French Press

how to use a french press

The French press brewing method is just one of a variety of ways to create a cup of coffee through steeping coarse grounds in extremely hot water. This process originated in France in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, but was officially patented by two Italian designers in 1929.

The method of steeping coffee by way of a plunger, however, did not become popular until the 1950s and 1960s following a series of redesigns by kitchenware company Bodum. That said, the basic premise of the French press method remains unchanged since the 1800s with coffee masters relying on a cheesecloth-like metal screen affixed to a plunger to force water to pass over grounds for an excellent, aromatic brew.

The French press is, therefore, idle for the coffee connoisseur that enjoys the olfactory experience of steeping a cup of coffee. Single origin coffees are also best for this method or those blended grounds that have hidden notes of flavor that a coffee consumer really wants to highlight during their daily coffee routine and which will also leave a room or kitchen smelling like a true café.

In this guide we'll show you how to use a french press to brew awesome coffee....

What you'll need to make french press coffee

what you need to make french press coffee
  • French press coffee maker
  • Whole bean coffee 
  • A quality grinder like the Delonghi Ariete
  • Hot Water (205-degrees Fahrenheit) 
  • Scales (recommended)
  • Timer (recommended)

Step by step Guide - How to use a French Press

step by step french press guide

Let's get our brew on!

  1. Grind enough whole beans to yield approximately 2 tablespoons of coffee for four cups of coffee (approx 14g if using scales)
  2. Place ground coffee in the beaker
  3. Boil water to approximately 205-degrees Fahrenheit and add to beaker
  4. Place lid with plunger extended and away from watery grounds so as to great a warm seal
  5. Set timer to four minutes (recommended) for steeping to complete
  6. Slowly depress plunger taking care not to disturb grounds at the bottom
  7. Tilt, pour, and serve

⸙ Barista Tip 1:  try not to rush this process and wait until approximately four minutes so that the grounds have sufficiently been saturated by the hot water, which will maximize their flavor profile

⸙ Barista Tip 2:  heat the beaker first by pouring in hot water and then disposing as this will further aid in allowing a coffee’s flavor to bloom

Conclusion

The French press method is a steeping process that best serves whole bean coffees recently ground to a coarse setting. By allowing the coffee seed, or bean, to remain intact for as long as possible prior to grinding, one is able to maximize the flavor profile of a single-origin coffee or better identify hidden notes in a blended coffee. The French press design history is also one of interest and always undergoing new revisions, which means cups of coffee brewed in this way are only getting better over time.

Tyler Heal Author Image

Tyler Heal is not only a Barista, but a coffee and writing fiend. He’s the editor (and owner) of Coffee Grind Guru, a blog that’s dedicated to providing coffee lovers of all experience levels with the knowledge needed to improve their daily cup o’ joe.

  • Updated October 26, 2018
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