A French Press is one of these really simple tools that allow you to brew a delicious cup of coffee in quick way, anytime and anywhere. When using a french press, you’re keeping all the oils from the beans in your cup, which gives you a really bold and flavorful cup of coffee. But what’s the best way to make a great cup of coffee using a french press? We’ve posted some graphics and videos before explaining how to make a french press pot, but this post is our definite guide.
Like any other brewing method, with French Press, many factors will affect the result of your coffee:
- Your coffee grind: of course, fresh is better. But also, the coffee grind has to be the right consistency.
- Amount of coffee: now you got the grind right, you have to add the correct amount of coffee.
- Water temperature: the optimal temperature for brewing coffee is about 200F to 205F. That’s water just off the boil.
What You’ll Need:
A French Press:
We’re assuming you already have a French Press. If not, then we highly recommend looking at Bodum’s french presses. They’re the most popular and a personal favorite. Bodum has a wide range of presses to choose from, in different styles to suit every taste.
How To Choose the Right French Press?
Apart from aesthetics, the first thing you’ll have to decide on is the capacity of the french press. How many cups will you be brewing? French presses are available in sizes of 2-cups, 4-cups, 6-cups and up to 12-cup (12 cups is about 51 oz).
Design wise, there are many to choose from, however, the interior remains the same (all stainless steel):
There’s the glass with plastic shell and handle. Glass with stainless steel shell or full stainless steel body.
Which one to choose is completely up to you, of course, you’ll still get the same result. We recommend the stainless steel french press over others only because it’s more durable (doesn’t break) and it keeps the temperature of your coffee longer.
Grinding your beans fresh makes a lot of difference in the quality of coffee you’re brewing. Coffee grinders can be expensive, but you don’t have to invest in a large grinder if you’re only grinding to brew using French Press. There’s a number of inexpensive quality grinders that you can choose from:
A manual burr grinder is highly recommended here. With a few twists, you’ll have fresh ground coffee ready to brew. The only downside to a manual grinder is that it can get tiring after a while.
Your second option would be to get a blade grinder. This isn’t recommended over a burr grinder, but if you’re on a budget, it’ll do.
This is where you’ll measure the right amount of coffee ground. You’ll need about 7 grams of coffee for each cup you’re brewing.
You can use a simple digital scale for this, or you can use a scoop with a built-in scale. The Hario scale pictured above features a built-in timer which is quite helpful in all brewing methods or even kitchen uses in general.
How To Brew Using a French Press:
Now you have all your tools ready, here’s how to do it:
- First thing you’ll want to do is rinse your french press with hot water. This is crucial in helping to maintain the right brewing temperature once you add your coffee and hot water.
- While the press is pre-heating, measure the right amount of beans. If you’re grinding 8-cups, you’ll need about 56 grams of coffee.
- Start grinding your beans. You’ll want the coffee to be coarse for this.
- Discard the water you used to pre-heat your french press. Add the coffee and add the boiling water. At this point, you’ll want to add only have way up. This will help saturate the coffee evenly, which gives you a better flavor.
- Let the coffee sit for about a minute, after that stir the coffee and add more water all the way to the top.
- Let the coffee continue to steep for an extra 3 minutes.
- Once 4 full minutes are up, gently press down the plunger.
Now you’re all ready to enjoy your cup of coffee!
- Some people recommend refrigerating coffee beans to keep them fresh. NEVER do that. It will stale your coffee in no time, actually. Always keep your beans at room temperature.
- If you’re using a glass french press, it’s recommended that you use a wood stirrer instead of a metal spoon, just so you don’t accidentally break the glass.
- Don’t want to grind your own beans? Your best option then is to buy fresh beans that have just been roasted from a local coffee shop and have them grind it for you. The idea here is that you don’t want to use beans that have been roasted months ago, this changes the quality of coffee and will certainly result in a bitter cup.