One of the easiest and quickest ways to brew coffee in 4 minutes, the French Press also produces one of the purest cups of coffee.
And the quality of coffee made in a ‘Cafetiere a piston’ is entirely heavenly proving you don’t have to trade taste for time.
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This method of making coffee is for true coffee aficionados, especially for those that are always on the go.
Grind Coffee Beans
Don’t store ground beans; grind fresh.
Grinding fresh coffee beans is important to prepare a truly aromatic and full-flavored coffee. The richness and taste of the end product is a result of the quality and grind of the beans.
You need to use a good burr coffee bean grinder. Grinders are available in either automatic or manually operated.
Experiment with the exact size of the grind, but it needs to be coarse.
Water temperature for French Press
The rule of thumb for water temperature when making coffee in any coffee machine is that the temperature should always be slightly below boiling point. 190° – 195° F, (90°- 95°C).
Check temperature is correct using a thermometer. We strongly recommend using a thermometer as it’s just another step where you can eliminate guesswork.
If you don’t have a thermometer, let freshly boiled water sit in the kettle for 30 seconds to 1 minute before adding to French press.
Preheat French press
For best result, preheat your French press before preparing coffee. Add hot water and swirl it around the surface to warm the carafe.
This stops the water from cooling and instantly dropping temperature when it hits the cold surface of the press.
Coffee to water ratio to use
A 1:12 ratio is a strong cup of coffee that you could use as a starting point depending on your taste preference.
Once you find your perfect brew, it’s simply a repeatable science formula. You should be on-point with the coffee to water ratio and use a coffee scale to measure accurately.
A 1:10 is a bold brew that’s heavy and thick.
At the other end of the scale a 1:16 ratio produces a mild, subtle and lighter flavor coffee.
French pressed coffee is usually enjoyed as stronger a brew, but it may be later in the day and you need to be able to sleep soundly, or you might just prefer a milder flavor. There’s no right or wrong; it’s entirely up to you how you enjoy you coffee.
How much coffee per cup
3 cup French Press – 19 grams coffee: 300mls water (10.1fl oz)
4 cup French Press – 38 grams coffee: 600mls water (20.2 fl oz)
8 cup French Press – 52 grams coffee: 850 mls water (28.75 fl oz)
12 cup French Press – 88 grams coffee: 1400 mls water (47.3fl oz)
The first few times you use your coffee press, I suggest you make a note of the ratios you use so when you hit that sweet spot and find your favorite brew, you know exactly your recipe.
How many tablespoons of coffee per cup in a French press?
For those who just want the basics. This is a scale for 1 cup coffee based on a coffee:water ratio to be altered according to your taste. (Note: Using tablespoons won’t give you the accuracy and repeatable results you get using a scale.)
Weak Coffee (1:17) 2 1/2 tablespoons coffee:
Regular (1:15) 3 tablespoons coffee
Strong coffee (1:12) 4 tablespoons
Bloom and Steep Coffee
Let the coffee bloom before fusing.
This is the next step that most home baristas neglect or just simply ignore. Steeping the coffee and letting it bloom.
You can do this by first pouring some water over the coffee grounds. Evenly wet the coffee (using about 20% of the total water).
So if you’re making a 3 cup french press brew, 20% of 300 mls of water, is 60mls. Let it rest for around 20 seconds.
You’ll notice some bubbles and this is what’s known as the coffee ‘bloom’. Swirl the water gently, to make sure the grounds are evenly wet. This helps absorb all that aromatic oil, improving the extraction process.
Add the rest of the water, carefully.
Put the lid on the French press and set a timer for 3 minutes. (Don’t plunge yet.)
After waiting 3 minutes, push down the plunger, nice and easy, until the filter and compressed grounds are at the bottom.
Let the coffee settle for 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour and enjoy!
It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes, but sometimes our busy schedules don’t allow us even that! If you’re a coffee lover and need that power boost in the morning, get up 5 minutes earlier. It’s well worth it.
The total steeping time for a great cup of coffee in the French press machine is 3 to 5 minutes.
What does Coffee Bloom mean?
Carbon dioxide is escaping from the coffee grounds. Part of the brewing time is taken up with this process (about 20 seconds). In effect water is prevented from fully reaching and interacting with all the coffee grounds.
But to really appreciate what’s happening, we need to have an understanding of ‘de-gassing’ and ‘turbulance’.
CO2 is slowly released after coffee is roasted. This is a natural part of the roasting process and is called de-gassing. The level of carbon dioxide varies depending on the type of roast.
Once coffee is ground, CO2 is released quicker because of the exposure to air.
Pouring hot water on the grounds causes the remaining CO2 to be expelled quickly.
Coffee bubbles up and some of the grounds rise when they expand, releasing gas.
This process is known as ‘turbulance’. Rapidly escaping CO2 prevents water reaching the coffee grounds and draws out flavor compounds.
Iced Coffee and blooming
Even if you’re making iced coffee, use hot water to bloom coffee.
How to clean a French Press machine
When cool, rinse the French press and mesh filter, making sure all the coffee grounds have been completely removed.
Some French press machines can be washed in the dishwasher. Others hand-washed. We recommend checking manufacturer instructions.
We prefer to wash stainless steel with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
It’s easy to see why French press coffee is so popular and even more evident when you start drinking the coffee.
We strongly recommended that you invest in the best of the best machines for a hearty and tasty cup of coffee every morning.