There are many reasons to use a French Press over a regular pot. The only drawback is many ask how to use a French Press. Don’t worry, we have you covered with the proper use along with some great facts about this unique kitchen utensil.
Unlike a traditional stovetop, French Presses are easier to use on electric stoves and don’t require an open flame. It’s also easier than using the stovetop method because you don’t have to worry about constantly monitoring and stirring your coffee. Plus, they’re safer due to their ability to keep boiling water at bay when you’re grinding beans.
For days when you feel like experimenting with different recipes or just want something simple, here is our guide on how to make the perfect cup of French Press coffee!
Table of Contents
What Is the French Press Coffee Maker?
A French press made from a glass or ceramic is a coffee maker that filters and brews coffee by pressing ground coffee beans against the sides of the upper chamber. The lower chamber remains filled with water, but the pressure of the water is not used to force it up through the filter and into your drink. Instead, this process takes place naturally because of coffee’s natural oils and chemicals that rise to the surface when heated. The press creates an even extraction without bitterness in your drink; making it perfect for any program including iced drinks and iced coffees!
What Does a French Press Make?
If you love iced or hot coffee, other than a traditional drip coffeemaker, the French press is the best way to start your day and end it on a high note. It is valued for its efficiency in making flavorful delicious coffee and beverages. Unlike an ordinary drip maker, the French Press heats your water separately from the coffee grounds. This allows you to cook your coffee just past boiling point (195 degrees Fahrenheit) before allowing it to cool for an extended period of time. This, in turn, enhances the flavor and aroma of your drink.
How Many Cups of Coffee Can a French Press Make?
A typical 8 cup French Press makes four cups of coffee. If you’re going to do this a lot, it would be more economically wise to buy larger sizes. With this amount of coffee, 1 cup remaining for iced coffee or iced mocha drinks can also be made with the same amount as a similar-sized glass carafe.
What Type of Coffee Should Be Used?
If you’re going to grind your own coffee beans, the type of coffee will, of course, be determined by the type of beans you are using. If you are using pre-ground coffee beans, you should use a dark roast for the best flavor. Some people think that the full flavor is not properly extracted if the coffee is not roasted dark enough.
Whatever type of coffee beans you purchase, be sure to grind them coarsely before brewing them so that fine particles do not end up in your drink. You can also use ground espresso beans to make espresso. Later in the article we have some tips to help you know if you are grounding the beans to fine or course.
History of the French Press
The French press was invented in the early 20th century. It is believed to have been invented by a Frenchman named Phillippe Auguste Mecheril, who patented the ‘Mecheril et al..’ model in 1902. As with other coffee makers, it was first used in Europe and was then exported to countries such as Brazil and the United States. It wasn’t until the 1950s, however, it became popular in Europe.
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The French press was popularized in the United States and Brazil during the 1960s. It is now more common to find these coffee makers available at high-end coffeehouses. It has also become popular in home kitchens as an excellent alternative to percolators, drip makers and espresso machines.
How to Use A French Press
First and foremost, the best way to use your French press is simply with freshly ground coffee. Nothing will taste better than using freshly ground beans with these brewing methods. We list out the full details below and also have a quick video that will walk you through all the dteps to make a perfect cup of coffee in a French Press.
Grind Your Coffee Beans
The next step is to grind your coffee beans. This can be done easily with a grinder or a handy hand-crank blade grinder. For each cup, you’ll want to use around a 1/15 ratio of coffee grounds to water. For instance, start with around 30 grams of grounds to 450 grams of water. This will give us 2 8 oz mugs of fresh pressed coffee. If you are looking for only a single cup, you can cut the ingredients in half.
If you are not using a scale, this is roughly 5 tablespoons of grounds to 16 oz of water. Remember, if it is too strong, you can always add a bit of water later!
Preheat the Water
If you’re using your French press, you’ll want to preheat the water to around 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, it will be hot enough when it’s poured in. I typically set my kettle to 195 degrees for most roasts.
Looking for an electric kettle, checkout our Top Electric Tea Kettles with Infusers
If not using an electric kettle, you can boil water in your kitchen and check the temperature manually.
Pour Hot Water Into The Press and Allow Coffee to Soak
When you pour the hot water, make sure that you cover all your coffee grounds before pressing. This will ensure that your coffee is extracted to the fullest level.
Pro Tip: Put hot water into the carafe and let it sit for 30 – 60 seconds and dump it out prior to adding coffee grounds and water. This will essentially preheat the carafe and provide a better brew.
Pro Tip 2: You will not want to pour all your water in at this point. Add roughly 60 grams of water (just enough to cover the coffee grounds) and wait around 30 seconds. This will allow the grounds to bloom and the water to extract the flavor of the beans.
Pour the Remainder of Water After Allowing Grounds to Bloom
Now that all of the water has been added to our French Press, allow the coffee to steep for around 4 minutes.
Put the Press on The Counter
The last step is to put your French press on a counter to plunge the grounds. This way, you won’t have to worry about burning yourself with it tipping off your scale or causing damage to your scale.
To plunge, you will want to press the filter down in a slow, steady motion. If the plunger is hard to press, it means your grind is too fine; if the plunger falls immediately down to the floor, it means your grind is too coarse. The ideal pressure range is between 15 and 20 pounds. Unsure of the sensation you’re having? Take a look at it on the scale in your bathroom.
Serve the coffee as soon as you’re done pressing it. Do not allow it to sit as this will result in over-extracting and further brewing.
Tips on Using Your French Press Properly
When you’re making a cup of coffee, there are some ways that you can go about it to get the best results. Here are some tips on how to use and make a French Press properly:
· Use filtered water or bottled water. If you have a well with high mineral content, it’s best to use bottled or filtered water to ensure the best taste and results.
· Use three tablespoons of coffee grounds for every eight ounces of water.
· Remember that the French press will make your coffee stronger as opposed to weaker when compared to a traditional drip coffee maker, but you can always cut down on the amount of grounds and add more hot water to dilute it, if you want a milder flavor.
· If you use a grinder to grind your beans and only grind what is needed. Nothing beats fresh ground coffee. For best results, I recommend a quality burr grinder if you will be using your French Press regularly. The manual grinder below from Hand Ground is a great way to get perfectly ground beans.
Handground Precision Manual Coffee Burr Grinder
Some Final Tips for Enjoying the Perfect Coffee Brew
And finally, here are some tips on how to ensure that you’re enjoying the perfect cup of coffee when using your French press:
· Always preheat your water rather than letting it sit at room temperature. The temperature should be between 180 – 200 degrees for most coffee roasts.
How to Choose a French Press
As with many other products, French presses are becoming more popular because people are starting to recognize their benefits. With that, however, comes a large selection of models to choose from. What is important when purchasing a French press is in the capacity of your model and the materials used for it. When choosing materials, you will want to opt for stainless steel over plastic.
Stainless steel is preferred because it retains heat well. This is especially important when making iced coffees since they are generally served cold. Plastic and glass also retain heat but not as efficiently as stainless steel which allows your coffee to remain at drinking temperature longer.
The basic construction is the same, whether it’s made of porcelain or plastic: a plunger with a metal screen connected and a container to retain water.
What is the Best French Press?
Choosing the best French Press will vary greatly depending on your personal needs. We will dedicate an entire upcoming article on some of our favorite French Presses and what to look for when choosing a French Press. In the meantime, below are some great go to presses that we have had a long history with.
Glass French Press
The Chambord French press coffee maker, designed in the 1950s, is an authentic original. To this day, we manufacture it with the same meticulous attention to detail that we applied to the original. Steel is used to make the frame and lid, which undergo numerous Chrome Plating processes to ensure a long-lasting shiny surface. When it comes to manufacturing, there hasn’t been a significant change since the 1950s, save from our commitment to the highest standards of environmental manufacturing. In addition to providing a pleasant grip while serving, the matte finish of the black CHAMBORD polypropylene handle enhances the traditional quality of the design. Making a great cup of coffee has never been easier than with a French press. To get the greatest flavor out of any sort of coffee, use freshly ground beans and water around 92 to 96 degrees Celsius.
