Brewing coffee with a French press is very easy. This simple process will break down the simplest way for brewing coffee.

To start preparing to make your French press coffee, you will need to make sure that you have a heat source, water and coffee. Sugar is not a must have, but that really depends on your taste. You need to make sure that your coffee grinds are adjusted to medium coarse for a nice cup of coffee.

Coffee Ground Size

Small grinned coffee, will not work at all in a French press as the grinds will go right through the filter. You need to make sure that your grounds are large, but not big enough that it plugs the filter. When you use larger ground coffee, it will take longer to brew, when compared to other methods. A really great place to start is to find the grind between drip coffee and percolator grounds. For those who like to experiment with finer grounds, one trick is to let the grounds steep longer before you press the plunger down. This allows the grounds to expand before you press the plunger, so they won’t go through the filter.

Water Temperature

Water temperature is also very important. If you do it correctly, you will be able to make the best cup of coffee possible. The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 to 200 degrees F. A really good way to be sure is to boil some water and use an instant read thermometer. Check to see how long it takes to reach 200 degrees once you remove it from the heat. In many cases, it just takes between 10 and 15 seconds. You should never let the water boil more than a few seconds as this will actually mess with the taste of your brewed coffee. You will be set for life if you can figure out the best timing. The more modern and convenient way to make sure that you get the right temperature, is to use a variable temperature kettle.

How to Brew with a French Press

Step 1  

You will want to remove the lid and the plunger. For 8 ounces of water, you will need to use 2 rounded tablespoons of coffee. Remember that a coffee cup ranges between 5 to 8 ounces. For 32 ounces, your French press will use 5 scoops of coffee.

Step 2

Begin to slowly add water with the right temperature over your coffee grounds. A kettle with a gooseneck can help with the pouring process, which means that you get more precision. You will notice the coffee will begin to float. It is at this point that you will need to gently stir your water for a short amount of time so that the grounds will sink to the bottom.

Step 3

Press your plunger just above your brew surface and then place the lid on the brewing cylinder. There are lids that will have a specific position so that you can set it to make sure that no steam escapes. If you have one of those lids, then close it. If you did not stir on the second step, then after 1 minute, remove the lid and briefly stir and replace the lid.

Step 4

This is where you will be brewing coffee. You will need to steep the coffee for 3 to 5 minutes before you press the plunger down. The type of coffee grounds that you use will determine how long you will need to steep. The finer that the ground are, the less time that is needed for brewing.

For a coarse ground coffee which is often used, you will need to brew it for about 5 minutes. The grounds will be pushed into the bottom by the screen. If you happen to notice that your grounds are escaping, your screen is tilted. Rinse the screen fast and then restart pressing on the plunger. It will normally take about 20 seconds. There will be resistance when pressing, so it will be a slow push that will be harder as you go down. Don’t push the plunger too fast. Slower pressing is better for a French press.

Step 5

Pour your freshly brewed coffee into your cups, add sugar and cream if that is what you like. Remember, there will be coffee grinds at the bottom of your cup, so you should avoid going after the last drop of coffee in your cup.