Is a French Press Coffee Less Acidic?

Some people claim that French press coffee is less acidic than other types of coffee. There are also claims that it might be more acidic than the regular drip coffee or even espresso. So, is French press coffee less acidic? How does a brewing process or method increase or lower a coffee’s acidity?

Is French Press Coffee Less Acidic?

Yes, French press coffee can be less acidic if you use the cold brewing method, use a finer grind of coffee, brew for a short time, brew with dark roasted beans, use enough water, add milk, and regularly wash your French press coffee machine.

This is to say that the preparation method matters more in determining a coffee’s acidity than the type of machine used. That’s why it is important that you understand what exactly makes coffee acidic and how the brewing process can change that.

An image of a coffee mug and a french press

What Makes Coffee Acidic?

It is the coffee bean’s natural oils and minerals that make it acidic. When you grind the beans, those oils are released and contribute to the coffee’s flavor and aroma.

That said, several factors will help activate these acids and make the coffee taste bitter or fruity. They include:

  • The brewing method: Cold brewing coffee will release fewer oils and, as a result, produce a less acidic cup of coffee.
  • Brewing time: The longer the coffee steeps, the more time the acids have to extract
  • Roast level: Darker roasts will have less acidity because the roasting process breaks down some of the acids.
  • Water to the coffee ratio: If you use more water, the acids will be more diluted
  • Type of coffee: Some coffees are more naturally acidic than other

How to Make Less Acidic French Press Coffee

To make less acidic French press coffee, you can:

  • Use the right brewing method
  • Use less acidic coffee
  • Brew your coffee for a short time
  • Brew your coffee with dark roasted beans
  • Use enough water
  • Add milk to mellow out the acidity
  • Regularly wash your French press coffee machine

Use the Right Brewing Method

The brewing method can also help make your coffee less acidic. In particular, the cold brewing method is effective in reducing the acidity in coffee. To cold brew, simply grind your beans and add them to a container of cold or room-temperature water.

Let the mixture sit overnight (eight to 12 hours), then press the plunger down slowly and enjoy. Because there’s no heat involved, this method will produce coffee with less acidity.

Brew for a Short Time

If you don’t have time to cold brew, another way to make less acidic French press coffee is to brew for a shorter time. This will result in less contact between the coffee grounds and water, extracting fewer acids.

To do this, simply add your grounds and hot water to the French press, then wait for one to two minutes before pressing the plunger down.

Use Dark Roasted Beans

Dark roasted beans have been exposed to high temperatures for longer, which breaks down some of the acids. This results in a coffee with less acidity. On the other hand, light or medium roast beans will have more acidity because they haven’t been roasted for as long.

Use Enough Water

If you use too little water, the coffee grounds will be over-extracted and produce a coffee that’s too strong and acidic. To avoid this, make sure to use enough water so that all the grounds are fully saturated. This will result in a more balanced cup of coffee.

Add Milk

Milk can help reduce the acidity in coffee because it coats the stomach, protecting it from the coffee’s acids. To do this, simply add milk to your coffee after it’s been brewed. You can also use non-dairy milk alternatives like almond or soy milk.

An image of a person pouring a less acidic coffee from a french press

Wash Your French Press Regularly

It’s important to wash your Fench press regularly to remove oils and buildup from the coffee grounds. If you don’t, the coffee will become more acidic over time. To clean your French press, simply disassemble it and wash all the parts with soap and water.

Use Coffee Beans With Fewer Acid

Some coffee beans are naturally less acidic than others. If you’re looking for a less acidic cup of coffee, try using beans with less acid such as Arabica beans.

Related Questions

Does French Press Lower Acidity?

You can make a less acidic cup of coffee using a French press by using the cold brewing method, brewing for a short time, using enough water, using dark roasted beans, and regularly washing your French press coffee machine.

What Is the Best Coffee for a French Press?

The best coffee for a French press is a medium to dark roast if you are looking for less acidity. This is because the longer the beans are roasted, the less acidity they will have. You can also use a coffee with low acidity such as Arabica beans.


While a French press in itself will not make coffee less acidic, there are a few methods you can use to brew a less acidic cup of coffee. Namely, using the cold brewing method, brewing for a short time, using enough water, using dark roasted beans, adding milk, and regularly washing your French press coffee machine.