How to Brew a Good Cup of Coffee with a French Press

As a coffee drinker, I didn’t realize the numerous ways you could brew a cup of coffee. I had heard about a few, but it was all too complicated and intimidating to me. So, I stuck with my trustee coffee pot. I woke up every morning, prepared the materials, and waited – sometimes not so patiently – for the coffee to brew. 

It wasn’t until I was gifted with a French press that I realized what I was missing out on all these years. Despite a rough start with this tool, I fell head over heels for the french press and the coffee it produces. 

If you don’t quite know what a french press is, or how to use it, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or a newcomer to the wonderful world of coffee, this quick guide will have something you can use! 

What is a French Press? 

Before we get started, let’s quickly go over what a French press is. The french press is one of the simplest tools for brewing coffee. It’s a type of coffee maker that steeps coarsely ground coffee (or tea) and uses a filter to keep those pesky grounds out of your cup. This method is well known for drawing out a coffee’s oils, capturing flavors and pulling aromas from the beans (or tea leaves). This is mainly because the French press doesn’t use a paper filter, so the flavors and oils do not get stuck in the filter. 

There’s several variations of the general design, but there’s always three main components present; the beaker, the plunger, and the filter. 

Fun fact: Despite the name, the french press was actually invented by an Italian! 

How to Make French Press Coffee? 

Now that we have a brief background on what a french press is, the next question is: how do we make a cup? 

  1. Heat Water 

The first step is the easiest because all you need to do is heat up your water to around 195-205 degrees F (–C). Using filtered water for this process is recommended. Remember, your coffee is primarily made up of water. If the water you use has impurities, it could affect the taste of your coffee/tea. If the heat isn’t right (too high or too low), you could also end up with improperly brewed coffee/tea. 

  1. Measure the Coffee and Grind It

Look at the amount of coffee you’re looking to brew and the strength you desire to help you decide how much coffee grounds to put into your French press. The best way to measure out your coffee is to use a scale. If you’re like me, however, a few tablespoons will do. (Tip: If you grind up your coffee too fine, you’ll end up with grounds in your finished cup of coffee which is not how you want to start your day). 

  1. Combine Coffee and Water 

Pour your ground coffee into the bottom of the empty beaker and make sure it is leveled out. You can level it out by shaking the beaker gently, rather than pushing the grounds down to the bottom. Next, add your hot water. (For a 34 ounce pot of coffee, you’ll aim for 30 ounces of water. For 12 ounces of coffee, aim for 10 ounces of water). 

  1. Stir and Steep 

It’s time to stir your coffee and water! Once you’re sure all of the grounds have been saturated, place the top on the beaker with the plunger pulled up. This will keep the temperature level with the beaker. Allow your coffee to steep for around 3-4 minutes in order to get the full flavor. 

  1. Deal with that top layer 

When you remove the lid from the beaker, you will find a thin layer of coffee grounds on the top. For a heavier coffee, simply use a spoon to stir those grounds back into the mixture. For a lighter coffee, remove as many of those grounds as you can with a spoon and throw them away. 

  1. Press and Pour 

Press time! After dealing with the grounds, put the top back on your beaker and slowly yet firmly  push the plunger down. Once the plunger has reached the bottom, you can pour your coffee! Keep that plunger down to hold those grounds where they should be. 

We hope this brief guide has helped in some form or fashion with your current or future coffee endeavors. When it comes to enjoying your next “cup o’ joe”, the French press will definitely be a good way to go! You’ll get the maximum amount of flavor, without the hassle of time or extra cost! To try one out for yourself, Veken and Bayka offer a range of options on quality French presses! Try one out and taste the difference!