French Press coffee Mah way

It’s not difficult to find tutorials online for making French press coffee. I’ve tried a few, and settled on this method. It makes a cup that I enjoy black, or with a splash of cream.

My French press comes from IKEA, a 16 oz press (or a 32 oz press, depending on how caffeinated I want/need to be). You can find fancier ones out there, but these were reasonably inexpensive and do a perfectly good job.

Small (16 oz) on the left and Biggie (32 oz) on the right
Small (16 oz) on the left and Biggie (32 oz) on the right
New 16 oz Clemson alumni mug for scale.
New 16 oz Clemson alumni mug for scale.

I like to use an electric kettle to cook my water. Cooks the water quickly, pours nicely, and the one we have holds just enough water to fill the big press. Get one with an automatic shut off feature.

Electric kettle for cooking the water.
Electric kettle for cooking the water.

Most French press recipes call for very coarsely ground coffee and long brewing times. Since I don’t want to deal with having to adjust my grinder whenever I want to brew with the French press or Aeropress, I go with the same medium-ish grind that I use with the Aeropress. The grind size is pretty close to what you’d use for a regular drip coffee machine. I’ve found that one very heaping Aeropress scoop (17 grams or about 3 tablespoons) of coffee (double that if I’m using the big press) makes a cup of coffee that I like.

17 grams of ground coffee (about 3 tablespoons)
17 grams of ground coffee (about 3 tablespoons)

Dump the coffee into the press and add a tiny dash of salt (something I picked up from a Good Eats episode). I find it helps enhance the coffee flavour but doesn’t make it salty (unless you add too much).

Coffee into the press with a dash of salt.
Coffee into the press with a dash of salt.

Add water to about the top of the metal band, give it a bit of a stir, and put the press part on. I like to push the press down a bit so that all the grounds are submerged. Let it sit for about 3 minutes. Set a timer if you like.

After the brewing time, press the grounds all the way to the bottom, and gently pour into your coffee receptacle of choice.

Press the grounds and pour.
Press the grounds and pour.

The press uses a fine metal mesh to filter out the grounds, but really fine particles will still get through. Towards the end, I slow down the pouring and leave a bit in the press so that I’m not pouring all the fine stuff into my cup. That will help reduce the amount of sludge at the bottom of your cup. If you pour too quickly, the grounds get stirred up and you’ll end up with a bunch of sludge at the bottom of your cup. If you like sludge, then pour however you like.

Enjoy your coffee!
Enjoy your coffee!

Drink straight up, or doctor it up however you like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.