French press is one of my favorite brew methods. It’s quick, simple, AND it’s great for the environment because no paper filters are used. The entire process is zero-waste - you can compost your coffee grounds or even up-cycle them by turning them into a body scrub! Plus, using a French press gives you a deliciously rich and full-bodied cup.
Besides the typical drip coffee maker, the French press is one of the most widely used brewing devices around the world. As its name suggests, the basic form of the French press, or la cafetière, was first conjured in France in the 1850s. However, the French press as we know it today was invented and patented in Italy in the 1930s, by a designer from Milan named Attilio Calimani.
The French press method is ideal if you like your coffee strong and robust. It’s also great if you typically take your coffee with sugar and cream. Using a French press will ensure your coffee is strong enough that, when combined with other ingredients, its flavor will still shine through.
A basic French press recipe only requires coffee grounds, hot water, and, of course, your press. You’ll want to make sure your coffee grounds are coarse - about the size of sea salt. 1:15 is a good coffee to water ratio to start with, and you can adjust the recipe based on your personal taste.
Once you have your coffee and water measured out, preheat your French press with some hot water. Then, spoon your coffee grounds into your press, making sure you have a flat bed of coffee.
Get your hot water ready - it should be about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t have a water kettle that displays temperature? Simply bring your water to a boil then let it sit for 30 seconds.
Now, it’s time for the blooming process! Coffee blooming is an initial step when you dampen your coffee grounds before completely submerging them, to release CO2 and get as much flavor out of them as possible.
To bloom your coffee, set a timer for 4 minutes and pour enough of your hot water to wet the coffee bed evenly. Then, wait until 30 seconds have passed. With 3:30 left on the timer, fill the press with the rest of your hot water and put the lid on without plunging.
Once the timer goes off, push the plunger down. Serve the coffee immediately for the best taste possible!
Some things to keep in mind
It’s always best to use freshly ground coffee. A coffee grinder is a great investment! And if you don’t have one, you can always buy whole bean coffee from your local café and ask your barista to grind the beans for you.
There are so many ways to customize your recipe - like adding a dash of cardamom or cinnamon to your coffee grounds before adding your hot water.
Overall, brewing with a French press is great for beginners because it’s quick and easy - plus, most presses are quite affordable. Have fun brewing!