HOW TO BREW COFFEE
USING A FRENCH PRESS
Serves: 2 Cups Difficulty: Easy Time Taken: 5 mins, Active: 4 mins
A French Press or cafetière
Your favourite Specialty coffee
Need to brew several cups of coffee at once? While an AeroPress might be the ideal tool for quickly brewing a single cup of coffee with minimal clean-up, a French press makes brewing several cups of coffee at once quick and simple.
The French Press, also known as the cafetière, has been in use since the year 1929. Despite its name, it was designed and patented by an Italian designer and inventor named Attilio Calimani.
Over the last 85+ years, the design of the French press has barely changed, making it one of the most enduring coffee brewing devices still used today.
Brewing coffee using a French press is a quick and simple process. Below, we’ve put together a complete guide to using a French press, from grinding the coffee to using the French press to achieve the ideal brew.
Time Required: 5 to 6 minutes.
The first step is determining the right amount of coffee to use. We’ve listed French press coffee:water ratios below, to help you achieve a similar blend no matter how small or large your French press might be:
- For a three cup French press, use 19 grams of coffee and 300ml of water
- For a four cup French press, use 38 grams of coffee and 600ml of water
- For an eight cup French press, 53 grams of coffee and 850ml of water
- For a 12 cup French press, use 88 grams of coffee and 1.4 litres of water
After you’ve weighed the correct amount of coffee, start by grinding your coffee. A French press works best with a coarse grind, since a grind that’s too fine can make using the press difficult and result in ground coffee beans inside the finished brew.
Before you start using the French press, put your kettle on and heat your water to a temperature of 90 to 96°C.
Place the French press on top of your food scale, then reset the scale to zero. Add the appropriate amount of coffee, then gently pour the water into the French press until it’s half full.
Let it sit for a minute, then add the rest of the water. Put the lid on the French press and set your kitchen timer for three minutes. Once three minutes are up, push down on the plunger until the filter and compressed grounds are right at the bottom.
Give the coffee a minute or two to settle, then pour it into your coffee cup and enjoy.
Once the French press has cooled, rinse it in the sink and make sure all of the coffee grounds are cleaned out of the mesh filter. Quick and simple, a French press is one of the easiest ways to passively brew coffee over a period of three to four minutes.
Learn more about the French press:
Want to learn more about the French press? Read more about the Italian origins of the French press and the device’s history as a coffee brewing tool in the Serious Eats Coffee History: The French Press.