While the French Press method can be one of the simplest ways to brew a great cup of coffee, it is also the easiest way to over-extract your coffee thus leaving it quite bitter. Therefore, it's really important to stick to the recommended grind sizes and brewing time. What you'll need:
- a food-grade scale
- a grinder (preferably a burr grinder)
- a kettle
- a butter knife
- 30g of coffee, coarsely ground
- 600g of water, 300g for brewing, the rest to warm the French Press
- Grind your coffee to a coarse grind, coarser than you would for a pour over and Chemex.
- Boil 300g of water and bring it to ~205 degrees Fahrenheit (or ~5 seconds after boiling)
- Pour half of your water into your French Press and place its top on to warm it all the way through for a few seconds. If your French Press isn't properly warmed up, it will dramatically slow down your brewing time.
- While the French Press warms, bring another 300g of water to 205 degrees Farenheit
- Empty your French Press and place your French Press on top of your scale
- Add the coffee grounds to your French Press, making sure they are level. Tare (or zero out) your scale
- Quickly begin pouring your water in a circular motion, starting from the center and going outward. You want to pour enough water so that it's double the amount of coffee grounds you used--so, if you used 30g of coffee, stop pouring when you have 60g of water in your French Press.
- Quickly stir the coffee and water mixture for about 10 seconds using a butter knife (or anything similar) to make sure all of your coffee is wet.
- Pour the rest of the water in, continuing in a circular motion working from the inside towards the outside of the grounds
- Give the grounds one more gentle stir with your butter knife
- Place the top back on the French Press, but do not lower the plunger
- Let sit to "brew" for 4 minutes
- Press the plunger firmly down to stop the brewing process
- Pour the entire contents into a carafe or some other container to ensure you don't over-extract the coffee