French Press Brewing Guide
ABOUT THE BREW METHOD:
Classic, elegant, versatile, and simple. The French Press offers on-demand, low-waste coffee brewing and is a time-honoured favourite home brewing method. There are a lot of fancy coffee brewing methods available these days, but when it comes to being tried and true, it’s still hard to beat a good old French press.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Hot water (97C)
A high quality, stainless, double-wall insulated French Press
A digital kitchen scale
A Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle for controlled pouring and accurate water temperature.
Either a spoon, spatula, or whisk for stirring
8g (1tbs) of coffee x 200ml (6oz) filtered water
Coarse/ Medium Coarse -Comparable to coarsely cracked pepper
Around 4 Minutes
BREWING WATER TEMPERATURE: 97C
If you are using a Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle, set your temperature to 97C. The temperature will drop a little bit when it comes to contact with the coffee. If you are using a hot water tower in a coffee shop and use a traditional (non-heated) kettle, such as the Hario Buono, set the tower to 97C to compensate for the temperature drop that occurs when the water comes into contact with a room temperature kettle. Fill kettle 80% full for best temperature stability.
STEPS FOR BREWING:
- Preheat the French press and your mug with the hot water
- Using the guide above, weigh and properly grind the coffee.
- Empty the water from your French Press
- Put the ground coffee directly into the French press. Place the French press on your digital scale and tare to zero.
- Pour the 200ml of hot water into the French Press slowly.
- Using your preferred utensil, gently stir the coffee, trying to agitate and equally disperse the crust that appears after the coffee blooms.
- Now fix the lid/plunger to the French press without pushing the plunger down into the coffee. (This will help a little with temperature stability.)
- After 4 minutes have elapsed, press the plunger down gently yet firmly, and serve immediately.
- Adjust parameters to compensate for individual coffee characteristics. For example, if you find the coffee too bitter, coarsen the grind to help ease extraction. Note that such changes require increasing the coffee-to-water ratio to balance the concentration.
- Small changes in technique can result in big flavour changes, so be sure to use consistent pouring, timing, and stirring techniques.
- As a general rule, darker roasts work well with cooler water and lighter roasts with hotter water.
- Too long of a brewing time can lead to over-extraction; too short can lead to under extraction. Use time as a tool to fine-tune a brew.
- Keep your French Press clean by thoroughly rinsing after each use and occasionally using a cleaner recommended for coffee pots.
- Water Quality – Use clean water free of any off-tastes or odours. Water quality differs from region to region, so a water quality test should be taken to discern the appropriate treatment required. If you are home brewing, a Brita pitcher will work just fine. Do NOT use bottled water. It tends to be “too filtered” and there are not enough TDS in the water for “the good coffee flavours to attach to”. If this water is used the coffee can taste quite bitter and undesirable.