What do you need to make French press coffee?
Nothing gets a morning started like a fresh cup of coffee, and there are several ways to prepare the delicious beverage in your home kitchen. While retail coffee makers are convenient and reliable for making larger batches, many coffee lovers prefer to make their cups in smaller doses, which tends to enhance the overall quality and flavor of your favorite joe.
The French press is one of the oldest and most popular ways to make small-batch coffee. For almost 100 years, coffee drinkers have used the French press method to make a rich cup. The best part is it’s one of the easiest brewing methods to master, but first you need to stock up on the necessary equipment, tools and of course, coffee.
What is a French press?
Invented in Italy in 1929, the French press is a simple device with only a few elements: a glass or plastic cylindrical beaker and a tight-fitting plunger fitted with a fine-mesh strainer and a pouring filter. It’s one of several manual, full-immersion methods of preparing coffee in small batches, usually enough for one to three servings. In addition to brewing coffee, a French press is also well-suited for brewing loose-leaf tea.
What you need to make French press coffee
Whole bean coffee: Although using pre-ground coffee is fine, freshly ground coffee makes for the best flavor profile and overall enjoyment. Many roasters offer subscription services so you never run out of freshly roasted coffee.
Coffee grinder: Every java fanatic should have a reliable and easy-to-use coffee grinder to prepare the freshest cup of joe. Also, French press coffee requires coarsely ground coffee, so it’s smart to have one with adjustable grind settings.
Coffee measuring scoop: Some grinders come with a scoop for your freshly ground coffee, but you can also find a high-quality one that will last forever.
Digital scale: In order to make the perfect cup of French press coffee or for other manual methods, an accurate measurement is crucial, and a digital scale is always useful in the kitchen. Weighing coffee grounds by the gram is the best way to ensure your cup isn’t too strong or too weak.
Wooden paddle or stir sticks: In order to agitate your grounds as they steep, you need either standard wood stir sticks or a reusable bamboo paddle. If you don’t have either, a regular clean wooden spoon will do.
Timer: You can use the timer on your smartphone or stove, or you can find a digital coffee scale with a built-in timer.
How to make French press coffee
- Fill your grinder with freshly roasted coffee beans and set your grinder to a coarse setting. If your grinder has a timer, make sure it’s set for a shorter time in order to avoid waste. Grind your coffee, about 56 grams, or 8 tablespoons.
- Boil 10 cups of water, including a small amount to preheat your French press beaker. When the water reaches a boil, pour about 2 ounces into the beaker and use the handle to swirl hot water over as much of the inner surface as possible. Preheating your carafe or mug brings the material’s surface temperature close to the temperature of your finished product, which helps keep your coffee hot throughout. Dump the water out of the beaker before continuing.
- Place the empty beaker onto your scale and turn it on or hit the tare button to reset the weight to zero. Using your measuring spoon, add about 56 grams of coarsely ground coffee to the beaker. Once your water is boiling, remove the kettle from the heat and set aside for 1 minute. Set a timer for 4 minutes and start it as soon as you begin pouring hot water over the grounds.
- First, add about 2 ounces of hot water. Using a stir stick or paddle, gently stir the submerged grounds for 30 seconds before resuming pouring the water. Pour to the top line on the beaker before placing the plunger onto the top. Do not depress the plunger.
- Let the coffee steep for a total brewing time of 4 minutes before you press the plunger slowly to the bottom of the beaker. Pour the coffee into a preheated mug or travel cup and enjoy. If serving multiple people, make sure to pour all the coffee out of the carafe — any leftover coffee still sitting in the beaker will become bitter as it sits in the grounds.
What you need to buy for French press coffee
Bodum is one of the most reliable and popular brands of affordable coffee equipment, but the French press is the product that made it famous. The shatterproof SAN plastic carafe is scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe.
Bonavita is another trusted name in specialty coffee equipment, and this electric kettle has plenty of settings to make the perfect cup of coffee or tea.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Just like large commercial coffee grinders, this home model has a hopper to hold plenty of whole coffee beans. It also has 12 grind settings and a slide timer for grinding 4-18 cups’ worth of coffee.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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