Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to Make French Press Coffee

Hi. My name is Susan and I am a coff-aholic. Or a coffee addict?  Caffeine dependant? You get the picture. I like me some of that stuff. Tim Hortens, Blenz, Starbucks....even McDonalds! (Don't knock it till you try it!)  I enjoy a good cup of coffee with lots of cream and Splenda. (I try to keep my sugar consumption down where I can). It's like dessert. Or a midday treat.

Living out at the Little Shack, the closest coffee shop is about 50 kilometres away (31 miles for those in the US of A) and I don't often have time to enjoy the 'coffee shop culture' on our trips into town when it's rush, rush, rush to get all the things done that need to be done. A run through the drive thru is about it for me. So, I need to be able to make a good cuppa joe at home.  We've run the gamut of various coffee makers. Drip and perk. Then one day, I discovered the French Press ( #FrenchPress !).  Since then, I have used several different makes and models, all with great results. Then one Christmas, my Mom gave me the ultimate French Press! This beauty (and it really is a beauty!) is made by Epicure .  Epicure is a BC, Canada based company founded by a Mom trying to make ends meet.  The company has grown huge with consultants all over the country. They sell spice mixes as well as some awesome kitchen accessories. And who doesn't love accessories!!  I've added several of their products to my cupboards over the years and can't say enough positive things about them!
Back to the coffee!
This lovely thing not only makes great coffee, it's beautiful!!

There are lots of different types of french presses out there. You can pick them up at just about any department store now, as well as the specialty shops.  Ikea even makes one! Mine is an insulated stainless steel one.  Most are made of glass with a metal frame holder and handle attached.  I bought my very first one at a garage sale and it was love at first plunge! They also come in different sizes.
There is an art to making coffee with a french press, but it certainly isn't rocket science.  Although there is some sciencey stuff behind it. If you are interested in that side of it, check out this site where Nick Cho, co-founder of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters writes about all that stuff.  He does a great job of explaining the science behind a great cup of coffee!
French presses may all look a little different, but they will all have the same kind of plunger on a long stem under the lid.  There is a fine screen sandwiched between 2 'holey' disks, the top one will have a coil type lip around it. (Or something like it). This part will be on the end of the sliding stem and makes up the plunger.

On with the 'how to'.
First you will need to boil the kettle.

Then, measure your coffee into the french press.  The amount of coffee will depend on the size of your press.  You need 2 heaping tablespoons for each 8 ounces of water.  I use 6 tablespoons in mine. The coffee grind is important. You want a coarser grind. Somewhere between drip and perk is about right. It needs to be coarse enough that it can't go through the screen in the press.  So get your coffee measured and into the press while you wait for the water to boil.

When the water comes to a boil, let it cool slightly for about 10-15 seconds. Pouring boiling water on the grounds is a no-no.
Allow it to sit for about 30 seconds.  The coffee will be floating on the top.

 Now, give it a quick stir, and then put the top on, but DO NOT PLUNGE!!! The plunger should be up against the lid.  With the handle and stem up in the air, like a submarine telescope! Like in the picture below.

Now set your timer (I use my phone) for 3-5 minutes. The finer the grind the shorter the time. I generally wait about 4 minutes.
After this time is up, it's plunging time. But, do it s-l-o-w-l-y. It should take about 20 seconds to do the whole plunge. Slow and steady wins the good coffee.
Now, it's ready to enjoy! Don't allow it to sit in the pot as it continues to brew even after it's plunged. This is what will make coffee bitter tasting. On a side note: You should always remove the grounds from above your drip, perk or pour-over type coffee pots right after brewing. The remnants of water in the grounds will drip into your great coffee and make it bitter and not so great.

There you have it! Now I'm off to enjoy my delicious coffee and feed my addiction!


  1. This is great! I just bought a french press for when we go camping, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. Thank you for helping me get my fix! Nice to meet you at On Display Thursday.

    1. Hi Meredith! That's awesome! I'm sure you will enjoy it. They are great for camping. The grounds can easily be thrown out into the woods or buried to compost. Enjoy!!-Sue

  2. I have always wanted one of those-I just started drinking coffee again after 12 years of not!

  3. Welcome back to the coffee drinkers club! French Presses used be harder to find and more costly, but now they are pretty much everywhere. I saw and adorable ceramic one in Target yesterday, made by Oui!, which I think is owned by Oster. It was so colourful...I almost bought it, but then reined myself in. Thanks for stopping by the Shack!-Sue

  4. Thanks so much for sharing at Talented Tuesdays! I've never used a french press, but this post explained the process so well, I may have to give it a try!

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! -Sue

  5. I have never used a French Press. This seems like a good investment for the coffee lover. Just a question though, how do you remove the grounds without pouring all of the coffee first? On another note, I feel like a spoiled American, since we have coffee shops at every corner of the street. :P

    1. Hi Jessica! To answer your question....when you pour out the coffee, you keep the plunger pushed down which holds all the grounds at the bottom of the pot, separate from the brewed coffee. There really are so many coffee shops, franchised and private, aren't there! I'm always amazed when I am in the big city and there is a coffee shop on every single corner of the same intersection! Sometimes even the same chain! We are a coffee addicted culture for sure!-Sue

  6. This is a feature on Funtastic Friday #11. Thanks for linking up.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this at Totally Terrific Tuesday! This week's party starts at 10pm tonight. We hope to see you again!


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