French Press Brew Guide
The French press is both a device and method for brewing coffee. The device itself is simply a container with a plunger attached to a metal filter, which separates the grounds from the brewed coffee. A major advantage of this brew method is the precision afforded the brewer, given the control over the grind size, water temperature and steeping time. As with any brew method, adjusting any of these elements allows you to personalize what ends up in your cup.
Because the French press utilizes a metal rather than paper filter, it is common for a small amount of grounds to settle in the bottom of the cup. However, the absence of a paper filter allows more of the natural oils to remain--which means a richer cup of coffee. The method results in a quick, yet bold cup of coffee.
As an added plus, the French press is also very capable of brewing loose leaf tea!
Step-by-step Brewing with French Press
- First, make sure to grind your coffee coarse for a premium extraction (think breadcrumbs or kosher salt). Note: A fine grind will yield an under-extracted, sour cup, and allow more grounds to pass through the metal filter.
- Measure your coffee and water. A good grounds-to-water ratio to start experimenting with is 30 grams of coffee to about 400-500 milliliters (13.5-16.9 ounces) of water. Note: As with drip coffee, the higher the ratio of grounds to water the stronger the final cup.
- Begin heating water after measuring. By the time you immserse the grounds, the water temperature should be ideally in the range of 195-205 degrees fahrenheit.
- Once you have the grounds ready, place them inside the French Press.
- Set a timer to between 4 and 6 minutes. Start the timer and immerse the grounds in your hot water. Stir thoroughly to ensure all of the grounds are saturated, then place the plunger on top as it brews.
- Let brew for four to six minutes.
- Taking care not to agitate the grounds, slowly depress the plunger to the bottom of the French press. If the plunger gets stuck, simply pull it up slightly and begin plunging again.
- Although plunging the grounds to the bottom effectively ends the brewing process, you’ll want to pour the coffee soon after it’s finished brewing for best results!