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French Press Coffee Brewing Guide - How to Use a French Press to Brew Exceptional Coffee

How to use a French Press - french_press_heading

Learning how to use a French Press is simple, just stick with us and we will get you brewing in no time!

With these instructions and a little care, your cup of coffee will be heavy, silky, and full of flavor.

Commonly referred to as full-immersion because the grounds are allowed to steep, the French Press is undoubtedly the most popular manual brew method around.

The French Press is a very forgiving brew method and because of its simple design and construction it is an affordable way to make consistently good coffee.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Filtered Water
  • Kettle
  • Fresh Coffee, ground coarsely
  • French Press Brewer
  • Stirring Utensil (not metal)
  • Timer
  • Digital Gram Scale, Tablespoon or 2 Tbsp. Coffee Scoop

BREWING RATIO

How to use a French Press - A chart illustrating suggested water to coffee ratios for common sized French Presses.

Using the right coffee to water ratio is key to making exceptional coffee.

 

  • 3 Cup (makes 1 serving): 17-19 grams coffee to 290 grams water (3-4 tablespoons coffee to 10 oz water)
  • 8 Cup (makes 2-3 servings): 50–56 grams coffee to 850 grams water (10-11 tablespoons coffee to 30 oz water)
  • 12 Cup (makes 4-5 servings): 82-88 grams coffee to 1350 grams water (1 measuring cup of coffee to 47 oz water)

 

STEP BY STEP BREWING INSTRUCTIONS

1

Heat your water up to 195-205ºF (Bring water to a boil then let it rest for 30-60 seconds).

2

Preheat French Press with some of that hot water for a better extraction. Don’t forget to discard it before adding your coffee!How to use a French Press - A photograph of a french press being pre-warmed with hot water.

3

Weigh or measure your coffee (see chart) then grind on a coarse setting (around the #30 on the Baratza Encore).

How to use a French Press - A photograph showing a shot glass filled with coffee beans being weighed on a digital kitchen scale

4

Add the ground coffee to your French Press.

How to use a French Press - A photograph of coffee grounds being poured into a French Press.

5

Start your timer and quickly pour proper amount of water over the coffee (No gram scale? Fill until the water line reaches around the top of chrome ring).

How to use a French Press - Photograph depicting water poured into French Press with a timer in the foreground for set to 4 minutes.

6

Give a gentle stir to ensure all the coffee grounds have been evenly wetted. If you have really fresh coffee, pour half of the water in, wait 30 seconds, stir, then add the rest so you don’t overfill the brewer.

How to use a French Press - A photo of a wooden spoon being used to stir the coffee in a French Press.

7

Set the plunger into the top of the brewer to retain heat, but do not press yet.

8

After 4:00 minutes, gently press the plunger all the way down.

How to use a French Press - A photograph of a hand pressing the plunger of a French Press.

9

Serve and enjoy!

How to use a French Press - A photo of coffee being poured out of a French Press into a coffee mug.

 

TIPS

  • Pour your brew into a decanter or thermal server if you’re not going to serve all the coffee right away. Otherwise, the coffee will continue to brew leading to harsh and astringent flavors from over-extraction.

 

  • Experiment with time: 3-minute steep for darker roasts, up to 5 minutes for lighter roasts

 

A CLEAN FRENCH PRESS MAKES BETTER TASTING COFFEE

 

  • All components of the Chambord product line are dishwasher safe

 

  • After each use:
    • Discard spent grounds from glass beaker, rinse and clean
    • Unscrew the filter assembly and clean

 

  • Don’t pour those spent grinds down your drain, compost them!

 

6 thoughts on “French Press Coffee Brewing Guide - How to Use a French Press to Brew Exceptional Coffee”

  • There is information on the web that lead us to prefer our Chemex to french press coffee. There has been some studies that indicate more stress on liver function due to the coffee oils that pass through the french press screen. These oils, which are hard for our bodies to process, are absorbed by the Chemex paper filter. That eliminates the source of the bitter taste that you mention from over "brewing" before the press is pressed. We've been using a Chemex for MANY years and love the taste and ease of use.

    Reply
    • Hello Steve,

      Thanks for stopping by, we are glad to hear you have found a brew method that suites you so well!

      We are actually putting together some great Chemex Brewing Tips for the blog very soon, so keep an eye out!

      Cheers!

      Reply
  • Marjorie Ettlinger November 10, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    How do I replace the glass container?

    Reply
  • Lots of help, thank you! Never used one before today, have a great Turkey Day!

    Reply
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