There are infinite ways to brew coffee and if you’re looking for a new adventure in brewing we suggest trying a French press. For a small investment, this compact brewer will have a new coffee experience in your cup in just a little more than 4 minutes.
Most agree it was a combination of efforts by French and Italian inventors which brought this coffee press to the masses. Two French inventors, Mayer and Delforge, patented the forerunner, the cafetière, around 1852. From there, iterations on the original design grew and changed with new patents for the French press being filed by Italian, Swiss, and even British coffee professionals.
The French press is also known as a coffee press, press pot, and coffee plunger.
How is this French press different from other brewing methods?
The main differences between French press and other brewing options are the method of extraction, grind size, lack of paper filter.
Method of Extraction – Much like tea brewing methods, the grounds are steeped in hot water and extracted slowly. Other coffee methods extract coffee quickly and often with higher heat and pressure.
Grind Size – When using this method, you’ll need to coarsely grind your coffee. Because the coffee is fully submerged in water and extracted for a longer period than say, espresso, you’ll want a larger grind. By using larger grounds, you’ll slow the brewing process and avoid spoiling your coffee by over-extracting.
Lack of Paper Filter – French press brewing is a bit more eco-friendly because it does not require a disposable paper filter. The metal mesh built in to the press is washable and reusable. So, the only thing you’ll need to toss in the bin is your spent coffee grounds.
Where to purchase a French Press
Our online store is helpful for finding some brewing equipment, however we recommend looking online or in a home goods store near you. One of our favorite options is the OXO Good Grips Venture Press. For around $30 you’ll get a quality brewer without a huge price tag. If you want something really high-end with a sleek, minimal design we are suckers for this Fellow Clara French Press. Coming in at $135, this might not be accessible for everyone, but it sure is pretty and has some great features to elevate your experience.
What you need for a French Press coffee
Frothy Monkey French press Standards
- Dose = 49g coffee
- Water weight = 735g
- Brew time (total time) = 4 min
- Coffee to water ratio = 1:17
- Grind = Coarse
Step By Step French Press Brewing
Step 1 – Grind Your Coffee
First, weigh out approximately 49 g of your favorite coffee. Grind the coffee until it is about the size of coarse sea salt. While grinding your coffee, heat 735 grams of water to 205°F.
Step 2 – Preheat your French press
Next, preheat your base. Add the hot water to the empty press and allow the vessel to sit for one minute. After one minute is up, empty the water from the base. Heating the French press will help maintain a stable temperature throughout your brew and keep the coffee warm longer.
Heat an additional 735g of water to 205°F and prepare to brew.
Step 3 – Add coffee grounds to brewer
Add your ground coffee to the French press and set a timer for 4 minutes.
Step 4 – Wet the coffee grounds
To start brewing, pour the water over the coffee grounds making sure all grounds are wet. Start your timer and brew for 4 minutes.
Step 5 – Push grounds below the water’s surface
Once you’ve poured all of your water into the grounds, use a spoon to push the grounds below the surface.
Step 6 – Replace top and submerge grounds
When the coffee grounds are fully submerged, put the top on the base and slightly push the plunger down until the coffee is submerged. Do not push the plunger below the water. By pushing the plunger down, you’re ensuring all coffee grounds are submerged.
Step 7 – Remove top and remove coffee grounds
When your four minutes are up, take the top off and use a spoon to scoop off and discard the top layer of coffee grounds.
Step 8 – Replace top and filter coffee
Finally, place the top back on the base and push the plunger down slowly to filter the coffee. Now, your French press coffee is complete!
Step 9 – Pour the coffee into your preferred vessel.
Immediately pour the coffee into a carafe or a mug. We don’t recommend letting coffee sit in the brewer. This will cause over-extraction, which leads to an unpleasant and bitter taste or sandpapery mouthfeel.