French Press

Posted by Erin Plett on

How to Brew Coffee using a French Press

A french press (sometimes called a press pot) used to be a very popular brewing method that has seemed to fallen out of fashion the last few years.  The major disadvantage of this brewing method is that it does not use a paper filter so there will be some "silt" that ends up at the bottom of your mug. There are a few methods you can use to reduce this, some involve skimming the coffee of the top before plunging or plunging much slower. The French presses disadvantage also happens to be its advantage. The fact that it does not use a paper filter so the oils of the coffee end up in your mug and not in a paper filter. This gives the coffee more weight and less flavor transparency.

What you will need to brew a French Press

  1. A french press
  2. A scale capable of displaying 1 gram increments and have a maximum capacity of at least 1000 grams
  3. Coarse ground coffee

 Steps to Brewing a Great Cup of Coffee with a French Press

Since there are many different sizes of french press pots on the market you will need to know how much water yours holds before you make your first pot 

  1. Place your french press on the scale and tare the scale so that the weight shows zero
  2. With the plunger all the way down there will be some space between the bottom of the pot and the plunger. Take note of approximately how much space this is. Add water to the french press until you have as much space left in the french press as the plunger is from the bottom (this will be the space that the coffee occupies and allow some space for the coffee to "bloom").  Take note of how much water you've added
  3. Divide the weight of the water to added by 16, this is how much weight of coffee to add to your french press
  4. Empty the water out of the french press and boil fresh water
  5. Add the weighed out, freshly ground coffee to your french press.
  6. Add the water and weight 3:30-4 minutes
  7. Plunge down and drink up!

The biggest mistake people make when brewing coffee with the French press method is that they leave the coffee in contact with the water. The issue with this is that consequently the coffee continues to brew. You don’t want that! So we suggest to decant immediately, or if you use two spoons to skim the coffee off of the top of the French press (much like you do in a cupping) and plunge the rest, you would reduce the amount of over extraction on the coffee left over in the French press vessel.