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Home » Are You Making these French Press Mistakes? (the 8 most common)

8 French Press Mistakes You’re Likely to Make

You deserve to enjoy a cup of coffee that is catered to your taste buds. But to get your coffee to taste just the way you want, there are several things you need to consider.

In this article, we outline the most common French press mistakes that can hold you back from the optimal coffee flavour. If you can learn to avoid these pitfalls, your coffee will power you through the day and taste amazing simultaneously.

8 French Press Mistakes Pinterest Image

1. You’re using bad coffee.

Even if you use the best French Press, errors in the process could impact the taste of French press coffee – it could also be the quality of coffee beans you are using. The flavour of the French press coffee comes straight from the beans, so you want to ensure you purchase a reliable brand with many positive reviews.

You need to know the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Depending on your taste preferences, you should decide which one you like better. Arabica beans are usually sweeter and have more inviting smells. Robusta is more bitter, which means they will also have more caffeine.

Coffee Beans

2. You’re using coffee grounds that are too fine.

The French press filter is designed to properly catch the coffee grounds and block them from entering your cup. Depending on the type of model you have, the filter is not fine enough to capture all grounds.

Before you put the coffee beans through the filter, you want to ensure that they are a coarse consistency, much like kosher or sea salt. This size allows the French press to brew effectively and prevent floating grinds.

Fine Coffee grounds

3. You’re using water that is too hot.

The optimal water temperature for a French press is around 94 degrees Celsius, which is not quite boiling (1). A French press will not brew appropriately if you surpass this to a boil.

If you use water that is too hot, it will burn the ground and negatively affect their taste. To ensure the best flavour for your French press coffee, you should be mindful about keeping it in this ideal temperature range to get a successful roast.

4. You’re not using a scale.

Another hindrance to quality French press coffee is the coffee-water ratio. You will get a good idea over time about the correct quantity to use, but a scale enables you to focus on a trusted method.

Everyone has different taste preferences, but you should aim to have a 1:12 coffee-water ratio to ensure the highest quality coffee. The scale will give you a consistent numerical value to measure.

Scaling Coffee

5. You’re not using a timer.

Timing is critical when it comes to making a quality cup of French press coffee. If you use guesswork to decide how long to steep for, your coffee taste will not be consistent.

Depending on whether you want a light, regular, or strong cup, you should set your timer for the desired result and keep it constant every time you brew. Without a timer to adhere to, your coffee will not give you the exact flavour that you want.

Timer Clock

6. You’re leaving the coffee standing after brewing.

If you keep your coffee standing in the French press after the brewing process is complete, your final product will become too bitter (2). You want to ensure that you pour out all the coffee you will drink right after you make it. The best practice is to make the amount that you are going to drink, and then be mindful about dispensing it as soon as the brewing is done.

7. You’re stirring the brew at the beginning.

To make sure you get the best cup of French press coffee, you should allow it to sit without stirring. If you decide to mix the brew near the beginning, you will not be able to extract as much flavour. When you pour the water, make sure you dispense all of it, and then do not touch it. When you let the brew take its natural course, the taste will be fresh.

8. You’re not cleaning your French Press after each use.

If you do not clean your French press after done using it, your future cups of coffee will be acidic. To ensure that all your cups taste fresh, you should have a sound cleaning system each time (3). As you clean, look out for old grounds and nasty oils to wipe out.

Cleaning French Press

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there is a lot of thought and care that makes your personalized cup of French press coffee. The most vital component is consistency, which applies to your brewing time, scaling, quality of grounds, and every step of the process. French press enables you to control the taste how you want, so you should make sure to find a trusted method that works for you.

We hope you found this list useful. If you did, make sure to share it with your friends.

We also listed some cool French Press tips here to improve your brew game.

  1. Eby M. (2018, November 7). Don’t Make These Common French Press Mistakes at Home. Retrieved from https://www.myrecipes.com/extracrispy/common-french-press-mistakes
  2. Bronnes A. (2014, August 25). 3 Common Mistakes People Make When Brewing French Press Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.thekitchn.com/3-mistakes-people-make-when-brewing-french-press-coffee-207337
  3. (n.d.). Top 10 Tips for Better French Press Coffee at Home. Retrieved from https://www.frenchpresscoffee.com/pages/10-tips-french-press-coffee
Jovana D
I come from a country where people drink domestic coffee (what the rest of the world knows as Turkish coffee) and where Nescafe designates all instant coffees ever made. So, imagine my first encounter with, say, Hario V60...Yes, it was love at first sight.  Today I’m a moderate coffee connoisseur and a huge coffee lover. My favorite brewing methods are the V60 and traditional espresso-making. Yet, despite my country’s long tradition of Turkish-coffee-adoring, I somehow cannot stand it. That’s just too dark, even for me.

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