What You'll Need
Brewing with a French Press at home or the office is relatively cheap and easy to start. All you need is a French Press and a kettle with temperature control (this helps you adjust the temperature based on roast type). While you can use pre-ground coffee in your French Press, we always recommend grinding on demand for an optimal experience and flavor.
- Grinder or preground coffee (not ideal)
- 1 Litre French Press
- Kettle (with temperature readings)
- Wooden Spoon
Coarse. The grind size you'll need for a French Press will be coarser than that of a pour-over or Chemex.
65 grams of coffee per litre of water (~34 ounces). The French Press ratio works out to roughly 1:15.4 grams of coffee to grams of water.
- Light Roasts: 203 - 212 degrees or right off boil
- Medium Roasts: 194 - 203 degrees
- Dark Roasts: 185 - 195 degrees
Water represents 99% of the liquid in your cup so brewing with a good spring water makes all the difference.
Always brew freshly roasted whole-bean coffee and grind on demand. The optimal timeframe to brew and enjoy your coffee is 7 – 30 days past the roast date.
Always time and measure your brews to understand better the outcome and one you can repeat our iterate on.
Step 1: Measure and Grind Coffee
Coffee amount: 65 grams
Brew ratio: 1:15.4 (1 gram of coffee for every 15.4 grams of water)
Your grind size and quality are crucial factors that will impact the extraction and taste of your French Press. If you grind too coarse, you will be left with a sour-tasting cup of coffee. Too fine of a grind and you will be left with a bitter and "muddy" cup as more sediment will flow through the mesh filter.
For French Press brewing, a coarse grind size is ideal, and one that is more coarse than you would grind for a pour-over. You will be aiming for a total brew time of roughly 4:00 minutes.
Step 2: Warm up Press and add Grounds
Before adding in the coffee grounds, give the French Press a
quick splash of hot water and then dump the water out to help heat the device thoroughly. This helps improve extraction as you want to avoid brewing into a cool or cold French Press.
Step 3: Heat Water and Add to French Press
Water Amount: 1,000 grams (~33.0 ounces)
As noted above, heat your water to the optimal brewing temperature by roast type to ensure the best flavor.
Next, pour the 33 ounces of water into the French Press and set your timer. A gooseneck kettle is not optimal here (though pictured) as you want a faster pour into your French Press.
You can leave the lid/filter off the French Press or attach it without pressing down on the plunger, which will help the brewer retain heat.
Step 4: Stir and Skim
Time: 3:30 seconds
For this step, you will need to remove the plunger if you placed it on top of the French Press during the initial brew period.
At 3:30, stir through the top of the coffee with your wooden spoon. The coffee will sink to the bottom, and some remaining foam will be at the top of the brew. Before plunging, skim the top of the coffee foam with a spoon and discard. Removing the foam will help create a much cleaner cup of coffee.
Step 5: Attach Filter and Plunge
Time: 4:00 minutes
After letting the coffee sit for 30 seconds after you stir and skim, it is time to attach the filter and slowly plunge.
It is important to note that plunging slowly will help prevent sediment from pushing through the mesh filter and ending up in your cup. Regardless, the French Press will be slightly muddy, and that is okay!
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!
The next part is quite simple – if you nail all the brewing parameters, you will be sipping on a delicious cup of coffee. If anything seems off in the cup, like it being too sour or bitter, reassess your grind size and brew length.
To clean your French Press, add a little water to the grounds, dump in the trash, and then rinse out the device fully.
French Press FAQ
What is a French Press?
The French Press is an immersion-style glass brewer where coffee grounds are fully immersed in hot water for the duration of the brew, resulting in a rich and full-bodied cup of coffee with a wide range of flavors. The French Press is suitable for most types of coffee, and its ease of use makes it a versatile and user-friendly brewer. However, the French Press is often criticized for producing a slightly "muddy" cup due to its coarse mesh filter that lets small particles through. The Espro French Press addresses this issue with its ultra-fine and fine micro-mesh filters, which allow for a wider range of grind sizes.
What brew ratios should you use for a French Press?
Golden Cup Standard:
The Golden Cup Standard is an excellent baseline for any brewing method, including pour-overs. The standard recommends a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:17 to 1:18, meaning you would use 17 grams of water for every 1 gram of coffee grounds.
Some may find this ratio to be a bit weak, resulting in a slightly watery cup of coffee. The Golden Cup Standard is particularly well-suited to those seeking clarity in their coffee, light roast enthusiasts, or those who prefer single-origin coffee.
Starting with the Golden Cup Standard is an excellent idea, even though it is a bit mild. You can then gradually increase the coffee-to-water ratio to achieve a stronger brew.
Our Recommendation for Brew Ratios:
We suggest three different coffee-to-water ratios for French Press, depending on whether you prefer a mild, average, or robust cup of coffee.
Mild (high clarity): 1:17 or the SCA Golden Cup standard
Robust (high body): 1:13
You can use these ratios as a starting point and then adjust the ratio up or down to achieve the desired level of clarity or body. Our coffee calculator provides exact measurements, and please note that all ratios are based on 1 gram of coffee to "x" grams of water.
What temperture should you use for a French Press?
The recommended temperature range for brewing hot coffee, regardless of the method, is between 197-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a kettle with a thermometer is the best way to achieve this temperature range, but alternatively, you can boil water and let it sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute to cool to the optimal temperature.
The temperature of the water used for brewing can greatly affect the taste of the coffee. If the water is too hot, it can result in a bitter or burnt taste, while water that is too cool can result in a flat and weak cup of coffee.
Ideal brewing temperature for light-roasted coffee:
The ideal brewing temperature for Light Roast Coffee is right off boil or between 203 – 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher temperatures help prevent sourness, and high acidity is lighter roasted coffees.
Ideal brewing temperature for medium-roasted coffee:
The ideal brewing temperature for Medium Roast Coffee is about 30 seconds off boil or between 194 - 203 degrees Fahrenheit. The moderate brewing temperature helps keep the medium-roasted coffee balanced and rich.
Ideal brewing temperature for dark-roasted coffee:
The ideal brewing temperature for Dark Roast Coffee is about 1 minute off boil or between 185 – 195 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower temperature helps to rid bitterness and highlight the sweetness in the dark roasted coffee.
How long should your French Press brew for?
Most French Press recipes fall within the 4:00 – 5:00 minute range. You will see 4:00 minutes mentioned often as the target time but don’t be afraid to test a French Press brews that are faster or slower than that target time.
It is recommended that you grind slightly coarser than you would for a standard pour-over or Chemex coffee but be careful not to grind too coarse as you will be left with a sour-tasting coffee.
What type of brewing method is a French press?
The French Press is an immersion-style glass brewer where coffee grounds are fully immersed in hot water for the duration of the brew (usually 4:00 minutes), resulting in a rich and full-bodied cup of coffee with a wide range of flavors.