How to Make French Press Coffee

How to Make French Press Coffee

Make the perfect French Press coffee at home every time.
by Lauren Chamberlain | September 12, 2023

A classic for a reason, the French Press could hardly be easier to use. No worrying about how long it takes for water to flow through the coffee bed, it’s as easy as brewing a cup of tea. Once you know the right water temperature, the ratio of liquid to grounds, and how long to brew your coffee, you’re well on your way to making French press coffee. 

Because there’s no paper filter to stop them (just a stainless steel fine-mesh screen), tiny dissolved particles and essential oils from the coffee grounds end up in your cup and give the coffee a richer, fuller body. Wondering, “is French press coffee right for you?” If you’re a coffee drinker who’s into big-bodied coffees, the French press coffee maker might be the perfect brewer for you. That slightly oily feel and big body reflect the qualities of most dark roasts, so those are great in a French press. Ready to learn how to use a French press to create a delicious cup of coffee? Let’s dive in.

What You Need

  • A French Press, any brand will do. We love the Clara from Fellow.
  • Spoon or stirrer
  • A kettle
  • A scale (optional)
  • 35 oz  / 1,000 ml of boiling water 
  • 2.5 oz / 65 g of coarsely ground coffee. Don't have a grinder? We can grind it for you!

Getting Started

1. Warm with Water

Preheat your French press coffee maker by filling it with hot water from a kettle. Whether you have a classic glass French press or stainless steel model, this step will make sure the whole coffee maker stays warm during the entire brew process — ensuring you get all those tasty flavors out of the grounds and into your cup. Temperature is one of the key variables in consistently brewing the best coffee, so you do not want your hot water hitting a cold coffee brewer and immediately cooling down.


While you wait about 30 seconds, now is a great time to grind your coffee. Because the French press is an immersion brewing method (meaning the coffee is completely submerged in water and stays in contact until the coffee brewing process is done), you want a very chunky, coarse grind size. The larger the surface area, the longer it takes for the water to extract the delicious stuff out of the coffee beans.
If you are using a grinder for your French press coffee, you should know the differences between a burr grinder vs blade grinder. If you use a burr grinder (which we very much recommend for its vastly more even grind size), you’ll want the higher number settings. If you use a blade grinder, just don’t grind for as long as you would for, say, a drip machine. If you’re getting your coffee beans pre-ground at a shop, odds are you’ll just be able to ask for it to be ground for a French press, but if all else fails just remember the word “coarse”. Empty the hot water from your French press before continuing; you’ll be using fresh water to brew.

 

2. Add Coffee Grounds

Whatever delicious coffee you’ve chosen to brew, now is the time to add that coarsely ground coffee to the carafe. Remember to measure! The right coffee-to-water ratio is one of the keys to a consistent, delicious cup, no matter the coffee processing method. For our recipe, we like to use around 15 grams of water for each gram of coffee. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when measuring:

  • One milliliter of water weighs exactly one gram, so if you’re using a scale you can measure everything really easily by placing your carafe onto the scale before pouring
  • You can measure your water in a measuring cup as well. Just make sure you consistently use the same coffee scoops every time and measure them the same way.
  • If you usually measure a level tablespoon, but one day decided to measure a heaping tablespoon, just pay close attention to how high you’re filling the French press, to make sure your brews are that much more consistently tasty.

 

 

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