How To Grind Coffee Beans for French Press

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Undoubtedly, learning how to grind coffee beans for French press has a sort of elegance to it. Is it possible to perfect it at home, though?

As one of the most popular methods for making coffee, you’ll need to ensure you prepare your beans correctly. In this guide, we explore what grind is best for a French press and how to use one for the perfect cup of coffee.

What Grind Is Best for French Press?

When figuring out what type of grind to use for your French press, it’s essential to consult a grind chart. In these charts, you can see what type of coffee grind is suitable for each brewing method.

Interestingly, French presses work best with coarse grinds rather than fine and powdery. A coarse grind has a chunkier appearance, similar to sea salt. You’ll want a larger granule size because of how French presses are designed.

Coarse vs. Others

Within the brewing chamber, a coffee filter is pushed down on top of the grinds to produce flavorful coffee. If you choose a grind that’s too fine, it can get easily stuck while being pressed.

Also, it doesn’t allow for water to move freely between the grinds, impacting how it steeps. Not to mention, coarse grinds aren’t likely to make their way through the filter and into your drinkable coffee.

With that said, there’s a fine line between coarse (recommended for French Press) and too coarse. If your coffee isn’t ground to the right consistency, your coffee will taste weaker. On the other hand, too fine will produce a murky and bitter cup.

The most important thing for getting coffee grinds for your French press is to ensure they have the right consistency. Whether you use an auto grinder or not, it’s worth the time to find the ideal texture you prefer.

How To Grind Coffee Beans for French Press

To help make things easier, we’ve created an easy-to-follow guide for every coffee lover looking for the perfect bean consistency. Using these steps, you can guarantee that your French press will have the ideal amount of coffee for every brew.

Step 1: Match the Grind to the Brewing Method

The very first thing we always recommend is to consider how you’re going to brew your coffee. For this guide, we’ll be discussing the French press. The grind will be much different if you use another method, such as a stovetop espresso maker.

Let’s take a look at the most popular grind types for the most-used brewing methods.

Brewing MethodCoffee Grinds
French PressCoarse
Pour-OverMedium to Coarse
Stovetop Espresso MakerFine
Aeropress (3+ min. Brewing time)Medium
Espresso Maker/Aeropress (1 min. Brewing time)Fine
Turkish Coffee MakerExtra Fine

Step 2: Choose Your Grinding Method

The next step is to figure out how you want to grind your coffee beans. Most often, homeowners will have to decide between burr and blade grinders. Each serves its own purpose as well as offers varying sets of benefits and a few disadvantages.

Blade Grinders

When using a blade grinder, you’ll find that it makes the ideal consistency for your French press. It is a highly functional tool for coarse to medium-coarse blends. However, it is not ideal for fine or extra-fine thicknesses.

Although blade grinders are inexpensive and straightforward, they can also be quite noisy. It’s also important to note that blade grinders pulverize the beans rather than grind them. You might find the consistency of your coffee isn’t as smooth as if you were to use a burr grinder.

Burr Grinders

On the other end of the spectrum, coffee lovers can take advantage of burr grinders to get their coffee beans ground.

These devices are typically more expensive but offer better versatility and impressive precision. Still, if you’re someone who enjoys a regular cup of coffee as well as espresso, it’s better to invest in a burr grinder.

Burr grinders are also likely to have several settings that you can customize to your preferences. For example, you can choose from different grind types for the ideal extraction method. This technology makes them a more accurate and versatile grinding option.

tips on how to grind coffee beans for french press

Step 3: Begin Grinding

At this point, you should have the ideal grinding mechanism ready to go. You can then begin adding your beans to prepare them for the French press. Let’s go over how to use both blade and burr grinders, depending on your model.

Using a Blade Grinder

The simplicity of blade grinders is what makes them a fabulous option for kitchens around the world. Also, as granule size isn’t as crucial with a French press as other brewing methods, they are convenient.

1. Add Your Beans

The first thing you will need to do is put your beans inside the blade grinder. You can then begin the grinding process, whether it’s manual or automatic. To make sure you get the evenest consistency possible, consider the following:

  • Shake the blade grinder as it works to get all of the beans
  • Ensure you add a few more beans than normal
  • Use short pulses instead of continually blending
2. Begin Brewing Your Coffee

Once your beans have been perfectly ground to your ideal consistency, you can then add them to your French press. Also, be sure to clean the blade grinder after use to get rid of any oil in the chamber from the beans.

Using a Burr Grinder

Mastering the art of using a burr grinder can be simple after you get past the learning curve. As most of these devices do all of the work for you, you’ll love having them at your disposal. Also, they are ideal if you want to get an even consistency.

There are two primary types of burr grinders: flat plate or conical. Conical burr grinders are more popular, especially as they are usually built into high-end coffee makers. Flat plate grinders are similarly convenient and are often found in commercial-grade grinders.

1. Add Your Beans

The first step is to add your beans into the grinding chamber, similar to how you would with a blade grinder. Next, adjust the settings depending on if you want coarse or fine coffee beans. Once you’ve chosen the proper settings, you can turn the device on and allow it to work.

What makes burr grinders unique is that they grind and crush the coffee at the same time. In comparison, blade grinders simply pulverize the coffee. You’ll find the grind/crush combo gives you a more flavorful aroma without heating the beans.

2. Begin Brewing

After your beans have reached the ideal consistency, you can then add them to your French press. Like a blade grinder, ensure you thoroughly clean your burr grinder afterward, especially if you use different types of coffee daily.

Most Common French Press Brewing Mistakes To Avoid

For as simple as a French press is, many mistakes can be made that can affect the quality of your coffee. To ensure you’re making barista-quality cups first thing in the morning, do your best to avoid these common mistakes.

1. Choosing the Wrong Grind Type

By far, the most common mistake home coffee brewers make is getting the wrong grind for their beans. Remember, your French press catches coffee grinds before they get into your brew.

With that said, you’ll want to avoid finely ground coffee at all costs. You’ll need to find the ideal consistency that resembles sea salt with a chunky, coarse texture. Not only does this prevent grinds from floating in your coffee, but it also ensures optimal flavor.

2. Using a Poor Coffee-to-Water Ratio

The majority of people don’t have time in the morning to weigh their coffee and water. Fortunately, most French presses have printed measurements on the brewing chamber’s side to simplify this step. You’ll want to ensure that you’re brewing your coffee with the following ratio: one part coffee, 12 parts water.

After brewing, check that your ratio is ideal for the strength you typically prefer. If you find that it’s too weak, reduce the amount of water you’re using. Alternatively, if it’s too strong, try adding more water.

3. Leaving the Coffee in the Press

Once you’ve gotten your hands on your first cup of coffee, it can be tempting to leave the grinds in the press. The problem with this practice is that the longer they’re left to steep, the more bitter the rest of the coffee becomes.

Once you’re finished brewing, be sure to transfer your coffee to a carafe or any other container. The last thing you’d want is to end up with far too bold or even sour coffee when you try to go for a second cup. Plus, this allows you to clean the French press right away rather than leaving it for later.

Aim for a Coarse Grind

When learning how to grind coffee beans for French press, you’ll realize that the task is pretty straightforward. All you have to remember is that these devices prefer a coarse grind. With a coarse grind, you’ll be able to enjoy the best-tasting cup of coffee every time.

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