WATCH OUR VIDEO!
Our own Kiersten brewed us an excellent French Press in this video, which may include helpful visuals for some of the techniques involved, though the recipe below should be comprehensive as well! You can also scroll down and play it below.
French Press coffee is perhaps the most common hand brewing technique in the world. While its popularity waned in the past decade as pour over coffee gained popularity, this simple device has gained new appreciation for its ease of use, wide availability, and its penchant for fool-proof brewing.
Better yet, techniques and know-how have progressed nicely through the years, and it’s easy to produce a clean, balanced cup of coffee while using a French Press.
So, whether you just bought your first French Press or have been a lover of its full bodied brew for years, this recipe is for you!
We'll start by covering some frequently asked questions about the French Press, but if you just want to skip to the recipe you can do that in the link below.
WHY BREW WITH A FRENCH PRESS
There is perhaps no easier way to brew exceptionally good coffee. Aside from that, the French Press also has these very useful features:
- Very forgiving because it uses the full immersion process
- Does not require a lot of expensive brewing gear
- Easily brews enough coffee for more than one person
- Gives a full-bodied cup that is often very sweet
WHAT IS FULL IMMERSION COFFEE BREWING?
All coffee grounds are in contact with all of the water during the brew. Think of it this way: when you make drip coffee using 20 grams of coffee and 320 milliliters of water, at any given point some water is in the tank or kettle, some is in the brewer itself, and some is in the server.
With full immersion - like a French Press - all of the water is with the coffee all of the time. Fully immersed!
We especially love French Press coffee with medium roasts, like our 700
FRENCH PRESS RATIO
We like to use 1 part coffee to 15 parts water (or a 1:15 ratio) for French Press coffee. You can adjust this to your taste within reason, but we feel like this "strength" adds nicely to the full-bodied mouthfeel that the French Press gives.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER COFFEE GROUNDS
There are many things to do with your leftover coffee grounds, but please do not put them down your sink! Instead, consider:
- Putting them in your compost
- Putting them around your garden as fertilizer and/or a natural pest repellant
- Simply tossing them in your waste bin
A NOTE ON FRENCH PRESS STYLES AND SIZES
French Press coffee makers come in many shapes and styles. We have seen one cup versions and whoppers that can make two liters of coffee! We have seen double insulated options, options with extremely fine mesh screens, and all other sorts of bells and whistles.
We believe that the beauty of French Press coffee is its simplicity. Coffee, water, time, strain. And, one of the best parts of the brewing process is that it doesn't really change brewer to brewer.
In our recipe, we have opted to use a 40:600 (1:15 coffee to water) ratio because we think it gives two great, well extracted, full cups to you and a friend. But, this recipe is easily repeatable across many brew (and French Press) sizes.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Before we get started, you’ll want to make sure you have the following at hand:
- Your French Press
- 40 grams of coffee ground at a drip setting or slightly coarser
- 700+ milliliters of water (for preheating and brewing)
- a kettle
- a scale
- (optional) two spoons
A NOTE ON METHOD: TWO SPOONS & A SCOOP
Here, we advise a method where near the end of the brew, you gently scoop away any remaining foam and oils from the top of the brewed coffee. We find this provides a cleaner tasting cup, but it is totally optional!
How to Make French Press Coffee
Cook / Brew Time
Our French Press recipe is designed to give you a sweet, full-bodied, and clean cup brew after brew.
French Press coffee brewer (ideally one that can hold greater than 800ml)
40 grams of coffee, ground slightly coarser than drip (drip can work, as well)
600mL of fresh, filtered water
A hot water kettle
A gram scale
(Optional) 2 spoons
Bring water to a near boil (205 degrees or higher), then splash and swirl just a bit of hot water in your press, pre-heating the vessel to prevent a large drop in brewing temperature late
Add 40 grams of ground coffee to press
Start your timer and add 100 grams of near boiling water to press. (Side note: For darker roasted coffees, try slightly cooler water (as low as 195degrees) to prevent over-extraction)
Pick up and swirl French Press fairly aggressively to ensure all the grounds are evenly saturated
Add another 500 grams of hot water quickly to your press. No special technique is required, you can just pour right down the middle!
Gently, very gently, place the lid on the press without plunging.
When your timer reaches 4:30, carefully remove the lid without rocking the press. Gently push the top grounds with a spoon, which should cause them to begin falling through the brew to the bottom of the press.
(Optional) This one’s optional, but for a cleaner cup, use both spoons to scoop any remaining foam, oils, or grounds from the top of the brew.
When your timer reaches 6:00, gently place the lid back on your press, and plunge as slowly as possible into the brew. The more slowly you plunge, the cleaner the brew!
Pour gently into your mug of choice (once again, the gentler the pour, the more coffee grounds stay submerged below the filter).
Enjoy the beauty of French Press coffee.