The French Press is a simple and classic way to brew coffee. Done correctly, it can appeal to both beginners of home brewing and seasoned professionals alike. Words like “rich”, “sweet”, and even “scrumptious” may escape your lips after those first few sips.
Even better, a really great French Press can be made without having a pantry full of coffee equipment. Below, we’ll lay out a relatively simple method for making a great cup of coffee in the French Press, one that is extra-clean, sweet, and consistent. We are essentially replicating our cupping process and applying it to the French Press. It requires very little finesse and is extremely forgiving; in fact, the hardest thing to attain here may be patience. But we think it’s worth the wait, and you’ll end up with a delicious cup free of the “sludginess” that can plague other recipes. Let’s get started!
What you’ll need:
- A French Press (just about any French Press will work with this method)
- Something to heat water in. Ex: Pyrex Glass / Tea Kettle
- 40 grams of coffee. If grinding fresh, aim for slightly coarser than drip. If buying pre-ground, use drip setting
- If using a coffee scoop, use 4 scoops of coffee
- Two spoons
- A scale if possible
Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
You can increase the amount of coffee yield without changing anything else about the recipe. Just multiply the grams of coffee you use by 15 for the amount of water to put in (examples: 50 grams of coffee, 750 milliliters of water. 60 grams of coffee, 900 milliliters of water). Adjust to taste from there (stronger, less water. “Weaker”, more water)
- Take your ground coffee and put into the French Press
- Measure 600ml of fresh, filtered water (or about 20oz) and bring to a boil
- Pour just enough boiling water in to cover / saturate grounds
- Pick up the French Press and swirl around to evenly distribute the water, like so:
- Pour the rest of the water in as fast as possible, then cover (no plunge!)
- Wait 4 minutes
- At 4:00, remove cover and "break the crust" with your spoon. This just means you will gently push your spoon around the “crust” of the coffee so that all the coffee grounds start sinking to the bottom. Being gentle is key!
- After about a minute, using two spoons, carefully scoop / remove any leftover foam / grounds from the top:
- Wait patiently! As you wait, coffee particles are continuing to fall to the bottom of the cup. The result will be a cleaner cup. We recommend at least 5 minutes.
- Put cap back on and only push plunger to the top of the water. The goal here is to not “disrupt” the coffee
- Pour slowly and carefully into your cup. We want to leave the coffee grounds at the bottom.
You will probably not be able to get all of the liquid out of the French Press. Tilting the Press too far will cause the sludgy bits to come with it, and the filter will only catch so much. If you find yourself missing or needing some of the extra coffee, we recommend upping your dose of coffee a tad. This way, you get what you want, and the coffee stays clean!
We also made a video of this process as a part of our “At Home” series, and you can check that out on our IGTV.