How to make French press coffee

Immerse yourself in our all-inclusive guide to the classic immersion brewer.

Why choose to make coffee as French press?

French press is fantastic if you like rich, bold, full-bodied coffee, and if you’re brewing for multiple people and want to focus more on your good company than the preparation process. It’s an effortless batch brewing method that’s very difficult to mess up and lends itself to roasts across the spectrum: so whatever coffee’s currently on your counter, it’s gonna taste pretty darn great.

What supplies you'll need

  • A wide-spout kettle

    A wide-spout kettle

    Temperature control and a quick pour are key for perfectly even extraction.

  • A grinder

    A grinder

    We always recommend using freshly ground beans with a burr grinder.

  • A French press

    A French press

    These come in many shapes and sizes, but we love a 24 oz size press.

  • A scale

    A scale

    This is helpful to get the perfect coffee-to-water ratio, time your pours, and follow recipes.

  • Agitator stick

    Agitator stick

    A wooden spoon will do fine! This ensures your grounds are soaking as evenly as possible.

  • Coffee

    Coffee

    Light, medium, and dark roasts are all great as French press. Take the plunge with your favorite!

Step by Step Instructions

1. Measure and grind coffee

1. Measure and grind coffee

Measure out 60 g of coffee beans and grind them on a coarse setting, in the middle of the French press range on Ode or Opus. If you’re using Clara French Press, you can measure your beans to the ratio aid line inside before grinding them.

2. Heat water and rinse

2. Heat water and rinse

Heat water to 205°F and rinse your French press with hot water before putting your coffee grounds in. This helps it sustain heat throughout the brewing process.

3. Pour 840 g of water

3. Pour 840 g of water

Start your timer and fully saturate the grounds with 840 g of water. If you’re a Clara French Press user, pour up to the Water Ratio Aid Line.

4. Wait one minute and agitate

4. Wait one minute and agitate

After about one minute, agitate your coffee semi-vigorously for 10-20 seconds. If you’re a Clara user, use your wooden agitator stick!

5. Plunge halfway

5. Plunge halfway

After agitating, put the lid on your French press and push the plunger down halfway to ensure all the grounds are fully submerged.

6. Take the full plunge

6. Take the full plunge

At 4 minutes, plunge with even pressure all the way down. Then pour into your favorite mug and enjoy! Hot tip: pre-warm your mug with hot water to ensure a toastier and tastier brew.

FAQ

  • How do I pick the right coffee beans?

    Coffee is very subjective. Everyone has their own preferences, and none are incorrect! However, we suggest starting with flavor notes that sound appealing to you. Experiment with flavor notes you’re familiar with, and start to take note of the coffees you like: their origin and processing method (washed, honey, natural, maybe even anaerobic?).

  • How do I know what setting to grind beans at?

    If you’re an Ode or Opus user, there should be ranges offered for pour-over on the underside of your hopper lid! In any case, this is a bit of trial and error. We would recommend starting with a medium setting. Adjust your setting to be coarser if your final cup is too bold, chalky, or bitter. Adjust your setting to be finer if your coffee is too sour, watery, or lacking in body aka “weak”. In the coffee world, this process is called “dialing in”.

    One way to help you dial in your coffee quickly is what we call the “Goldilocks method”. Start by grinding one dose of coffee at your normal setting, one dose a good deal coarser, and one dose a good deal finer. Brew all three with your standard technique, allow them to cool, and taste them side-by-side. You’ll find it’s easier to taste the differences between the much finer and much coarser grind, and can adjust your regular grind setting slightly in either direction depending on your preferences. Let the extremes inform you of the flavor qualities you might like!

  • What do I do if my coffee tastes watery?

    Make your grind setting slightly coarser or increase agitation by ten stirs. The larger surface area of the ground particles will allow for more to be extracted while they’re submerged in the immersion chamber.

  • Why would I do a French press instead of a pour-over?

    French Press by its very nature will give you a bolder cup of coffee, generally speaking. Because it operates with a metal filter and not a paper filter, no flavor-creating oils are soaked up or held back from the final cup. In contrast, pour-over can hold some flavors and oils back, creating a smoother and somewhat mellower cup.

  • Should I change my recipe if I'm using a darker or lighter coffee?

    Yes! We recommend experimenting, but try a 1:12 coffee-to-water ratio for lighter roast coffees and a 1:15 ratio for a darker roast.

Perfect coffees for French Press

Ready to try your hand? Discover our curated collection of coffees, ideal for pour-over.

Perfect coffees for French Press