Brew a delicious cup of French press coffee!

Y’all know I love my coffee.

Or at least Ihopeyoudo if you’ve been around for a hot second!

Now I’ll be honest with you – sometimes there’s nothing better than a cup of coffee that someone else made {I see you, busy moms & dads!}. But I think it’s v important to learn how to brew your own coffee in as many ways as possible. If you’re a coffee nerd like me you’ll understand that certain roasts taste best when they’re brewed in a particular way & that there’s always more to learn!

I used to hate French press coffee – it felt gritty, too sour and heavy, and just yuck. But that was because I was doing it wrong!

It took some tinkering with different recipes & tutorials that I found on the internet, but I finally found just the right taste. Full bodied, smooth, and easy to drink!

You might find that you want to add more or less coffee, or that you don’t really care about exact measurements, so take this all with a grain of salt. Or a grain of coffee??! lolz.

Let’s Brew!

Alright, so here is the recipe that I usually follow:

  • 28 g coffee, coarse grind
  • 400g water, heated to 200 degrees
  • Bloom for 20 seconds, then fill up, & plunge after 4 minutes

Was I speaking a foreign language to you? Let me break it down!

First, pull out your French press. I use a Bodum glass press, the 4-cup (17 oz) one, so the recipe is going to work best in a similar sized press. This will produce two small cups of coffee, or one big ol’ mug – the latter is usually the way I drink it 😉 it fits perfectly in my fave mugs that hold about 16 oz.

The best way to enjoy coffee is to grind it fresh right before you brew, if you can, but I know that’s not accessible to all.

The issue many people run into with French presses is that if you use pre-ground coffee that you pull off the grocery store shelf, it’s gonna be pretty gross, honestly. It’ll be silt-y, cloudy, and have a thick layer of sediment on the bottom of the cup. Blech. That’s because it hasn’t been ground correctly!

French press is an immersion brewing method, which means that the coffee grounds & hot water steep together for a certain amount of time, and the liquid is strained out through a super fine filter in the press. Another immersion method is cold brew, which I’m going to write a post on soon!

For this method, you need the coffee to be ground coarse, which looks like Kosher salt.

If you don’t have a grinder, I’d recommend buying whole beans at a local coffee shop and asking them to grind it coarse for you, or doing it in store if you can (PLEASE MAKE SURE THE GRINDER IS CLEAN bc those grocery store grinders make me v sad). Here’s a good post about coffee grind!

My current fave coffee to use in the French press is this medium-light roast I picked up on my trip to Cape Cod last month from Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters. I like to try new coffees all the time, but I’ll definitely be ordering this to be shipped all the way to Ohio!

weigh out the beans to ~28g (really a few grams more/less won’t kill ya) on a little kitchen scale.

This ends up being a little more than two scoops with my copper Hario coffee scoop, which I got at Crate & Barrel and am obsessed with. It holds 3 tablespoons, so I guess it would translate to about 6 tablespoons of whole bean coffee.

Then pop the coffee beans into my grinder (Baratza Virtuoso) and set it to 30 for a coarse grind.

I used to use a smaller grinder like this one that still works really well – it’s just less precise.

Pop that ground coffee into your press, and wait for your water to heat up! My kettle has different temperature settings, but if you just boil your water like a normal person, then wait 1-2 mins after it’s stopped boiling to let it cool a bit.

Now Pour your water slowly into the press

This can be done on a scale to get right to the 400 grams of hot water, but it really comes to just about 2 cups of water, so a good ol’ measuring cup works well too!

First, pour about a third of your water onto the grounds to saturate it. Start your timer for 4 minutes! Stir, and wait about 20 seconds to let it bloom – my favorite part of brewing coffee! Letting your coffee bloom essentially lets it breathe and let off the initial gases that are created in the brewing process. If it’s fresh, it’ll be a little bubbly and light colored on top and it smells SO FREAKING GOOD.

After it’s done its bloomin’ thing, pour the rest of your water in slowly. You can give it a stir if you want!

Put the plunger top of the press on, but be careful not to let the filter bits touch the coffee yet. Just let it rest there to keep the heat in.

After 4 minutes, you are free to plunge away!

Go slowly, and make sure it’s on a solid flat surface where it can’t slip around. You definitely don’t want to spill at this point! Tragedy!

Aaaaaaand pour!

Hey! You’ve made French press coffee! Go you!

Pour it as soon as you can to avoid any further steep-age. Because the water was cooler when you started and you let it sit for 4 whole minutes, it should be at a good temperature to sip and enjoy immediately. 

If you’re a cream & sugar person, please please give the coffee a try before you add anything. Drinking black coffee might not be your thing {and is definitely not always my thing!} but I’d encourage you to give it a try for a sip or two. French press coffee takes cream & sugar nicely, though.

That’s about it!

I hope this helped you learn a little more about coffee and brewing methods! It might sound complicated at first, but once you’ve done it 20 times, it’ll feel oh so natural.

If you have any questions about this, please pop them in the comments! I’m not an expert, but like to think I learned a few things in my 2 years as a professional coffee slinger 😉

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret