How to Brew Coffee with a French Press
Master the art of using a French press to produce a sublimely full-bodied brew with superior depth of flavor and richness—no cream or sugar required.
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Aharon Coffee is a Los Angeles-based roaster and purveyor supplying beans to premiere businesses throughout the region. A favorite of the Sunset Staff, Aharon Coffee will bring you inside the world of high-quality coffee in this new weekly series. For more information, visit the Aharon Coffee website.
Before we opened our Beverly Hills 90210 café, Aharon Vaknin, my husband and founder of Aharon Coffee, used to brew French press coffee for us almost daily at home. We loved the naturally occurring coffee oils that gave our cup a wonderfully bold, rich flavor and a full-bodied mouthfeel.
In our café, you won’t find French press coffee on our online menu (though we’ve been known to offer it as an “off the menu” option for those who ask) but at home, it’s still a Vaknin staple.
Simply put, French press coffee is one of the most enjoyable ways to brew and sip!
How to Make Your French Press Coffee Dazzle the Senses
Start with the Best Coffee
People who enjoy French press tend to like their coffee rich and full-bodied. Our Movito perfectly fits that bill, as do some of our single-origin offerings, like our honey processed Honduras, or our Colombia coffee. Ethiopia is also fantastic and nuanced when brewed as a French press. Play around. Find the coffee with the flavor notes that you will love.
Pre-Heat Your French Press
All the pros know: Before you brew coffee into a vessel (like French press or pour-over), first pour hot water into the vessel and swirl it around a bit, to pre-heat it. Just don’t forget to toss that water out before brewing.
Grind Coffee: Coarse Grind
Coffee should be ground coarsely, much coarser than drip grind (but not as coarse as for cold brew). Have a look at this blog to see why the grinder used to grind your coffee is so important. If you want your beans to last longer, invest in a grinder.
We love this Encore by Baratza. Or if you will consume the beans within a week or so, ask us to grind your coffee for you.
Weigh or Scoop Grinds into a French Press
In our Beverly Hills café, we weigh 10g of coffee per 1 gram of water (so a one-cup French press takes 45g of coffee and 450g of water).
For the standard larger size 3-cup French press (if you don’t use a scale), we recommend 6 coffee scoops (12 tablespoons) of coffee.
To answer your question: Yes, French press takes a lot of coffee for each brew. Don’t skimp or it won’t taste right.
Fill French Press Vessel with 200 Degree Water, Cover, and Brew for Four Minutes
Ratio of water to coffee is very important. It’s important enough to repeat: 1g of water for 45g coffee. Check out this blog to understand the part water plays in making your coffee taste fantastic. (Hint: It plays a big part.) Please do not use unfiltered water; your coffee will not taste amazing.
Stir/agitate the grinds & water together gently with a spoon in order to encourage the total extraction of coffee from the grinds.
Keep it hot! Put the cover back and wait a couple more minutes. Total brew time for French press including the bloom (see pro tip, below) should be 4 minutes.
Enjoy Your Coffee!
(Like this really needed to be a step!)
Pro Tip: When you are ready to add the hot water, first, fill the French press vessel only one-fourth of the way full with 200-degree water. Then wait one minute as your coffee blooms. What does that mean? Watch the coffee at this stage and you will know where the terminology comes from. The coffee grinds will de-gas, and, as the naturally occurring gases release, the coffee blooms upwards. After the bloom, add the remainder of the hot water, stir/agitate, cover, and wait another 3 minutes for the perfect extraction.
Sunset’s Favorite Coffee Gear
|• The Gooseneck Kettle
|• The Cold-Brew System
|• The Digital Scale
|• The High-End Espresso Maker
|• The Burr Grinder
|• The Pour-Over Stand
|• The French Press
|• The Smart Mug
|• The All-in-One Espresso Maker