How To Make French Press Coffee
Rich and delicious, French Press coffee is a favorite among coffee lovers around the world. Unlike other methods, this beloved style of making coffee does not waste any oil or flavor from the coffee grounds, allowing them to percolate and greatly enhance the flavor. Like a good cup of tea, French Press coffee steeps, instead of filtering, allowing this enhanced flavor to further seep out of the grinds to create delicious cups of full-bodied coffee.
A simple and affordable device, the French Press has become one of the most popular coffee makers for brewing at-home coffee. Many people are surprised to learn just how easy it is to use this method. All it takes is a few easy-to-find tools and ingredients and a series of simple steps for you to master your French Press coffee brewing!
Necessities for French Press Brewing
In order to make a proper cup of French Pressed coffee, you are going to need more than hot water and coffee beans. But don’t worry -- the few essentials you need are largely affordable and widely available.
There are many different types of French Press coffee makers (press pots), so the key is finding a model that fits your needs and preferences.
The three main components to a press pot are the carafe, the plunger and the lid.
Carafes are used to hold the coffee and hot water, and they come with a spout to pour your coffee with. These come in many varieties, but a few popular styles include stainless steel, glass and heat-resistant plastic. Choosing among the three will depend on the style and longevity you are looking for. For example, glass carafes might be prettier than plastic, but plastic carafes do not break as easily as glass ones.
Like the name suggests, plungers are responsible for “plunging” the coffee grinds to the bottom of the carafe. They consist of three separate parts: a handle, the plunger itself and the lid.
Using the handle, you press the plunger down in order to grind your coffee at the very bottom of the carafe.
When looking for a quality plunger, it is most important to check the material and quality of its filter. Metal-edged plungers are best, because they are durable and will survive years of cleaning and use. Plastic filters, on the other hand, tend to break down much more easily. This is especially true if you use and clean the plunger often.
While press pot lids may seem basic, there can actually be important differences between low and high quality models. Poorly made French Press lids often allow heat to escape through the carafe spout during the brewing process. This reduces flavor and makes for a less enjoyable experience. Well-made lids are designed to prevent this loss of heat, ensuring you delicious cups of coffee.
This is the easiest tool to find when learning how to use a French Press! Any basic stirrer or spoon will do the trick.
Kettle and Cup of Water
A reliable, high-quality kettle is essential for making the best cup of French Press coffee. With the added bonus that it can keep any liquid hot, this multi-purpose device can quickly become one of your at-home favorites.
The most important feature about a kettle is its reliability. Will your current kettle consistently heat your water up to the ideal French Press temperature range of 195-205°F? If yes, then use it. If not, it might be time for a new model if you are looking to get the best from your French Press.
Coarsely Ground Coffee
This one is easy! Choose your favorite kind of Amora Coffee to grind and you are ready to start brewing.
French Press Brewing Guide: Step by Step
Look at you! Now that you have all your ingredients and tools, it is time for you to learn how to make French Press Coffee.
Step 1: Preparing the Coffee Grounds
You essentially have two options here: grinding beans yourself or ordering pre-ground coffee beans. Whole beans will last longer. However, pre-ground coffee is ground using higher quality blades than those you would use at home. The choice is yours, but we recommend buying it pre-ground. If you are looking for classic, heavy-bodied French Press coffee, we suggest you use medium-coarse Amora Coffee grounds.
Step 2: Prepare your French Press
Set your French Press on a flat, stable surface. Remove the plunger from the carafe.
Step 3: Add Coffee Grounds to Carafe
To find the ideal mix between the coffee and water, we recommend one to two tablespoons of ground Amora Coffee per six ounces of water. This “french press ratio” has been shown to create a strong flavor profile that any lover of heavy-bodied coffee will enjoy. Once you decide how much coffee you want to make, add the grounds to the carafe.
Step 4: Heat and Add Water
After calculating the desirable coffee to water ratio, use your kettle to heat up the water. Here at Amora, we believe that the ideal temperature for French Press coffee is between 195-205°F. When French Press coffee is served at a temperature below 195°F, the flavor of the coffee will often be weak and unremarkable.
For reference, 212°F is the boiling point of water, so you should aim to serve your coffee 10-20° below that point. To simplify this process, there are two ways of testing your water temperature.
First, you can simply use a thermometer to gauge the temperature. If the water is too cold, continue to heat it. If the water is too hot, let it sit.
If you do not have access to a thermometer, here is an easy trick to get water to the desired temperature: bring your water to a boil and then turn off the heat. After you let the water sit for 30 seconds, it should be at or near ideal serving temperature.
Step 5: Add Heated Water to Carafe
Once your water is heated, pour it directly into the carafe and stir gently. You want to avoid stirring too vigorously because it will agitate the grinds and give the coffee a bitter flavor.
Step 6: Place Plunger into Carafe
This next step will take a bit of patience. First, you need to place the plunger in the carafe (just above the waterline). Next, you need to wait four minutes, allowing for the grounds to soak in with the water.
The initial placement of the plunger and waiting period are especially important when brewing this type of coffee. The French Press ratio makes the coffee slightly stronger than traditional coffee, and the metal mesh filter that is specific to this method of brewing does not stop any oils from seeping into your coffee cup. These oils have the potential to overwhelm the taste of the coffee, so it is important to let your coarsely ground coffee sit and strengthen for four minutes before you plunge into it.
With all that being said, there are ways to weaken or further strengthen your French Press coffee. If you want to weaken your brew, use more water. If you want to strengthen it, use less. If you are new to using the French Press, it may take you some time to find your favorite balance, but it can be fun to experiment along the way!
Step 7: Plunge
The moment you have been waiting for: time to take the plunge. After you wait the appropriate four minutes, slowly and gently push the plunger all the way down until you pack all the coffee grounds at the bottom of the carafe. Make sure that you push gently, as an aggressive push of the plunger might agitate the grounds and release bitter flavors into your coffee. You already grinded the beans before you began brewing, so do not feel the need to re-grind them with the plunger.
Step 8: Enjoy!
It is now time to enjoy your delicious cup of French Press coffee!
Now that you know all about the French Press, do you want to find and learn about other delicious types of coffee? Head over to Amora Coffee to discover our delicious coffee and find more how-to guides for creating everything from cold brew to automatic drip!