Learning a New Brewing Method: The French Press
Many consider French press to be the best coffee brewing method because it doesn't use a traditional filter, which allows the hot water to soak the grounds and extract more flavor and natural oils. A French press steeps the grounds in the carafe, then uses a cloth or metal mesh screen connected to a rod that pushes down, trapping the coffee grounds below the freshly steeped coffee, allowing the flavors and oils to infuse with the coffee.
The French press has been around since the 1850s. In 1852, the first design of the French press was patented by two Frenchmen, Mayer and Delforge. An update to the design was later patented by two Italian men, Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929 and is closer in design to the French press we know today.
French press can be used to brew any of your favorite blends, bringing out an even more nuanced flavor. Without the interference of a paper or plastic filter, you're left with the pure taste of the coffee.
French press coffee must be ground differently than for a drip machine or other brewing methods to produce the best flavor. A coarse grind is recommended, which should look like sea salt or kosher salt. A burr grinder is preferable over a blade grinder because it will allow for a programmable grind size, such as the coarse grind needed for French press. It also produces more uniform grounds and doesn't heat them as drastically when grinding, which can alter the flavor.
How to Brew Using a French Press:
For most brewing methods, we recommend using 2 level tablespoons of ground coffee per serving (6 oz)
- Add Coffee: Measure desired amount of coffee grounds into the bottom of the press carafe.
- Add Water: Slowly pour hot water (between 195ºF and 205ºF) into the carafe leaving at least one inch of space at the top. Stir the coffee with a wooden stirrer to make sure all the grounds are saturated. A non-metal tool is recommended to protect the glass of the carafe.
- Cover & Steep: Place the lid on top of the carafe and allow coffee to steep for 4 minutes.
- Plunge: After 4 minutes, carefully press the plunger to the bottom. Point the spout away from yourself and others in case any hot coffee spills.
- Pour & Enjoy: Turn the lid to open spout, pour and serve immediately for best flavor.
Want to try this elevated brewing method? Check out our 4-cup and 8-cup options from Bodum, as well as our wooden stirring paddles.