How to Brew: French Press Coffee

The french press coffee brewing method is the most overlooked of all the brewing methods. Simple, inexpensive, and easily repeatable for great coffee, it’s hard not to love it.

Like with most brewing methods, water makes contact and passes through the coffee grounds, but the french press is unique as it’s an infusion brewer meaning the water and coffee have constant contact until ready. To filter, there’s a plunger and mesh that drives the solids away from the liquid. This allows elements like coffee sediment and oils to give depth, body and texture to your cup of coffee. In this section we’ll show how even a common brewer can make an easy cup of coffee you’ll crave.

Why do we love this brew method? It’s one of the simplest ways to brew while allowing you to taste and access the unique characteristics your beans have to offer.

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The Fundamentals

With the french press coffee brewing method, there are three fundamental components that’ll affect the coffee that ends up in your cup. You’ll want to think of these three fundamentals as part of a cycle which are affected by one another if you alter your recipe. Knowing how these variables contribute to the taste and experience will allow you to understand how to adjust your recipes to your taste preferences!

  • GRIND OF THE COFFEE

    Grinding the beans of coffee result in the ability to extract the taste. Adjusting the grind will alter the taste by increasing or decreasing the amount of surface area of the beans the water will make contact with. If your coffee comes out too bitter, dial back the grind to something coarser. If weak and sour, dial forth the grind to something finer. Note: The finer the grind becomes, the contact time will increase.

  • CONTACT TIME

    Like noted, contact time of the coffee and water can be a result of the grind of coffee, but it’s also determined by the pace you add your water at. You want your pouring speed to be at one rate throughout a single brewing process. You can either speed up or slow down the brewing process by adding water into the brewer at intervals or at your pace, all at once. Note: The longer the contact, more flavor will be extracted.

  • TECHNIQUE

    Due to the simplistic nature of this brewing method there are a lot of opportunities to make your recipe unique and tailored to your taste. One unique technique that has been popping up recently is users not pushing the plunger completely down at the completion of brewing. Some say pushing the plunger and filtering from there disrupts the grounds and ultimately adds the dreaded sludge to your cup of coffee… Others like the silt that is present since it adds texture and essence to your cup. Note: The porous filtering mesh allows for oils and particles to stay in your cup, more body and flavor will be present.

What Do You Need?

  • Filtered Water (Distilled or Low Mineral Content)

  • Coffee Grounds (Medium Coarseness / Milled Salt or Sugar)

  • Pouring Kettle

  • Scale

  • Brewer

Step by Step

Ratio: 30g Coffee : 350g Water = Approximately 1 serving

  1. Decide how much coffee you’d like to brew and adjust the ratio to your desired volume of coffee.

  2. Weigh and grind your coffee as your water is boiling. You want the freshest grind of coffee possible.

  3. Once the water has boiled, place your coffee grounds into the french press and add your hot water. Leave the coffee to steep for four minutes.

  4. After four minutes you’ll notice a collection of foam and grounds that have floated to the top. Use a spoon to scoop them out and remove.

  5. Wait an additional five minutes allowing the coffee to cool and particles to settle.

  6. Place the mesh plunger into the brewer, slowly press the plunger down to not cause any turbulence. This is will lift the silt into the drinkable coffee.

  7. Once completely pressed down. Pour your coffee into your cup, resist the urge to pour all the liquid out or else you’ll get an excess amount of sludge.

  8. Now, enjoy!