The French Press

There are many ways to make coffee. Some bad, some great. Some, for whatever reason, are clouded in mystery. They have an aura that the common man is not capable of attempting such a feat in his humble domicile.
Maybe it’s the word “french” that instills an air of unapproachability. For whatever reason, the french press is seen as too complicated… or too slow… or too… something.
We’d like to put an end to that.
In reality, the french press is one of the easiest, least expensive, fastest and best ways to make great coffee at home or even in your office.

The Tools:

  • French Press (in this case, Bodum Chambord 8 cup)
  • Coffee
  • Grinder
  • Water just off a boil
  • Timer or a clock. Sundials are not accurate enough.
  • Optional Items:
  • Scale with a tare or zero function

The Grind:

Set your grinder to a very corse grind. On our Baratza Virtuoso grinder we use a setting of 30.




For the 8 cup press we use 54 grams of coffee (Yeah, we’re that particular). If you’re not using a scale use about 9-10 tablespoons of coffee (that means actual tablespoons – with a tablespoon measure – not soup spoons).



Add Water

Just off a boil – 202 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, bring the pot to a boil, remove from heat and then let it sit for 30 seconds. For the 8 cup press we use 725 grams of water.




This is the most difficult part. Wait 4 minutes.



Press, Pour and Enjoy!






Some tips:

  • Don’t pour the grounds down the drain! Unless you really like your plumber.
  • Pour the left over coffee through a strainer and compost the grounds or put them directly in your garden.
  • If the 8 cup press makes more than you need right now decant it into a carafe to use later.
  • Make 2 or 3 presses in a row, and pour into a thermal carafe to serve a crowd.
  • You can use the press for cold brew coffee as well. Same ratios of coffee and cold water. Let it sit 10-12 hours. When it’s done, plunge and store the concentrate in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. To serve, mix 3 parts hot water to 1 part coffee. For an easy iced latte shake 1 part cold milk and 1 part coffee plus flavored syrup (if you’d like) and pour it over ice.