French Press Coffee Ratio: How Much Should You Use?

Do you want to make French press coffee but are unsure about the coffee-to-water ratio? No need to worry; everyone has been stumped on that one.

After all, coffee is a highly personal experience. One person’s strong coffee may be another’s medium, and if you’re brewing for a crowd, it won’t be easy to please everyone.

Most people adhere to a certain ratio. However, it is quite broad. Let’s get started.

How much coffee do you need for a French press?

We all know that we should use about ten times as much water as coffee when brewing coffee, but how does this apply to the French press?

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Well, I’ve had both strong and mild French press, as well as everything in between, and I’ve enjoyed both.

I mentioned a wide range of ratios that people use when making French press. It is broad, ranging from 1:10 coffee to water to 1:16 coffee to water.

The smaller the ratio (such as 1:11), the stronger the brew can be used as a guideline.

But how potent is a 1:10 French press coffee?

It’s not even close to an espresso, which has a 1:4 coffee-to-water ratio. This equates to 7-9 grams of coffee for every 33 grams of brewed espresso.

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It’s pointless to try to replicate an espresso in your French press because the result will be a completely different drink.

The best French press coffee ratio

There is no such thing as universally acknowledged truth.

But we all have different tastes, and we can tailor a cup of the French press to what we like.

Keep a few things in mind when deciding how much coffee to put in your French press.

Just a heads up: you’ll need a pen, paper, and some patience because you’ll need to consider a few things before deciding on your final ratio.

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A few trial brews may be required to find the ideal ratio for your tastes.

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Here’s what you’ll need to consider when making your decision:

1. The size of your French press

The size of your French press is extremely important. This is because whatever ratio you choose must be translated into ml/oz of brewed coffee.

As a result, starting with an even number may be easier.

So, if you’re trying to figure out the best ratio for you, you might want to brew with 30 oz of water rather than the maximum of 34 that your French press is capable of.

Or, instead of the 13 total oz, a 10 oz.

Also, write down how many oz of coffee you usually end up within your cup of coffee, and then weigh the amount of ground coffee you use.

You may be surprised to discover that you use a 1:7 ratio, or it could be a 1:14 ratio for all you know.

For instance, if you normally end up with 12 oz of brewed coffee, you’ll need to:

  • Weigh the amount of coffee you normally use and add another ounce of water to the equation, as one will remain with the ground coffee.
  • Assume you use 10 grams of ground coffee for those 12 ounces of brewed coffee. It would be 13 oz of liquid, including the leftover, and we now need to convert the water to milliliters.

That’s a 1:38 ratio of 13 oz/384 ml water to 10 g coffee.

To put it another way, if you wanted to make a 12 oz cup of coffee with a 1:15 ratio, you’d need 13 oz/384 ml water and 25 grams of coffee.

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2. Your coffee’s initial strength

Another thing to remember is that not all coffee packs are the same.

There are distinctions between Arabica and Robusta beans and distinctions between coffee blends.

Not every bag of coffee is 100 percent Arabica; some may contain 25 percent Robusta, while others may contain up to 50 percent. Make sure to read the label.

Pure Arabica coffee is typically weaker but more aromatic than Robusta coffee.

Robusta is more caffeinated and has a stronger flavor, but it needs some sugar and milk.

So, if you normally use a 1:10 ratio for French press with a 100% Arabica bean, a blend with 30% Robusta cannot have the same ratio. In your cup, it would be far too strong.

Instead, adjust the ratio to 1:12 in this case. The higher the ratio, the stronger the coffee, so that the end product is similar to what you usually prefer.

In short, if you’re using stronger coffee, use more water to make a cup of coffee that’s comparable to one made with a weaker coffee.

3. Whether or not you add milk

Allowing for milk and creamer is a great way to tone down a strong cup of coffee.

Do you prefer your coffee to have a strong flavor carried through milk and creamer?

Then you’ll need a low ratio, such as 1:7 if that’s what you’re looking for. A lower ratio will result in a more potent cup of coffee.

If you used a 1:10 ratio after adding the milk, it would probably be too mild for what you were looking for.

Take into account whether you’re diluting with milk/creamer or adding sugar.


Ratio, shmatio, shmatio. Finally, we all brew coffee the way we like it.

A commonly accepted ratio is between 1:10 and 1:16, but no one says you can’t go lower or higher than that.

Remember that a lower ratio indicates a stronger coffee, and a higher one indicates a weaker coffee. So, consider your preferences and experiment from there.

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