All you wanna Know about French Press
French Press or Coffee Plunger or Coffee Press or La Cafetiere there are many different names used for this exceptional coffee brewing method across the World.
A French press is a simple yet elegant way of brewing coffee. It is considered one of the best brewing methods to get a rich and bold taste with less acidity in your cup.
To brew coffee with a French press, you begin by adding coarsely ground coffee beans into the carafe. Next, pour hot water over the grounds and allow them to steep for about 4-6 minutes. After that, you slowly press down the plunger, separating the brewed coffee from the grounds.
This gentle and straightforward process results in a rich and aromatic cup of coffee that captures the essence of the beans.
French Press is the most economical coffee brewing method, which is pretty easy to use. Anyone with minimal expertise can brew a perfect cup of coffee through this method.
How does a French Press work?
French Press coffee maker has the simplest design compared to all other coffee brewing methods. It consists of a simple jar made of steel, glassware, or stone and a plunger assembly that contains metal filters.
French Press is an immersion type of coffee brewing coffee method in which coffee grounds remain immersed in the water for four to six minutes to extract the flavors.
The French press brewing method offers complete control over all brewing parameters.
Like we can choose the water temperature, adjust the strength by changing the amount of grounds, customize the grind size, and even tweak the steeping time. In essence, the French press allows us to craft coffee experiences to match our mood.
In contrast, we cannot control all these parameters when we brew coffee with automatic coffee makers.
French Press makes strong and full-bodied Coffee drink compared to regular brewed coffee and the caffeine content is also a little higher because of the long immersion process.
Check out: French Press vs Regular Drip Coffee
How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker
What You’ll Need
- French Press Coffee maker
- A Kettle or stovetop
- 250 ml filtered water per serving
- 14-16 grams of coffee grounds per serving
Step 1) Measure the coffee
The Best ratio for French Press Coffee is 1:15 for a stronger drink, however, you can adjust it to 1:17 for a milder drink.
For a 250ml cup, use 14-16 grams of coffee grounds or two tablespoons of coffee beans.
Step 2) Grind the beans
Next, Grind the coffee beans to coarse settings.
You can use pre-ground coffee beans if you don’t have a grinder. However, if you use pre-ground coffee beans, you are missing out on real and fresh flavors.
Any grind size in the coarse range is acceptable, as long as it suits your taste. If you find the brew too bitter, try a coarser grind, and if it’s too watery, try a finer grind.
Step 3) Heat the water
Next heat the water in a kettle or stove. The best water temperature for French Press is 200 degrees.
When you are heating the water in an automatic kettle, you can adjust the temperature and set it at 200 degrees; if you are boiling the water on the stove, let it sit for 30-40 seconds after boiling so that it reaches the perfect temperature.
Step 4) Rinse French press with hot water
Before adding the coffee grounds, rinse the French Press jar with hot water.
Although this step is optional, it is highly recommended since it keeps the coffee warm during steeping.
Step 5) Add the coffee grounds and water
Slowly pour water into the French Press jar already filled with coffee grounds and Stir the mixture after adding water for 10 to 15 seconds.
Step 6) Let it steep
Let the mixture steep for 4 minutes. You can steep it longer than it if you want a more robust cup of coffee. But try to keep it under 6 minutes, as coffee gets more and more bitter with time.
Step 7: Scoop or not
After the four minutes have passed, you have two options; scoop off the foamy layer at the top or just push the plunger as it is.
If you find the French Press coffee too sludgy, it’s recommended to skim off the layer. However, if you enjoy the richness and oiliness in the flavor, it’s best to leave it untouched, as removing the layer may also remove flavorful coffee oils from your cup.
I personally never remove the layer, as I love the raw and robust flavors of French press coffee
Step 8: Push the Plunger
Now, gently press the plunger towards the bottom. Take your time, as pressing too quickly can cause fine particles to slip through the strainer and make your coffee muddy.
Step 9: Time to Enjoy!
Now, pour the delicious and freshly brewed coffee into your cups and enjoy.
What is so special about French press coffee?
1. Budget Friendly
French Press is the most affordable way to brew a cup of coffee. You can buy a good Press coffee maker for under 25 dollars and you are good to go.
2. Rich And Delicious taste
French press coffee is in a league of its own when it comes to a rich, full-bodied taste. The full immersion brewing technique perfectly extracts the oils and essential flavors from the grounds. Expect a robust cup filled with multi-dimensional notes from sweet and nutty to bold and aromatic.
3. You can use it anywhere
As a very lightweight and portable device, the French press is perfect for campers and backpackers. Also, it is the most eco-friendly choice since they don’t require disposable filters or pods.
In addition to regular hot coffee, you can also make tea, cold brew, and iced coffee in the French Press.
5. Complete control over the brewing process
With French Press, you have complete control over the brewing process. This is a privilege you don’t usually get with automatic machines.
With all these benefits, the French press has some disadvantages too like it’s time-consuming and you have to do all the work manually. The major disadvantage is this brewing method is not good for the health of heart, cholesterol, and blood pressure patients. Read a detailed guide on whether the French Press is good for health or not.
When was the French Press invented
It is assumed that the French Press was invented in France, as the name suggests. But the history of the Cafetiere is muddled. Some believe that this brewing method originated in Italy, while others claim that it was first used in France.
The most famous story regarding the history of this popular brewing dates back to the 1800s. A Frenchman was brewing coffee in a pot when he realized he had forgotten to add the grounds. He added the grounds to the boiling water, but they rose to the top. He used a metal strainer to keep the grounds out of the cup while pouring.
