How to Make French Press Coffee – Step by Step Brewing Tutorial

Simon Calvin
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French Press – What Is It and What Does It Do?

A French press (or press pot) is basically a coffee filter. Without a paper filter or metal filter basket, the coffee grounds are soaked and brewed inside the French press beaker itself.

French press pots are available in a number of sizes. Most people tend to prefer using the 3 quart size, as it easily serves a group of three or four.

The plunger press system used in the French press is actually a modification of a traditional coffee maker. The key difference is rather than placing the coffee inside the paper filter where the grounds will be pushed through the holes into the base of the pot, the beaker itself is utilized as the filter. While this method requires more work during the brewing process, it also allows your coffee to develop a fuller bodied flavor.

In addition, you can also dispense the grounds directly into your garbage or compost bin, which is more hygienic than disposing of grounds in a filter.

Brewing French Press Coffee – Step by Step Instructions

{1}. Decide how many cups of coffee you want to make and pre-measure your water.
{2}. Place the coffee in a pre-heated French press. Most people like to add 1-2 tbsp of ground coffee for 6 oz. of hot water.

You can use a measuring cup as a scoop, but this can be inaccurate as a cup of water and coffee grounds can vary based on the size of your scoop. Many French presses today come with a built in measure for coffee.

{1}. Pour the hot water into the press over the coffee grounds.
{2}. Place the lid on the press, give it a good shake, and let the coffee brew for the desired time.

Look for the "sweet spot", or the point at which the coffee is the hottest, strongest and smoothest as it will not always taste the same as the first cup.

Most use the “pot taste” as the deciding factor, others say it’s about the time it took for the coffee to brew. Both are accepted. The longer you let it brew the stronger it will become.

To pour yourself a cup, press down on the plunger to filter the grounds, and voila!

If you want to enjoy your coffee black, that’s it.

Step 1: Rinse the Beaker with Hot Water

Before you add the coffee grounds, rinse them with hot water to warm up the beaker and slow down the cooling-down process. This gives the warmer water more time to mix with the grounds and extract more flavor.

You can use the rinse water if you are short or boiling water.

Step 2: Grind Your Coffee to Grounds

Measure out about 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) of whole coffee beans, and throw them into the grinder. Pour this into your grinder, grind it for just a minute or so. This will yield about 25 to 35 grinds.

Now, if you don’t want a whole pot, but just 2 or 3 cups of coffee, measure out the same amount of coffee, so about 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) of whole beans, and give it just a few short pulses with the grinder. Keep in mind that this will give you a weaker cup of coffee, because the ground coffee is available to the coffee water for a shorter period of time.

Step 3: Add the Coffee in the French Press

We’re almost ready to brew our coffee. Add any dry coffee grounds or coffee beans to the beaker. If you’re using fresh ground coffee, make sure that there are no coffee grounds remaining on the filter. Using the scoop, place between 3 to 6 tablespoons of ground coffee beans or coffee grounds inside the beaker.

Place the lid over the beaker and give it a little coffee shake. This will stir up the coffee and make sure the grounds are completely wet. It’ll also gently clean off any remaining coffee grounds. You’ll know it’s ready when the grounds dry out just a little bit, but before the water soaks in completely.

Step 4: Stir the Bloom

After about five minutes, the bloom will be settled and the water will be an even brown color. This shows the coffee is ready.

Use your spoon to grab the bloom and stir it into the remaining coffee grounds. This will help release the flavor. Pour in the hot water, and stir with your spoon. Pour all the coffee into the coffee press.

NOTE: You can steep the bloom in a mug or small glass to drink it, since it’s very strong, and it’ll get you in the groove for the first cup of French press.

Step 5: Add the Remaining Water

“Plunging” is critical to a smooth cup so don’t rush it. For best results wait about one minute for the bloom to settle.

Now is a great time to make sure that everything is ready for plunging. Pour off any remaining water, disassemble your filter and place the plunger on top of the carafe.

Next begin plunging. This may require a little jiggling but if your filter feels like its slipping, tighten the ring.

Once all the water has been poured into the carafe you’ll notice that the french press is suddenly lighter.

Step 6: Press the Plunger

It may seem awkward to press down on a plunger to make coffee, but you’re almost done. Once the plunger is pressed, all that you have to do is wait. Don’t lift it before you pull out your grounds, or you’ll just end up with a mess.

Most coffee grounds will settle at the bottom of the glass, but a few stragglers might stick around. If you use too much coffee, you’ll end up with grinds floating in the coffee.

What Kind of Coffee Beans Should I Use?

You can use any kind of unroasted coffee beans. So choose your flavor and brew a batch before your next event to impress your guests.

Step 7: Pour the Coffee

If the coffee is still brewing, wait for it to finish. The coffee will be ready when most of the grounds have sunk to the bottom of the carafe. It should still be covered with coffee grounds, but not saturated.

When you’re ready to drink/serve coffee, simply remove the plunger, stir the coffee, and serve. If you’ve just brewed coffee, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the sediment to settle.

The Advantages of Using a French Press Coffee

Making coffee with the pour-over method is a great way to completely immerse yourself in the process. The French press does this even better because it’s a manual device.

Unlike an automatic brewer, there are no complicated parts to replace along the way, and there’s a lot less attention needed.

Step 1

First, grind your beans. If you are particular about how coarse or fine your beans should be, it’s a good idea to grind at home and not at the shop where they are pre-ground. Some models have a timer that lets you program your own grind time, so you don’t have to keep track of time yourself.

Always keep your grinding consistent. If you grind too coarsely, your coffee will get over extracted by the end of the process and will have a bitter, sour taste. If you grind too fine, you will ruin the flavor of the coffee by going into extraction too fast and the coffee will taste bitter or burnt.

Your aim is to have a coarse, even texture.

Step 2

Lift the upper burr. There are two burrs that go around and crush the coffee beans to produce a fine texture. When the upper burr is open, you can add the grounds into it.

How to Clean the French Press

Coffee is one drink that many people enjoy, even though it can be a bit high in caffeine. It contains antioxidants that may help protect cells from oxidative stress. It can also help lower the risk of diabetes, reduce the risk of heart attack, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Another benefit of coffee is that it can help reduce the risk of eye damage that is caused by UV light. It might also help protect against osteoporosis and colon cancer.

Coffee beans are actually seeds found in the fruit of a coffee plant. The seeds are soaked or fermented to release the fat-soluble flavor that is extracted in the brewing process. The seeds are roasted to bring out their flavor, and then brewed to make coffee. There are many ways to make your coffee, including French press, drip, and espresso. Understanding how to use a French press, and being able to brew coffee using this method will allow you to enjoy this robust flavor of coffee at any location. If you plan on bringing a French press on camping trips, vacations, or out to the job site, you will be able to enjoy fresh brewed coffee rather than the flavorless coffee often served at these locations.

How to Avoid Coffee Bitterness

The French press is a spectacular way to brew an excellent cup of coffee, but it is not without some quirks. One of the most common problems that French press users encounter is coffee bitterness. If your coffee is too bitter, you will want to puncture your coffee grounds, rather than leaving them to steep undisturbed.

If you start to brew your coffee and then realize you don’t have enough time to finish it, simply pause the process. When you resume, make sure that you stir the coffee grounds from the bottom of the press. Make sure you stir the grounds until you get a very thick sludge at the bottom of the French press. If you don’t, you will end up with very bitter coffee.

One of the most important things when making French press coffee is to leave the lid slightly ajar to let the coffee brew at its own pace. If you pour the entire brew out into your cup, you will burn the coffee, and it will taste too bitter.

Concluding Remarks