French Press

How do you brew with a French Press?

I hate to say it because so many people swear by this method, but it’s not my favorite.  It’s very easy to over-extract the grounds, either through having an incorrect grind or letting the grounds sit in the water too long.  In addition, as the water temperature declines, it affects the extraction process, especially for lighter roasts.

Bodum Brazil 8 Cup French Press Coffee Maker - Black - image 2 of 4

First off, be sure to use a coarse grind, something close to coarse kosher salt. Using too fine of a grind will cause over-extraction, which will result in a more bitter cup.  It will also be more likely to clog the filter screen.

Next, be sure to bloom the grounds first by pouring just enough hot water (about 200 degrees F) to moisten all the grounds.  This ensures the release of carbon dioxide, preps the grounds for better extraction, and will help achieve that best cup.

Darker roasts tend to do better, again because darker roasts respond better to the relatively cooler temperatures you’ll have by the end of the steeping time.  Also, with the longer time spent in the water, the acidity in lighter roasts tends to become overbalanced.

Speaking of time, pay close attention to how long the grounds steep. Again, too long in the water will over-extract and cause a more bitter brew.

Done properly, this is a very good brewing method, but this method is also one of the more difficult methods to do properly.