2.5 min read –
The French press is one of the easiest manual brew methods available for the home. All you need is coffee, hot water, and a French press, making it ideal for small spaces such as college dorm rooms, small urban flats, or even for traveling. Many also love french pressed coffee because of it's full bodied and rich flavor characteristics.
The French press utilizes an immersion style of brewing which is far different from more traditional dripping or percolation methods. As the coffee grounds sit suspended in hot water for the entire brew, and are not filtered out through a fine paper filter, all of the natural coffee oils remain present in your cup giving you an "affectionately dirty" experience.
The coffee oils promote a heavier mouth feel with each sip capable of reminding you how coffee has been enjoyed for centuries before ours and in cultures all over the world.
Follow this simple process to begin making coffee in a French press at home.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- Pounds Coffee
- French Press
1. HEAT YOUR WATER
Start by bringing your water to a boil. It's important to start with delicious water as it's going to comprise 99% of your coffee. I find that the water from my kitchen sink is soft and tastes great, but it tastes even better when I filter it first.
Home Tip: Bring your water to a rolling boil and then let it sit uncovered, off the heat, for 30 – 60 seconds to allow the water to fall into the ideal brewing range of 200º – 204ºF.
Pro Tip: To dial in your water temperatures precisely, you can add a programmable water kettle to your kitchen. I use the Bonavita Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle to heat water to my desired temperature and then hold it there. (You can shop here for the Bonavita kettle on Google.)
2. ADD GROUND COFFEE
Grind your coffee to a coarse grind setting and add 1 rounded tablespoon for every 5 oz of water to the French Press.
Home Tip: Experiment with your coffee brewing ratio. You may find that you prefer your coffee a little bit stronger or lighter. Additionally, the sweetness of lighter roast coffees may show up more with a lighter ratio, whereas the sweetness of darker coffees may benefit more from a heavier ratio. Start with our coffee brewing ratio.
Pro Tip: Grind your coffee right before brewing. Many of the optimal flavors and aromas of coffee are locked inside the whole coffee bean in a gaseous state. By using freshly ground coffee you ensure that you're brewing the most exciting cup possible. One of our favorite coffee grinders for the home is the Baratza Encore Burr Grinder.
3. ADD HOT WATER
Quickly and steadily add the water to the French Press completely immersing the coffee grounds, then wait. Allow 30 – 45 seconds for the saturated coffee grounds to form a crust.
4. BREAK THE CRUST
After 30 – 45 seconds, break the crust by stirring the coffee ensuring that all grounds are saturated and fully immersed in the brew. Place the lid and plunger onto the French Press to promote heat retention and allow the coffee to finish the 4 minute brew.
Home Tip: Slightly submerge the grounds just below the surface of the brew when you place the lid on to promote complete and even brewing.
5. PRESS THE COFFEE
After 4 minutes, slowly press the filter down trapping the coffee grounds at the bottom. You should be able to press the filter with little resistance. If it is hard to press, you may need a coarser grind. If it plunges too easily, without any resistance, then you may need a finer grind. Serve and enjoy.
Home Tip: If you are not serving all of the French press at one time, pour your freshly brewed coffee into another serving container so as to stop the brewing process.