Maybe you, like me, love coffee. Because I love them so much, I bought myself a French press. However, if not used correctly, the results will not be delicious. So, FriedOkra wrote this article to help you understand how to use a French press the right way.
- How does the French press work?
- Choosing the right French press
- How to use a French press: Step-by-step
- What is the best French press ratio?
How does the French press work?
It’s pretty simple, really: The main part is the cup, where you put the coffee grounds and hot water. Included with the cup are the base and handle. These ensure you won’t burn yourself or the surface you place it on. You have the cap with the filters and plunger attached. However, they are quite intuitive to assemble and the whole setup is quite simple.
The best part is: no paper filter is needed. With the French press brewing method, the soil is soaked directly in hot water.
This means that this is a form of soaking. Coffee grounds are soaked in hot water for a few minutes instead of a few brief seconds (e.g. drip method). To get good coffee every time, it’s important to know how to disassemble and clean your French press. Aim to do this once per month. This is really helpful. There’s more to it than just rinsing.
Choosing the right French press
You will have trouble making good coffee if you use cheap, poor-quality presses to brew. It’s tempting to choose the cheapest option, but is it really worth it when you have to replace it within 6-9 months?
Standard pressure cooker sizes are from 4 to 8 cups. Just remember, a “cup” is much smaller than a regular cup of coffee. A number of companies charge a standard cup as a meager 4 oz. Generally, you have small, large, metal, and electric options:
Small French press: If only you and maybe friends or relatives use it often. Typical sizes include cup presses 3 and 4.
Large French press: These giant 8 to 12 cups are meant to please a crowd of coffee seekers and can make multiple cups of coffee in a single batch!
Metal French press: More durable and seems to hold heat better than glass. Choose if you live in a cold area.
Electric French press: For the Lazy. These devices heat water, make coffee, and keep it warm when it’s ready! (Although we strongly recommend decanting the coffee when it’s done)
You’ve probably heard of the very popular Bodum Chambord – an iconic look made in three different sizes: 3, 8, and 12 cups. They usually have a glass cup with a stainless steel base and handle. The two smaller options even come with an unbreakable cup option!
How to use a French press: Step-by-step
Step 1 – Heat water
Start boiling the water first as it will take the longest. Coffee is 98-99% water, so it’s important to use clean filtered water if possible with low mineral content. A water temperature of 195 to 205 degrees F is considered optimal for making coffee, but if you don’t have a thermometer, bring the water to a full boil.
Boiling water can be used to clean the French press before brewing and preheating. The length of time it takes for water to cool to the appropriate tempering temperature depends on how much water is initially heated.
It takes 4 minutes for the 24 oz kettle to reach its ideal incubation temperature of 200 degrees and 8 minutes for the 36 oz kettle! Keep in mind that these results are a general guide and you may experience different results based on elevation, kettle made, and room temperature. For best results – use a thermometer.
Step 2 – Measure coffee and grind it
As a reminder, it’s best to measure your coffee by the scale and grind it whole beans just before brewing. If you are using pre-ground coffee, it may be easier to do step 3 first and then measure the amount of ground coffee before you pour it into the French Press.
To grind whole bean coffee for French Press, setting the grinder to coarse will produce the grind size shown in the image above. If you own a Handground coffee grinder, turn the adjustment dial to setting 7.
Load beans and grind! If you wonder why anyone would want to use a hand blender for French coffee recipes or any type of coffee, there are 5 main reasons. The biggest things are the convenience and consistency of hand grinders.
Step 3 – Preheat the French press (optional)
You should generally “reheat” your French Press and mug, but there’s little evidence that it affects the flavor of your coffee. If the French Press has not been used for a while, this step can help wash away any remaining dust or residue.
After the water heats up, pour it into an empty French Press cup to fill 1/4 of the way up. Place the top on the cup and push the piston all the way down. Whirl the hot water around the inside for a few seconds to break up the old beans. Remove the top of the cup and pour the water out.
Step 4 – Combine ground coffee together with hot water
Have your timer, scale (or measuring cup) ready, and a stirring spoon. Pour the ground coffee into the bottom of the cup and gently shake it back and forth to smooth the grounds.
Place the cup on the scale and divide it to 0. Pour hot water into the cup. The pour should be relatively quick while trying to get all the coffee wet.
If a scale is not available, pour the amount of hot water listed on the Coffee to Water Ratio chart below into a measuring cup and then pour from the measuring cup into the beaker.
Step 5 – Stir and time the steep
Gently stir the coffee and water for a few seconds to make sure all the grounds are wet. Place the top on the cup with the plunger pulled all the way down to help keep the temperature while making the coffee. Set the timer for 3:30 and let the coffee soak in peace.
Step 6 – Deal with the crust
After the timer works, lift the top off the cup. There should be a crust-like layer of coffee grounds on the surface that is formed while the coffee is steeping. The final flavor and texture of the coffee can vary depending on how the rind is handled.
For perfect final results, use a spatula to gently break the crust and stir gently. This will cause most of the coffee to fall to the bottom of the cup. For a gentle end result, use a spatula to scoop out the crust and remove it. Continue scouring until you have removed all the floating coffee grounds.
Step 7 – Press and pour
Place the top back on the cup and gently push the plunger all the way down. If the piston drops to the bottom with almost no resistance, the grinding object is too coarse. Also, if it takes a lot of effort to push the plunger to the bottom of the blender, that’s fine too. After the piston reaches the bottom, slowly pour the brewed coffee from the French press into the cup and enjoy.
Step 8 – Save the last drop
Avoid pouring out the last 10% of the brewed coffee in the cup. This last part will have a high concentration of silt. The same goes for your cup, so avoid taking the last sip!
What is the best French press ratio?
The answer is, it depends on your taste. The first step in using the French Press rate chart above is to decide how well you want your coffee. Strength is calculated as the ratio of instant coffee to the water present in your cup, also known as total dissolved solids (TDS).
Strong formulas are best for adding milk, sugar, or other spices while light formulas are best for expressing better flavors when drinking black coffee. After you choose the strength of a beer, follow that row to find recipes for a 3-cup French Press and 8-cup French Press. For example, making 8 cups of French Press at Medium intensity will require 68g of coffee and 900mL of water.
Hopefully, after this article by FriedOkra.org, you already know how to use a French press. Please share your results with us as well as your experience when using it! We can’t wait to read them!