FRENCH PRESS BREWING GUIDE

In the specialty coffee atmosphere, the French Press gets a bad wrap. Most everyone who has made an entrance into specialty coffee found their love by creating cups through a French Press at first. We don’t offer this method in-store, due to the cloudy and oily nature masking some of the more delicate tasting notes in our coffees; however, this makes a fantastic addition at home. It’s extremely user-friendly and consistent to brew with. Plus it doubles as a way to make tea as well. This brew method typically offers a more bold and balanced cup; however, subtle tasting notes are usually lost. It is a full immersion brew method as well, which means that buying filters is not necessary. 

nashville french-press guide-1

Here’s what you’ll need: 

French Press
Kettle
Grinder
Digital Scale
Timer
Mug
Patience

Brew Time: 4-5 Minutes

Step 1 – Dose and Grind 

As for any brew method the amount of coffee will depend on your preferred strength of flavor and the bean density itself. We recommend for a 12oz cup, dose between 24-28g of coffee. The size of the grounds should look about like breadcrumbs. For a better experience make sure to grind right before preparing your coffee. After grinding, your coffee loses it’s specialness rather quickly; so you want to keep your unused coffee in whole bean form and out of the sun. 

Step 2 – Bloom

Add your pre-dosed coffee to the French Press and give it a gentle shake to level out the bed of coffee. Make sure your hot water is about 30 seconds off boil or around 204-208ºF.  Start your timer and with as little water as possible (generally around 30-40g), wet the bed of coffee making sure that everything is fully saturated. Depending on how many cups you are creating in one batch, agitate lightly with a stirrer to ensure all grounds are completely soaked. Watch as the fresh coffee will rise and release the gases created in the roasting process, known as blooming. This allows for many of the not-so-tasty aromatics to purge. Begin on the next step between 30-60 seconds after starting your bloom. 

Step 3 – Pour

Now is time for the main event! The French Press needs a little less gentleness than other brewing methods; however, try not to dump all of your water too aggressively on the grounds. This could cause over-extraction. Pour until you hit a total of 375g on your scale (including bloom). Try to give it all an even distribution. After the pour, level out the plunger of the french press to set on top of the grounds floating towards the top to encourage them to stay submerged. This will allow for a more even distribution of grounds being extracted. Make sure to fill your mug with hot water to warm it up, while you wait. 

Step 5 – Clean up and Enjoy!

Once your timer reads about 4:30, start plunging the French Press to the bottom of the brew method. Take your time! You want to plunge for around 10-15 seconds, otherwise it’s as if you are shaking a tea bag. That could lead to a more bitter cup. If your coffee brewed too quickly, make your grind a bit finer. If your coffee brewed too long, make the grind a bit more course. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: If your coffee tastes sour, it needed more time brewing. If it tastes bitter, it needed less time.