French Press

A Guide to Brewing the Perfect Cup

An Introduction

First patented by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani in 1929, the modern French press consists of a narrow cylindrical beaker, usually made of glass or clear plastic, with a metal or plastic lid and plunger that fits tightly in the cylinder and has a fine stainless steel wire or nylon mesh filter.

What you’ll Need

French Press (cafetiere)
Freshly roasted coffee
Burr grinder (freshly ground is best)
Filtered water
Kettle (temperature variable, gooseneck works best, but not essential)

Brew Time

4-5 minutes

Step 1

Prepare the brewer

Boil the kettle and half fill the press pot with boiling water to warm it. Check cleanliness of the filter by plunging a few times in the hot water. The water should still be crystal clear.

Step 2

Add the coffee

Measure and grind your beans. Start with a ratio of 60 – 70g per litre, so say 35g of coffee for 500ml water in a medium sized brewer. You can adjust up or down a little to get a strength you enjoy best. Grind on a coarse grind. The coffee should look visually gritty like granulated sugar. Empty the brewer and pop coffee in.

Step 3

Add the water

The ideal brewing temperature is between 91-96°C, aim close to 96°C or a minute or so off the boil as the temperature will continue to drop during brewing. Place the brewer on the scales and tare. Start the timer as you add the water. Try to soak all the coffee grounds pouring in a circular motion. Stop and allow the coffee to ‘bloom’ for 15 seconds or so. This is the natural de-gassing of fresh roasted and ground coffee. Once all 500ml of water has been added stir and allowing 4 – 5 minute total brew time.

Step 4

Scoop, plunge and pour.

Tip for a smoother cleaner tasting cup of coffee; Take two spoons and scoop off the coffee grounds floating on the surface of the brew. Then plunge and immediately pour out all the brew into warmed mugs or cups.

Don’t forget to compost those grounds and ensure the French press is cleaned well when you are done.



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