Using a French Press is much easier than it looks. It only takes some knowledge and a bit of practice to have a spectacular cup of coffee!
Can you really get great French Press coffee at home?
If you have ever wanted to use a french press but worried that it would be difficult or complicated, worry no more. Your next great cup of coffee starts with the grounds. The coffee grounds are critical. A coarsely ground bean is important because smaller grounds will escape the plunger and end up in your cup. Expect a few grounds in your cup anyway, but a courser ground bean will minimize them.
No matter the type of French press, glass or stainless steel, always fill it with hot tap water. Let it sit for two minutes. Doing this will keep the glass from cracking and will keep the French press from losing heat. After the two minutes is up, dump out the water and put in the grounds.
In my 34-ounce French press, I use eight tablespoons of coffee and 32 ounces of water. This could be a bit strong from some and not strong enough for others. It is the happy place that I have found for my palate. You will find your coffee-happy place after a few times of using your French press. An excellent place to start is to use 1 tablespoon of grounds per 4 ounces of water.
Water boils at different temperatures depending on the altitude, so the best way to find the right temperature is to bring it to a boil and let it sit for 30 seconds.
Pour the water into the French press and let it brew for 3 1/2 minutes. At that time you will place the plunger into the press and slowly push it down to capture the grounds. It should take a full 30 seconds to push the press to the bottom. Serve immediately.
You don’t want to let the coffee keep brewing so after you fill the cups, put the remaining coffee into a carafe.
Can you use ground coffee from the store in a French Press?
I love to buy chicory coffee from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans and use it is my French press. You can order it online and sometimes find it at specialty stores. The key to using a smaller ground coffee is to brew it for a shorter period of time. Brew it for 2 minutes instead of 3 1/2 minutes before you using the press.