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Brewing Tips: French Press

Landon Porter
Landon Porter
 

The French press, or simply a press pot, is probably one of the most popular manual brewing methods. It’s a great way to highlight all that UTOPIAN coffee has to offer. I have some simple French press tips and tricks I use when brewing with the French press that I believe can elevate your gourmet coffee experience and I’d like to share them with you.

The “Before You Brew” French Press Tips:

1. Make sure you use the correct grind–the coffee particles should resemble breadcrumbs or coarse sea salt. If you find it difficult to plunge the plunger, then you need a coarser grind. If you follow all the normal brewing steps correctly but your coffee taste weak, then you may need a finer grind.

2. Preheat your press. Fill your press with hot water and then discard the water after a few seconds. This will help maintain a constant brew temperature which is important for delicious coffee.

3. Have a solid coffee-to-water ratio. I personally use 56 grams of coffee (about 8 Tablespoons of ground coffee) for the 8-cup French press. Adjust to your taste, but this should give you a starting point.

How-To-Brew French Press Tips:

1. Use water that is between 195 – 205 degrees. Water between these temps will do the best job at fully extracting the flavor. But be careful! Boiling water (at 212 degrees) will actually burn the coffee. I pull my water off the stove just as it’s about to boil and let it set for 30 seconds. That’s a good gauge if you don’t have a random thermometer laying around.

2. After adding your water to the coffee start your timer! You’ll probably notice that the coffee forms a dome at the top of your press. What I do is after 30 seconds I gently stir the grounds into the water with a large spoon. 4 – 5 gentle stirs should do the trick. This will help integrate all the coffee and water so you get an even brew. Gently set the plunger on top to seal in the heat and wait.

3. My total brew time is roughly 3 minutes and 45 seconds. After this time elapses I’ll take off the plunger and use my spoon to remove and discard as much of the grounds from the press pot as I can. Don’t spend too long doing this as the coffee is still brewing in a sense. Just take about 15 seconds scoop out the grounds that you can. After scooping, place the plunger back on top and plunge. I prefer not to brew over 4 minutes so if you finish right around that time you should be good.
This previous step is probably one of the most noticeable things you can do to enjoy the most from your fresh roasted coffee. By scooping the grounds out you won’t get as much coffee grit in your cup and this can make a huge difference! I know some people love a bit of the coffee grit in their cup so to each their own!

If any of these French press tips help you in your daily coffee ritual as you enjoy fresh roasted coffee–or if you have a question (or have your own French press tips)–please feel free to let us know via Twitter or Facebook.