French Press, Press Pot, Coffee Press, Coffee Plunger, Cafetière, Bodum

How To Make French Press Coffee: Brewing

Once your water is hot, and coffee grounds are in the press pot, slowly pour the hot water into the press over the coffee grounds. How high you fill it depends on how much coffee you want to make, and how strong you like your coffee. Most of the grounds will rise to the top, and at this point, will be floating unevenly. If you are using very fresh coffee, carbon dioxide will cause foaming at the top (otherwise called a ‘bloom’). Give it 10-30 seconds to foam and then stir the grounds into the coffee. Put the plunger back on and push down till it is a few inches into the brewing coffee. Do NOT press into the coffee yet.

When I am in a hurry, I may forgo stirring the coffee and press the plunger down most of the way and back up, in order to get the grounds submerged into the coffee. What IS important is to make sure the grounds are equally submerged, so as to get a good extraction of the coffee grounds.

4 minutes is the standard recommended brewing time for a large French press. Some prefer 3 minutes. For smaller French presses, 2 or 3 minutes may be enough. Use a timer if you can.  Try out the different brewing times and let your taste buds decide.

At the end of the brewing time, grab the plunger and press down slowly and evenly. If the plunger gets crooked, grounds may escape into the top of the Press, which we don’t want. We want all the grounds to be pressed down, leaving only the brewed coffee on top. Many presses have an additional filter where the coffee is poured. Is you want to make absolutely sure grounds don’t make it into your coffee, pour your coffee through a small handheld strainer into your cup.

With a French press, you need to pour your coffee into another container as soon as possible. The coffee will continue to brew otherwise, thus very quickly becoming very strong and bitter. You do also have the option of pouring the French press coffee into an airpot, Thermos, coffee pot, or even an empty French press. Though the best recommendation would be to pour the coffee into one or more mugs and drink right away, so as to drink the coffee while at peak flavor.

5 Responses to “How To Make French Press Coffee: Brewing”

  1. Does anyone know if cold brewing is an option in the french press???

  2. Yes it is! I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ll research, do a cold brew in a French Press, and then write about it in a future post.

  3. thanks for the directions, I found this quite helpful. I look forward to experimenting a bit!

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  5. Thanks for the great article, I was searching for details like this, going to check out the other articles.