The French Press is my preferred method of brewing coffee because it is low-tech and portable and also the coffee:water ratio is more forgiving than stovetop espresso.
Its operation is simple! Hot water is steeped over coarsely ground coffee for 3-4 minutes and then the plunger is pushed down and served. Really easy!
We use this French Press from Amazon.com.
FRENCH PRESS TUTORIAL: STEP BY STEP WITH PHOTOS
My tutorial will cover the ideal grind, water temperature and steep time to enable you to brew the best cup of French Press coffee.
Step One: Decide How you want to Measure out your Coffee ( Weight vs Volume)
Note: In my opinion, measuring by weight will give more consistent results. However, French Press is pretty forgiving so I will give the measurements for both. Ultimately the decision is up to you. You way want to try both and decide for yourself which you prefer!
- We use a ratio of 1:16 or 1g coffee to 16 grams of water.
- However, when doing research on the internet, the ratio is quite forgiving and can be anywhere from 1:10 to 1:18.
- Accurate measurements can be obtained easily with a small kitchen scale.
- I have seen recommendations for 1 Tablespoon coffee to 4 ounces of water and also 2 Tablespoons of coffee to 6 ounces of water.
- When we measure by volume, we always did 2 Tablespoons coffee to 6 ounces water or a 1:3 coffee/water ratio.
- The best thing to do is experiment to your personal taste preference
At home, we started out measuring by volume, but have switched now to always measuring by weight! We find it is a lot more accurate and we get more consistent results.
STEP 2: GRIND THE COFFEE & PLACE IN PRESS
Coffee for brewing in a French press should be a coarse grind. We use a manual coffee grinder. See here for my review of the Java Presse Manual Coffee Grinder.
Once again we are going to refer to this wonderful coffee grind chart https://ineedcoffee.com/coffee-grind-chart/
The grind should look something like this:
STEP 3: Boil the Water:
- You can boil the water in a kettle and then wait 30 seconds to bring the temperature down. However, my research has made me realize that this does not always bring the temperature down to 200F, which is the optimal temperature. If you live at sea level or at very high altitudes, this formula does not work.
- We use this kettle with a built in thermometer (see product image) from Amazon.com and prefer it over the convention spout.
- Water should ideally be between 195F and 200F
- The only way to guarantee this is with a thermometer.
- A goose neck kettle ensures better control when pouring the water.
- Move the kettle around in a circular direction to get all the grounds wet.
STEP 5: Stir carefully with a spoon.
STEP 6: Place plunger on top of the coffee pot. Do not press down.
STEP 7: Let steep for 3-5 minutes.
Note on the steeping time: The recommended time to steep French Press is between 3-5 minutes. The longer you let it site, the easier you will get distracted! I set my timer for 4 minutes and it I don’t get to it immediately, 5 minutes is okay too!
STEP 8: Enjoy your delicious coffee!
(header image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frenchpress-wiki.jpg)