I usually make two grinds for my coffee - a fine grind for my Moka and a coarse grind to take to work so I can put it in a French press.

Today I zoned out and ground everything finely, and I don't have beans left for another batch. I've tried using my Moka grind in a french press before, but it always tastes burnt or extremely bitter.

Is there a way to make coffee using a French press with finely ground beans, without it becoming bitter?

This question seems quite similar, though the answers deal more with the sediment than the taste of the coffee itself.

2 Answers 2


If you use immersion brewing (which is what a French press does) with more finely ground coffee, you will want to reduce the time as extraction is faster. I wish I could give you an exact time, but I have not experimented with this; I would start with approximately 2 minutes.

You are also likely to ge ta muddier, grittier cup as the mesh in the press will not catch all of the more finely ground coffee.

  • 1
    You could also try a lower water temperature.
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 6:28

You can play around with any of the factors below

  • Extraction time (shorter = less bitter)
  • Coffee:water ratio (less coffee / more water = less bitter)
  • Temperature (colder = less bitter)
  • Roast type (lighter = less bitter)
  • Type of coffee (arabica = less bitter compared to robusta)

I'd try to reduce each one in that order. Typically, I change extraction time (and coffee:water ratio if needed). I don't usually change the temperature so that I have fewer factors to deal with. I rarely change roast and bean type since I usually just have one bag of beans.

My tip is to change one factor first and observe the effects instead of changing multiple factors at once. This will give you a better grasp how each affects the final cup.

* It's more complex and not 100% accurate in some cases. I just simplified it and these should apply in most cases.

** And cheers to having both a french press and a moka pot!

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