BKG Brew Guide: How to make the perfect French Press
The French Press is a classic approach to brewing coffee that dates back to its conception in 1929. The attraction to this method is definitely its ease of use, consistency and reliability in producing big-bodied coffee. The simple steeping method tends to enhance the coffee’s body, producing a fuller and creamier mouthfeel.
Today, we will cover how to prepare a French Press like the pros. Let’s get started with a step by step approach. Here’s a rundown of what you will need:
- Coffee beans
- Burr Grinder
- French Press
- Table Spoon or Scale
Step 1: Weigh your coffee
The key to making an ideal cup of coffee is to use the correct measurements. We recommend using 15 grams of coffee per 6 ounces or 175 grams of water (1:12 coffee to water ratio). If you do not have a scale handy, consider using the standard ratio of 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water for french press.
Step 2: Grind your coffee
Aside from the obvious caffeine kick, the reason for brewing coffee is to taste the inherent and unique flavors of each coffee bean. To extract these flavors, the coffee beans must be ground to allow for solubility in water.
There are a wide range of grind sizes that can be used to enjoy coffee using a french press. We suggested using a coarse even grind. This will create a more uniform rate of extraction resulting in a smoother taste and finish.
Step 3: Get the water ready
Water temperature is essential in the brewing process. If your water is too hot, there’s a risk of over-extraction that may leave the coffee tasting bitter. If too cold, you may risk under-extraction resulting in a weaker brew. We recommend using filtered water heated to approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Pour, soak & stir
Fill the carafe about halfway saturating the coffee. With a wooden or bamboo spoon, stir gently to agitate the grinds. This step will ensure even extraction and brewing. Add the remaining hot water and allow it to steep.
Step 5: Time your brew
Brew your coffee for approximately 4 minutes to hit the sweet spot. If the coffee is brewed for less time, it will taste a bit weaker or even sour. Make sure you don’t exceed this time; otherwise, it will result in over-extraction and your coffee will taste slightly bitter.
Step 6: Press it carefully
After 4 minutes, press the filter down to separate the coffee grinds from your brew. Make sure to press down slowly with approximately 15-20 lbs of pressure to avoid overly agitating the coffee. If it's very hard to press, your grind may be too fine. Conversely, if you press without any resistance, then your coffee is likely too coarse.
Step 7: Time to enjoy
When you’re finished pressing, serve the coffee immediately. Any coffee left in the carafe will continue to brew and over-extract, which will affect the taste of your coffee.
Additional Tips to Make a Perfect Coffee
Now that you know the approach and steps to make a perfect French Press, here are some additional tips to ensure that your coffee tastes the best:
- Always buy fresh beans from a local roaster as it is the surest way to get the absolute freshest beans. Avoid buying bulk coffee from supermarket display bins as they are exposed to bright light and oxygen that degrades the flavors of the roasted beans. Also, always consider buying from quality-conscious roasters who package in vacuum-sealed
- As mentioned above, you should always grind your coffee just prior to brewing. Freshly ground coffee enhances the taste and gives a beautiful aroma.
- Always use filtered water when brewing your coffee. Tap water generally contains extra minerals like calcium and magnesium which can add a bitter quality to your
- Avoid using extremely hot water as it will extract compounds that are bitter rather than pleasant. 200°F is the approximate temperature for brewing. You can also set your timer for 3-5 minutes for the ideal boil.
These were some steps and tips on how to make the perfect french press. We hope it is useful and educational. If interested in attempting this brew method with some quality beans, you can explore our full range of coffees here. If you have additional questions or comments, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.