How to Make French Press Coffee
You've finally purchased that French press coffee maker you keep hearing everyone talk about. You take it out of the box, and suddenly, you have no clue how to brew a cup of coffee! Before you can start serving freshly pressed coffee in your café, restaurant, or diner, it’s important to train yourself and your staff how to make French press coffee. Don’t worry, it’s not hard!
Drip Coffee vs. French Press
Making French press coffee is rather simple, and coffee drinkers will love the rich, bold flavor this style of brewing extracts. But first, it’s valuable to understand why using a coffee press vs. a coffee maker in your establishment makes all the difference.
A coffee connoisseur can tell you that there is a world of difference between standard drip coffee and a French press brew. Drip coffee, from traditional commercial coffee brewers, is great for automatic brewing purposes, keeping coffee warmer longer, and brewing more coffee at one time. This method of brewing filters coffee grounds through coffee filters, generally creating lighter flavored coffee, and is extremely popular in many industries.
A French press coffee maker, however, performs a steeping brew. This means it filters the brew directly through the metal screen, so the essential oils found in the grounds are not absorbed by paper filters or evaporated through percolation. Since the grounds stay in contact with the water throughout the entire brew period, a French press allows the oils to go directly into the cup of coffee. This gives the coffee a richer and more aromatic flavor, and it creates a more intimate experience at restaurants and specialty coffee shops.
How to Make French Press Coffee
What You'll Need
- Preheat French press by adding hot water and letting it sit for about a minute before dumping it out. Dry out the canister.
- Measure out ground coffee and add to the canister.
Generally, 2 tbsp. of coffee per 1 cup of water is used, or follow the ratio on the bag.
- Add just enough boiling water to cover and soak the grounds. Or, for even fresher coffee, you can grind your own whole beans in a commercial coffee grinder. It's also recommended to use your grinder on the coarsest setting, since coarser coffee grounds make better French press coffee.
- Stir the grounds, attach the lid, and let it sit for about 30 seconds.
- Remove the lid and add in the remaining amount of water.
- Give the mixture a gentle stir.
- Attach the lid, with the plunger pulled all the way up as pictured to the right, so the screen is set flush against the bottom of the lid, preventing steam from escaping.
- Let steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on how fine the grounds are.
Finer grounds require a shorter steeping time, and coarser grounds require a longer time.
- After 3-5 minutes, hold the top of the lid with one hand and slowly and carefully push down the plunger with the other hand. This should take about 20 seconds, and there will be resistance.
If you notice grounds are escaping, the screen may be tilted. The screen should push all the grounds to the bottom, so simply remove the lid, rinse it, and re-plunge.
- Pour coffee into a coffee decanter or coffee cup and serve.
The longer you let the coffee sit in the French press, the more bitter it will get, so we recommend serving immediately or pouring into a decanter.