How to Brew Coffee with a French Press

How to Brew Coffee with a French Press


The French Press brewing method is renowned for extracting rich, full-bodied flavors, making it a preferred choice for coffee lovers. If you aim to perfect your French Press skills, this detailed guide will walk you through every step to achieve a perfect brew each time.

What You'll Need to Brew with a French Press: 

  • French Press: Choose a high-quality French Press for the best results.

  • Coffee Beans: Freshly roasted, preferably whole beans. For two cups of coffee, you will need about 14 to 16 grams of coffee grounds. This is about 3 to 4 tablespoons of coffee. 

  • Grinder: A burr grinder for consistent grind size. We recommend the Opus Conical bur grinder and grinding to a coarse consistency, similar to sea seal, for a French Press.

  • Kettle: Ideally, with a thermometer. We recommend the Stagg EKG electric kettle

  • Scale: For precise measurements.

  • Timer: To ensure accurate brewing time. 

A Guide to Brewing with a French Press

1. Measure Your Coffee and Water

Start with a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:15. This means 15 grams of water to every gram of coffee. Adjust according to your taste preference.

2. Grind Your Coffee

Grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency, similar to sea salt. A consistent grind ensures even extraction, which is crucial for the best flavor.

3. Heat Your Water

Boil water and let it cool for about 30 seconds to achieve the ideal brewing temperature of around 200°F (93°C). Too hot, and the coffee can taste burnt; too cool, and it might be under-extracted.

4. Add Coffee Grounds into the French Press

Pour all of the coffee grounds into the French Press and then pour 1/4 of your water, covering all of the grounds.

5. Stir the Coffee Mixture

Take a small spoon and stir the mixture ensuring that all of the coffee grounds are wet. 

6. Pour the Remaining Water 

Pour the rest of the hot water evenly over the coffee grounds. Give it a gentle stire to ensure all of the grounds are fully immersed. 

8. Brew for 4 Minutes

Place the lid on the French Press with then slowly push the plunger until it's lightly pressing on the coffee below. Let the coffee steep for 4 minutes. This duration can be adjusted slightly based on your taste preference.

9. Plunge the French Press

After 4 minutes, slowly press the plunger down with steady pressure. If you press too quickly, it might cause the coffee to spill or create sediment.

10. Pour & Enjoy

Pour the coffee into your favorite mug right after plunging to prevent over-extraction. Enjoy the rich, full-bodied flavor of a perfectly brewed French Press coffee.

Tips for Perfecting Your French Press Coffee

  • Use Fresh Coffee Beans: Freshly roasted beans make a significant difference in flavor.
  • Maintain Consistent Grind Size: A burr grinder ensures uniformity, which is essential for even extraction.
  • Experiment with Ratios: Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio to find your perfect strength.
  • Keep Equipment Clean: Residual oils can affect the taste, so clean your French Press thoroughly after each use.
  • Invest in Quality Water: Use filtered water to avoid any impurities that can alter the flavor.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Brewing a French Press 

  • Using Too Fine a Grind: Fine grounds can cause over-extraction and a bitter taste.
  • Inconsistent Brew Time: Stick to a precise brew time for consistent results.
  • Not Blooming the Coffee: Skipping the bloom can result in a flat-tasting brew.
  • Pouring Water Too Quickly: Pouring too fast can disrupt the grounds and affect extraction.

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