French presses or cafetieres are a convenient, easy way to brew fantastic coffee anywhere you like. They’re cheap, portable and simple to operate, which is why they’re one of the most popular ways of brewing coffee. To a coffee novice, a French press may appear a little intimidating, but we’re here to tell you, once you know how, they’re very easy to wrap your head around!
Here’s all you need to know to get the most out of your French Press:
What you’ll need –
- A french press (doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just a bog standard one will do!)
- A kettle for hot water
- Filtered water (for best results)
- A spoon or stirring instrument
- A small scale
- A timer (you can use your phone for this)
- Great tasting coarsely ground coffee (we recommend the coffee, Daydreamer from our in house coffee roastery Elsewhere Coffee Roasters)
Firstly, it’s important to flush your French press through with boiling water. This will help to maintain a more stable brewing temperature when you add your coffee.
Next, you need to measure out your ground coffee. Obviously, for the best results, you’ll need freshly ground coffee, but we understand not everyone has access to a good coffee grinder at home! All great coffee brands will give you the option to have your coffee ground for filter, this is what you should ask for if buying from a cafe or coffee shop for use with a French Press. We recommend a 1:12 coffee to water ratio in grams. For example, if you’re using 20g of coffee, you will need to use 240g of boiling water.
Now, pour away the hot water you used to initially heat up your French Press, adding your ground coffee to the empty bottom with a spoon. Once your kettle is boiled again, leave it to stand for about 1 minute and add your desired quantity of water, ensuring the ratio of coffee to water is as above.
Use a spoon to break the layer of thick coffee that sits at the top of your French Press, stirring thoroughly. Leave your coffee to infuse with the water, steeping for around 3 to 4 minutes. This allows the natural oils and flavours within the grounds to fully extract – be careful not to leave it for too long though, as you may yield bitter tasting coffee! Too short a time and your coffee will have a more shallow flavour profile and a sour taste.
Now slowly but firmly plunge the coffee down, this gathers all the floating grounds of coffee, filtering them out of your brew.
Pour your coffee and enjoy! Also, if you have any liquid leftover in your french press, make sure to pour this into another vessel – this is because it will continue to brew with the remaining grounds and will result in bitter tasting coffee.
There you have it! If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be smashing delicious tasting French Press coffee in no time.