Simple French press coffee recipe

The French press is one of the most elegant ways to brew a great cup of coffee and, using this simple recipe, is much easier and faster than you might think.

Ingredients

  • 45 grams of your favorite coffee beans
  • 765 grams of water

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, see the tips section for alternate measurement amounts.

Equipment

This is the equipment I use, as well as some recommended alternatives that work well.

If you’re not wanting to be super nerdy about your coffee, all you really need is a French press and something to boil water in (see the tips section).

Directions

These directions are based on a typical 32 oz French press, but can be adjusted to any amount using coffee’s 1:17 Golden Ratio (1 part coffee to 17 parts water).

  • Boil enough water to fill the French press (continue next steps while water boils).
  • Place a container or your coffee mug on the scale and tare/zero it out.
  • Measure out 45 grams of coffee beans, put them into the grinder, and grind them so they’re sightly course.
  • Add the ground coffee to the French press, set it on the scale, and tare/zero it out.
  • Once the water has finished boiling, pour in 765 grams of water, set a timer for 4 minutes, and remove the French press from the scale (no need to stir the coffee—just let it sit).
  • When there’s about 15 seconds remaining, place the lid on the French press with the piston pulled all the way up.
  • When the timer goes off, push the piston down in a nice steady motion until it reaches the bottom.
  • Immediately pour the coffee into your coffee mugs and enjoy!

Tips for simplifying the process

These two tips will help you brew a great cup of French press coffee in the quickest and simplest way.

Tip: If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can typically grind your coffee at the store, or just buy pre-ground coffee.

Tip: If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can use the following approximations to estimate the 1:17 coffee to water ratio:

  • 45 grams of coffee is approximately 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) of ground or whole coffee beans
  • 765 grams of water is approximately 3 1/4 cups (26 fl oz) of water.

Coffee beans with various roast levels

Basic coffee bean information

Coffee beans are generally grown near the equator in various countries around the world. Coffee grown at lower elevations (such as Hawaii and South America) are naturally more mild, smooth, and sweet—while coffee grown at higher elevations (such as Central America and Africa) naturally tend to be more fruity, nutty, and spicy. Aside from coffee’s natural qualities, there are also different levels of coffee bean roasting—ranging from light to dark.

Coffee roasts

Lighter roast

  • Lighter bean color, less oily surface
  • More acidic
  • Brighter, more natural flavors

Medium roast

  • Medium bean color, slightly oily surface
  • Acidity falls somewhere between a light and dark roast
  • Balanced sweet/bittersweet flavors

Darker roast

  • Darker bean color, more oily surface
  • Less acidic
  • Bolder, more bitter flavors

Regardless of which style of coffee bean you prefer, as long as you remember the coffee to water ratio of 1:17, the French press makes it super easy to brew a great tasting cup every time. Lastly, if any of this seems complicated, just run through the process a couple of times and you’ll see that it’s actually very simple. Plus, once you’ve had a great cup of coffee brewed just the right way, you’ll wonder how you ever drank it any other way!

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