The simplest method for great coffee
The French Press is one of the simplest ways to make coffee at home, it makes a really great cup, and is hard to get wrong. It makes a slightly different tasting coffee to a pour over or chemex, as the metal filter allows more fine particulates and oils through, creating a rich body.
You will need your standard coffee equipment, a kettle, grinder, scale, and a timer. Plus you will need a French press. I'm using the Hario Harior Bright French Press, I love the simple design of their products.
Step 1 - Preheat the French Press
Boil the kettle, and partially fill the French press with boiling water. This will ensure that you won't lose much temperature during brewing.
Step 2 - Weigh and grind your coffee
Use a ratio of between 14:1 to 16:1 depending on taste. For me, I'm using a 14:1 ratio as I like it stronger. So 560g of water to 40g of coffee . This will make two regular sized cups.
For one large mug use 400g of water and 22g-25g of coffee depending on taste.
You will want to grind your beans coarse, so it looks like sea salt. A good entry level coffee grinder like the Baratza Encore (set to 28) works amazingly well for French press.
Step 3 - Brew
Empty out the water you used to preheat the French press, and pour in your coarse ground coffee.
Tare (zero) your scale. Set your timer for 4 minutes, and pour water all over the coffee grounds, making sure they all get wet. Use water at a temperature of 200F/95C, or a minute off boil. If you use boiling water, your coffee will taste bitter.
Keep an eye on the scale to make sure you are pouring in the right amount of water.
Set the lid on the top of the French press, but don't plunge the filter yet. Wait for 4 minutes.
Step 4 - Stir & Plunge
After 4 minutes have passed, remove the lid and use a spoon to break the crust that has formed on top of the coffee. You will notice that the grounds fall to the bottom of the French Press.
Put the lid back on, and gently press the plunger down.
Step 5 - Drink!
That's it. Serve immediately and drink up!
The coffee underneath the plunger will continue to extract, so if you are making a large pot, pour the coffee into another serving vessel or it will over-extract and become bitter.
This method of brewing coffee has been used for over a hundred years, and is very popular worldwide. It's also many people's first introduction to 'good coffee', as it is simple and effective.
As I said above in Step 2, a good grinder will make a world of difference here. Many people buy good quality beans and then use a poor quality grinder, only to miss out on the amazing flavours and smoothness. I consider the Baratza Encore the best entry level grinder, that will give the consistency required for great coffee, all the time.
I hope you've enjoyed this guide, any questions, please leave a comment below.