After years of suffering through with a blade grinder, I have finally bought a Capresso Infinity conical burr grinder. Now I need to figure out the settings to get the best cup of coffee I can from my French press.

So I know that I need a coarse grind for a French press. There are four coarse settings on the grinder. I also know that there are a lot of dependencies (especially brew time, types of beans, etc.). What experience have people had with the coarse settings of this particular grinder, and are there any good rules of thumb here?

I'm a coffee lover, but am new to the finer points of coffee making (just switched to a French press from drip in the last year) and am looking for any advice that may be pertinent. Many thanks in advance.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would recommend looking for which coarse setting seems to produce the most even grind. Really, the only potential danger you have is grinding so fine that you can't push the screen down.

The reason I recommend this is, like you mentioned, because everything else can be altered to your coffee's grind - the water temperature and extraction time. So you'll want to dial in a grind that's going to be evenly extracted. If your most coarse setting gives you big chunks and a lot of fine particles as well, then you're either going to over extract the fine and under extract the coarse, or vice versa depending on your brew time.

I hesitate to give you a dogmatic answer because I don't want to mislead you, but I also understand that it takes time to recognize even grinding and the grind size that is appropriate for the brew method. So I'll say that somewhere around medium to medium-coarse is going to be better. With smaller burr grinders, the coarsest setting has pretty uneven results.

Also, try playing with the extraction time. Start with two minutes, then try 3, on up to 5. If you keep everything consistent, you should be able to find exactly what works/tastes best for your situation.

  • Practical, specific, detailed, and helpful answer. Many thanks! Will try this. – Nonnal Nov 14 '15 at 5:14

Based on the great info from @user3814472, this is what I have done:

  • I use two tablespoons of beans.
  • I set the grind to the leftmost (most fine) of the four "coarse" settings (i.e. fourth from the end). Going finer than that left way too much silt in the bottom of the cup (I don't mind some, but everything in moderation). Coarser than that and I wasn't getting quite as good an extraction.
  • I set the timer to 2.5.
  • I brew for 3.5 minutes

I'm getting the nicest, smoothest cup of coffee that I have ever had from these beans. I'm extremely impressed.

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