Simple French Press Instructions

A french press makes for a great addition to any home – but how do you use one?  How do you get it to make really good coffee?  It is hard?

It isn’t, it’s actually really simple if you know the steps but can seem awfully daunting if you don’t.  Here’s a step by step guide for learning how to use a french press that I have been using to teach people for years.

  • Heat water on the stove – any kettle will suffice.  However, do not let the water boil.  Most people boil their water for french press and if so it isn’t the end of the world, but it will result in a less extracted cup of coffee.  The water should be about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum potential extraction – this will improve the flavor of your coffee a lot.
  • Grind your coffee to an extra course setting.  Some coffee grinders have a setting specifically for french press – if yours does then feel free to use that, if it doesn’t just make sure that you are grinding almost as course as your grinder will allow.  This way when you plunge the wire mesh of the french press down the coffee won’t come floating back up.  We don’t want coffee grounds in our coffee so it’s important that we have a very course grind setting.
  • Pour the grounds in and immediately follow this with the hot water.  Set the lid of the french press on top to ensure that the heat from the water doesn’t escape.
  • After about one minute, lift the lid of the french press and stir up the grounds and the water.  This will help the grounds mix better with the water and will result in a more flavorful cup of coffee.  You may be surprised when you lift the lid of the french press, because there will be a lot of foam on top.  This is normal – it is what happens when the coffee grounds float to the top.  By stirring it all up the grounds will sink back into the water, giving the water another chance to soak up flavor from the coffee beans.
  • After another three minutes plunge the wire mesh down, trapping the coffee grounds below and leaving a warm pot of delicious french press coffee above.

French press coffee goes great with meals as well as desserts, it is a great complement to any meal or when entertaining guests.

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