How to Use a French Press

How to Use a French Press

If you do a search for the best way to brew coffee, you will probably find at least a half a dozen.  But one of my favorite methods is with the French Press.  The French Press is quick and easy to use, and will make a delicious, full bodied cup of coffee.


How Does A French Press Work?

If you are not familiar with the French Press and how it works, it is basically a glass beaker, which can come in many different sizes.  There is a plunger which fits snugly inside with a metal mesh filter connected to it.  Coffee is placed directly inside the beaker, and hot water is poured onto the coffee grounds.  Next, the lid goes on, which is attached to the plunger.  The coffee steeps for a few minutes and then the grounds are pushed to the bottom using the plunger.  The attached filter keeps the grounds out of your cup.  Because the french press does not use a paper filter, the oils in the coffee are not filtered out, which produces a much more flavorful, full bodied cup of coffee.



Here’s What You Need:

  1. A french press
  2. Cold, filtered water
  3. Fresh coffee beans
  4. Coffee grinder
  5. A pot for boiling water


How You Do It

Start out by measuring out how much water you are going to use, then put it on the stove.  As the water is heating, you can grind your beans.  When I make coffee, I like it strong, so I use about 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water.  If you have a kitchen scale, measure out 24-30 grams of coffee beans for 12 ounces of water, depending on how strong you want your coffee.



I would caution against using less, since you can’t really fix weakly brewed coffee.  If you brew it too strong, you can always add water.  I used to use a medium-fine grind, but started getting tired of the “muddy” coffee at the bottom of the cup.  The finer the grind, the easier it is for the coffee grounds to escape the mesh filter and get into your cup.  I started using a more course grind, and discovered that it’s so much cleaner in the cup.  If you have a grinder with settings, set it to a course, about as consistent as unground sea salt.  If you don’t have one with those settings, just grind the beans for less time.  While the water is heating up, and you’re grinding the beans, pre-heat your French Press beaker with some hot water.  You can just use tap water.



Dump out the hot water you used to pre-heat the beaker, then pour your measured coffee grounds in.  By now, your water will probably be ready.  I let the water heat up until it’s boiling, then take it off of the heat and let it sit for 30-60 seconds or so.  Next, pour just enough water over the grounds to get them all wet.  This will allow the coffee to bloom, letting out all that carbon dioxide that makes the coffee taste bitter.  Allow it to bloom for about 30-45 seconds.  Then pour in the rest of the water.



Place the plunger into the beaker, but don’t press the grounds yet.  Set a timer for 4-6 minutes and wait.  If you used a very course grind, let the coffee steep longer.



When the time is up, slowly press the grounds to the bottom of the beaker.  Grab your favorite mug and pour yourself a cup!


Is it all you dreamed it would be and more?






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