French Press

The Ultimate Guide

What You'll Need

French Press
Coffee
Scale
• Spoon
Goose Neck Kettle

Brew Time

⏰ 4 minutes

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How to Make Coffee Using a French Press in 7 Easy Steps

Looking for the perfect coffee-to-water ratio for your French Press? For a 12-cup press, start with 80g coffee to 1200g water (1:15 ratio) and brew for four minutes.

For those that enjoy a rich, full-bodied, and aromatic cup of coffee, brewing with a French Press is the way to go! It’s a mainstay in the coffee industry, and rightfully so - it’s a quick and easy modular brew method that, with the right practice, can brew up one tasty cup. Getting started is simple and once learned only takes a few minutes. . 

Step 1: boil purified water in a kettle

Start by boiling water in a kettle! Here are the recommended amounts for the three most popular french press sizes:

French Press Water Amounts: 12 cup press = 1333 (about 47 oz) grams of water 8 cup press = 850 (about 30 oz) grams of water 4 cup press = 283 (about 10 oz) grams of water

You’ll want to reach a temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit to properly brew coffee. Water used below the 195-205 threshold will result in weak, under extracted coffee. Water that is above 205 degrees Fahrenheit will result in flat, over extracted coffee. We recommend using a thermally controlled kettle with a temperature gauge for best results.

Water temperature is important!

If you don’t have a thermometer, just bring your water to a boiling point, take it off the heat and let it cool for 15 seconds. It should then be at the perfect temperature to start brewing.

Step 2: Grind and measure coffee 

The grind size you’ll use in your French press matters. It is better to opt for a coarse grind to ensure that when you plunge and pour your coffee the grounds stay in the press. This also stops the coffee from getting too bitter and highlights some of the more sweet and aromatic aspects of your brew!. 

Follow this guide to determine how much coffee you should use based on your french press size:
12 cup press = 80 grams of coffee (about 1 measuring cup to 47 oz water)
8 cup press = 50 grams of coffee (about 10 tbsp to 30oz)
4 cup press = 30 grams of coffee (about 4 tbsp to 10oz water)

If you purchased whole bean, make sure to grind your coffee as close to brewing as possible. The less contact time the ground coffee has with oxygen, the better. As ground coffee sits out in the open for too long, oxygen will raise its pH level, resulting in a bitter, stale tasting cup. Don’t have a grinder? Don’t worry, purchasing pre-ground coffee is totally fine! Just make sure to store your ground coffee in a resealable bag or vessel. 

How to create the perfect coffee ratio?

One perk of using a French Press is that you can control the intensity of your cup. This is measured by the coffee to water ratio. Your ideal coffee to water ratio is determined by the taste you’re looking for in your cup. For a strong cup, a 1:10 ratio of coffee to hot water should work well, but if you’re looking for a more mellow taste you should try a 1:14 or 1:16 coffee to hot water ratio.

Step 3: Pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee and stir

Pour enough water onto the coffee to cover it equally, then swirl the mixture for 5-10 seconds. Let it rest for 30 seconds to bloom - this process releases carbon dioxide, allowing your brew to capture all the desired notes of the coffee without unwanted sourness.

What is coffee blooming and why is it important?

When coffee grounds meet hot water, they release carbon dioxide and often bubble and expand. Coffee blooming is the act of dampening your coffee bed to provoke this release of carbon dioxide. To bloom coffee, we recommend you start pouring hot water at the center of your coffee bed, working your way out to the sides. Pour about 2 times the amount of coffee and wait 30 seconds for the coffee to bloom and release CO2. The grounds should be uniformly soaked, but not dripping wet.

Step 4: Add the rest of the water and cover the vessel

Pour water to the bottom rim of the metal line (around 1200 - 1500 grams of water for a 12-cup press). Then place the top of the French Press on the vessel, but do not press down.

Step 5: Let the coffee steep for 4 minutes

Optionally, at the 3-minute mark, press the plunger down about one inch to break the top layer of coffee, or, as us coffee nerds like to say, “crust”, then bring the plunger back up to the top.

Step 6: Carefully push the plunger down

At the 4-minute mark, slowly push the plunger down to the base. Ideally there should be some, but very little resistance based upon the coarseness of the grind. If the plunger falls immediately to the bottom of the vessel, your grind is too coarse, whereas difficulty pushing it down indicates too fine a grind.

Step 7: Serve immediately

Voila! You’ve brewed yourself a cup of French Press coffee, now all you need to do is pour and enjoy! Don’t let it sit, as the press will continue brewing and over-extract the coffee.

What do we recommend doing with the leftover brewed coffee?

We recommend always making the exact amount of coffee you’ll be consuming, because if you leave your coffee in the French press after the brewing is complete, on your serve the coffee will be over-extracted and bitter. This happens because the coffee will continue to brew, even though you’ve pushed down the plunger. If you made more coffee than the amount you’re going to drink and you want to save it for later, it’s better to pour the rest on a Thermos so it stays warm for your refill.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve brewed with your French Press, consider adjusting the coffee-to-water ratio and grind coarseness the next time you follow these simple steps to brew your perfect cup of coffee - it’s as simple as that!