French Press Brew Guide

Bold, rich, strong. These terms are often used when describing a good cup of specialty coffee. Many think that the darker the roast the more likely you are to find these qualities in your coffee, however it has more to do with how you brew the coffee than anything else. Are you looking for these qualities in your home brewing? Then let’s talk about the French Press.

French Press coffee is a brew method of adding coffee grounds into water all at the same time and simply letting it steep. It is a basic brew method and is often our first introduction into preparing specialty coffee at home. Although simple in process, the resulting coffee from a French Press will open your eyes to how amazing brewing coffee at home can be. Let us start with some brewing variables that make French Press coffee so desirable. 

A cup of brewed coffee starts with 3 basic variables: Roasted coffee, water, and a filtration method of the brew. Within each variable are worlds of other variables and you can learn more about them by following this blog. In a French Press, the biggest difference and what makes a unique brew is the lack of paper filtration.  A French Press uses a metal screen to filter the coffee and simply plunges the coffee grounds to the bottom of the brewing vessel once the brew is complete.  How do you know when the brew is complete?  Time.  Since you do not have gravity dictating how long your brew will take, like in filtered drip coffee or pour over coffee, you are in complete control over how long your coffee brews. The result is a cup of delicious, rich coffee.  You can follow these simple steps below and brew your own cup of French Press coffee.

Step 1: The coffee.

Grab your favorite bag of Boil Line Coffee and grind it coarse, similar to Kosher salt or breadcrumbs.  If you do not have a grinder, simply select the coarse option on our website when adding coffee to your cart. 

Next, you need to know how much coffee to use.  The most common French Presses on the market brew around 1000 milliliters of coffee.  Checking these measurements can be easily done with a household liquid measuring cup you can find in your kitchen. For the most accurate results, a digital scale is best.  Using this knowledge to brew a full pot of coffee, take a ½ cup measuring cup and add one scoop of ground coffee to the bottom of your empty French Press.  This is around 60 grams of coffee.

Step 2: The water.

Bring your water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and immediately pour over your coffee grounds, filling the French Press about ¼ full. At this point, stir the brew for about 5-10 seconds, then let it sit for about 15-20 seconds.  This is what is referred to as the bloom stage.  Freshly roasted coffee will rapidly release volatile gasses, causing the coffee bed to bloom.  After the 15-20 seconds, add water filling up to an inch below the top of the brew vessel.  Before you walk away from your brew, give the coffee one more stir, as fresh roasted coffee will continue to bloom out of the water, and you want to be sure that you are extracting all of the coffee.

Step 3: Filtration.

After you have added all the water, cover the brew with your plunger, leaving it at the top of the brew.  Now just give it time.  After 4-6 minutes have passed, start pressing the plunger down slowly.  If you feel resistance, which is common, pull up slightly on the plunger, and then press down again.  When you have pushed the plunger all the way down, you are done! 

These steps are outlined in the brew guides section of our website.  Take control of your morning coffee and experiment until you get exactly what YOU are looking for.  A rich, bold, delicious cup of fresh coffee is waiting for you, now go brew it!

French Press Brew Guide

CoffeeGrindWaterTime
60g (1/2 cup)Coarse1000g (ml)4-6 minutes

Tools:

  1. Coarse ground coffee
  2. Kettle and water
  3. French Press 
  4. Spoon, chopstick, or butter knife
  5. Clock

Steps:

  1. With the kettle, heat your water until it is boiling
  2. Add coffee to French Press
  3. Take water that is just off boil and add to French Press, filling about ¼ full
  4. Stir the coffee and water slurry, let sit for 30 seconds
  5. Add water to one inch below rim of French Press vessel
  6. Stir one more time, place plunger on top
  7. Let rest for 4-6 minutes 
  8. Slowly press down on the plunger until you reach the bottom
  9. Pour into your mug and enjoy

Tips:

  1. To measure your coffee to water ratio, use a digital scale for the most accurate readings. If you do not have a scale, use a ¼ cup of ground coffee per 16 ounces of water.
  2. If you are using your own grinder, be sure to grind the coffee so it is coarse, like breadcrumbs. This will prevent a sludgy cup of coffee.
  3. If you feel resistance when plunging the coffee, simply pull the plunger up an inch and then push down again. Repeat if necessary.
  4. When cleaning the grounds out of your press, fill it a 1/3 full of cold water, stir, then discard grinds into a compost pile or mulched area in the yard. Did you know that coffee grounds make soil healthier for plants?  It’s true, but we’ll save that for another blog.