Have you ever had a cup of coffee that just felt off? Maybe it was the gritty texture of the brew or perhaps you noticed that someone put too many scoops, leading to a overbearing taste.
We want to help you make the best cup of coffee and we tend to have a bias towards the French Press. Armed with the knowledge of this post, we are confident you can make a great cup of coffee at home, each time.
We’ve spoken about the history of the French Press in other articles. But the history of the French press goes back nearly two centuries ago. In 1852 it was patented by Mayer and Delforge of France. While the first patent of the present day French press was made in 1929 by Atillo Callimani and Giulio Moneta of Italy.
But what exactly makes this brewing device so special?
The French press is a device that provides complete immersion of your freshly ground coffee beans. The metal mesh filter ensures powerful and complete extraction and less gritty particles.
When using the French Press it’s best to be a little scientific and make you sure you note the volume of coffee used, coarseness of grind , volume of water and exposure time. This will allow a consistent cup of coffee every time.
Your French Press “recipe” is a marriage of all the brewing variables to create your perfect cup of coffee. As part of this overview, we want to inform you how coffee ground granulation and your grinder type affect your cup of coffee.
Variables of your French Press Coffee Brew
When using the French press, it is important to get the correct level of coarseness. Brewing is a chemical process that aims at extracting all the caffeine goodness, along with other compounds through heat.
If the grinds come too thin, there is a risk of destroying all the caffeine and other precious oils, acids, and compounds that make your coffee tick before the brew is done. You also run the risk of having fine coffee granules in your coffee because the mesh filter cannot trap them.
On the other hand, we don’t want to have our grinds to be too coarse or “chunky” because, recall, we are extracting the components of these beans and we want full saturation.
This mostly comes down to personal preference.
If we wanted to be as accurate as possible, you could use a digital scale. Most French Presses are about a Liter in volume, so a starting rule of thumb is 60 grams of fresh ground coffee per liter. Adjust up or down after a few tries, so you can replicate to the best of your abilities!
If a digital scale isn’t handy, you can “track” how many scoops of your kitchen spoon go into your liter-capacity French press and adjust up or down from there. Consistency is key!
Let the water for 45 seconds post boiling point until it gets to 90 degrees Celsius or 195 fahrenheit. This can be more accurately determined using a teapot-neck teapot. Electric Kettles are the easiest way to get water hot and fast!
The usual extraction time using French press is 3 to 5 minutes, 3 minutes for a lighter cup and 5 minutes for darker cup of coffee. You will need a timer to be more accurate (we use our smartphones to keep us regimented!).
- If you have trouble pressing or lowering the filter, that means the grinding is too fine but if the filter sinks without much resistance, you know the grinding is too thick.
- You should serve the coffee immediately after the brew, otherwise it will go on extracting the coffee which will add bitter flavors. It is advisable to serve your coffee in another container if you are not drinking it all at once.
- Please frequently clean your coffee device as old coffee beans usually get stuck in the filter which can alter the flavors.
Why use a Manual Coffee Grinder?
Here at LeFrenchPress we affirm that freshly ground coffee beans offer more freshness and flavor to your morning drink. Getting pre-ground coffee is convenient but often these coffees are mass produced and mass roasted to get the most volume of coffee shipped.
Taking a few extra moments is one of the things that makes brewing with the French Press a little more special.
With a manual coffee grinder, you can get the right coarseness of your grains, a crucial part of having a properly extracted, yet grit-free cup of coffee.
Burr vs Blade Grinders
There are hundreds of cheap blade grinders in every department store or online. But the downfall of blade grinders is that they can heat up your coffee beans and quickly can turn a batch of fresh beans into a fine mist.
Burr Coffee Grinders
Burrs grinders have two oscillating, serrated plates called burrs, which come together to crush and grind coffee beans, instead of cutting them.
As a result, the reason burr grinders produce evenly sized grinds. Again, consistency is key.
By adjusting the gap between the burrs, you can determine the final size and consistency of your grind.
Burr grinders are the popular choice of coffee gurus and highly recommended as a foolproof method of achieving even extraction of oil to ensure optimum flavor.
Before buying your manual grinder, there are a few things to consider:
- Capacity – are you making a cup for one or many? This isn’t too much of a deal for those starting at our 60 grams/ liter ration
- Size – How much space do you have on your countertop?
- Quality – Is this unit built to last?
- Grind settings – How much variable control do we have?
Best Manual Coffee Grinder Reviews
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton Grinder is a lightweight device that is ideal for family use with a dimension of 16” x 11” x 13” and a hopper capacity of 100 grams of 4 plus coffees per grind.
With a slip-free rubber base, a big storage capacity and made of ceramic burr for additional grind accuracy, the device is easily dismantled and reassemble according to need.
• The device is easy to clean
• It is easy to disassemble and reassemble
• The slip-free rubber enhances coffee grind
• Needs a little more strength to operate than other manual burr grinders we tested
• Heavier than other grinders in the market
• Fragile in transit due to its glass base
The Final Word
Great grinder for the price – this model has thousands of fans and it’s eas to see why!
Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill
Grinder has a capacity of 40 grams of 2 to 3 coffees per grind and weighs 952 grams. It is made of top grade carbon steel conical burr with a beautiful mahogany finishing. Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder is one of finest in the market presently largely due to its conical burr and top quality grinding ability. It comes with a 25- year warranty and in different colors.
The device is smaller than a typical electric grinder and a little bigger than other hand grinders. It has a consistent grinding function and results with many grind settings, thus it can grind for pour over, French press and coffee machines.
• High-Quality Build
• Great Warranty
• A little bit heavier and less portable than other grinders
• Grind setting dial has no numbers which make difficult to achieve a consistency
The Final Word
Sturdy, reliable and just so cute! This Mill Grinder will last years.
Porlex Stainless Steel Mini Hand
This grinder is ideal for travelers and minimalists. With a hopper capacity of 20g of 1 to 2 coffee per grind, the grinder has a dimension of 6” x 2.3” x 1.8” and a weight of 226 grams. Made from Ceramic Conical Burr, the device has a total number of 13 grind settings.
• Versatile features that make it easy to achieve an optimum grind
• Portability and simple features
• Simple features leaves little room for advanced features
• Small capacity that allows only 1-2 coffees per grind.
The Final Word
Amazon reviewers are raving about the consistency of this device’s grinding. Again consistency is key when brewing to get the right cup of joe- each time.
We hope you have learned from this breakdown of manual coffee grinders and how granulation affects your morning coffee.
Remember: Consistency is key, by getting the right grinder, following your own recipe and adjusting as necessary, we are confident you can brew an amazing cup of French Press coffee each time.