How to Make French Press Coffee
Coffee is best the way you like it.
But for us, we prefer to brew with a French Press (thus our name). Here’s our guide on how to make the perfect cup of French Press coffee.
Step 1: Get Your Kettle Going
Have your kettle warming in the background as you get everything else ready.
We recommend a final temperature anywhere between 190° and 200°.
- Anything above 200° will create bitter and unwanted flavors during the brewing process.
- If your kettle doesn’t have a temperature control option, do your best to stop your kettle just before the boil. Don’t be afraid to add some room temperature water to cool it slightly if you think your water is too hot.
Step 2: Add Your Coffee
We find that a 1:12 ratio of coffee to water for a regular strength brew is best. If you’re looking for something stronger, however, try a 3:15 ratio.
If you don’t feel like being scientific, try eyeballing the amount. Just make sure the grounds don’t occupy more than 1/5th the height of your press.
Or take out all of the guess work and use our calculator below …
French Press Ratio Calculator
Step 3: Brew
When your water is ready, and your coffee is in the press, it’s brew time.
To start, add just enough water to saturate the grounds.
- Take a brief moment to enjoy the smell and watch how much the grounds expand. The more lively they appear, the fresher the coffee.
Add the rest of the water in circular motions until you reach the max line indicated by the press.
- If your press doesn’t have a max line, you want to leave enough room to fit the plunger in the top.
Step 4: Wait 4 Minutes
Set your timer for 4 minutes.
Do not stir.
Many people recommend stirring while the coffee is submerged in the water. We don’t. In our experience this makes the brew inconsistent, and often introduces bitter off-flavors.
Step 5: Press
When the timer goes off, carefully insert the lid and plunger.
And slowly plunge downwards.
Slowly being the key word here. Plunging too fast often ends up in splashing hot coffee everywhere.
Step 6: Pour and Enjoy
Once the plunger is pressed, keep it pressed until you’re ready to clean up.
If you’re using a French Press with a vacuum seal, it’s safe to let the coffee sit in the press.
If you aren’t, be sure to pour any extra coffee into a spare mug or thermos so it doesn’t sit and become bitter.
Our Tips for Optimizing your French Press Process
We’re always striving to make our French Press Coffee process more efficient. Here are some of the tips, tricks, and things we’ve invented over the years broken down by topic.
Order Pre-ground for French Press
If you’re going through coffee consistently each week, you can’t go wrong getting it pre-ground for french press.
- Our 12oz bags are wide-mouthed and easy to scoop out of.
Better Yet, Get Our Daily Grind
We invented the Daily Grind to make brewing French Press as convenient as possible.
No finicking with grind settings. No scales or experimentation necessary. We’ve already done that for you, no matter how much you brew at a time.
We’ll send you pre-ground pouches of fresh coffee for whatever size press you have at home. Just tear it open, pour it into your press, and brew.
Use a Burr Grinder
If we could only make one recommendation, it would be to turn your blade grinder in for a burr grinder.
A burr grinder is better for many reasons. Most notably, it grinds your coffee more uniformly, which is key to consistent flavor extraction in the brewing process.
Use a Press with a Vacuum Seal Plunger
As mentioned above, if you don’t have this you’ll need to pour out whatever remains in the press. Otherwise, that bit leftover will sit in the grounds and become unenjoyable.
- We recommend any of the ESPROs. Every size uses a vacuum seal plunger.
Use a Kettle with Temperature Control
You can come to know a kettle pretty well, but using a kettle with a temperature setting makes life so much easier. If you also have one with a temperature lock, you can set it and forget it until you’re ready to brew.
- We recommend the Fellow Stagg.
Use a Kettle with a Gooseneck Spout
A gooseneck spout gives you more control on your brewing. You can add water more slowly, and nail that circular brewing method.
- The Fellow Stagg is great for this reason too.