The cafetière or French press is a popular device for coffee lovers. That’s because it’s convenient and easy to use. With it, you don’t have to be a trained barista to brew a great cup of coffee at home. What’s more, you can make it according to your own personal preferences.
So, how do you use one? We’re glad you asked, because in this post we talk about our preferred brewing method to make delicious French press coffee.
What you need
- French press coffee maker (These typically consist of a beaker with a lid that has a mesh filter and plunger)
- Stovetop kettle
- Coffee grinder/burr grinder (if using fresh coffee beans)
- Fresh coffee beans/ground coffee
- Weighing scale
- Measuring cup
- Spoon for stirring
How to Brew French Press Coffee
Boil fresh, filtered water in the kettle.
Pour a small amount of boiled water into the beaker and swirl it around. This preheats the beaker to ensure it doesn’t cool your coffee down.
Grind the coffee beans. We recommend you follow a 1:16 coffee to water ratio. So, for example, you should use roughly 31 grams of coffee for every 500 ml of water. And for grind size, we recommend a medium-coarse grind.
We’ve found that if the coffee beans are too fine, then the coffee is too strong, and if the coffee beans are too coarse, then the coffee is too weak.
Heap the ground coffee into the beaker, and place the beaker on the weighing scale. Then pour the boiling water from your kettle into the beaker, and keep an eye on the weighing scale to get your proportions right.
While there’s no perfect water temperature to use when brewing coffee, we recommend hot water between 90 to 96 degrees Celsius.
Place the lid on the beaker and let it brew. The ideal brew time for French press coffee is 4 minutes.
Once the 4 minutes have passed, gently press the plunger down. Doing so will prevent over-extraction of the coffee grinds, preserving that full-bodied flavour and ensuring it doesn’t become too bitter or unpleasant.
Pour yourself some delicious coffee and enjoy.
Things to keep in mind
French press coffee makers can be made from different materials, such as glass, stainless steel or ceramic. They also come in different sizes.
It’s therefore worth doing your research and knowing the right amount of coffee you need in a day in order to find the best French press for you.
And don’t forget mistakes to avoid when grinding coffee beans.
Also try to regularly clean your French press coffee makers. They aren’t like drip coffee makers, which have easily disposable paper filters that trap the coffee grounds. You need to dispose of the grounds by removing the lid, pouring a cup of water into the beaker, and then pouring that through a strainer.
Don’t pour the coffee grounds down the drain. That will block your pipes. Then disassemble the French press, scrub the individual parts, and reassemble the press. While this might sound time-consuming, it will ensure the flavour of your coffee remains untarnished.
Lastly, and while this might sound counterintuitive, remember that tastes vary. You now know how to use a French press, and there’s no harm in experimenting and refining your process in your search to make the best coffee.