He expected the coffee to taste awful, but he was surprised to find it bold and flavorful. Like many other great inventions, the Press Coffee was born by chance.
The first patent for French Press was filed in 1852 by two Frenchmen named Mayer and Delforge. However, this design was not very similar to the design which we use now. This was merely a cheesecloth or metal piece fitted with the rod which keeps the coffee grounds away from the cup.
The first patent for a modern French Press coffee maker was filed by an Italian man Attilio Calimani in 1929. So, some people might suggest that this brewing method is an Italian invention. But I am more convinced by the story that I have mentioned above as the name has French in it too.
After some years, Faleiro Bondanini made several changes to the existing design and came up with the most refined design of French Press that we use today. He patented this design in 1958 and started manufacturing it in France. He also markets this new design in the United Kingdom with the name La Cafetiere. After that, he sold his patent to a famous kitchenware company in Denmark named Bodum. Bodum is still the most popular company that manufactures French Press.
Although many companies have modified the design over the years, creating steel and stoneware variants, the essential plunger assembly and jar dimensions and design remain virtually identical to Bondanini’s 1958 patent.
After its invention in the 1920s, the French press quickly became a popular coffee brewing method throughout Europe. However, it wasn’t until the Danish company Bodum began exporting these coffee makers to the United States in the 1990s that Press Coffee gained widespread popularity in America. Now around 4% of American Coffee drinkers daily use Cafetiere for brewing their drink.
French Press buying guide
Ready to find your new French press or Accessories? Our buying guide has got you covered with everything needed to pick the ideal French press. First, check out factors to consider while buying a French Press.
Coarse Grounds for French Press
You can’t use regular coffee grounds in French Press; the Grind size must be coarse! Here’s the list of Coarse Coffee Grounds that work best.
Best Insulated Steel French Press
Metal coffee makers are a perfect choice if you are looking for something durable and long-lasting. I have reviewed the Best Insulated French Presses
Best Grinders for French Press
If you want to brew the absolute perfect cup of French Press, you’ll need an expert grinder. In this guide, I’ve included Grinders with perfect coarse settings.
Electric Kettles For French Press
The water temperature is significant for preparing a perfect cup of French Press coffee and Electrical Kettles are perfect for heating water. Here are some of the best electrical kettles
Le Creuset French Press Review
Le Creuset is a stoneware French press Coffee Maker with a very exquisite design. I have prepared a detailed review of this elegant coffee maker to let you know whether it’s worth it or not.
Glass Vs Steel vs Ceramic Press
In this post, I have compared the advantages and disadvantages of using a Glass, Stainless steel, or Ceramic French press. It will definitely help you if you are choosing between different materials.
French Press Comparisons
French Press vs Espresso
Espresso is a concentrated and strong coffee with a bold flavor and creamy texture. While French press coffee has a smooth and rich taste with a full-bodied and slightly gritty texture.
French Press vs Aeropress
A French Press and an Aeropress are quite similar. Both are manual coffee makers and both involve full immersion type brewing processes and require pressing to “Brew a cup of Coffee”.
French Press vs Percolator
A coffee percolator is a vintage method of brewing that was mainly used before drip machines were developed. I have made a detailed comparison among these classic methods.
French Press vs Moka Pot
Moka pot is a stovetop coffee maker that uses steam pressure to brew coffee. Moka pot makes an intense and strong espresso-styled coffee while French Press makes a full-bodied cup of coffee.
French Press vs Keurig
Keurig is a top-notch single-serve drip coffee maker brand known for its convenience and ease of use. However, the taste of coffee is not as great as French Press.
French Press vs Pour Over
“Pour Over” is a method of brewing coffee by percolating and is also known as “filter coffee”. Pour over makes a clean, sediment-free drink while French Press makes a thick and a bit sludgy drink.
French Press Recipes
Take your French press to new flavor heights with these delicious plunger brew recipes and creative coffee concoctions!
French Press Iced Coffee
The reason I love French Press for Iced Coffee is it’s easy to use, affordable, and makes rich and strong coffee that ain’t get watered down by ice.
French Press Cold Brew
Making a cold brew in French press is really simple. All you need to have is a Coasrse Grounds, filtered water, and a lot of time and you’re ready to go!
French Press Espresso
You can easily make “Espresso-Styled” coffee in a French Press coffee maker. It won’t be as concentrated and won’t have a layer of crema but you’ll love it.
French Brewing Guides
Best Grind Size for French Press
The Best Grind size for a French Press is obviously Coarse. I have discussed the Grind settings for the popular grinders and how to adjust grind size based on coffee roast in the following guide
French Press Steeping Time
The Ideal steeping steeping time for French Press is 4 minutes. I have discussed how you can change the steeping time to adjust the strength and what happens when you oversteep it.
Why French Press Coffee Weak
French Press can be weaker for a number of reasons like incorrect grind size, inadequate steeping time, using less coffee ratio, or using wrong coffee beans, all discussed in this article.
How to Clean a French Press
Cleaning a French press is a very easy task. I have discussed two methods of cleaning in the following article; the quick daily cleaning and the deep weekly cleaning.
French Press Paper Filter Guide
French Press uses a metal strainer to filter coffee. This filtration makes a full-bodied coffee however some people don’t like its sludgy nature. So, I have prepared a guide on How to Filter it properly!
Why French Press Hard to Press
In some cases, the plunger of the French Press coffee maker gets stuck and is very difficult to push down. Here’s a quick guide on how you can fix a stuck Press Plunger.