As you can tell, there are so many different ways to make a delicious cup of coffee. When it comes to simplicity, there’s no better option than a french press. French pressed coffee is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make coffee, requiring only coffee, hot water, and a french press machine.
To help you get started on your coffee journey, we’ve compiled a list of all the factors associated with how to french press coffee, including water temperature, amount of coffee, and the best type of coffee for a french press.
Let’s dive in!
What is french press coffee?
First things first, let’s answer this question. A french press is a manual way to make coffee, using a sort of coffee plunger machine for pressure and brewing. Traditional coffee filters absorb a lot of the oils (and flavor) from a coffee bean and catch all of the little tiny pieces of coffee that can add more depth of flavor.
With a french press, the coffee is steeped and completely saturated, which produces a more robust cup of coffee. And because the temperature of the water can be manipulated easier, a french press allows more control over the end result.
But, you will need to purchase a french press machine (we know, yet another coffee gadget!). There are two main types of french press makers: a thermal french press and a traditional glass one. A thermal french press is insulated, meaning it will keep coffee warm longer than a glass version. Plus, they’re easier to travel with.
How to french press coffee
A french press requires three things: coffee, water, and patience. Let’s dive a little deeper into these topics to learn more about how to french press coffee.
Ideally, you’ll want to use freshly ground coffee for your french press. French presses need more coarse coffee grounds than a traditional drip machine and grinding your own beans will ensure the right consistency and give you a balanced and delicious cup of coffee every single time.
When learning how to make french press coffee, you’ll probably want to spend some time playing around with your ideal level of coffee grind. For us, we prefer to grind coffee so that it’s the consistency of coarse sea salt or breadcrumbs. The more evenly sized they are, the better your overall flavor profile will be.
The answer to how much coffee to put in a french press depends on the size of your press and how much coffee you make, but a good rule of thumb is a ratio of 1:16—meaning 1 g of ground coffee for every 16 g of water. Typically, this will be about 11 tbsp of whole coffee beans.
Wondering how hot water should be for a french press? The answer is somewhere between boiling and hot, or about 200° Fahrenheit. The easiest way to do this is to bring water to a boil, either on the stove or in an electric kettle, and then remove it from the heat for about a minute. The boiling point of water is 212° F, so this should end up right about where you want it.
Roaster Tip: If you make a little extra hot water, you can use it to preheat your french press (or your coffee mug!) Pouring hot water or hot coffee into a room-temperature vessel will immediately cool it down slightly. To preheat it, pour the hot water in and let it sit for a minute or so. You’ll pour out this water and use fresh and hot water for the actual brewing process.
Using a french press takes time. In terms of how long to steep french press, you’ll want to carve out at least 6 minutes to make it all happen: 2 minutes for boiling water and grinding coffee, and another 4 minutes for blooming the grounds and steeping the french press.
After you place your coffee grounds in the bottom of the press and have your water at the right temperature, it’s time to bloom your coffee. Blooming coffee is the act of expressing CO2 from the beans and making them more susceptible to absorbing water. Basically, it enhances the flavor of the coffee. You can always skip this step if you don’t have time, but we highly recommend it!
To bloom your coffee, set a timer for 4 minutes and then pour enough water onto the grounds to wet them all equally. Then—wait. Once the timer only has 30 seconds left on it, it’s time to pour the rest of the water into the french press. Give it a simple stir (not too vigorously, as this will release bitter flavors into the coffee) and put the lid on. Once your timer goes off, it’s finally time to gently press down the plunger.
And voila! Your coffee is ready to drink!
Here’s a quick Guide for how to Make french Press Coffee
- Measure out about 11 tbsp of coffee beans
- Grind the beans to a sea salt consistency
- Pour grounds into the bottom of a heated french press
- Heat water to 200° F
- Bloom the coffee with water. Let bloom for 3:30 minutes
- Fill press with water
- Slowly press the plunger down
How to clean a french press
The least enjoyable part of using a french press is that it requires more cleaning than just throwing away a used filter. But, with the right skills and just a little bit more patience, it’s really not that hard!
Here’s how to clean a french press:
- Cool your press. If it’s too hot, you’ll not only run the risk of burning yourself, you can also break the glass when you pour in cooler water!
- Remove the grounds. Use either a plastic spatula or your hands to remove the grounds and add them to your compost or throw them away. Don’t put it in your sink if you like having a non-clogged disposal!
- Pour in soap and water. Use your plunger to move the soapy water around! This helps you clean everything at once, including the plunger and lid.
- Do it again. Pour to the water and put in new soap and water for another round of cleaning. After this round, you’ll be done!
- Let dry. Let everything dry separately and then put it all back together!
Depending on how often you use your french press, you may want to do a deep clean on it every week or so. To do this, you’ll want to disassemble everything (including the plunger parts!) and clean with either baking soda or vinegar. Vinegar is especially useful if you see hard ward water buildup, or white residue, around the inside.