The French press is a brewing device consisting of a beaker and plunger with a filter attached to the end. Coffee grounds are deposited in the empty beaker, and hot water is added. After a specified steep time, the plunger/filter is is pressed to separate/trap the grounds beneath the freshly brewed coffee. The brewed coffee has a noticeable silt due to the method of extraction, but is an enjoyable and rich cup of coffee.
Tools: French Press, scale, kettle, and timer.
We recommend a ratio of roughly 1/14 (coffee/water), or 2 Tbsp of ground coffee per 6 oz. water. As always, feel free to play with the ratio to meet your personal preferences.
For best results, we recommend a coarser grind for the French press, leaning toward kosher salt. Too fine a grind has less permeability when immersed, as well as a tendency toward over-extraction which can have a bittering effect. Also, it will result in a thicker silt, as well as require more pressure on the plunger, increasing the possibility of breakage or even injury.
Give the French press a rinse with hot water, which will allow for a more even brewing temperature. Drain and then add dry coffee grounds to the bottom of the beaker.
Set timer for 4 minutes.
Fill beaker ¼ to ½ way with hot water, making sure to wet all the grounds, and allow 1 minute for coffee to bloom and gases to escape.
With a wooden spoon or spatula (we don’t recommend metal, as wood is less likely to cause any breakage) break up the crust and stir grounds into water.
Fill the beaker the rest of the way with water and put lid on, but do not plunge yet. Allow to brew until timer goes off. Firmly but carefully press the plunger all the way down.
Serve immediately, or remove brewed coffee to a separate carafe to avoid over extraction and bittering from the grounds.
The easiest way to remove the pressed grounds is to simply add a small amount of water and dump into compost or garbage. Rinse plunger under sink as well.
All photos by Kristan Lieb