Using a French Press is arguably one of the best and easiest ways to step up your coffee-making game to the next level. Now, I’m all about convenience and ease-of-use which is why I have a programmable drip coffee maker that I use as my workday, make-a-pot-to-fill-up-the-thermos coffee maker. However, the weekends and vacations are reserved for the French Press and the full-flavors it pulls out from the beans!
Here are the steps to getting the perfect French press coffee. After you do it a few times, you’ll be able to kind of “wing” it and adjust according to your tastes.
Step 1: Heat your water (filtered or distilled is best) to 200 deg. F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can bring the water to a boil and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Prepare more hot water than you need and pour some into your French Press to preheat it—preheating your French Press helps keep the temperature more consistent during brewing.
Step 2: Using a digital scale, weigh out 55 grams of good quality, fresh coffee beans. If you don’t have a scale you can use about 5 coffee scoops/10 tablespoons of beans. You’ll need to adjust your amount to taste but start here.
Step 3: Grind your coffee beans to a coarse grind—look at coarse sea salt to get an idea of what you’re aiming for. Too fine a grind and you’ll end up with a lot of sediment in your final product and can clog the French Press mesh.
Step 4: Add the hot water. Dump the “warming water” you used to preheat the French Press, add your coffee and pour in just enough of your 200 deg F water to cover the grounds, swirl it around a couple of times and then let it sit for 30 seconds or so (this is called letting the coffee “bloom,” releasing some CO2 and getting the grounds ready to absorb the rest of the water). Go ahead and pour the rest of your water in till you get about 1” from the rim.
Step 5: Press the plunger down slowly about halfway and pull back up until it’s just below the surface. This ensures that the grounds get completely saturated and you get the most flavor out of the coffee. Let sit for 4 minutes. At this point, most people slowly push the plunger down to the bottom and pour their coffee. I’ve found that pushing the plunger down to just a couple inches below the coffee surface stirs up less sediment which is great if you prefer to drink your coffee rather than eat it!
Enjoy! You’ll find that different people have their own little tips and tricks but if you follow these steps I can guarantee you’ll be happy with the results! For a solid French Press from Coffee Gator, see my Recommended Products page!