How to Make French Press

CoffeeMusic

New member
Jun 12, 2018
135
0
Saint Petersburg Florida
I’m a home barista who has made espresso based drinks and pour over. I have never made french press coffee and would like to learn how to. If you can simplify the explanation of how to do, that would be great. I don’t understand the ratio thing yet.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,220
8
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello CoffeeMusic,

Weekends are traditionally slow on the Coffee Forums website. While you're waiting for a reply, if you do a Google search, you will see that there is a lot of information online (videos too) that instruct you on how to use a French Press. I'm sure there have been many discussions here on the Coffee Forums too, but I don't have time to take a look right now. We have a handy search feature that is at the top of the page (on the right) that you can use to find any information that's already been shared here the Coffee Forums website.

~ Rose
 

MntnMan62

New member
Nov 15, 2019
443
3
New Jersey
I'll chime in on this one since my primary brew method is french press. First I'll suggest that you check out this video. I was brewing some bitter coffee for quite a while until I watched it and simply folliowing the suggestions in the video resulted in a dramatic improvement in the coffee poured into my cup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st571DYYTR8

As for your concerns about ratios, he touches on that subject. In summary, you want to use fresh beans ground to a medium course grind. Also, I think the quality of your french press will impact things. I've used some where the screen on the press is not fine enough and allows too much sediment to pass through. I've got an older Bodum Bistro 8 cup french press and it has a good quality screen on it. You want to time your brewing. He says once your pour the water into the coffee let it brew for 4 minutes. Then after 4 minutes, stir the crust and scoop off any floating bits and the foam, which has a bitter taste. I've learned that the foam you see in french press coffee is not "crema" like with espresso. So, after scooping that off, then set the timer and let it sit for another 5 to 7 minutes. I try and do the 7 minutes unless I'm rushed. Then, contrary to what you've probably been told, don't plunge the press down to the bottom of the carafe. Leave it and simply use the screen as a filter, slowly pouring the coffee into a cup. Plunging can tend to stir things up and produce bitterness. I'm convinced this is correct. Therefore, I don't press the plunger down. I love making my coffee this way. And I like milk and milk foam. I bought an inexpensive manual milk frother, heat it up to between 140 and 150 degrees F on the stove, and then whip it for about 10 seconds while I'm waiting for the 7 minutes to pass. Then I can enjoy a wonderful mug of cafe au lait. Hope this helps. Good luck.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,220
8
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hi MntnMan62

Thanks for "chiming in" with this one. I had a feeling someone with French Press experience would be able to help.

Thanks again.

~ Rose
 

knoble

New member
Oct 9, 2017
60
0
  • Measure the coffee beans. Measure out the 1/2 cup coffee beans. ...
  • Grind the coffee beans. Grind the beans on the coarsest setting in a burr grinder. ...
  • Heat the water to boiling, then cool for 1 minute. ...
  • Add the water to the French press. ...
  • Stir the brew. ...
  • Steep for 4 minutes. ...
  • Plunge the press.
 

ddubicki

New member
Nov 12, 2020
18
1
Hey just in case someone missed this step, when brewing with the French press you want to use 1 part coffee for about 12 parts water.[FONT=Roboto, sans-serif] [/FONT]In simple terms, I recommend two heaping tablespoons of coffee for every cup of water. Your coffee to water ratio should be 50 grams (1.8 oz) of ground coffee per 1 liter (34 fl oz) of water. Add more coffee for a stronger brew, alternatively do the opposite if you want your cup to be a little less bold.

As a coffee enthusiast I make posts about coffee on a regular basis on my blog called Fresh Coffee House. Feel free to drop by and read about our sips and spills.

Make sure you are using fresh coffee with the French press for optimum results. Best of luck!

D
 

iamchelle

New member
Sep 23, 2020
7
0
Using a french press is not that complicated, but it's tricky to get the right French press ratio of coffee to water, ensuring you get the best coffee flavor possible.
Start out by adding a large tablespoon of about 8 grams of coffee to one pot of water.
The ratio to start with should be 8 grams to coffee for every 200 ML or 6.7 ounces of water that you use.

Add boiling water to the pot and stir it gently, but make sure the water is not quite boiling or you could burn the coffee creating an unpleasant, acrid taste.
You want something more than lukewarm but less than boiling.
Reinsert the plunger into the pot, making sure you top as soon as you are about the water and coffee.
You do not want to plunge just yet.
Let things sit and brew for a few minutes.
Again, keep track of how long you brew, as this can also contribute to the strength of your coffee, and could be just as important as the ratio of coffee to water.
Over or under brewing could mean you have the right amount of coffee, but did not brew correctly.
After it brewed the right amount, press the plunger down carefully.
You’re done—just make sure to wash the French press with warm, soapy water, and don’t forget to keep track of what you liked and didn’t like, so you can tweak the coffee ratio for next time.
Hope this helps!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MntnMan62

New member
Nov 15, 2019
443
3
New Jersey
This is helpful. I agree that you don't want to burn the coffee so let the water calm down before pouring. I use a kitchen scale to weigh my coffee and water and use a 1:13 ratio of coffee to water. So, 23 grams of coffee to 300 grams of water makes me two mugs of cafe au lait or one large mug of black coffee. As you say, brew time is important. 4 minutes tends to be a good starting point. Where I differ is once your done with the initial 4 minute brew. I stir the crust on top and remove the foam and any floating grinds. I then let it sit for another 7 minutes or so. This actually mellows the coffee. Not sure why. And I do not plunge at all. I just keep the plunger at the top of the liquid and use the screen as a filter. Plunging can result in bitter coffee because you can stir up all that stuff on the bottom. There is no need to plunge. This approach has worked for me now for years and makes me some delicious coffee.
 

MntnMan62

New member
Nov 15, 2019
443
3
New Jersey
I was the same. I has been brewing just espresso and pour over and wanted to get into french press. I found this article really helpful, https://aboveaveragecoffee.com/how-long-should-you-brew-a-french-press/
I'm now opting for my french press most of the time

I had not seen that article before so thanks for posting it. I use the James Hoffmann approach but their description earlier in the article about brew times has me thinking of extending my initial brew time by about 30 seconds. I may also grind more course than I have been. I've been grinding sort of fine. This has given me some things to play with to see if I can even improve a little on an already good thing.

One thing I find curious. Early in the article he says he brews using a 1:16 ratio. He then defines that by saying he uses 1 gram of coffee for every 16 millileters of water. So he's mixing weight with volume. I have been using a 1:13 ratio but I'm doing 1 gram of coffee for every 13 grams of water. Weight to weight. I find that curious and wonder if mixing weights with volumes makes sense. I suppose it doesn't matter how you get there so long as you are using consistent amounts of coffee and water each time you make your brew. But that just jumped out at me and made me scratch my head.
 

Latest posts

Top