee in a French Press?
You can. But, you’ll have a hard time dealing with sediment in your brew. Also, plunging down the coffee blend in the press will be very difficult.
Why is my French press coffee bitter?
Simply as a result of over-extraction. Over-extraction happens when too much of the sediment gets dissolved into the water. And different parts of the grounds are extracted at different times.
It’s difficult to believe that the French press has stood the test of time with such grace. It’s still going strong in the era where everything has automation and is least demanding. Its utmost brew control, portability, and simplicity in handling have kept it on top of the coffeemaker pyramid. Before we sign out, just remember to decant the coffee immediately after brewing, otherwise it’ll turn bitter or chalky.
Enjoy Your Coffee!