How To Use a French Press: Coffee Brewing Guide

Easy to prepare and great consistency, the French press is dense and heavy but has its own elegance. The French press is the perfect preparation method for low maintenance on Saturday morning. Well done, it produces creamy coffee.

Its classic, well-designed and has not changed much since it came up in 1929, and it is perfect for making many full cups of coffee. It only takes four minutes to prepare.

As with any method, the devil is in detail: to achieve full expression of coffee, it tiles immediately after brewing so that it does not become bitter or chewy. Then immerse yourself in this rich and intoxicating glass.

Follow this guide to prepare the perfect French press.

What You Need to Brew Coffee with a French Press

French Press Coffee to Water Ratio

Regardless of the size of the French press you use, a good rule of thumb is to follow the 1:15 ratio of coffee and water. So for every 1 gram of coffee, add 15 grams of water, resulting in about 3 tablespoons of coffee per 1 cup of water. Try from there to find the right report for you.

  • 3 cups 2-3 tablespoons (17 grams) of water 275 ml, plus additional preheating
  • 4 cups 27 grams (4-5 tablespoons) of water 430 ml, plus additional preheating
  • 8 cups 54 grams (8-10 tablespoons) 860 ml of water, plus additional preheating

Before you Prepare your French Press Coffee

Make sure your French press has been thoroughly cleaned since the last time you used it. Any old grounds caught in the mesh filter will result in coffee with a bitter taste.

For best results, we recommend that you start with the coffee beans and grind them with a grinder immediately before brewing. If you grind the coffee beans too soon, they will quickly lose many compounds that give it such a wonderful aroma and flavor.

Although it may seem complicated, using a scale will make the brewing easier by taking the guesswork out of the equation.

Step 1: Heat up your French press

Heat your empty French press by rinsing it with very hot water. This helps maintain the temperature while brewing for the best extraction.

Bring enough water to fill the press to a boil.

prep french press for brewing

Step 2: Measure and grind

Grind the coffee while the water heats up. French pressed coffee requires coarse, even grinding. Measure out 56 g (about 8 tablespoons) of coffee beans and grind until coarse like breadcrumbs.

ground coffee for french press

Step 3: Add water

Now that your French press is hot, pour hot water and add the coffee to the empty press. To start, gently pour twice the amount of water to coffee beans onto your grounds. Be sure to saturate all the grinds, and make sure there are no dry spots.

Start the count-up timer as you add hot water.

Step 4: Stir

At exactly one minute, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the top layer that we call the crust. Give it a good stir. To avoid breaking the glass, you may prefer to use a wooden spoon instead of metal.

Let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds.

french press stirring

Step 5: Add more water

Now fill the press all the way up with water. Put the lid on without pressing it and allow the coffee to brew.

Again, don’t plunge just yet. Let the coffee stand for exactly four minutes. Don't guess.

Step 6: Press

At four minutes you are ready to press. Carefully remove the French press from the scale and place it on the table. Push the press firmly down completely.

If difficult to plunge, it means your grinding is too fine. If the plunger immediately goes to the bottom, it means your grind is too coarse. The best point, in terms of pressure, is 15 to 20 pounds.

If you're unsure of that amount of pressure, try it on your bathroom scale.

Now you're ready to serve

When you're finished pressing, immediately serve the coffee or pour into a carafe to prevent the grinds from over-extracting and becoming bitter.

To clean the French press, simply add a little water, give it a swirl, and empty your used grounds into the garbage or compost.

French Press tip and tricks

By following the above steps, should produce a wonderfully delicious cup of coffee. If not brewed correctly, however, the French press can result in a very bitter taste. Here are five tips to help avoid bitterness.

  1. Start with good coffee. Buy whole beans and avoid grinding until just before brewing.
  2. Leaving the coffee in contact with the grounds after it’s done brewing will result in over-extraction and bitterness in your cup. We recommend you decant the coffee immediately.
  3. Fines (tiny pieces of ground coffee) extract faster than larger pieces and can contribute to bitterness. It is recommended to use a burr grinder or to change out the burrs on your grinder if they are older.
  4. The ideal water temperature for french press brewing is around 200°. Boiling water can scorch the coffee which also results in bitterness. To achieve 200°, bring your water to a boil and then let sit for one minute.
  5. Old, used coffee stuck in the french press filter can also cause bitterness. Another reason, we recommend that you thoroughly clean your Press after each use.

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