- Use your scale to weigh out your desired amount of brewing water in your French Press. (For this tutorial, we’ll use 600 grams of water as an example). Transfer the water from the French Press to your kettle, and set the kettle on to high to bring the water to a boil.
- While the water is heating we can weigh out the coffee we will need. To arrive at our coffee, amount we’ll use a 15 to 1 water to coffee ratio. Since we are using 600 grams of water, we can divide by 15 to get the desired 40 grams of coffee. Use your scale to weigh out the appropriate amount of coffee.
- Using your grinder, select a medium-grind setting* (particles approximately the size of table salt) and grind all of the coffee you have weighed out.
*We have often heard the misconception that a COARSE grind needs to be used for French Press. Grinding too coarse will not produce enough extraction leading to a lack of sweetness, more acidity, a thin body, and a papery aftertaste. If your coffee has some of these qualities, try grinding a little finer. In a French Press, the ground coffee “stews” in brewing coffee, which means it is a less effective method of “extracting” the deliciousness from coffee than an automatic coffee maker or a pour-over in which the ground coffee is extracted using fresh hot water; paradoxically you thus need to grind a lot finer than you’d imagine!
- Once your water reaches a boil remove from heat and allow to cool for one minute. The goal is to use water for brewing with a temperature between 200 – 210 degrees F.
- Preheat your French Press with some of the hot water, then empty it of this water. Next, transfer your freshly ground coffee to your French Press. Set a timer to 4 minutes and get ready to pour.
- Start your timer as you start pouring with a medium and continuous flow. Do your best to saturate all of the coffee grounds with water by moving your pour into areas where the grounds still appear dry. Continue until all of your brewing water has been poured.
- Use a spoon to give three full stirs of the brewing coffee grounds. Carefully place the press lid atop the brewing vessel in order to retain heat during brewing (or cap it with a plate). Make sure you are not yet pushing the press through the brewing coffee yet.
- When your timer reaches the full 4 minutes, remove the lid and again give 3 more stirs to the brewed coffee to “break the crust”. Using spoons, clean away any foam and floating grounds from the top of the brewed coffee. Replace the lid.
- Wait 30 seconds to allow everything to settle, then slowly press the plunger down until it is fully extended. You don’t want to mash down the grounds at the bottom of the press, so as soon as you feel resistance, stop. With your plunger completely pressed, line up the pouring spout with the corresponding pouring opening on the lid.
- Gently pour out your coffee to minimize any sediment in your cup, and ENJOY!
Tips & Troubleshooting
If you aren’t planning on drinking all of the coffee immediately, decant what remains of the coffee into
another vessel so that the grounds at the bottom of the French Press don’t over-extract into the coffee.
- My coffee tastes bitter – grind coarser and/or use slightly cooler water.
- My coffee is sour – grind finer and/or use slightly hotter water.
- My coffee is thin and flat – use a slightly lower ratio of water to coffee (ie 14:1).
Download a PDF of our guide here.