7 Tips To Minimize Grounds in French Press Coffee

7 Tips To Minimize Grounds in French Press Coffee

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
4 minutes of coffee drinking

Let's face it, no one likes getting coffee grinds in their cup. It's bitter, it's gritty, and it ruins the perfect cup of French Press coffee. Can anything be done to prevent this travesty?

You're in luck: Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to minimize the amount of grinds you end up drinking.

#1 – Grind more coarsely (and upgrade to a burr grinder if you're using a blade grinder)

A coarser grind will cause less coffee grounds to end up suspended in your brew. Fine grinds are more likely to pass through the press screen or filter, and end up in your cup. Blade grinders aren’t great at coarse grinds—so if you’re already brewing with a French Press but still using a blade grinder for some reason, clean up your act.

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#2 – Make sure the screen fits well and no grounds are escaping along the sides

This is another thing to check if you're getting a lot of grinds in your cup when using a French Press. If the screen isn't snug against the sides, coffee grounds may be able to sneak by and end up in your cup. (Also, inspect the filter to make sure it's clean, and not damaged.)

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#3 – Press the plunger down more gently

Press the plunger down a little more gently, but evenly. Pressing too quickly can cause grinds to slip through the filter. Also, try not to pause in the middle of your pressing—that can make grinds more likely to escape. A gentler press will do the trick, and it will help to keep those pesky grinds at down at the bottom—where they belong.

#4 – Let the coffee sit a minute after pressing (before serving)

Allowing the coffee to sit for a minute will give the grinds time to settle on the bottom. It won't really eliminate them, but it could help if you're just trying to minimize the amount that end up in your mouth.

#5 – Use a paper filter (Not recommended)

Technically, if you want to be sure that absolutely no grinds end up in your coffee, you can use a paper filter. This would make for a "cleaner" cup of coffee—some would say a more "muted" cup of coffee—since paper filters remove many of the oils that are extracted from the beans. These oils are responsible for much of the French Press's characteristic richness. I wouldn't recommend this, but if those grounds are really troubling you and you're starting to think the entire world is against you, give it a go. (But you may as well just switch to a different brewing method.)

#6 – Don't drink the bitter dregs

This one is pretty obvious, but just in case: with some French Press brewers, there will always be some coffee grinds at the bottom of your cup, no matter what you do. Just do your best to resist the temptation of that last millimeter of lukewarm coffee at the bottom of your mug—and make a fresh cup!

#7 – Switch to an AeroPress

If you're really not happy with the amount of coffee grinds you're getting in your cup, you might want to switch to a different brewing method. The AeroPress is a good option if you want something that's quick and easy to use, and it makes a rich cup of coffee that is incredibly similar to a cup of French Press coffee. And making grit-free French Press-style coffee is kind of its whole thing.

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Now go forward and enjoy your next cup of coffee, knowing that you've taken all the necessary precautions to avoid a mouthful of grit.

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