What is a French Press?
The French press is a coffee brewing device that requires no power, as it is a manually operated coffee brewer. It is a cylinder-shaped carafe that has a built-in plunger and a wire mesh filter. The coffee is brewed by saturating ground coffee in hot water, then applying pressure via the plunger that forces the hot water through the coffee to the bottom of the carafe. This process produces a bold and flavorful brew.
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Coffee Ratio for French Press
The coffee ratio will vary depending on how strong you prefer your coffee, so you may need to experiment some to determine what best suits your tastes. With that being said, many coffee “experts” refer to the golden ratio of 1 gram of coffee to 17 grams of water. However, you may find that with a French press utilizing immersion brewing, where the water sits with the ground coffee instead of passing through it, that a lower ratio may be preferable. Some baseline measurements to start with are for a standard brew, use 3 tablespoons coffee to 1 cup (8oz.) water. For a stronger brew, add an additional tablespoon of coffee, totaling 4 tablespoons, to 1 cup (8oz.) of water.
Best Coffee for a French Press
Ideally, use fresh-roasted beans, which is all that Sand and Sea Coffee sells. All of our beans are roasted for each order and are fresh. Usually, medium and dark roasts provide a richer and more bold-tasting brew in the French press, but this is a matter of personal preference.
Coarsely ground coffee, which resembles coarse sugar or sand, is optimal. If coffee is ground too finely, it may create a bitter taste and leave your brew gritty with some small grounds in it.
Step-by-Step: How to Use a French Press
Start with the previously mentioned amount of coffee that you prefer and 2 cups (16oz) of water.
Step 1: Preparing the Water & French Press
Boil 8oz. of water, filtered is preferred. Pour the boiled water into your French press to warm the carafe. While the French press is warming, refill your water kettle with filtered water and boil another 8oz. of water.
Step 2: Grind your Coffee Beans
Grind your freshly roasted Sand and Sea Coffee beans in a grinder, set at the coarse setting. Use a burr grinder if possible for the best results.
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Step 3: Prepare Water for French Press Brewing
Once the second kettle of water comes to a boil, let it rest for about 30 seconds before adding it to your warmed French press. If the water is too hot, it may cause your brew to have a burnt taste to it.
Step 4: Steeping the Coffee Grounds
Empty the first batch of water from the French press. Next, put the desired amount of freshly ground coffee in the bottom of the carafe. Lastly, pour in about 1 cup of the hot water and replace the lid to the carafe (but don’t push the plunger yet) and let it steep for 1 minute.
Step 5: Gently Stir and Steep Again
After 1 minute, stir gently with the handle of a wooden or plastic spoon (to prevent damaging the carafe) to break up the layer of coffee on top.
Step 6: Press the Coffee Grounds
Slowly push the plunger of the French press down to press the coffee grounds to the bottom of the carafe. If you find it is very difficult to press, then your coffee grounds may be ground too fine. And if it very easy to press down with little resistance, your coffee is most likely ground too coarse.
Step 7: Serve the Coffee Masterpiece & Enjoy!
Serve the coffee promptly while fresh and warm. If you are not sharing the pot and are not having a second cup, it is recommended to transfer the brewed coffee to a thermos or carafe. If the coffee is left in the carafe with the grounds, it will continue to brew and may become too strong or bitter.