Coffee Hack: How to Filter with a French Press

Sometimes you have coffee ground for the wrong setting.  How do you fix it?

Last night at our family's Thanksgiving Dinner, we came across a problem.  My sister has a French press, but we brought coffee ground for drip.  How do you deal???  Like this:

The Coffee Hack:  Brewing Drip Ground Coffee on a French Press

The filter we used is for a chemex, but any filter would really do.  Remeber to pre-wet the filter, though to get any taste out of it prior to pressing.  The mechanism used to hold the fine screen in the Bodum french press is perfectly designed to hold a filter in a similar situation.

In terms of brewing with the finner grind, the single biggest difference is that you need to stir more often.  Coffee ground for french-press has more carbon dioxide caught in the larger granuals, while coffee ground for drip allows most of the carbon-dioxide to escape.  As a result, coarsely ground coffee floats, while more finely ground coffee sinks.  To avoid a problem where there is simply sedement sitting at the bottom of the press, over extracting into a small amount of water while under extracting into the rest, you need to stir the coffee every minute during the four minute brew cycle.

One thing worth keeping in mind is that pressing the pot at the end of the brew requires more force and patience than normal.  You are pushing the water through a finer filter, that is clogged with finner particulate. Additionally, unless you are preternaturally skilled at trimming filters, you end up with some in-between the the coil and the glass.  Just keep patiently pressing.  If the going gets stuck, pull up a bit before continuing on the downard trajectory. The cup itself comes out splendidly.  It certainly has the finer sediment you expect from a french press, but it doesn't have the larger sediment that the screen allows, and therefore lacks some of the body of a normal french press.  If you do it correctly, however, the cup should be amazing and should reflect the beans well.  In terms of taste, I would say the cup lies somewhere between french-press and a chemex, leaning more toward the french press.

If you have other coffee hacks, let me know!  We'd be happy to share them with the world.