The Kuissential Guide To Using Your
Coffee French Press
If you have never experienced coffee brewed from a French Press, you are missing out on something really special. It’s true, this blog just might rock your world… Here is all the information you’ll need to consistently brew the most outstanding coffee with a French Press.
Why The French Press?
Why does coffee brewed from a French Press taste so amazingly different? Unlike other brew methods, the French Press gives you absolute control over the infusion time (longer infusion time produces a bolder, stronger, and eventually more bitter cup). Perhaps more importantly, the unique screen filter of the French Press allows essential coffee oils to make their way into your cup; oils that would normally be blocked out and eliminated by paper filters. These oils are responsible for producing a very full body fantastically thicker and more ﬂavorful than anything you’d experience from any other brew method, period. Better yet, the French Press is super inexpensive, simple to use, easy to clean, better for the environment (because no disposable filters are needed) and takes up virtually no space in your kitchen. Have we convinced you yet? Then let’s get started…
What You'll Need
- Good Quality Coffee: We recommend an already sweet and ﬂavorful coffee, such as the Sumatra Hutasoit Micro-Lot from Sweet Tree Artisan Roasters. This particular coffee is described as super sweet, smooth and heavily bodied. Indeed, the French Press wonderfully intensifies these qualities to produce a beautifully thick and delectably sweet flavor profile.
- A French Press: The Kuissential French Press, also used for this demonstration, is a beautiful choice. Its sleek stainless steel design not only looks awesome, but more importantly, it is ideal for keeping the coffee warm during the brew cycle. It is also virtually indestructible, so there are no concerns when stirring the hot liquid with a metal spoon.
- Kitchen Scale: An accurate coffee-to-water weight ratio is probably the most essential aspect of brewing consistently good coﬀee. However, if you're in a pinch and do not have a scale, you can always use a tablespoon and hope for the best (as explained below). For brewing with a French Press, all you need is a very basic and inexpensive kitchen scale. Once again, Kuissential’s got you covered, as they offer a great and inexpensive scale as used in this demonstration.
- Burr Coffee Grinder: Unless you enjoy a ton of sediment and grit in your cup, you need a grinder that gives you control over how coarse or ﬁne the grind is, and only a burr grinder will give you that. Electric burr grinders tend to be expensive, however Kuissential offers a great inexpensive hand-operated burr grinder that will get the job done. It’s cheap, environmentally friendly, and fully capable of delivering that coarse grind essential for brewing with a French Press.
Got everything you need?? Lets get started!
Instructions: How to Brew with a French Press
- Heat your hot water kettle. Nothing fancy, just use good quality water!
- Grind your coffee. For a French Press, you'll need a coarse grind, something the consistency of breadcrumbs. The coffee must be coarse enough so it does not pass through the metal filter and cause undesired sediment and grit to corrupt your drink!
- Remove plunger and filter from French Press, and drop ground coffee into French Press If using an 8-cup Kuissential French Press, we recommend using 55 grams of freshly ground coffee. If you don't have a scale, the traditional rule of thumb is 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 1 cup of water. Thus, an 8-cup French Press would call for 8-15 tablespoons ground coffee, more or less, depending on how strong you like your cup of joe. (*Again, it's highly recommended you use a scale as the weight of coffee will differ significantly depending on how light or dark the coffee is roasted! Lighter roasted coffee always weighs heavier than darker roasted coffee, so it can get tricky to eye it and you will get inconstant results).
- Pour hot water into the French Press saturating the coffee grounds thoroughly, but allowing them to ﬂoat to the top of the press. When doing this, make sure the water is the correct temperature! Ideal brew temperature is around 203°F, which is usually about 30 seconds after you remove the boiling hot water kettle from the heat source. Fill the French Press to the top, but leave about an inch or two of room at the top so the coffee won't spill when stirring.
- Pull the plunger against the lid as depicted below, and place the lid on the press to insulate the heat… THEN, let it sit for 1:00 minute with the lid on top and plunger fully extended.
- After 1:00 minute, remove the lid and quickly stir for approximately 10 seconds. Then replace the lid onto the press with the plunger extended as it was previously.
- Allow the coffee to brew inside the press for 3:00 minutes after the initial stir (note total brew time is 4 minutes including 1 minute pre-stir and 3 minutes post-stir) Note slightly less time will extract less, and taste less strong but possibly weak and under-extracted; longer brew time will intensify the brew and make it stronger, but eventually it will taste too bitter. Play around with it and find your balance!
- Plunge! Slowly press down the plunger until its stops.
- Pour your delicious coffee, and enjoy!! Note that unlike your normal drip machine where you can pour yourself a cup and leave the pot, for a French Press it is recommended that you consume all the coffee immediately, or in the very least, pour it into a separate carafe. Any left over coffee sitting in the press will continue to extract, and will only taste increasingly bitter as you allow it to sit. So drink up, and enjoy!!
Guides and Resources
This French Press Guide was brought to you by our good friends at Sweet Tree Artisan Roasters. Sweet Tree Artisan Roasters is a small-batch coffee roasting company located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. "We offer highly distinguished, specialty-grade coffees from storied farms & micro-lots meticulously roasted in very small batches. With a focus on single-origin, we want you to know the full story of our coffees from seed to cup so you can truly appreciate what makes each and every bag so special."