thirsty thursday : how to make french press coffee

Posted on Mar 10, 2011 in Food

It is no secret that I love French press coffee. The flavor is full-bodied and rich. But to me, my favorite part is that it is so easy. Our big coffee pot stays locked in the closet, because we drink coffee rarely enough that a giant appliance doesn’t need to take up valuable counter real estate. A French press is small and convenient.

Our French press is 17 ounces, which is perfect for two small cups of coffee (or one giant one). I love it.

A French press is typically made of two parts, the beaker/handle and the plunger. On my French press, the beaker pulls out of the plastic handle for easy washing.

To make French press coffee, start with boiling water in a kettle. Water boiled in an orange kettle tastes better, true story.

While waiting for the kettle to boil, prepare your press. For my 17 ounce press, I use about three rounded tablespoons of coffee grounds. This makes for a strong, but not overwhelming so, cup of coffee.

Place the grounds in the bottom of your empty press.

Once the kettle boils, remove from heat and wait for 30-45 seconds. You do not want boiling water, you want just boiled water. After your waiting period is over, pour slow and steadily over grinds. You don’t want the grinds to splash around.

Fill to about 1-1/2 inches from the top of your press. You need to leave enough room to place the plunger without spilling. Too full and when your press your coffee, you’ll have a very hot mess on your hands.

Replace the plunger on top of the press. Do not press the plunger down.

Now set your timer for 4 minutes and wait.

Any less than that and you risk brown-colored water. Any more than that and it starts to get very bitter. Remember, you aren’t using a filter, so any impurities or bitterness comes through very easily.

When the time is up, press the plunger very slowly.

Delicious, frothy coffee!

Pour into mugs and doctor up as desired (I like half and half and honey).

Happy pressing!

11 Comments

  1. I used to do it like that but recently I was told to push the plunger down and then pull it back up, then leave it for a few minutes. apparently it gets helps with the flavour

    • Ooooh! Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try it!

  2. I love this post!! I have that same french press in brown. I love using my french press because my husband doesn’t drink coffee and the press makes the perfect coffee for one!

    • I love that, too. It seems like so much less hassle than the big coffee pot.

  3. where did you get your cup?! I love it.

    • Target! They were Bodum brand.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your technique! I bought a French Press but it is not a very good quality one I think. I never managed to make good coffee using it. I tried your method and it worked like charm!

    • Yay! I’m so glad you liked it. I think the 4 minutes is really the key. :)

  5. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  6. As a beginner french-presser, this helps SO MUCH. Thanks for a great tutorial. Love your blog. (:

  7. Hi, I was refered to your web site by my friend. I thought this post was good.
    You’re amazing! Thank you.

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