Brewing Perfection: A Beginner's Guide to Using a Classic French Press

Brewing Perfection: A Beginner's Guide to Using a Classic French Press

So, what's the big deal anyway?:

For coffee enthusiasts, there's a charm in the simplicity and elegance of a classic French press. Also known as a press pot or cafetiere, this brewing method allows you to savor the full flavors of your coffee beans. If you're new to the world of French press coffee, fear not! In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to master this timeless brewing technique.


Right, what do we need then...?:

Before we dive into the brewing process, let's gather the essentials:

  1. Coarsely ground coffee beans (we'll talk about ratios later)
  2. Freshly boiled water
  3. Classic French press
  4. A couple of spoons
  5. Something to stir (preferably plastic or wooden)
  6. Timer


Now, let's begin! I want coffee!

Step 1: Measure and/or Grind Your Coffee Beans

To achieve the best flavour, you would absolutely want to start with fresh coffee beans and grind them yourself at home - luckily we've got you covered! You can order some fresh ground coffee beans and a coffee grinder from us!

If you don't want the hassle, then you can just buy our freshly ground coffee.

For a french press, you will need coarsely ground coffee beans - this is to ensure you extract the full flavour of the coffee without it ending up too acidic or silty.

For our French presses, here is a rough measurement guide, though increase/decrease to your taste:

French Press Size
 Coffee Quantity
350ml (3 Cups)
600ml (5 Cups)
800ml (7 Cups)


Step 2: Preheat the French Press

We want things to stay hot, and if you've just grabbed your french press from the cupboard, then it's not going to help your coffee-making journey - like excercising, your press should be warmed up first. This is so we don't lose any precious heat in the next steps

Pour a small amount of hot water into the French press, swirl it around, and then discard the water. The press should now be hot, but if in doubt, just repeat! Be careful to not touch the french press as it will be hot to touch!


Step 3: Add Coffee Grounds

Tip the coarsely ground coffee you measure into the bottom of the French press, giving it a little shake just to ensure the grinds are evenly distributed in the bottom of the press, and not piled up to the side.


Step 4: Pour in Hot Water

Pour in the boiled water over the coffee grounds. How much? Well, it's hard to say as it depends how much coffee you're making and your personal preference! See our table about for our french press sizes and water/coffee ratios, and adapt it to your taste

If you want to fill the press, a good guide is for the top of the water to be about 2 fingers from the top of the press

Pour in the water carefully, and in a circular motion, ensuring all grounds are capured in the waterfall


Step 5: Place the Lid and Wait

Put the lid to the French press without depressing the plunger. Allow the coffee to steep for about 4 minutes. Adjust this time based on your desired strength, but not too long as you risk the coffee cooling, plus we still have another important step below to allow more steeping time


Step 6: Stir and Bloom

Using a wooden or plastic stirrer (this is because the hot french press is vulnerable to cracking if stirred too rigorously with a metal spoon), gently break the crust formed on the top and slowly stir it in, agitatng the mixture. This helps the coffee brew evenly. Wait about 30 seconds before the next step


Step 7: Spooning!

This step and the next hopefully removes/reduces the risk of the silty/gritty texture of your coffee

You want to remove the lid of your french press, and scoop the foam from the top and discard this - using two table spoons is a neat way to do this. This removes some of the grittyness sat in the foam, and any other bits of coffee grinds that are sat on top  and will get immediately stuck on the filter. It doesn't need to be completely foam-free, just most of it, ensuring no grounds are left on the surface

Be careful to not stir below the surace of the coffee as we are giving it time for the coffee grinds to settle


Step 8: Just wait will you!

Place the lid back and wait another 4 minutes. The coffee is still brewing, and any fine silt-like coffee grinds are settling at the bottom - we're on the way to getting you a crystal (or black gold) clear cup of coffee!


Step 9: Plunge Slowly (but not all the way!)

Once the time is complete, slowly press the plunger down - firstly just enoiugh to touch the surface of the coffee, then slowly to about three fingers below the surface. This separates the coffee grounds from the liquid, but also reduces the risk of stirring up the grounds we have so patiently waited to settle, leaving you with a rich and flavorful brew. Avoid pressing too quickly to prevent forcing fine particles through the mesh filter.


Step 8: Serve and Enjoy

No dilly-dallying, pour the freshly brewed coffee into your favorite mug and relish the aroma. Be careful to not pour too quickly so you dont disturb the grinds too much, and slowly push the plunger down after each pour. Be sure to pour out all the coffee into your mugs or carafe as any left in the French press will over-brew and taste like mud!

Feel free to add milk, sugar, or any other preferred additions to customize your cup. Sip slowly and savor the robust taste of your French press creation.


We did it!, YOU did it!

Using a classic French press is a delightful and straightforward way to brew a cup of coffee that highlights the nuanced flavors of your chosen beans. Experiment with different coffee-to-water ratios and steeping times to find the perfect balance that suits your taste buds. With a little practice, you'll master the art of French press brewing and elevate your coffee experience to a whole new level. Happy brewing!



Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.