Ah, coffee. The second-most traded commodity in the world and a staple in the morning, lunch, and dessert routine of millions around the world. Some prefer to push a button and walk away or get up to a pot that brewed before they climb out of bed. Others stick a plastic cup in the receptacle and watch the brew spill out into the waiting cup. But, the often misunderstood (and my personal favorite) French Press is one of the simplest ways to brew coffee and with proper technique can give you a cup of thick, delicious brew unlike any other.
Do something for yourself and learn how to make the perfect French Press coffee with my tried-and-true tips.
- Start with a clean French press – A French press is made of two parts – the carafe and the plunger which includes the mesh filter. Clean all parts before starting to make sure no grounds are stuck in the filter. Make sure the filter is intact before starting, a loose filter can leak grounds into the coffee when plunging. We own the Bodum BRAZIL Coffee Maker. It works great & comes in matte black which matches our kitchen perfectly.
- The beans – Fresh roasted, shiny, whole beans have the best flavor and aroma. Use medium or dark roasted beans for a robust coffee. To really add some pizzazz, consider roasting your own. Just like French press brewing, it is not that hard.
- It’s all about the grind – Use a coarse grind. Too small will slip through the mesh of the plunger and may cause bitterness. A grind about the consistency of breadcrumbs is usually good. Consider using a burr grinder which gives an even, solid grind customized to the brewing style.
- Coffee to water ratio – The size of the French press is not as important as the coffee to water ratio. Brew as little or as much coffee as you want, but accurately measure the ratio. Some people prefer to weigh the coffee, but measuring by the tablespoon works too. One tablespoon of coffee weighs 7-8 grams. Use about 10 grams of coffee for 6 fluid ounces of water. Too little coffee and the brew will be wimpy, too much coffee and the brew might turn out bitter.
- Boil the water – While you have been prepping and measuring, hopefully, you have started to boil the water. You want to use water that is about 200’F. The easiest way to do this? Bring to a boil then remove from heat for about 30 – 45 seconds.
- Fill the carafe – Fill the carafe about halfway to start the coffee “bloom”. Set a timer for 4 minutes. At about 60 seconds, use a long-handled spoon and gently stir to break up any clumps of coffee that might be stuck together, then slowly fill the carafe the rest of the way and place the plunger on top – but don’t plunge yet! (Be careful not to overfill the carafe to avoid splashing hot coffee out the spout when you go to the next step.)
- Time’s up – When the timer goes off, it’s time to take the plunge. Gently and slowly push the plunger down through the coffee until it reaches the bottom.
- Serve! – Pour the coffee into your cup with your choice of sweeteners or creamers, or drink it black.
With a little experimentation & a little practice, you can brew the perfect cup of coffee in your French Press and enjoy few quiet moments all to yourself.