Mistakes You're Making When Using A French Press

If you've recently upgraded your coffee game from brewing with a drip coffee maker to a French press, you may have noticed that there's a bit of a learning curve involved in making a decent cup. French press coffee brewing isn't a new practice, but many people are trying it out in order to get barista-quality coffee at home (via Planetary Design). And while it seems like a pretty straightforward process, getting a good brew from a French press takes some practice. By following the advice of the experts, you can avoid the mistakes that will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

A French press seems simple enough. Brew coffee grounds and hot water in a carafe, press the plunger, and pour out your coffee. But unlike a drip coffee maker, using a French press correctly to get the best flavor out of your beans can be tricky. Are you used to using plain tap water? Experts say that filtered water is the foundation of a good cup of coffee (via Good Housekeeping). Using one fluid ounce of water per 2 grams of coffee should get you the right ratio for the best flavor (via Counter Culture Coffee). Bring the filtered water to a boil in a stovetop or electric kettle and then let it cool to a temperature of 200 degrees F before pouring it over your grounds. Boiling water will cause your coffee to taste burnt.

Do this to get the best flavor from your coffee beans

Instead of using pre-ground coffee, you'll need to grind your own just before you're ready to brew. That's because when coffee grounds are exposed to air, it quickly loses its flavor. Ground coffee can also absorb other smells more easily than freshly roasted whole beans. A medium or dark roast coffee is best, and medium- to coarsely-ground beans will give you a fuller-flavored drink. Burr grinders are the preferred equipment to use, because you can adjust the size of the grind (via Good Housekeeping).

Once you've added the grounds to your French Press and cooled the coffee, wetting the grounds to let them "bloom" is the next step to getting the tastiest cup of coffee (via Counter Culture Coffee). Fill the carafe up with water and stir to mix in the grounds so your coffee brews evenly. And whatever you do, don't push that plunger down right away. You'll end up with watery, flavorless coffee. Wait about four minutes, and plunge away. Pour the coffee out of the carafe so it stops brewing, and enjoy! Follow these steps and you'll have a delicious and well-balanced drink that rivals your local coffee shop.