French Press // Cafetière
Words : Ben Hepworth
Simple, classic, timeless. The French press, also known as the cafetière, is an immersion brewing method and is one of the most widely used pieces of home coffee equipment around.
A full immersion brewing process, the French press has a metal mesh filter which, when pressed to the bottom following extraction, separates the coffee grounds from the coffee which, after brewing, should be poured immediately into a separate carafe or serving vessel. If this is not done, any coffee you hope to serve after your first cup will continue to extract leaving an unpalatable taste.
If done correctly, the French press is designed so the natural oils found in coffee can pass through the metal filter as well as fine particles creating a brew with a full body and viscous mouthfeel with pronounced aromas and flavours to that of a v60 for example.
As with all coffee extractions, if you’re not happy with the result of your final brew, there are so many variables for you to manipulate and experiment with in order to achieve your desired taste. Coffee should be fun, creative and experimental, remember, there is no exact way to make the perfect brew as the best cup of coffee is the one you like, its bespoke and it’s up to you to create it.
Equipment; French Press, Grinder, Kettle, Scale, Timer, Carafe, Mug
Recommended Coffee: Revival / Blend.
Water: Filtered Water, 97°c
Time: 4 minutes
Dose: See Stage One
one // dose.
One method we recommend when calculating the correct dosage is to fill your French press with water to see what it holds. Once you have measured the volume, simply divide the volume by fifteen and this will give you your does. For example, If your cafetière holds 300ml of water then divide the 300 by 15 equalling 20g of coffee.
two // prep & grind.
Pour freshly boiled water into your French press in order to preheat it, this will help achieve a better extraction. At this time, it may be prudent to preheat you serving cups and carafe too. Now, with your correct dose of coffee, grind this until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs, this is a course grind. If you have already had your coffee ground, simply measure out the correct dose using your coffee scales.
three // bloom.
Firstly, empty all water from the French press before adding in your ground coffee. Place your French press onto your coffee scales and tear. Multiply the amount of coffee you have used by two and add that amount of water over a ten second period, the example in this instance is 20g coffee x 2 equals 40ml of water.
Once the grounds are saturated, gently stir for ten seconds then allow the coffee to settle for a further ten seconds, allowing it to bloom, deoxidise and release all the gasses that are held within freshly roasted coffee.
four // immerse.
Over the next thirty seconds, add the remaining water, in this example that should be 260ml, ensuring slow, methodical circular motions, removing any coffee grounds which have got caught on the side. Once you have ensured all the grounds are completely immersed, allow three minutes for the coffee to brew.
five // plunge & pour.
Once the three minutes is up, give your coffee a gentle stir to ensure any remaining grounds sink to the bottom. Now place the plunger and lid on top and slowly plunge, ensuring all grounds remain under the mesh. Once you have plunged, pour out the water from the carafe and serving cups and immediately pour the contents into the carafe, ensuring your brew is no longer in contact with the coffee grounds. As mentioned, this is an immersion method and if you leave your coffee sat in the French press, it will continue to extract and your second cup from it won’t taste as good as your first!
six // consume, mindfully.
Pour the freshly extracted coffee into your favourite, pre warmed mug and take your time to enjoy. As the coffee cools, notice the flavours change.