How To Brew Coffee Using A French Press

(c) Photo: Lisa Muhammad
A French Press is a classic brewing pot for making coffee. A French Press is also referred to as a Press Pot or Plunger Pot.
Brewing coffee, using this method is so very easy. Your friends will be amused watching you make fresh coffee right at the table. 

The French Press uses a medium to coarse grind. The grind must be large enough so that the mesh filter works and does not get clogged. Because of the larger grind, the brewing time is a bit longer than with other methods. A grind set between drip and percolator is a good place to start.

I'm not going to get into all the coffee techniques and art form here. You can research all of that later if you like. I simply want you to get started and experience a very easy way to make coffee and enjoy the results. The most important thing is that YOU enjoy it.

What you'll need:

A French Press
Fresh ground coffee
Filtered water
Bring a pot of water to boiling. 

Let it cool down for a minute or two.

Determine how much coffee you will need. 

If you have a coffee grinder (la de da for you), grind your beans using the coarse setting. If not, just use your favorite coffee. But you want it coarsely ground. Most coffee already prepackaged comes that way unless its expresso. 

(I have a 20 oz French Press. It came with a pre-measured spoon. If I make a single cup I'll use 10 oz of water and 2 spoonfuls of coffee. YOU have to determine how strong or mild you like your coffee. A general rule is 1 tablespoon coffee to 6 oz of water. Therefore the more coffee you add the stronger it will be).

Add the coffee to the carafe.
(c) photo: Lisa Muhammad

Pour in the hot water
(c) photo: Lisa Muhammad
Put the lid (plunger) on and leave enough room for the cover and plunger to fit in without overflowing the liquid. Don't press it just yet. 

(c) Photo: Lisa Muhammad
Let it steep for 4 minutes with the cover on to retain the heat. If needed, give it a light stir to saturate all the grounds. Now, 4 minutes to steep is the general rule. This allows the flavors of the beans and oils to develop (ooh wee don't we sound hoity toity). However, some rules are made to be broken. I let mine steep about 2 minutes. That's how I like MY coffee. 

Perfect coffee in my opinion is in the eye or should I say the mouth of the beholder don't you think?

But if you are indeed the perfectionist, a coffee connoisseur (La de dah de dah for you) then steep it for 4 minutes at the ideal temperature. The ideal temperature is between 195- 200 degrees. Okay?

Now, let's get back to brewing. 

Now slowly press the plunger down. Then let it rest a few seconds allowing the coffee grounds to settle.

(c) Photo: Lisa Muhammad
Now pour it in your favorite cup.
Add cream and sugar if you like. Don't be alarmed, but little bits of the coffee will settle to the bottom of your cup. That's normal.
(c) Photo: Lisa Muhammad
P.S. don't spill the coffee all over the place like I did while trying to pour and take a picture at the same time. 

Now back to work with more recipes.