French press troubles

SocialSandwich

New member
Sep 7, 2008
8
0
After months of using a Krups espresso machine and making mediocre coffee, I thought it would be nice to try something different. I soon discovered the French Press, and after hearing all the wonderful stories about it, I was quick to jump onto purchasing one. Needless to say, I''m quite excited to try it out. I do lots of reading about it to make sure that I''ll have all the measurements and waiting periods correctly.

I bust out my brand new French Press, heat about a cup and a half of water, then begin to grind my peaberry coffee beans. I take some of the hot water and swish it around in the press to heat it up a little, then dump it out. Moving onto the grinds, I get a heaping tablespoon (about 13-14 grams), and dump it in. I measure out eight ounces of water, pour, and wait about ten seconds before giving it a good couple stirs (a disappointing bloom appears). I replace the lid, set my oven timer for three minutes, and wait.

After the resounding beep, I slowly push the filter down at a steady pace, taking care to keep it even as to not allow any grinds through. Excitedly, I pour the sweet-smelling coffee into one of my favorite little mugs, and take a sip.

What I expected to be sweet and wonderful, turned out to be bland and watery. I dump out the failed experiment and make sure I got the measurements correctly. Making another batch, I yield the same results. I try many different variations, making sure my coffee grinds were the correct size, beans weren''t very old, etc.

Everything checks out fine, and I admit defeat. I smother my last batch with creamer, and log onto here, hoping to receive some answers, and possibly an easy solution from the coffee experts of the world.
 

villagejoe

New member
Mar 10, 2007
33
0
If you think it's bland and watery, try using two tablespoons instead of just one for 8 ounces of water. Also, try letting it sit for 4 minutes before pressing. The general rule I follow when brewing a French press at home is 1 tablespoon of coarse grounds for every 4 ounces of water, and brew for 4 minutes.
 

DavesLT

New member
Nov 6, 2005
64
0
Missouri
villagejoe said:
If you think it's bland and watery, try using two tablespoons instead of just one for 8 ounces of water. Also, try letting it sit for 4 minutes before pressing. The general rule I follow when brewing a French press at home is 1 tablespoon of coarse grounds for every 4 ounces of water, and brew for 4 minutes.

I second that, and double it. By which I mean that I use twice the amount of coffee (2 Tablespoons coffee per 4oz water @ 4 minutes). I use a French press several days a week at home, and find that a dark roast works better than a light roast IMHO. Also, bring your water to a boil then let it sit for a minute before pouring on the coffee (it's in the Bodum manual). Don't put the top on for about two minutes to allow some of the steam to escape first.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
Dude....... what grinder are you using for the press method? If it's a low end one with lousy burrs you could be getting an improper grind with too many fines, leaving a nasty taste. Later!
 

SlowRain

New member
Jul 16, 2008
34
0
a Canadian expat in Taiwan
A couple of things:

- try using only freshly-roasted coffee
- coarse grind
- 4 minute steep time
- stir once at the beginning and once half-way through
- I even run my ground coffee through a screen to sift out the fines (but that'll add another 5 min to your preparation time)
 

dutchywinter

New member
Apr 22, 2009
3
0
i just got my roaster and grinder and press today, and i had the same problem with my first cup, i did a bit of experimenting (thats the whole reason to roast your own isnt it?) and with a darker roast, and using more coffee grinds, by my third cup, im pretty happy. Im sure that between now and kingdom come, i'll not be done with experimenting for the perfect cup. like sailing, i expect that home roasting grinding and brewing is the kind of thing that takes a day or 2 to learn, and a lifetime to perfect. but what a fun experience, right?
 
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