How to brew with French Press - coffee brewing guide

coffee, French press -

How to brew with French Press - coffee brewing guide

A French press is one of the easiest and most popular ways to make coffee. Due to prolonged contact with water, the coffee turns out to be strong, and due to a sufficiently coarse filter - dense. We will tell you how to brew it in the right way.

The history of the appearance of the French press

In 1852, the French inventors Mayer and Delforge presented a new novelty to the public: a cylindrical vessel with a press designed for brewing coffee. But the adaptation did not succeed: due to the imperfection of the press. Too many coffee grounds slipped into the cup.
Only in 1928 did Italian designers Atilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta patented an improved French press. In the new model, not a metal plate was attached to the piston. But a mesh filter, which made it possible to carefully separating the liquid from the thick. In the following decades, the design of the fixture was improving by attaching a safe handle and a stable base to protect the tabletop from heat.

The real popularity came to the manual coffee maker in 1958. When its design was finalized by Faliero Bondanini, and two European companies were engaging in production at once. The French - Martin S.A. (Chambord brand) and English - Household Articles (La Cafetiere brand). The original owner of Household Articles, L. J. de Ville-Castel was one of the investors in Martin S.A., but in the 90s of the XX century, the French company was bought out by the Danish holding Bodum.

French press

How to choose a French press

When choosing a French press, you should pay attention to:

  • flask material: glass, stainless steel, ceramics. Heat-resistant glass flasks are most often, but they are fragile, and cheap models are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. Therefore, it is better if the kit includes a spare glass container. Stainless and ceramic vessels are more durable, but the color of the drink is not visible when brewing. It is believed that the most delicious coffee is obtaining in French presses with ceramic flasks;
  • double-walled flasks retain heat better, which is very important for correct coffee extraction;
  • the stainless steel filter is designing for medium and coarse coffee. Fine powder can be brewing with a nylon filter;
  • the handle of the french press must not heat up. Polymer coated handles are preferred. Sometimes on sale, there are teapots with bamboo handles;
  • the base of the French press must be stable.

How to choose a French Press

Choosing coffee for a French press

It is best to brew in a French press with 100% Arabica, and experienced baristas prefer single varieties, although blends are also acceptable.

The coffee made from a blend of Arabica and Robusta, made in a French press, is too bitter. But even bitterness lovers are not recommended to use coffee blends that contain more than 10% robusta. Delicious coffee is making from medium roasted beans. If you like sourness, then you can use coffee and a lighter roast.

The grinding of French press coffee should be coarse to medium. If the grains are grounding into dust, then a suspension of the smallest particles will remain in the cup. The uniformity of the grinding is of great importance. Only if the size of the fractions is approximately the same the nuances inherent in the variety will appear in the taste and aroma of the drink.
If the grind is uneven, the coffee will taste coarser. In part, this explains the dislike of professional baristas for mixtures with robusta: its grains are hardening than that of arabica, respectively, and the particles are larger.

Burr coffee grinders grind beans much more evenly than knife grinders. If you have a choice, then it is better to grind coffee for brewing in a French press on a millstone coffee grinder.

In online stores, ready-made ground coffee is selling, but the drink from the beans ground immediately before brewing, turns out to be more aromatic. At home, ground coffee is storing in hermetically sealed vessels for no longer than two weeks.

Grinding and dosing

The optimal dosage of coffee for a standard (12oz) French press is 21 grams.

The ratio of the weight of coffee to the weight of the finished coffee is 60 grams of beans per 1 liter of water. To determine the dosage for each specific case, you need to calculate the proportions. For example, a half-liter French press will require 30 grams of coffee.

We do not recommend measuring coffee by eye, because the slightest deviations in proportions significantly affect the result. For a stable result, it is best to weigh it on a scale in 0.1 g increments before each preparation.


Tap water even boiled water, is not suitable for brewing coffee in a French press. In extreme cases, such water can be purifying using an aqua filter. But bottled water with a mineralization index of 150 mg / l (or at least in the range of 70-200 mg / l) is much more preferable.

 Temperature of water

The optimum temperature for making coffee in a French press is 203 ° F. To achieve this temperature, you need to either bring the water to a boil and then either cool it for a minute or use a good thermometer for water.


 First, you need to rinse the French press with a little hot water to warm it up to the optimum temperature. Then - pour the ground coffee into a French press, start the timer on the scale or phone and pour 12oz of water. After that, stir the coffee with a plastic or wooden spoon. Cover the French press with a lid, and without lowering the plunger, leave for 8 minutes.

How to making coffee in French press

When the time is up, you need to gently lower the plunger and immediately pour the coffee into the cups. You cannot leave the drink in a French press! Otherwise, it will be over-extracted and become excessively strong.

Lifehack. If you like a frothy coffee, then whip the milk in a French press. Fill a third of the flask with hot milk, and by actively striking the piston on its surface, you will get a fluffy froth.

 Enjoy your coffee!
And remember that there is always a possibility for an experiment - try different grains, change the grind size, reduce the brewing time.

French press for coffee

Types of French presses

The classic French press has two serious drawbacks:
The flask is designing for a certain number of cups of coffee. If you need to treat a large company with a drink, then after each call the flask and filter have to be washed. As a result, while some guests are already drinking coffee, others will wait for their turn.
Small particles of the thick matter still get into the finished drink.
Therefore, in the XXI century, the design of the French press continues to be improved.

Espro Press

Espro coffee press
The model was developed by the Canadian company Espro. The Espro Press differs from the classic French press with a double filter, thanks to which the coffee is obtaining cleaner. The Espro Press flask is making of stainless steel. 

American Press

American coffee press

In the American press, a small chamber is attaching to the piston, into which coffee is pouring. The drink is preparing a little differently than in the classic French press:

  • Ground coffee is pouring into the chamber at the rate of 7-9 g per 100 ml of water. To make the finished drink cleaner, put a paper filter from an air press soaked in water on the bottom of the chamber with ground coffee.
  • Hot water is pouring into the flask. The total brewing time is 3.5-4 minutes.
  • The plunger is lowered into the flask so that the water only moistens the ground coffee.
  • After 30 seconds, the piston is slowly lowering. Approximately 2 minutes after starting brewing, the bottom of the piston should be two fingers above the bottom of the flask.
  • After 1 minute (3.5 minutes after the start of brewing), the piston is lowered to the bottom of the flask.
  • Coffee is pouring into cups.

In the first one and a half minutes of extraction, ground coffee releases essential oils and substances that make the drink sour. Then comes the chocolate, sweet shades. In the last 30 minutes of extraction, the coffee takes on a bitter taste. By varying the duration of different stages, you can experiment with the taste of the drink.

Rite Coffee Press
In this model, the chamber for ground coffee is installing at the bottom of the flask. Rite Coffee Press is available with stainless steel or ceramic flasks. An hourglass is attached to the side of the vessel. The duration of brewing coffee is the same as in a classic French press. 

Rite coffee press

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