The humble French Press or Plunger is a mainstay in many a kitchen and is an excellent way to brew your coffee as the metal filter design doesn't remove the oils inherent in the coffee, it can often lend a positive mouthfeel and body not present in paper filtered methods.
What you'll need.
Whole coffee beans - ideally within 4 weeks of being roasted
An adjustable burr coffee grinder
A French Press
A spoon or something to stir the coffee with.
How much coffee do you want to brew?
Boil your water and pre-heat your french press with it.
Firstly decide how much coffee you wish to brew. We recommend using a brew ratio of 17:1. This means we are using 17 parts of water per 1 part of coffee to brew with. For a small one cup French Press a recipe of 15g to 255g/ml of water is perfect. Have a bigger French Press and wish to brew more? Simply increase the amount of dry coffee used and multiply by the brew ratio. Alternatively you can divide the total amount of brewed coffee by this number also to obtain how much dry coffee is required to brew a given volume. Prefer a stronger brew? simply decrease the brew ratio to 16:1 or even 15:1 to really lift the strength as we will be brewing the same amount of dry coffee with less water.
Grind your coffee, a medium coarse setting is ideal and pour your coffee into your pre-heated french press and place on your set of scales.
Your brewing water should be between 95-99 degrees, about 30 secs of the boil is usually ideal. Start your timer and begin to pour, just pour the water all at once and then stir the entire contents to 'agitate' the grounds, aiding in extracting the coffee. Place the filter assembly on top and let it brew for 4:00 mins.
Plunge & Pour.
Once your timer reaches 4:00 it's time to plunge. We recommend only plunging halfway down as it doesn't stir up all the grounds that settled at the bottom, leading to a much cleaner cup.
Gently pour out your brewed coffee being careful not to tilt the french press too aggressively or try to pour out the 'slurry' at the bottom as this can also allow more sediment to creep into your cup.
Unlike a method such as pourover we have the same contact time with coffee to water regardless of grind size so it's important to 'dial in' our grinder to a french press via taste. If you have well roasted , freshly ground coffee and good water and still experience an overpowering, dry or overly bitter cup then grind coarser. If your coffee is quite dull, flat, and lacking body, then grind finer and/or make sure your water is at least 95 degrees. The ideal grind setting for a french press should give a cup that has a full, round body with a lush mouthfeel and good balance between sweetness and acidity. This setting would stay the same for smaller or larger brews but may change with different coffees, especially those of differing roast styles.