So you enjoy dense and concentrated espresso shots but don’t want to spend a heavy amount to buy a fancy Espresso machine.
Well! You can easily make “Espresso-Styled” coffee in a French Press coffee maker. While the French Press Espresso won’t be as concentrated as real espresso and won’t have a layer of crema over it, but I’m sure you’ll like the taste.
You should certainly try this rapid and budget-friendly method to brew an espresso in French press using this technique called double extraction method.
What Grind size you should use?
To make the perfect cup of coffee, you must weigh and grind the beans to the right size using a coffee grinder.
Generally, for preparing espresso shots in a machine, a finer grind size is preferred. As fine coffee grounds have a large surface area and extract more flavors in a short time.
But, since we’re using a french press to brew an espresso, the fine grind size will not be a good choice as it can clog the mesh screen of your French Press and make the drink full of sediments.
That’s why for French Press Espresso use medium or medium-fine grind size.
Here’s a detailed guide on coffee grind size
What’s the Coffee to water ratio for Espresso in French Press?
An ideal coffee-to-water ratio for a regular espresso shot is around 1:2 to 1:3, which means 1 gram of coffee for 2 or 3 grams of water.
Generally, 7 to 10 grams of coffee grounds are used for a 1-1.25 oz espresso shot.
For Regular French Press coffee, the ideal coffee-to-water ratio is around 1:15. So, you can see French Press is very dilute compared to Espresso.
I typically use 14-16 grams of coffee grounds in a regular 8 oz French Press coffee.
For making Espresso in French Press we have to decrease the coffee-to-water ratio.
To make concentrated espresso-like coffee in a French Press, use 16 grams of coffee grounds and reduce the water to around 2-3 ounces per serving.
What coffee beans to use?
Each roast has a different aroma, flavor, and appearance. To get that perfect espresso-strength coffee, it’s important to use the right type of roast.
For a french press espresso, use medium-dark or dark roasted coffee beans.
I personally love darl roasted beans from Lavazza
You can check out my favorite Espresso beans here.
French Press Espresso Recipe
- French Press Coffee Maker
- Coffee Grinder (Optional)
- Electric Kettle or stove
- Weigh Scale (Optional)
- 3-4 oz Filtered Water
- 30 grams Medium Coffee grounds (8 teaspoons)
- Heat the Water: Heat 3-4 oz of water (per serving) in an electric kettle or stove until it starts boiling and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Remember the perfect temperature for brewing coffee is 195-205 degrees which is below the boiling temperature of water (212 degrees)
- Grind the coffee Beans: While the water is heating. Grind 30 grams (8 tbsp) of coffee beans to medium fine settings.You can use pre-ground coffee too but for the ultimate freshness, it is highly recommended to grind the beans yourself.
- Add coffee and water to the french press: Add the coffee grounds to the French Press and pour half of the water over them, moving it in a circle to ensure the grounds are fully soaked. Gently stir the mixture for 10 to 20 seconds and pour the rest of the water over it.
- Complete the first cycle: Set a timer and Let the mixture steep for 3 minutes. After that press the plunger and pour the coffee into a cup
- The second cycle: Again add 4 tablespoons of coffee grounds to French Press and instead of adding the hot water add the brewed coffee we have prepared in the first batch. Let the mixture steep for 3 minutes again.
- Press the Plunger: After the 3 minutes have passed, push the plunger down slowly and steadily to halfway then pull it back and then press it down fully. Repeat this step once again this will create a thin Crema-like layer on the top of your French Press Espresso.Always press the plunger very slowly other the fine coffee particles will clog the screen and your French Press will get stuck.
- Pour and Enjoy: Pour the freshly brewed espresso shot into a small cup, and it’s ready to be served!Enjoy your thick and concentrated Espresso styled French Press coffee
Why you can’t make authentic Espresso in French Press?
French Press and Espresso are two different type of brewing methods. The French Press is an immersion brewing method that makes a regular cup of black coffee, while the Espresso is pressurized brewing method that makes concentrated coffee shots.
According to the specialty coffee association, the definition of Espresso is:
“Espresso is a 25–35ml (.85–1.2 ounce [×2 for double]) beverage prepared from 7–9 grams (14–18 grams for a double) of coffee through which clean water of 195°–205°F (90.5°–96.1°C) has been forced at 9–10 atmospheres of pressure, and where the grind of the coffee is such that the brew time is 20–30 seconds. While brewing, the flow of espresso will appear to have the viscosity of warm honey and the resulting beverage will exhibit a thick, dark golden crema. Espresso should be prepared specifically for and immediately served to its intended consumer.”Speciality Coffee Association
In a French Press coffee maker, there is no way to generate a pressure of 9 to 10 bars, so you can’t brew real espresso.
Precisely, you can make french press coffee by the method discussed above that tastes nearly like an espresso by adjusting the ground size, and brewing time but it can’t taste like an actual traditional espresso.
Read a detailed guide on Espresso vs French Press
Some Other Ways to Make Espresso Without a Machine
Here are some other ways you can make Espresso without a machine.
A moka pot is an Italian stovetop espresso maker that produces strong, concentrated coffee similar to espresso.
The Moka Pot has three parts: a bottom chamber for water, a middle chamber for ground coffee, and a top chamber for brewed coffee.
In a moka pot, hot water is pushed through coarsely ground coffee, producing a coffee concentrate that is richer and stronger than regular drip coffee, but it lacks the same crema or full-bodied texture as espresso.
Also Read: Moka Pot vs French Press
Aeropress is a manual coffee brewing devics that use air pressure to extract flavors from coffee grounds.
The Aeropress is made up of two main parts: a plastic or glass cylinder and a plunger.
It is s really cheaper option for making an espresso-type coffee. All you’ll need to have is an Aeropress, hot water, and dark-roasted coffee.
But it comes with a drawback and that’s the flavor. The coffee isn’t going to be as rich and full-bodied in terms of flavor as a french press can brew.
Also Read: French Press vs Aeropress
FINAL THOUGHTS on French Press Espresso
It’s well explained in the article that you can’t make a real Espresso using a French Press coffee maker.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make concentrated Espresso styled coffee in it.
I personally love to experiment different settings to brew coffee in my French Press coffee maker. Sometimes I brew smooth and plain coffee and sometimes I brew strong and concentrated coffee in it.
You can easily adjust the brew settings (grind size, steeping time, water temperature) to brew a drink that suits your taste and That’s the thing I love about French Press!
If you are looking for a portable machine that can brew Espresso shots on the go. Read our guide on Best Portable Espresso makers
Is French Press Coffee As Strong As Espresso?
No French Press coffee is not as strong and concentrated as Espresso. French press coffee has a smooth and rich taste with a full-bodied and slightly gritty texture.
It’s best to go with espresso if you enjoy robust shots and French Press if you prefer a richer and more full-bodied coffee experience.
What happens if the French Press grind is too fine?
If the French press grind is too fine, it can result in over-extraction and a bitter taste in the coffee. The small coffee particles can clog the filter and make it difficult to press down. This can also result in a gritty texture due to the excess of small particles in the drink.
I am Johny Morrisson! Founder of CoffeeAbout
My love for coffee dates back to my childhood. I love trying out different coffee machines and recipes.
As a coffee enthusiast, I decided to start my blog last year to provide users with useful information on brewing methods.
During this journey, I have discovered many new things and facts about coffee that I will share with you here.