French Press: Instructions and Tips
How to Use a French Press
So how do you make coffee with a French press? The process is very simple - just follow the coffee press instructions below. As you will see, the key to making good coffee in your cafetiere is using freshly ground coffee and also the right temperature of the water.
Steps for using a coffee press
- Rinse the press pot with hot water.
- Put the ground coffee into the press pot. Start with 2 level tablespoons per 6oz water - as you gain experience you can put more or less depending on your taste.
- Pour in just enough hot water to cover the grounds and stir it gently with chopsticks or with wooden spoon. The coffee will start to bloom (create a foam).
- Pour in the rest of the water filling the jug to the desired level. Stir again.
- Put the plunger back into the jug leaving the filter at the top of the jug.
- Let the coffee brew for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir again.
- Now press the filter down gently making sure that the plunger rod is kept straight. It should take about 20 - 30s to press the filter all the way down.
- Pour the coffee into cups. Hold the top of the plunger while pouring out the coffee.
- Leave the coffee stand in the cup for a minute or so. That allows any remaining sediment to settle.
Here are some tips for making a perfect cup of coffee with your French press
- Use good quality water. If your tap water does not taste well, you might want to filter it or use bottled water.
- The optimal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195°F and 205°F. It you don't have a thermometer then boil the water and then leave it stand for about 30 seconds.
- Use high quality freshly roasted coffee beans.
- Use coarsely ground coffee. It is best if you grind it yourself while you boil the water.
- It is important that the coffee is ground evenly. So you should use a good conical burr grinder. If you use blade grinder there will be a lot of small particles that will not be filtered out and the coffee will have a lot of sediment.
- Once the coffee finished brewing, don't leave it in the coffee press. If you leave it in contact with the grounds for too long then the brewing will carry on and the coffee may become bitter.
- Clean the coffee press thoroughly after each use. If you allow the coffee oils and sediment to build up it will add bitter taste to your coffee.
- Follow the coffee press safety precautions to avoid accidents that could lead to scalding.
One more tip
Here is another tip for you. French press can be used not just for coffee, you can actually brew tea in it as well. I sometimes use it to make my oolong tea - it is a convenient way to brew tea. You can also use it for steaming milk.
I hope that these tips will help you to make that "perfect cup of coffee"!
Further ReadingTypes of French Press Types
French Press Safety
Electric French Press