How to Make the Perfect Cup with a French Press

Using a French Press (aka Press Pot) will not only give you street cred, it will give you an incredibly smooth, creamy, & full-bodied cup of coffee. It also feels extra rewarding to drink a cup of coffee you brewed yourself and didn't come out of a plastic pod (sorry Keurig). 

The French Press uses pressure to force coffee to the bottom of a glass (or plastic) carafe after brewing, capturing the concentrated flavors. This is coffee in its purest form. We think it's an essential piece of equipment for any coffee lover. 

French Press Brewing Directions:

  1. If starting with whole beans, grind coffee to a course grind (about the size of breadcrumbs). If using ground coffee, you are ready to measure!
  2. Measure 56 grams (or 8 TBSP) of coffee grinds (if using 8-cup French Press) and pour in bottom of empty carafe.
  3. Boil a kettle of water on the stovetop (or use an electric kettle to heat water)
  4. Pour hot water into carafe (30 seconds off the boil or about 205 degrees F), saturating all of your grounds, and pouring to the halfway mark. Start your timer for 4 minutes.
  5. After 1 minute, stir the “bloom” (or top layer of grinds that rise to the top) carefully with a spoon in a circular motion to agitate the brew and make the grinds sink. Then pour the rest of the water evenly to the top of the carafe and affix the press pot lid.
  6. After the 4 minute timer goes off, you can begin to plunge. Hold the lid in place with one hand, and carefully start to push on the knob at the top to force the plunger screen downward, pushing the grinds with it to the bottom.   
  7. Now you're ready to serve. Enjoy!
    • Be sure to pour coffee into cups or a thermos right away because if you leave the coffee sitting on top of the grounds, it will keep brewing and will get stronger and sludgier.
    • If you find that the coffee is too strong, I recommend using slightly less coffee in your coffee-to-water ratio, or brewing the coffee for 30 seconds less.
    • If you find that the coffee is too weak, then increase your coffee-to-water ratio (or some people swear by a 5- or 6-minute brew time)


    • Want to add frothy milk to your coffee? You can froth milk using your press by simply pouring hot milk  (regular or almond milk) into a clean carafe and then pump the plunger up and down until frothy (~1 minute). Brew your coffee extra strong and then add this for a delicious cappuccino. 
      March 05, 2015 by Rachel Gutierrez
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