A French Press – or a cafetiere as it is sometimes known – is an excellent way to enjoy a coffee. Not only does the ability for the coffee grounds to steep in the water allow for a full-bodied taste experience, but it is also a simple way of brewing coffee that doesn’t require any expensive kit.
Brewing a French Press seems easy. But many people get it wrong, meaning that the coffee doesn’t live up to its full potential. Let’s have a look at how we make the perfect French Press.
What Do You Need to Make a French Press?
Before we can begin the process of brewing a French Press, we need to have all the appropriate pieces of kit. This is what you’ll require:
- Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans
- A Coffee Grinder (Preferably a Burr Grinder)
- A French Press
- A Kettle or Water Cooker
- A Spoon
- A Mug
Now that we’ve got everything that we need to brew a French Press, let’s move on to the first step:
Step One: Measuring and Grinding the Coffee Beans
Depending on your method of brewing coffee, you’ll require a different grind consistency. This is why purchasing freshly roasted coffee beans is a good idea, as it gives you the freedom to use them for your French Press, as well as for making Turkish coffee or Espresso.
To make sure that you grind the correct amount of coffee for your French Press, you should follow the “Perfect Ratio for Perfect French Press Coffee.” This ratio is 1:15, meaning that for every 15ml of water, you’ll want 1g of coffee. So, before you grind your coffee, check what the capacity of your French Press is in ml, then divide it by 15, and now you know how many grams of coffee to grind.
A French Press requires a coarse grind. Now, if you’ve never made a French Press before, or you have never ground coffee beans before, then you’ll have to accept that you may get the grind wrong the first few times. Don’t worry, though! After one or two tries, you’re sure to find the right consistency that helps to brew the perfect French Press. The grinding process is the part of brewing a French Press that newcomers find difficult, as everything else is so simple.
Remember, if the grind is too fine, then the coffee beans will be over-extracted, which will lead to bitter coffee. If the grind is too coarse, then you’ll have the opposite problem, with the coffee unable to extract its natural flavors properly into the water, creating dish-water-like coffee that no one wants.
Step Two: Boil the Kettle
Always use fresh water when making a French Press. Coffee experts will tell you that using pre-boiled water or non-fresh water will harm the taste of the coffee.
Put the correct amount of water in the kettle, then let it cook.
Now, this may seem like a simple step, but it isn’t.
If your kettle allows you to choose the temperature you what the water to be heated to, then you’re golden. But if you’re not lucky enough to have such a kettle, then you need to know that you’re not going to be pouring boiling water over the coffee grounds. If you do that, then the coffee will burn, and it will ruin your French Press before you’ve even started.
People who have a temperature setting on their kettle want to choose 190-degrees or 200-degrees, depending on what is available.
If you don’t have a kettle with a temperature setting, then let the water boil, open the lid to the kettle, then leave it to cool for five minutes.
Step Three: Pour Grounds into French Press
This is easy enough. Just put your freshly ground coffee into the French Press.
If you’re using a metal French Press, then you may want to consider heating it before putting the grounds in. You can do this by filling it with hot water. You should then pour the water away directly before placing the grounds in and then pouring in your freshly heated water.
Step Four: Pour Water Over the Grounds and Stirring
Now you should pour your heated water into the French Press. Ideally, you want to fill it about halfway. You then want to stir the water and grounds for approximately 15-30 seconds. After that, you should add the rest of the water until the maximum point. Stir again for approximately the same time you have just done.
Step Five: Wait
It is best to cover the top of the French Press once you’ve finished pouring. Often, people will put the presser on top without pressing it down.
You should set your alarm for FOUR MINUTES. This is the amount of time that experts agree is the optimum for brewing the perfect French Press. When you gain more experience with brewing a French Press, you may want to experiment with the time, as certain coffees might require more extraction time, and drinking coffee is always a matter of taste. Just don’t let the coffee over-extract, as that will ruin the taste.
Step Six: Plunge and Pour
Now that the timer’s finished, you can plunge your coffee. Do it slowly. If you press the plunger too quickly, then there’s a chance that it will squirt out of the spout. After that, then you’re ready to pour. Coffee experts will always recommend that you should drink your coffee black, as it’s the best way to appreciate the flavors, and if you’ve brewed the French Press right, then it won’t be bitter.