The Tip Jar - Brewing 101: French Press Basics

Friday June 27, 2014 // By Landon Christensen

Ahh, the french press... No, I’m not referring to the news in Paris, I’m talking about the well-known coffee maker. It is such a simple, elegant way to make a good cup of coffee and it’s virtually impossible to mess up. The french press is a full immersion brew method, meaning the grounds are fully submerged in the water for the duration of the brew. Having said that, it yields quite a full-bodied coffee compared to that of pour over in which water is only in contact with the grounds briefly before dripping through.

To make a tasty cup of coffee you will need: a french press, a kettle, a scale, a timer and, of course, coffee. If you’re using whole beans you will also need a grinder, I recommend using a burr grinder for this. In this tutorial I will be referring to an 8 cup press, if you’re using a different sized press adjust your measurements based on this ratio: 16.36 parts water to 1 part coffee. I would also like to note that I enjoy being methodical and precise when brewing coffee so that I am able replicate similar results cup after cup. If that isn’t you, feel free to experiment and try new methods. Now, let’s get brewing!

French Press Grounds

First, measure out and grind 55 grams of coffee. Use a coarse grind setting, the grounds should be similar size to that of breadcrumbs. You want to do this because grounds that are too fine will get stuck in the screen or make their way through the screen into the coffee itself. Add the ground coffee to the french press and set a timer for 4 minutes. Start pouring water as you start the timer, quickly fill the press until it is about half full. If you measure or weigh your water add roughly 450 grams or 15 ounces. Make sure to evenly wet the grounds as you pour the water. Once the first half of the water is added, place the lid on the press with the plunger pulled up. Let it sit like this for one minute, during this time the coffee will bloom. Blooming is a process that rapidly releases the gas trapped in the bean as the water comes in contact with it’ surface. In layman’s terms, it’s essentially waiting for the coffee to make room for the water. 

After the minute has ended, remove the lid and stir the grounds back into the water, breaking up the crust that has formed on the surface during the bloom. Rapidly pour water into the press until the level is just under the spout. For those of you measuring or weighing, add another 450 grams or 15 ounces. Recap the press and let it steep for the remaining 3 minutes. When the timer goes off push the plunger slowly and evenly to the bottom, if you push too fast some grounds may get into the coffee. Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you can let it steep one additional minute with the plunger down. If you like it on the lighter side, immediately pour the coffee into cups or into a carafe for serving. Sip with pride, you’ve done it! Please see this link http://youtu.be/B3kBoZh8pVM for a video tutorial of the method described above.


As always, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us at 1-866-776-5288. Good luck and happy brewing!

 

To purchase a french press see here:

https://www.baristaproshop.com/catalog/product.php?productid=410

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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