It always suddenly strikes us coffee lover’s minds to stray away from store-bought coffee and start making great coffee ourselves at home.
And, there’s always something about French press coffee that keeps luring all of us in.
What makes the French press so attractive is its simple beauty – just a pot, a plunger, a built-in filter screen, and a great french press grind bean can make a delicious cup of coffee you’d wake up for every day.
How Does the French Press Work?
The French press is a type of immersion brewer. Because it presses hot water through ground coffee, the immersion and filtration system works so that after the grounds have been immersed in the water for a certain amount of time, it is filtered to get you coffee that’s ready to pour.
On the other hand, we have pour-over coffee brewing, which instead relies on gravity to filter your coffee. It usually involves a type of cone or filter that drains your coffee out naturally after you’ve poured water over your coffee grounds.
But that way, you lose all the good stuff. We love the French press because it keeps in all the oils, flavors, and aromas, giving you that fresh, rich fuel.
And it’s all very simple: you put your coffee grounds in the carafe or pot with hot water, and you’ve initiated immersion brewing!
Let it sit for three to five minutes, then plunge the strainer down before pouring yourself a cup of coffee. That way, the filter traps the coffee grounds and forces them to the bottom so your coffee cup can be just coffee, ground-free.
Why Use a French Press?
Many coffee lovers have every reason to believe the French press makes the best coffee. Here are some of them:
It’s a Ritual
The sensory experience provided by using a French press is invaluable and like no other. It is rich in preparation, rich in technique, and it gets you coffee that is rich in flavor.
And you don’t even have to wait until it’s ready – it all starts as soon as you pour in the hot water. Aromas swell and swirls into life.
It Tastes Better
Besides the fact that brewing coffee in a French press results in zero paper waste, it releases all the flavor.
Coffee oils and flavor – basically all the good we want in a coffee cup – get stuck in paper filters. With a French press, those oils and flavors don’t get soaked up.
And you also get access to only very fine bits of the grind, thanks to the tough strainer, so your mug is percolated with flavor.
Another thing that favors a French press over a filter easier is, well, the filtering itself.
Instead of the coffee being filtered, it is instead steeped as coffee grounds get immersed in the hot water.
So not only do you get no impurities, but that way, you guarantee your coffee grounds get completely saturated so your drink can soak up all the flavor. It’s no wonder French press coffee tastes better.
Last but not least, you’ve probably been already been introduced to how important temperature is when it comes to brewing coffee.
Other coffee brewing methods involve heating up the water quickly only to have it cool down just as fast.
Brewing using a French press, however, maintains the same, appropriate temperature throughout the entire brewing process, so you know you’re getting your coffee’s worth of proper preparation.
Step by Step Guide to the Best French Press Coffee
Now that we know all that good stuff, let discuss how you can use that precious French press to make yourself a cup of coffee that is mouth-watering to perfection.
Here’s a tip: either get your beans ground at the store or invest in a burr coffee grinder. Because you need your coffee grounds to be coarse, a blade grinder will not do since it won’t yield in an even grind.
It also makes your beans warmer because of conduction, which could negatively affect the flavor of your coffee.
Another tip: try to grind your coffee only right before brewing it. Your coffee beans have about a two-week timeframe before they lose freshness, and when ground, you have 30 minutes. After that, the acids break down and they lose flavor.
And with the power of knowledge and all the tools you need, we can start making that honest-to-god, elegant French press coffee!
Get your water to a boil. Using a French press to make coffee is straightforward and easy, and for an even easier start, we recommend going with a 1:12 water to coffee ratio. You can experiment with this later, but for this recipe, we’ll be using 30g of coffee for 350g of water.
Get your grounds ready– you want those to be coarse and even. Put them in your French press.
Gently pour the water after it’s boiled into the carafe. You’ll want to start with slowly pouring, preferably in circles, until you can see that all of your coffee grounds have been saturated evenly.
Give your ground-water combination a gentle stir using a spoon or a spatula to submerge any coffee grounds that have formed a crust on the top. Allow the coffee to bloom for about 30 seconds.
Place the lid onto the pot, but don’t plunge just yet! Wait for four minutes. We recommend using a timer – accuracy here is key for the perfect mug of coffee.
Push the filter down slowly all the way to the bottom and pour your coffee immediately. If you let it sit, it will continue brewing, resulting in over-extracted, bitter coffee.
Here’s a tip: if the plunger feels tough or heavy to press, this might mean you have too fine of a grind. Yes, there is such a thing as too fine.
If it sinks down immediately, or if it’s suspiciously easy to plunge, your grind might be too coarse. Ideally, the pressure sweet spot should feel like you’re only exerting slight effort.
And there you have it, everything you need to know in order to create the perfect cup of coffee right at home!
We think all the science behind using the French press already holds enough beauty, but wait until you actually drink the coffee.
And as with every final step – enjoy!