For the longest time I was having a problem trying to brew a good cup of coffee with my faithful UPPHETTA French press I bought from Ikea. Today I finally figured out the reason for my failure and made a cup of coffee that satisfied my coffee crave. And the reason is so simple I almost feel ashamed — it’s all about the ratio.
It’s not like the coffee I made before today tasted terrible, but it sure paled in comparison to a cup of coffee that was made by a cafe barista. Not sure where I got it from, but I had this belief that the reason was the espresso machine that they use. Which , as you know, costs an arm and a leg — if I were to spend that money, I would have invested that money into expanding my business instead of buying this overpriced piece of machinery.
I have done a fair share of Google searches on this topic. I was aware of different ways to make coffee – french press, Aeropress, Nanopress, pour over, etc. I read articles on recommended water temperature and coffee-to-water ratio. But never did I try measure the ratio. Instinctively, I assumed that the amount of coffee powder I was using was about the same as the recommended amount. Guess what? I couldn’t be more wrong.
Everything got scientific this morning. I pulled out my digital kitchen scale to measure the water and the coffee powder. Oops. It turned out that the amount of coffee that I regularly use isn’t even close to half the recommended amount. National Coffee Association USA says that the golden ratio is 1-2 tablespoon of coffee for every 6 ounces of water.
Golden Coffee Powder to Water Ratio
1-2 tbsp coffee to 6 oz water (117 grams or 117 mL)
Since my french press’ capacity is about 500 mL (about 2 cups), that calls for 4 – 8 tablespoons of coffee. The amount of coffee I used previously? Only about 2 tablespoons. That’s 2-4 times LESS than the recommended amount!
So I doubled the coffee powder this morning and did the French press routine: powder in, hot water in, stir, put the pump back on, wait for a couple of minutes — then press and pour. The result was a perfect cup of coffee (to me at least) — aromatic, bold, and rich — its smoothness was enhanced by the oil that came organically with the coffee bean. It even comes with some coffee crema on top, though not much. I was too busy enjoying the cuppa, plus the cup I used wasn’t exactly photogenic, but I will find time to take some pictures in the future.
This experience allows me to tell you this with certainty — yes, you can brew a good cup of coffee at home without using any fancy machine. All you need is a decent french press, coffee bean, hot water, and the correct coffee powder to hot water ratio.
As a side note, I estimate the cup of coffee I brewed to cost about 50 cents, which cost quite a bit less than a commercial cafe. Granted, the coffee bean I used was a somewhat cheaper brand.
Feb 28, 2018