French Press Coffee to Water Ratio

Q: What ratio of coffee to water should I be using in my french press?

A: The “standard” is 1-2 Tbsp (tablespoons) of coffee for every 6 oz of water, which provides quite some range for personal preference in terms of strength. We recommend starting at 2 Tbsp for a french press coffee and adjusting the recipe slightly up or down based on the specific origin or blend of your coffee and whether you like it STRONG or milder.

An important thing to note with french presses is that they’re sized by a “cups” measurement where a “cup” is actually an after-dinner cup, or 4 ounces. A basic “starter set” for french press consists of any 12-ounce of smaller french press, we recommend a reputable brand like Bodum. That would mean for a “12 cup” french press you’re looking at 48 ounces of water, which means you need 8 Tbsp of coffee.

It’s important not to overlook the quality of water you’re using – the cleanest, freshest water will extract the most from your coffee without tinting it. Natural water is best in this case as distilled water has had the minerals removed, which removes some of the flavour-enhancing aspects.

The water temperature should be between 195 and 205 Fahrenheit for brewing coffee. We’ve found the easiest way to achieve this is to use an automatic water kettle and allow it to run until it shuts itself off, then wait about 2 minutes before pouring.

The coffee grind should be on the coarser side, as french presses like Bodum use a metal mesh filter that can become clogged if the grinds are too fine. With a french press grind and the correct water temperature, it only takes 3-5 minutes for the brewing to complete. Leaving the plunger up for longer may make the coffee stronger, but it also begins to make it bitter and causes the flavours to deteriorate quicker. After depressing the plunger the coffee should be served immediately, but we’ve found the coffee can be left in the french press until you’re ready for your second cup.

BuyCoffeeCanada not only roasts all of our coffee beans fresh the same day it ships, but can grind it to a “french press grind” for perfect consistency in your Bodum or other brand of french press. Following the french press instructions above is a great way to start making a better quality cup of coffee – one where you can taste more of the flavour because of the coffee oils left behind during the brewing process. Shipped in one-way valve-sealed bags, the coffee can stay fresh for a couple weeks until you’re ready to use it. With the lowest free shipping cost of any coffee company in Canada at just $49, it’s easy to combine different origins and blends along with tea or flavouring syrups and have your order shipped right to your door.