How to Brew: French Press
The French Press (or Press Pot) is one of the simplest, and most consistent ways of brewing coffee. It was originally patented in 1929 by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani, and gained popularity in the late 1950s when Faliero Bondanini began manufacturing his own version in a French clarinet factory. The principle behind brewing with a French Press is elegant in its simplicity: hot water and coffee sit together for some time, and then the coffee grounds are filtered out. The classic design and nature of the French Press is one of the reasons why it was the first manual brew option we introduced to our caffes in 2006.
You Will Need
Hot Water Kettle
Decanter, or Mug
Step 1: Preparation
Fill your kettle with approximately 650 grams of fresh, filtered water. Begin heating your water. Ideally you want to brew with water between 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit, or roughly 1 minute off boil. You will use 400 grams of water to brew your coffee. The remainder will be for preheating your French Press and mug. Pour the extra 250 grams of water into the French Press, place the lid, and plunge the screen all the way down. Swirl the water around to make sure the entire interior of the pot is heated. Pour the hot water into your mug(s), and then discard the water.
Step 2: Weigh and Grind Your Coffee
For our Montenero Blend, we recommend using 35 grams of coffee, and 30 grams for any of our Single Origins. The grind setting you use should be a coarse grind. Many grinders will retain a small amount of coffee, so your output may be about 1 gram less than your input. Because of this, you may want to grind an extra gram or two of coffee, so make sure you have the correct amount of ground coffee.
Step 3: Add Your Coffee
Remove the plunger from the French Press and set it aside. Take your ground coffee, and pour it into the French Press. Check the weight on the scale to make sure you added the correct amount. Give the sides of the French Press a few light taps to make sure you have a flat, even bed of coffee.
Step 4: Brew Your Coffee
Start your timer, and pour approximately 100 grams of hot water into the Press Pot. Lightly stir the coffee and water to ensure the coffee is completely wet. This stage is called the bloom; Allowing the coffee to sit with a small amount of water helps the coffee release some of its natural gases, which in turn helps the coffee brew more readily. At 30 seconds, add 300 grams of hot water, for a total of 400 grams. Place the lid onto the Press Pot, and plunge the screen down just enough that it is barely submerged in water. This is to make sure that all of your coffee is submerged and brews evenly.
Step 5: Plunge & Pour
When you reach 4 minutes, gently plunge the screen down to the bottom of the French Press. Be careful not to crush the coffee grounds as you approach the bottom of the pot, which can create bitterness on the finish. Pour the coffee into your mug(s), grab your favorite book, sip & enjoy.
Notes & Troubleshooting
While this brew guide was originally written using a 17oz. French Press, it can work easily for any French Press of any size. Simply scale up the amount of coffee and water used to fit your device. Our recommended coffee to water ratio is approximately 1 gram of coffee to 11 grams of water for our Montenero, and 1 gram of coffee to 13 grams of water for our Single Origins. So, for example, if you have a larger French Press, and want to brew 40 grams of House Blend, add 55 more grams of water than our recipe recommends, for a total of 455 grams of water.
If when you plunge the screen the final time the coffee offers resistance, pulling the screen up slightly, and then pushing it down again should relieve the resistance.