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Can someone tell me the difference between Expresso ground coffee and French Press ground coffee? I placed an order for this ground coffee, but only realised after arrival that I should have chosen the French Press option. I have a French Press. I don't have a Expresso machine. I don't drink coffee, hence the mistake. I run an Airbnb and it's for my guests.

I'm not sure what to do with it if it's not usable for a French Press. It's not returnable to Amazon. Perhaps let some future guests have it?

  • Hi, I remember the discussion we had in the Frying Pan - did you get any other type of coffee making equipment, or only the French press? – Stephie May 30 at 19:34
  • Hey @Stephie. Right now, I've only got a French Press. Though I was considering amazon.in/gp/product/B078YHJSQW/…. Though it's now not available. – Faheem Mitha May 30 at 19:48
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Ideally from a business setting

Order new coffee and give the grounds away to someone who can make espresso from it. You could offer it as a gift to guests or others.

If you do end up using it for the guests, make sure you indicate the problem. If possible, try one of the methods below yourself first.

On actually using the coffee

I wouldn't be too worried about the grounds coming through the mesh, they almost certainly will. This is easily solved by pouring your coffee through a paper filter. I know don't normally do that for French press, but in this case it seems sensible to do so.

I'd be more worried about extraction time and taste. When I make French press, I grind as fine as possible without it becoming to bitter, with a consistent time the particles are still larger than holes in the mesh.

Since the coffee is already ground, you can play with two factors: time and dose. You probably want to use less time then you're used to. The dose is difficult, if you use too little coffee, you won't get a full body. If you use too much, it will taste very bitter.

Alternatively, you can try to make in a pan. The espresso grounds will be alright, but a bit on the big size for that.

  • I personally would not care, and do in fact at times use espresso grind in a French press, since a few grounds such as they are don't bother me, but I agree that "for a business setting" this is less than ideal and you should face your error and either provide a different brewing option or buy different ground coffee. As for extraction/bitterness, you can also adjust temperature (I use about 1/4 cold water in my FP and over-extraction is then not a problem...) – Ecnerwal Jun 22 at 18:27
  • @Ecnerwal if it's a proper espresso grind size it will go through the french press filter a lot. Also, you'll get a very bitter tasting cup. Yes, temperature can be used to tweak bitterness but I don't think you get quite the taste the roaster intended (if it's specialty). – JJJ Jun 22 at 18:31
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Espresso grounds are much finer than those used in French press. French press typically has larger grounds than even drip machines so that fewer particulates sneak their way through the mesh. Since you have already purchased it, I would recommend using slightly less espresso grounds as the smaller pieces allow for the coffee to be more compressed and also allow the coffee to rest a few seconds to a minute after pressing so the grounds can settle to the bottom. Avoid completely inverting the press when pouring and there should be less “mud” at the bottom of the drinkers cup.

  • So, the ground coffee Expresso version is usable with a French Press, just not ideal? Is that a fair statement? – Faheem Mitha May 30 at 16:46
  • That would be fair to say. I think if you were to run a test brew of 8-16 oz you will find that the final 2 oz poured are much darker. – Chavioso May 30 at 17:20
  • Ok. Thank you for your feedback. I don't drink coffee myself, as already mentioned, so I'll let others experiment if they wish to do so. – Faheem Mitha May 30 at 17:48

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