How to Make the Perfect French Press Coffee

How to Make the Perfect French Press Coffee

Earlier this year, we walked you through how to make pour-over coffee using a stand, digital scale, thermometer, and kettle. And while we love this technique for the controlled, slow-coffee experience it provides, we'll also always be big fans of the French press method.

It really is one of the easiest ways to make great-tasting coffee at home, without having to invest in high-priced, heavy-duty machinery. It's all about the purity and simplicity of it. In a nutshell, coarsely ground coffee beans (or loose tea leaves if you're not a café drinker) are steeped in boiling water within the French press, and then filtered away by plunging the mesh sieve through the press. That's pretty much it.

Le Creuset French Press in Cerise

French Press by Le Creuset, available here in Cerise stoneware ($70)

Because the grounds are steeped instead of filtered, many followers of this method believe the coffee just tastes better. Paper filters absorb much of the coffee's natural flavor and oils, so removing this obstacle allows you to enjoy the full personality of the beans. Plus, tiny bits of grounds are added to your coffee that percolates the flavor — another element that many believers enjoy.

Plus, the tool is small and simple enough to take with you on your travels, including camping and road trips. As long as you can get access to boiling water (think, a trusty Jetboil or portable camping stove), your French press can come along with you.

Continue reading to learn exactly how to make the perfect French press coffee.

Tools & Ingredients:

French Press

Our go-to French press is this classic stoneware coffee maker from Le Creuset's café collection. Available in nine colors (both neutrals and bright shades), it's complete with an enamel glaze, stainless-steel plunger, and mesh press. Use it to easily steep coarsely ground coffee beans and loose tea leaves.

Le Creuset French Press Coffee Maker

Stoneware French Press Coffee Maker ($75), Mugs from the Demi Teakettle and Two Mug Set ($75) — both in Oyster and White by Le Creuset

Teakettle

The Le Creuset Classic Whistling Teakettle is crafted from fast-heating premium carbon steel that's been glazed in the color of your choice — from dark Licorice and Marseille blue to Meringue white and Oyster gray. Durable carbon steel heats water rapidly while a fixed single-tone whistle lets you know when the water has reached a rolling boil.

Le Creuset Tea Kettle and Mug Set

Le Creuset Demi Teakettle and Two Mug Set by Le Creuset, shown here in Licorice ($75) — also available as a large Classic Whistling Tea Kettle in 8 colors ($75)

A digital scale and thermometer

The Hario drip scale (VST - 2000) is designed to fit with The Farrier Collection of pour-over stands by The Coffee Registry, but is also great for the French press method. It features an integrated timer for perfect pours and has .1-gram increments for high-precision weighing. The functional tool also includes an automatic shutoff that triggers after five minutes, which will only be activated when the timer isn't running.

Click here for a few reliable thermometers. 

Hario Pour-Over Coffee Drip Timer Scale

Hario Pour-Over Coffee Drip Timer Scale by The Coffee Registry ($48)

Grinder

We're big fans of manual coffee grinders. They're more compact, you don't need to worry about an outlet, and you can easily take it with you on camping and road trips. The Handground Precision Manual Coffee Grinder is an affordable yet high-quality option with a side-mounted handle, as opposed to having a handle that's mounted on the top. Think reeling in a fish!

Handground Precision Manual Coffee Grinder

Handground Precision Manual Coffee Grinder ($79)

33 grams fresh coffee beans

We suggest hitting up your local coffee shop or market to try your town or city's favorite small-batch beans.

Filtered water

Instructions

1. Fill your kettle with filtered water and bring to a boil. Or, using a digital thermometer, bring it to 195–205 degrees.

2. Weigh out 33 grams of coffee on your digital scale.

3. Grind the coffee to a medium-coarse consistency.

4. Preheat the French press by filling it with hot filtered water, waiting for about a minute, then pouring the water out.

5. Place the ground coffee into the base of the French press.

6. Make sure the filtered water is at the right temperature to brew. It should be between 195–205 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, just wait a few minutes after it stops boiling.

7. Pour 550 ml of hot water over the top of the coffee grounds.

8. Using the French press plunger, plunge the wet coffee grain bed several times to agitate the coffee grinds, swirling them around in the water. Make sure to leave the coffee grinds submerged under the surface of the water.

9. Allow the grinds to steep for approximately 3–4 minutes.

10. Plunge the grinds to the bottom of the press, pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy.

A few more coffee accessories for your morning routine:

Kinto Coffee Decanter

Hario 400mL Heat-Resistant Glass Decanter by The Coffee Registry ($18)

 

Kinto Coffee Jug

Oct Large Coffee Jug by Kinto via Design Milk Shop ($15)

 

Kinto Stacking Mug

SCS Stacking Mug by Kinto via Design Milk Shop ($13)

Shop our full collection of coffee and tea essentials here.

 

Written by Paige Alexus Yau ; Coffee instructions provided by Matt Ludwikowski of Brash Coffee.