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Not black enough
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Not black enough  
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dukas
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Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 9
Location: Florida
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 9:18am
Subject: Not black enough
 

My French Press coffee does not turn out as black as my drip coffee.  Not enough beans, or not enough brewing time?
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dukas
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 9:19am
Subject: Re: Not black enough
 

I forgot to indicate that I brew for 4 minutes.
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
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Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 9:25am
Subject: Re: Not black enough
 

What grinder? How much fines do you find in the bottom of your cup? Press can look a little muddy if it's high in particulates.

More importantly, how's the taste? If you close your eyes and sip both, do they both taste good? If so, I wouldn't worry about it.
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dukas
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Location: Florida
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 9:38am
Subject: Re: Not black enough
 

I use a burr grinder at its coarsest setting.  Three rounded tablespoons for 12 ounces of water.  No grinds get past the mesh and into the cup.  I am not satisfied with the taste, but I am a beginner and not sure whether the coffee is too bitter or too weak.
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 10:03am
Subject: Re: Not black enough
 

There is no real rule- do what makes the coffee you like.
Grind finer and/or use more coffee for a richer beverage. And since the beverage we call coffee is made from water and coffee beans, and water is basically tasteless, it does matter what coffee you are using and how it was roasted and how old it is. When in doubt, use a different coffee. Find a local roaster and get some fresh if you have not already done so.
Water temperature is also important. Put the press on the counter across the room from where you heat the water. Preheat the press and the plunger by filling it with hot water from the tap. Boil the water (stove or 'wave) for brewing while the press preheats. When the water is near boiling, empty the press and dump in the ground coffee. get the water and walk across the room. By the time you get to the press it should be around the correct temperature. Pour in the water and stir once to soak the coffee. Put cover and plunger in place and begin timing.

 
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GVDub
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Not black enough
 

There are a lot of different burr grinders. Which one do you have?

Get a scale that reads in grams. 22-24 grams of coffee for 355 grams (approx 12 fluid ounces) is the normal range for press. That's approx. 4 tablespoons of coffee, so you might be a little shy on your dose, but weight works much better than eyeball.
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:41am
Subject: ...
 

...
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dukas
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Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 9
Location: Florida
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 4:21pm
Subject: Re: Not black enough
 

There are a lot of different burr grinders. Which one do you have?

A Kenmore #80011 flat burr.  I'm new at this, and I did the research and learned enough not to get a *blade* grinder.  I apparently did not do *enough* research, as it wasn't until after the purchase that I learned that there is *flat* and *conical.*  For grinding no more than three or four tablespoons of beans at one time, do you think that there is enough heat generated to be causing my problem?
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 6:09pm
Subject: ...
 

...
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Ivanovich
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Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 6:17pm
Subject: Re: Not black enough
 

I would start by reading Mark Prince's great article about french press brewing.

Click here

The heat generated probably is irrelevant in this case, I would try grinding finer, maybe using more coffee, using freshly roasted coffee, using water at the right temperature, preheating everything, but above all, trust your taste own buds, they know what they are talking about.

Ivan.
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