French Press

A Guide to Brewing the Perfect Cup

An Introduction

The French Press is one of the best ways to brew up a perfect cup of coffee. You can use it to brew up multiple cups when you have friends and family over but it’s still fast enough to use when you’re on your way to work in the morning. Read on below to learn how to brew up the perfect cup with a French Press every time.

What You’ll Need

  • Coffee Beans
  • Grinder
  • French Press
  • Water Heater
  • Thermometer (optional)

Brew Time

4 minutes

Step 1: Select Your Coffee Beans


The first thing you want to do is select the right coffee beans. There are many different varieties from all over the world and depending on your preferences you may enjoy darker or lighter roasts but there is one constant that always remains true.

Make sure you buy your beans freshly roasted. Never buy beans that are more than two weeks old as they will begin to lose their flavor after this point.

Get to know your local baristas and figure out where they’re getting your favorite coffees from and see if you can get your hands on a two week supply sized bag of fresh roasted beans.

Step 2: Grind Your Coffee Beans


For the French Press you want to use a medium sized grind; similar to kosher salt. The main reason why is if you grind the beans too fine some of them will slip through the filter of the press and get into the coffee.

Also, be sure to use a burr grinder. It will give a more consistent size to the coffee grind and won’t heat the beans through friction like a blade grinder will. The burr grinder may be a little more work but it’s worth it.

As for quantity, you want about 11 grams of coffee, or 2 tablespoons, for every six ounces of water you’ll be brewing with. You can see a more in depth guide on coffee to water ratio here.

Step 3: Heat the Water and Add to the Coffee Grinds


You want to make sure that you’re using good filtered water to brew your coffee. Just use the same water you’d use for drinking and you’ll be fine.

Next you want to begin heating your water. The trick here is that you don’t want to add it to your coffee grinds at a boiling hot temperature. You actually want it a few degrees cooler.

Between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C) is what you want to aim for and the closer to 205 Fahrenheit the better. If you don’t have a thermometer don’t worry though. You can just wait till the water reaches boiling and give it about 30 seconds before adding to the coffee grinds.

At first just add a little bit to the coffee grinds to soak them and wait for about one minute. During this time the grinds will bubble a little bit and release some of the excess gasses which will help make your coffee taste better.

Once one minute has passed pour in the rest of the water and gently stir the ground coffee beans into the rest of the water. The tricky part is getting the water temperature right throughout the two pours. I use a timer to re-boil the water about twenty seconds after I’ve first poured it into the coffee grinds so it can sit another thirty seconds before I add the second and final pour.

Let the coffee brew for three more minutes after you’ve added all of the water. In total you want the beans to brew for four minutes. Much more than that and your coffee will start to get bitter.

Step 4: Plunge and Enjoy


Once the coffee has brewed for a total of four minutes it’s ready to drink. Gently lower the plunger of your press down into the carafe and press coffee grinds down into the bottom of the container.

Then, while still holding the plunger down, pour the coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy!French Press: A Guide to Brewing the Perfect Cup