How to Make French Press (Plunger) Coffee
- Start with a brewing ratio of 70g/L (then adjust to your preference).
- Grind coffee finer than most people think for a french press - somewhere between the coarseness of raw and castor sugar.
- Add ground coffee to the bottom of the french press.
- Pour water right off the boil aggressively over the grounds (you want to get every ground wet as quickly as possible).
- Use scales! For both the coffee and water.
- Leave the press to sit for 4-6 minutes.
- Then break the crust on top and skim off the foam.
- Leave the press to sit for another few minutes.
- Place the lid/plunger on top BUT don't plunge.
- Simply pour 'through' the strainer of the plunger.
Transcript (Speaker: Adam Marley)
Hey guys. So this week's tip is about French presses or plungers which is what most Australians refer to them as. So this tip comes to us from my friend Steph who asked me during the week the best way to up her coffee game at home. My recommendation was to make filter coffee at home as opposed to espresso mainly because espresso has a higher barrier to entry. It's more difficult to get started in espresso compared to filter coffee at home both in terms of time and money. So it's messy and fidly. Filter coffee is the way I make coffee at home. Hopefully you guys can hear me over the rain. Filter coffee is the way I make coffee at home. And what I recommended to Steph was specifically how I make filter coffee at home which is a French press or plunger. The reason I like them is because they're a great way to get a good representation of the coffee.
They're quick, they're simple, they're easy. It's a great way to be consistent. And yeah, they're fantastic. I love them. So my tip for using a plunger is to not plunge which is a little bit counterintuitive. So the way I'd recommend using a French press, and some of you may recognize that this is kind of like turning a French press into a cupping setup. The way I like to use a French press is to grind your coffee or your coffee's pre-ground, add the grounded coffee to the bottom of French press, plunger. Then use water right off the boil, boil your water and then pour the water quite aggressively over the grounds. You want to get all the grounds nice and saturated. You don't want any little clumps of dry grounds in the bottom. So pour relatively aggressively, carefully, don't burn yourself over the grounds, get them all nice and wet.
You want to weigh your coffee ideally and weigh your water to be consistent. So you get the experience you're expecting, the same each time. Pour your water aggressively then you want to leave it to sit for a few minutes. You don't have to be too precise. I don't time it at home. Just a couple of minutes. Really all you're looking for is the carbon dioxide to off gas from the coffee grounds so you can get an even extraction. You just sit for a couple of minutes then grab a spoon and break the crust of coffee and kind of foam that's formed at the top. You don't want to stir aggressively. Don't give it a big aggressive stir, just break that crust on top and then the grounds will start to sink. You then want to place your plunger mechanism in the lid on top but don't plunge down. Just place it on top.
All we're trying to do there is to keep the heat in the brew so it doesn't go too cold while it's sitting. Then you want to leave it to sit for another couple of minutes. This is just so that the small particles of coffee can kind of like slowly fall through, it takes a little while. So a couple of minutes and then you're ready to drink. Just pour the coffee through the filter as opposed to plunging down. Keep in mind if you're used to making French presses then keep a hold of the lid. When you've plunged the French press then you can just pour easily. But when you don't plunge it then you want to kind of just keep a hand on the lid as you're pouring so it doesn't fall off just to be careful.
The reason I recommend doing a French press this way, a plunger this way, a little bit complicated. We want to keep these videos a little bit short and shiny. So maybe if people want to know a little bit more why then you can ask me in our Q and A coming up next Friday or in future and I'll be happy to answer those questions. The short version is because if you plunge because of those microfoam particles that are still in the brew, especially if you plunge without breaking the crust and you're just plunging throughout that coffee you're going to cause quite an uneven extraction and kind of some excessive bitterness and astringency which might lead you to think that you're grinding too fine when actually you're not.
Yeah so that's our tip for this week on how to make a French press. Also, I guess the tip that a French press is a fantastic cheap, easy, clean, quick way to make coffee at home. In terms of how much coffee to use, I recommend using 70 grams of coffee per liter of water. So if you've got a 500ml French press 35 grams of coffee and then just go higher or lower based on your personal preferences if it's not strong enough or if it's too strong. I had a bonus tip. I think I've forgotten what that bonus tip was. I just thought of it and then it's left my head. Oh well the bonus tip might have to go next week. Thanks guys. Happy brewing.