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How to make coffee with a French press | in 5 easy steps

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Brew French press coffee that's rich, thick, sludge-free, and delicious.

You can learn how to make coffee with a French press. It’s easy but takes a few tricks to get it.

In my experience, lack of patience is the most serious obstacle you’ll find in the way, only second to getting the proper coffee grind size.

I learned to brew using the French press following James Hoffmann brewing technique, and if you follow these easy steps, I am sure that you’ll get the best possible cup of coffee with a French press.

But, before we get into it, let’s start with a few tips.

Tips to get the best of your French press

  1. Grind size will play a huge role here, so I strongly recommend grinding your coffee on demand. If you don’t have a grinder at home, look for coffee shops that can grind it for you when you buy it.
  2. Use a digital scale to adjust your brewing ratio to your taste. It’s a lot easier to measure in grams than in tablespoons.
  3. If your digital scale doesn’t have a timer, use your phone to get your steeping time right.
  4. Brew with boiling water. Making coffee with a French press takes a while, so it’s best to use water as hot as possible.
  5. Avoid letting your French press steeping outdoors or close to a window. The coffee will get colder than desired, and it will change extraction. If you want to brew outdoors, pick an insulated French press.

To improve your coffee game in general, I wrote another article with useful coffee hacks.

How To Make Coffee With A French Press: Step-by-Step

How to make coffee with a French press. Coffee served.

Following these directions, you will get very good French press coffee.

Average time 10 minutes

Measure and Grind your coffee

Measure 30 grams of coffee for every 350 ml of water -1:12 brewing ratio. Using a medium grind size, you will get a bold and rich cup. Coffee should look similar to the grounds you use for filter coffee. Avoid extra-coarse grind size because it will result in a sour, weak cup of coffee. If you want to brew a stronger coffee, try adding two more grams of coffee using the same amount of water.  In the meantime, put water to a boil.

Add coffee and Water

Adding ground coffee into the French press

Add 30 grams of coffee into the French press and pour 350 ml of water over the coffee.

Let the coffee steep

Pouring water over the coffee bed

Let the coffee steep for 4 minutes.
Once the time is up, stir the crust on top of the coffee with a spoon.
Grab two spoons and use them to remove the foam and coffee grounds floating on top of the coffee after stirring it.

Let the coffee rest and press the plunger

Press the plunger

Let the coffee resting for another 6 to 8 minutes. Then, gently press the plunger, but stop once it sits on top of the coffee.
Don’t plunge all the way. Let the plunger sit on top of the surface to avoid agitating the coffee sediments.

Serve and enjoy

Serving coffee with the French press

Serve slowly, gently pouring the coffee in your favorite mug or cup.
And voilá! Your French press coffee is ready to drink!

You will know that you got it right if your coffee is tasty, sludge-free, with a thick body. If your coffee isn’t as hot as you like, you might need to let your French press steeping in a warm spot, away from your windows.

Another aspect to keep in mind is tweaking grinds size. If you have a good grinder, it will be easier to adjust to your preference, grinding on-demand before every brew.

In contrast, if you ask your barista or roaster to grind the coffee for you, try to write down which grind settings they used for you. In this way, you can ask them to grind it finer if your coffee is too weak, or coarser if you get an overly bitter cup.

I hope you found this guide useful and share it with your fellow coffee-loving friends.

Leave your comment below to let me know how you did it or if you have any questions. I am happy to help!

Credits

Johana Baricot created all the beautiful pictures included in this guide. Additionally, I noted and adapted the steps and directions from James Hoffmann.

Helena Lopes on Unsplash took the picture published as the featured image of this blog post.

Read next

Best Coffee Grinder for French Press

Great Coffee 101: Best Coffee Hacks

Brew Delicious Moka pot coffee: The Ultimate Guide

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