The French press is one of the simplest brew methods, and with careful attention, is easily capable of producing a high-quality brew. Because the coffee grounds are fully immersed in the water during the brew, French press coffee is known to produce a cup with great body. By working with the grinds’ natural tendency to sink once waterlogged, this method also achieves a high degree of cleanness and clarity.
Brew time: 4 to 5 minutes
Coffee to water ratio: 1:16
Coffee for one: 15g coffee, 240g water
Coffee for two: 30g coffee, 480g water
Coffee for three: 45g coffee, 720g water
1. Heat your water to boiling and grind your coffee. Grind size should be coarse, about large-grain sea salt.
2. After your water has boiled, pour some into the French Press to pre-heat the vessel. Plunge the plunger up and down in the hot water to dislodge old coffee grounds from previous brews.
3. Drain the pre-heat water and add your coffee.
4. Pour the water so that it wets all of the grounds. If necessary, swirl the ground to ensure full contact between the coffee and water.
5. The coffee will “bloom,” which is to say, the hot water will expel trapped carbon dioxide in the grounds, causing it to swell up. Use the plunger to gently press the coffee bloom back down into the water. Then de-plunge until the plunger sits just above the level of the coffee and water. Now, wait for four minutes.
6. After four minutes, slowly and delicately push the plunger down almost to the bottom of the vessel, but not all the way to the bottom. The coffee grounds should sink to the bottom of their own accord. You don’t want to stir them up again by mashing the plunger down.
7. Wait another few minutes for the brew to settle out and for the remaining fine particles to settle to the bottom.
8. Pour the coffee out either into your preferred serving vessel. If you pour carefully enough, the grounds and fine particles that have settled to the bottom will stay there, and you will have a very clean, crisp brew. You may want to consider not pouring all of the liquid, but leaving a little at the bottom.
9. To clean your French Press, add the spent coffee grounds to the compost and use a little hot water to rinse out the vessel and plunger. You shouldn’t need soap, which risks imparting a soapy flavor to your next brew. You can consider deep-cleaning your French Press every once in a while in the dishwasher.
The quality of your water is vital to the quality of your coffee. Coffee needs a certain amount of minerals to extract effectively. Thus, filtered water is always better than tap water.
Grind quality is important. Blade grinders do not yield a consistent grind size - producing a mixture of very small and some very large particles. This will lead to a mix of under- and over-extracted grinds. Our mission specialists recommend Burr grinders for a better experience.
You can brew coffee well at different temperatures, usually around 200 degrees F. However, some water kettles do not hold temperature well. So, even if you heat your water properly, over the course of a 2:00-3:00 minute brew, it may cool off significantly. This will result in under-extracted brews, which will lack vibrancy. If your pourovers are tasting a little bland, check to ensure your water is maintaining a consistent temperature.