French Press or press pot brewing is one of our favorite methods of brewing medium roast coffee, especially in the winter. It also seems like one of the most widely used “by hand” methods of coffee extraction at home. Although some coffee snobs will look down on press pots for specialty coffee beans in favor of other extraction methods that yield cleaner cups, we’ve found that this press recipe delivers the well-rounded, rich cup of coffee for medium roast beans with the added benefit of a cleaner cup with less fines and a smoother taste. In fact we recommend trying this press method with our 9 Dub and Dam Loop espressos that are medium roasted.
One of the basics of coffee brewing is to follow a 1:17 coffee to water ratio. That’s 1 gram of coffee per every 17 grams of water being brewed. When in doubt, start there. After years of experimentation, we have broken from that rule and adjusted the coffee to water ratio taking into account the extraction method, coffee beans, brew elevation, etc. For French Press we’ve dialed into to using 1:15.6. Start with that and then experiment. We did. Our original inspiration for this recipe came from the UK’s AWESOME Square Mile Coffee Roasters video from 2008. Watch it here. It’s all about “The Break” and “The Clean.”
- Set your kettle of filtered water to boil.
- Weigh 48g of coffee beans.
- Pre-warm the press with hot water from your sink.
- Grind the coffee in your conical burr grinder. We recommend a very course grind.
- Pour out the warm water from your press.
- Put the press on your scale and tare to zero.
- Pour the freshly grounded coffee into the press and make sure you have 48g of very course ground coffee. Tare the scale back to zero.
- Take the boiling kettle off the stove and let it sit for one minute. Ideal temperature can range from 204 to 208F. Experiment. For dark roasted coffees, use a lower temperature. For light roasted coffees, use the higher temperature.
- “Bloom” the coffee grounds by pouring 90g of water onto the grounds, taking care to wet the grounds evenly. This is best accomplished by pouring water into the press in a circular motion midway between the center of the grounds and the press walls - like is done with a chemex pour. Let the coffee grounds bloom for 30 seconds. If the grounds are older, let them bloom for 15-30 secs longer. Don’t stir the bloom.
- Using a continuous circle motion, break the bloom by pouring the remaining water over the coffee in the same circular motion but faster. Avoid directly pouring onto the sides of the press but make sure to pour in a circular motion. Pour water until you reach 750g. Again, don’t stir the press. We’ve found that pouring in the circular motion stirs the grounds sufficiently to get a properly extracted coffee.
- Cover the pot without touching the coffee slurry and let it sit for a total of 4 minutes starting from when the grounds were first wetted for the bloom.
- After 4 minutes, take the lid off. With a spoon, gently break the crust that’s formed at the top of the coffee slurry. This is “the Break.” Then skim off all of the foam bubbles and floaters off the top until all you see is the coffee slurry sans bubble or floaters. This is “the Clean.”
- Put the lid back on and then gently plunge the press filter down.
- Pour the French Press into cups and ENJOY your coffee!
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