French Coffee Press

The French Press is quite possibly my favorite method of coffee extraction there is. It was first introduced to me when I was in college. This was an exciting time for me as I was on my own and ready to find or make my place and mark in the world. It was during this transitional time in my life that a friend, who worked at the Starbucks on campus, made me my first cup of coffee from a French coffee press. The process was involved! It wasn’t in the theme of “instant gratification. Simply push Keurig or Mr. Coffee button and moments later “Et Voila!” The process is as follows:

  1. Find your favorite coffee (unground, whole bean). Typically measured out but I like to “eyeball” it and add mystery to my day.
  2. Coarsely grind your coffee beans. This is a ceramic coffee grinder. I think it adds some fun and mystique to the whole process but to be entirely honest this takes time and energy. Many days I use an electric Mr. Coffee coffee bean grinder.DSC00788
  3. Some suggest grinds similar in size to bread crumbs. I think that is a very ambiguous metric. “What kind of bread?” “How messy of a sandwich eater are you?” Experiment with how fine or coarse you like it. I have found too fine and it will clog your filter. I have done this and scalding hot coffee erupted from the coffee press when I tried to slam the plunger down with the full force of my weight. It burned, so be careful. Add those grinds to your coffee press.
  4. Add hot water and place filter. The suggested temperature is 93.3 Celsius or 200 Fahrenheit. I typically boil water then wait a couple of minutes for the water to cool. Be sure not to over fill your coffee press or the grinds will go over your filter. It is recommended to add the water in stages. I usually just go for it.
  5. Allow coffee to extract for 2-4 minutes. Test this out, not enough time and it may taste weak. Too much time or leave it in the pot too long and it may taste really bitter. When the time is up, slowly depress the plunger and enjoy!

So why not just use the ubiquitous drip coffee machine? It’s easy, quick, and convenient. Because the coffee from a French press tastes exponentially better! It could be the oils that are not filtered out by a paper filter or the joy of the process involved with making a pot of French press coffee. I think it is because you have the freedom of choice. You decided the exact combination of how finely ground the coffee is, how hot the water is, and for how long the coffee will be extracted.

Equipment needed: Click images for link to Amazon!

French Press

I prefer stainless steel and double walled insulated like this one:

The most popular option is this:

Coffee Grinder
Manual ones like this are nice, compact, and fun, but will give you a small workout. Does not require electricity, if you’re the outdoorsy type:

I also use this Mr. Coffee electric grinder. It has options for different grinds and an auto time which is super convenient :


Honestly any way you can boil water will work, but this is a really nice electric kettle similar to the one I use:


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