Travel French Press
One of the best cups of coffee you’ll ever savor may be made with the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. Brews coffee and espresso that is rich in taste, without bitterness, thanks to a combination of the optimal water temperature and mild air pressure brewing. One to four cups of coffee or espresso (enough for one or two mugs) can be made in just one minute, thanks to a micro-filtration system that removes any grit (actual press time takes only 20 seconds). Use the inverted method for best results that mimic a traditional French Press.
Stainless Steel French Press
Frieling Double-Walled Stainless-Steel French Press Coffee Maker
Since its founding in 1988, Frieling has been dedicated to bringing the finest kitchenware to your doorstep. You’ll only find the greatest and most creative kitchenware and tabletop products at Frieling since the firm has established itself as a very selective company that only partners with companies of distinction.
Tips on Cleaning and Maintaining Your French Press
Cleaning a French press is simple, but it needs to be done properly. Never put a French press in the dishwasher because it is not able to get hot enough to sanitize the device thoroughly. Follow these easy steps for an even easier time cleaning your French press:
· Step 1: After you finish brewing your coffee, remove the plunger and wash it by hand by running warm water over it. If some coffee grounds stick to the plunger, don’t worry about them and move on to step 2.
· Step 2: Rinse out the carafe with warm water (no soap) and dry it off. If you have not removed all coffee grounds from your plunger yet, go ahead and do it now.
· Step 3: Give the outside of your French press a good wipe down with a cloth or sponge. Do not use abrasive cleaners or chemicals as they will scratch and dull the exterior of your French press.
· Step 4: Put the plunger back into the carafe (if you have not already) and get ready to brew a new batch of coffee.
· Step 5: When brewing, rinse out your French press by running only hot water through it. Do not use abrasive cleansers or chemicals as they will damage and dull the device’s exterior.
In conclusion, a French Press is an amazing tool, it’s simple to use and makes impressive coffee. In this article we have detailed everything you need to know to get started for making the perfect cup of coffee with your French Press. If there are any questions or additional tips you have, please let us know in the comments below.
How to Remove Coffee Stains from a French Press?
Removing coffee stains is not as difficult as you may think. All you need to do is mix warm water and baking soda to create a thick paste. Apply this mixture to the stained area and let it sit for about 10 minutes. After the ten minutes has passed, scrub the mixture away with a sponge or pad and rinse thoroughly with water once the paste is gone.
Make sure never to use abrasive chemicals on your stainless steel French Press. If you need more methods to get hard to remove coffee stains, you can apply some from our How to Clean a Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator article.
How Much Coffee and Water to Use in A French Press?
The amount of water that you use should depend on the style and strength of your coffee. If you want your drink to be strong and rich, you’ll want to use more grounds and less water. For example, a traditional brew cycle uses a 1/15 ratio of coffee grounds to water. For 2 8 oz mugs, this would be roughly 5 tablespoons of grounds to 16 oz of water.
How much coffee will my French Press make? (French Press Sizes)
A French press ‘cup’ size system was probably invented by someone who didn’t have enough coffee at the time.
Each press size should yield the following amount of 9-ounce cups of brewed coffee:
For a 3-cup press, 1 cups of coffee is needed
For an 8 cup press, you will need 3.4 cups of coffee.
For a 12-cup press, 5.3 cups of coffee is needed
How fine of a grind should I use in my French Press?
Quick and easy: between a coarse grind and medium-coarse grind setting
You’ll need a high-quality burr coffee grinder to get these grinds.
When using a coffee press, the general rule of thumb is that the finer the grounds, the stronger the brew will be. The weaker the brew, the coarser the brew’s grounds. To be on the safe side, you should steer clear of either extreme. If the grind is too fine, you’ll receive a weak cup of joe. Over-extraction will cause it to taste harsh if it is ground too finely.
How long should French Press coffee steep?
The “ideal” amount of time for a coffee press to produce an average strength cup is 3-4 minutes.
Finish the brew early if you prefer a lighter cup of coffee. Wait a little longer if you’re a lover of the stronger stuff. However, I wouldn’t allow the coffee to over-extract and get bitter, since this could result in a poor cup of joe.
Why do we love French Press Coffee?
There are numerous explanations for this. Using a French press to brew coffee for more than one person is the primary reason why we make it every morning.
It’s easier to manage the water temperature, the length of time the coffee boils, and there’s usually enough for 3-4 people in a pot of French press coffee.