If you have some store-bought ground coffee and a French press then you might be wondering whether or not you can use it with the French press.
This post will show you whether or not you can use store-bought ground coffee in a French press and how to do it.
So, can ground coffee be used in a French Press? Yes, ground coffee that has been bought, pre-ground, from a store can be used in a French press.
Store-bought ground coffee is actually ideal for use in a French press. It will normally be a slightly coarse grind which is what coffee is normally made with. Additionally, the way that you use the coffee with the French press will have a big impact on its taste.
How the type of grind impacts the taste of the coffee
The type of grind, that you use to make the coffee using the French press, will have a big impact on its taste.
If the grind, of the coffee, is fine then it will normally result in the coffee having a stronger taste. This is because it means that the coffee will have a larger surface area meaning that more of it will be able to mix with the water in the French press. This will result in the water having a higher concentration of the oils from the coffee which will give it a stronger taste.
Whereas, if the grind is coarse then it will normally result in the coffee tasting slightly weaker. This is because less of the oil from the coffee will mix with the water meaning that the water will have a smaller concentration of oils from the coffee. This will result in the coffee having a weaker taste.
Generally, brewed coffee will be made with coffee that has a slightly coarser grind. This is because coffee is supposed to be slightly sweet but not bitter. Whereas, espresso will normally be made using coffee with a very fine grind since it is meant to have a strong and slightly bitter taste.
How to use the French Press to adjust the strength of the coffee
There are three main ways that you can adjust the strength of the coffee when using a French press.
The first thing that you can do is to use a higher or lower concentration of coffee to water. If you use a higher amount of coffee to water then it will cause the brewed coffee to have a stronger taste. If you use less coffee and more water then it will be weaker. Generally, it is recommended to use 8 grams of coffee per 200 ml of water.
The second option is to brew the coffee for less or more time. If you brew the coffee for longer then it will give the coffee a stronger taste. If you brew it for less time then it will give the coffee a weaker taste.
Finally, you can adjust the fineness of the grind that you are using. A finer grind will give a stronger taste and a coarse grind will give a weaker taste.
Other types of coffee grounds that you can use with a French press
There are a number of other types of ground coffee that you can buy from the store.
The first type of coffee grind that you can get is espresso ground coffee. This type of ground coffee has a very fine grind that is designed to be used when making espresso. You could use it in a French press. However, it would likely result in a very strong tasting coffee.
You can also buy finely ground coffee which is very similar to espresso ground coffee and is best suited to be used to make espresso with.
Coarse ground coffee is what is typically used to make coffee and is suitable for use with a French press. This type of coffee grind is what you will commonly find being sold at the store.
You can also get medium ground coffee. This type of coffee grind is also suitable for use in a French press. However, it will likely result in a slightly stronger tasting coffee so you might want to use more water or to wait for a little less time.
Should I buy the beans and grind them myself?
Buying pre-ground coffee from the store is convenient and it will still normally taste good.
However, store-bought ground coffee will lose its freshness quickly since the coffee oxidizes much faster once it has been ground.
If you want to have the freshest possible tasting coffee then it would be worthwhile to get the coffee beans and to grind them yourself. Another advantage of doing this is that you will be able to store the coffee beans for longer than with ground coffee.
If you haven’t got a grinder then you can get a cheap and reliable one, from Amazon, here.
Can ground coffee be used in an espresso machine?
You can use store-bought ground coffee to make espresso using an espresso machine. However, espresso is meant to be made using very finely ground coffee. Using store-bought ground coffee will likely result in a weak tasting espresso so it would help to grind it some more if you can.
I have written more about using ground coffee to make espresso in the past here.
The type of coffee beans that you use in the French press will also impact its taste
The types of coffee beans used to make the ground coffee will have an impact on the taste of the coffee.
If you use Arabica beans then it will normally give the coffee a smoother taste. If you use Robusta beans then it will normally result in a coffee that has a nuttier but also slightly more bitter taste. Generally, Arabica beans will be used to make coffee but they are slightly more expensive.
If the beans have a light roast it will usually give the coffee a less strong taste and beans with a dark roast will give it a nuttier and slightly more bitter taste.
The origin of the beans will also have an impact on the taste of the coffee. If the coffee beans are sourced from a single origin then it will usually give the coffee a sharper taste but it can also cause it to taste sour. Whereas, beans that are sourced from multiple origins will usually give the coffee a more balanced taste.
Since espresso is supposed to have a stronger and more bitter taste a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans, from multiple origins, with a dark roast will usually be used. Whereas, coffee will generally be made with Arabica beans with a light roast that can be either from a single origin or a number of different origins.