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French press and weak coffee
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ThePryceIsRight
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Memphis
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 9:00am
Subject: French press and weak coffee
 

Hello everyone,

Yesterday I bought a Bodum Chambord 8 cup french press as well as a small Mr. Coffee coffee mill/grinder and an Aroma stainless steel electric kettle to make coffee in my dorm room. The coffee beans I used were Illy medium roast. This morning I tried to make some coffee and it turned out good, but not very bold or particularly strong. I think I must have done something wrong and I was hoping someone who knows a little bit more about french presses than I do could help me out here.
I made sure everything was clean, and then I ground 4 tablespoons (I used the scoop that came with the Bodum) of coffee beans in my grinder on the medium setting. It's supposed to shut off automatically but I think I let go of the button too early. I then poured that into my french press. I boiled approximately 16 oz of water in the electric kettle, waited 15 seconds for it to cool a bit, and then poured it over my grounds. I took a plastic spoon and stirred it a bit before I put the lid on top. After 4 minutes, I pushed the plunger down slowly and then filled my mug up. As I said, the coffee was good, but not anything I would describe as bold or robust. It wasn't bitter, so that was good. I had a little bit of sludge at the bottom of my cup but nothing too bad.
I understand that I should be using a burr grinder for uniform grind size, but I can't afford one. I also think maybe I should have steeped it longer, but I don't want it to get too bitter. Should I be using a bolder roast of coffee bean? Should I grind my coffee on the coarse setting? I understand I need to try things out until I find out what I like, but I was hoping I could get some advice on where to start. Thank you!

-Pryce
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 9:34am
Subject: Re: French press and weak coffee
 

First of all I use a 1 cup press and I use 2.5 tablespoons of very course ground coffee.  My method is to wet the grounds for 30 then full and wait for 2.5min.  I don't stir my grounds at all.

A regular 8 cup press should have around 50-60 g of coffee in it.

Sweetmaria's has a nifty brewing tips page that is a big help.  

Here is there brewing ratio and time recommended for press.

French Press :
8T 32 oz (950 ml) 56 gr 4 to 6  min

Try this out, adjust your grind and if you need to add or take away dose until you find what you like.

By the way... Yes burr grinders are better but uniform grind when grinding this course isn't as important then say espresso or drip even.  I have brewed multiple coffee's consistently with a Hamilton beach blade grinder.
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 9:40am
Subject: ...
 

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ThePryceIsRight
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Memphis
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 12:21pm
Subject: Re: French press and weak coffee
 

Okay, thank you. I'll try it again tomorrow morning and report back. I'll keep the steep time at 4 minutes and just up my coffee grind amount. Thanks for your help, I'll let you know how it goes.
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ThePryceIsRight
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Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Memphis
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 7:52am
Subject: Re: French press and weak coffee
 

Upping the coffee amount definitely made it better. It's not weak anymore, and it tastes like a good cup of coffee. It isn't outstanding though, it just doesn't seem that complex. I think my grind was too coarse, tomorrow I'll try it and make sure I get a medium grind all around. Should I steep it longer than 4 minutes?
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,264
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 8:23am
Subject: Re: French press and weak coffee
 

More info that may help here: "Help finding the right FP grind (Pictures Included)"

 
http://twitter.com/CoffeegeekCraig
http://www.facebook.com/craig.andrews.169
http://plus.google.com/u/0/100690035958728038289/posts/p/pub

Excellent coffee doesn't just happen!
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 8:26am
Subject: ...
 

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Nurk2
Senior Member
Nurk2
Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Posts: 75
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggio Classic
Grinder: Gaggio MDF
Drip: French Press
Posted Fri Oct 4, 2013, 4:22am
Subject: Re: French press and weak coffee
 

I've been FP for about a year now and use the largest Bodum every morning. The first thing I learned was, it takes more coffee than you think.

I don't pre-soak the grounds, but I do do half the pitcher w/water off the boil, and then gently stir (wooden spoon - very fragile glass). This brings a nice layer of foam to the surface.

I fill it to the bottom of the metal, then place the pusher on top, and ever so slightly let it rest on the grounds. I can see a little liquid on top of the mesh. Very little liquid. Four minutes. Push. Let rest while I get my cup and thermos so the grounds settle a little, then gently pour to not stir it up too much.

I just moved up to a real burr grinder. First day was today. 15 on the Gaggia MDF was a too fine (took more pressure than I'm accustomed to to push), but the flavor of the coffee is excellent - if a little strong. I'll go up to 20 tomorrow, and then start working my way to a middle grind. Probably going to need a little less coffee, too, with the more even grind.

 
If it sounds good, it is good.
~ Duke Ellington

If you sound bad on Squire through a Peavey Bandit, you're not going to sound good on a PRS through a Badcat.

www.danskidmore.com
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