I've been drinking drip coffee for several years. It's been perfect for me. It tastes good and most importantly it makes me awake.

Recently I started drinking french press coffee and there is something I've missed. I'm no longer experiencing that feeling of explosive energy that I used to have with drip coffee.

Is the problem with the way the coffee is prepared? I've used different kind of coffees but things aren't getting a lot better.

Here is how I prepare it:

  • I boil some water.
  • Put 2 tea spoons of coffee in the french press.
  • Pour the water.
  • Close the french press.
  • wait for 4 minutes.
  • press and pour the coffee into the cup.

6 Answers 6


One of the reasons I like my French Press is because of the caffeine boost. One simple answer to your question is to add more coffee grounds.

But aside from the type and amount of coffee used there are several things that will influence the caffeine level of your coffee. One of them is the size of the ground. You need a ground big enough that it is filtered out but not so big that the water doesn't completely extract the oils and caffeine.

You might try different grind levels and see which one works best.

Another thing you can do is increase steep time. If your grinds are just a bit too large perhaps a 6 minute steep would work better.

You will have to experiment with the grind and steep time.


You may stir(, preferably quite a lot). As discussed in this question stirring eases coffee extraction.


Per that pinnacle of modern "research", caffeine is extracted early/easily, so long brew times are probably going to have minimal effect.

I have actually been going through a French-press phase recently (starting with the drip coffee maker being unintentionally left to mold over a vacation, but I have not gone back to it even after cleaning it throughly.) I'm using the same coffee I was using in the drip, and it appears to have the same effects. I generally don't let the water get all the way to boiling - I don't like scalding hot coffee and I don't concern myself too much with made-up standards that "coffee water is supposed to be 204F" - and I don't even measure the temperature, just listen to the kettle for a change in the sound, and touch the side lightly to see if it's hot. I've gone as short as 2 and as long as 10 minutes for hot brews. I would say you seem rather light on the amount of coffee - I probably use twice what you do.

...or put your coffee in the night before and add cold water, leave for many hours. Depending on how fussy you are(n't) about cold brewing, put in fridge or leave on the counter. No additional foolish "cold-brew" equipment required. It's fine, but I don't find it to be some sort of coffee nirvana that makes me never want to drink hot-brewed coffee ever again. It also has the caffeine, and plenty of time to extract it.

I assume (you did say you had tried multiple kinds) that you are aware that dark roasts have less caffeine than lighter roasts.


Funnily enough, I often find espresso based coffees don't provide the same jolt in the morning, whereas coffee from a cafetiere does. However, keeping on topic, there is a lot of personal preference involved when it comes to coffee, and it could be that the taste isn't triggering that wake up moment for you.

As @Ecnerwal mentioned, there are "standards" regarding temperature which may or may not suit your tastes. Like @Ecnerwal, my approach to brewing coffee is to listen to the sound of the kettle. Sometimes I miss the cues and the kettle boils, in which case I add some cold water to the grounds before the boiled water. I find that, most of the time, I prefer coffee brewed at a much lower temperature than the "standard" as it has a deeper, heavier flavour, but go too low and it tastes flat to me.

Then there is brewing time. My basic approach used to be to grind 3 tablespoons of beans, add the water, wait ~1m40, one big stir quickly near the surface, wait ~1m40 and then press and drink. At some point I realised that the stir could be left out if I left the coffee to stand for longer (which makes sense based on how caffeine extraction works). The taste was equally satisfying, but 4 minutes without stirring just wouldn't do it for me.

Of course, there is the coffee itself. Whenever I get a new batch of coffee there is a degree of trial and error regarding time, quantity, temperature for me to get it right. Less so if I buy a blend, more so single origin. Different coffee has slightly different needs. Then there is the whole Arabica/Robusta/Other debate. Robusta seems to have a bad name, but you might actually prefer the taste and it generally has more caffeine content. One of the best coffees I have ever had was 100% robusta from a local roasters, and it certainly packed a caffeine punch.

Finally, the problem might not be a matter of coffee but a matter of ritual. That big sense of relief for me comes with the first sip of coffee, before it can possibly have had any physical effect. The very idea of having coffee does the trick. In no way dismissing your experience, it is possible it is the result of a changed perception towards your coffee, rather than the caffeine content itself.

  • Darker roasts do actually destroy some of the caffeine in the beans, so volume for volume, they will have less than a lighter roast. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 20:07

Try more coffee. I use 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, not teaspoons) per liter of water and my son uses twice that amount - he really likes the jolt.


I wrote a post about how to make French Press coffee here. In your case you most likely use way to little ground coffee. 6g of coffee per 100g of water is a standard, and in my opinion minimum, ratio. Caffein is highly soluble in water so other "tricks" won't help you.

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