How to use a French Press


The Advantages: Superior flavor, complete control

You don't need to buy an expensive coffee machine to brew like a pro. The humble French Press allows for precise control over every aspect of the process. Many high-tech coffee brewers over-extract the coffee with prolonged brew times and do not achieve proper extraction temperatures. The French Press, on the other hand, allows you to add water at precisely the right temperature and stop the process at precisely the right time. The coffee is incredibly flavorful and rich, as the essential oils and aromatics (that paper filters often strip out) are left in the final cup. The French Press will also produce a more full-bodied cup of coffee than nearly any other brewing method on the market. It's also easy to clean and creates no waste (other than the grounds, of course). You simply can't go wrong with the French Press.

A solid cup of coffee, indeed

When you finish your cup, you will notice a few solids at the bottom of the mug. This is the mark of a good cup of French Press coffee. Instructions on how to make it can be found below. If you have further questions, give us a call at 1-800-600-0033 or email Casey at casey @!

Check out MoreCoffee!'s French Press selection by clicking here.


Measuring out the beans :

First things first, you need to grind your beans. You may find that it is more convenient to measure your beans before grinding.

Measuring out your beans is simple. Nearly all Bodum products come with an easy to use, 7-gram scoop (featured in the picture). The recommended amount of coffee is one scoop per 5 oz of water. You may add more or less to taste as you learn what strength you like best.


Grinding your coffee:

The grind is one of the most important parts of the brewing process. It is important to choose a suitable grind for the brewing method to ensure proper extraction of consistent flavor. When brewing with the French Press, you will want to use a coarser grind. This reduces the amount of solids that end up in the bottom of your cup and, to a certain extent, the perceived body of your coffee on the palate. A good burr grinder, like the Virtuoso featured in the picture, will produce very even bits of ground coffee - leading to a consistent grind and very little coffee "powder".

Adding the grounds:

You next need to add your coffee to the French Press. Keep in mind the proper measurement. 7-grams per 5 ounces of water. A small 3-cup French Press is used in the picture, requiring 3 scoops or 21 grams of dry coffee grounds.

Tip: Pre-heat your French Press (before adding the coffee grounds) by filling it with very hot tap water. This prevents the water with which you will brew from cooling down when you add it to the French Press. It is important that your brew mantain a constant 195-205F temperature throughout the process and preheating your French Press helps quite a bit.
Adding water:

Here you add the "just off the boil" hot water to your French Press. Pour slowly and try to saturate all the grounds in the cup. You will notice that the "cap" of grounds will rise to the top of the French Press and "blossom" as the heat and steam builds up below. Many first-timers fill the entire french press too quickly and have overflows when the cap rises over the lip of the press. The ideal brewing temperature is 195-205F.
The wait:

After putting the plunger on top of the French Press (but not pushing it down!), you will let your coffee brew for four minutes. You may want to lower the plunger slightly to ensure that all the grounds are saturated. A small timer like the one featured in the picture may help keep track of time.

Tip: While you wait, you may want to pre-heat your coffee mug. Your French Press coffee will slowly cool as you brew it and by the time it gets added to your cold mug, it will be lukewarm at best. By pre-heating your coffee mug (and the French Press before the addition of the coffee grounds), you will get piping hot coffee every time.

Pushing down the plunger:

After your coffee has brewed for four minutes, it is time to push down the plunger. This pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom of the cup and leaves the brewed coffee in the upper portion of the press. Your coffee is ready to pour!

Tip: If your plunger gets stuck as you lower it (pressure sometimes builds below the "cap" of brewing coffee and prevents the plunger from lowering), simply raise the plunger and re-apply pressure. Many brewers have fallen victim to pushing too hard and having coffee squirt out the top when the pressure suddenly releases.
Pouring the brew:

Once the plunger has been lowered, it's time to pour your coffee into your (pre-heated) mug. If you don't want as many solids at the bottom of the cup, leave the bottom quarter of coffee in the French Press. If you like a thicker and richer cup, pour the whole thing in your mug.

Now that's coffee!


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