How to Make Coffee at Home: French Press

A guide to creating the perfect cup of coffee with a French press

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Background

French presses likely originated in France as rudimentary steel rods with cheesecloth screens attached that you could press into a pot or cup of coffee. The one most closely resembling our modern day French presses, however, were invented in Italy by Ugo Paolini and patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929. If you like a full body coffee and brewing multiple cups at a time, then the French press is for you. The method shown here, adapted from James Hoffman's method, also brews a much cleaner cup than the traditional recipe, which is why we like it!

 

What You’ll Need

French press size Coffee Water

3 cup

8 cup

12 cup

17–20 grams (2.5 tablespoons)

45 grams (5.5 tablespoons)

85 grams (10.5 tablespoons)

290 grams (10 ounces)

720 grams (27 ounces)

1360 grams (47 ounces)

 

Steps

  1. Weigh or measure (whole, unground) beans—for an 8-cup French press, it is about 45 grams or 5.5 level tablespoons
  2. Grind coffee to about the size of Kosher salt
  3. Heat water in a kettle to 205F OR wait for the water to JUST reach a boil and turn off the heat and wait for a minute or two
  4. Add coffee grounds to French press
  5. Bloom: Add water (double the weight of the coffee dose) to completely saturate the grounds
    1. You’re making a slurry to allow all of the grounds to really saturate so that the good stuff can properly dissolve into the water when you do the full steep
    2. If you don’t have a scale, just make sure all of the grounds are completely saturated and then add just a bit more
  6. Wait 30 seconds or up to a minute
  7. Add the remaining portion of water to your press (720 grams for 45 grams coffee)
  8. Allow to brew, untouched, for 4 minutes
  9. Use a spoon to give a gentle stir to disturb the crust that has formed at the top of the water—the coffee will start to fall to the bottom of the press
  10. Now the hard part...wait 5 minutes! (I know, I know, just make breakfast or read something)
  11. Spoon off any floaties
  12. Place the lid and press the filter until it just touches the surface of the liquid—don’t press all the way down! (The filter will keep any remaining grounds from getting in your cup when you decant)
    1. This keeps all the silt and sludge that you waited so long to settle to the bottom of the press...at the bottom of your press and not in your cup
  13. Pour your coffee and enjoy

 

Watch the demo on instagram by our Head of Product, Kala Wolfe

* French press sizes are based on 4–6oz cups depending on the brand because brewers used smaller cups when it was invented. This is why you'll likely get about 4 mugs from an "8 cup" press. We like this recipe, but if you'd like you can make almost a liter or 34oz of coffee with the 8 cup sized French press—just change your dose to 56 grams (7 tablespoons) of coffee and fill it up

* For measurements, you can also weigh 30g of beans for every 500ml of water you will brew

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