Cafetière & French Press Brewing Guide

TOP BREWING TIPS FOR CAFETIÈRE & FRENCH PRESS COFFEE

Picture yourself relaxing at a Parisian cafe on the Champs Elysee, looking up towards the L’arc de Triumph as the wonderful smell of fresh croissants and French press coffee catches your attention.That is a true French Press moment and something we can all easily create in our garden or living rooms. Here’s how…

Remember that coffee is totally personal and each coffee has it’s own distinct flavours and characteristics, so we’d always recommend using the first 2-3 brews of a new coffee as a chance to test, tweak and narrow down THE ‘brew recipe’ that creates the perfect cup for your taste (and don’t forget to keep tweaking to really refine your daily brew).

Read on for our full french press cafetière brewing guide but here are some easy tips to follow every time:

CAFETIERE BREWING TIP #1:
Coffee too bitter?
We don’t roast or grind a bitter bean so brew faster by reducing the amount of time you leave your cafetiere after pouring the water in and stirring. If you bought our beans then try grinding them a little coarser.

CAFETIERE BREWING TIP #2:
Coffee too acidic or lacking body?
Try brewing a little longer, just to let the coffee do its thing. But not too much as it may turn bitter from over-extraction.

CAFETIERE BREWING TIP #3:
Don’t change too many things at once
The best approach when following tips 1 & 2 is to only change 1 variable each brew. This will help you identify which variable affects your end brew – in a good or a bad way – so you can refine it from there.

CAFETIÈRE (FRENCH PRESS) COFFEE BREW GUIDE

Whilst using a cafetiere (otherwise known as a French press) can appear to be one of the simplest ways to brew coffee, there’s still some technique and know-how required if you want to ensure you end up with a tasty cup of coffee as opposed to a muddy mess.

Our ground coffees all feature what is commonly known as an omni grind, so no matter what bewing equipment you use, you will be able to create a lovely cuppa by following our top tips above. If you’re grinding our whole bean coffee at home or in the office then the following advice should help.

A cafetiere doesn’t need a really fine grind so grind your beans with that in mind.

Ground Coffee - Course Grind Example


This is because the filter on a cafetiere is not as fine as a paper filter so a courser grind will ensure that coffee won’t pass through the filter. The image here shows you what you should be aiming for but ultimately you’ll know from the taste.

If the coffee tastes a little bit weak and insipid, try a finer grind. If it’s a little bit strong or you’re getting bits coming through, coarsen it a little more.

Next you need to work out your coffee to water ratio. As a rule of thumb we recommend 7g of coffee to 115ml of water, a 1:16 ratio, however this can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. You’ll need to know the size of your cafetiere for this and whether it’s a ‘3- Cup’ or an ‘8-Cup’ for example. One thing to realise is that a cafetiere ‘cup’ is not equivalent to a standard coffee cup and is in fact equal to one demitasse half-cup, about 120 ml. So for an 8-Cup cafetiere try starting with 60g of coffee.

How to brew coffee with a Cafetiere

Water is a key ingredient in your coffee, so if you can use bottled or filtered water. Boil your required amount of water plus a little extra and then let it sit for a minute or two as you want your water at between 92-96C before brewing.

Start by preheating your cafetiere with hot water, swirling the water around before then discarding it and adding your ground coffee. Then pour in about a third of the water and leave for 30 seconds. Stir the grinds to make sure that all the grounds are well soaked and then add the remaining water.

You should be leaving your coffee to sit for about 3-5 minutes depending on your coffee preference before plunging as that will mean the water has the right amount of time to extract the flavour, caffeine and complexity from the grounds.

Whilst you wait you can use some more hot water to warm your cups in preparation. Then when the time is up, stir once and scoop the grinds off the top and then plunge. It’s worth noting that even though the press filter separates the grounds from the coffee, the brewing process hasn’t stopped. So if you let the coffee sit in the cafetiere, that sediment at the bottom will still affect the taste, so the best thing is to decant the coffee and transfer it to something else.

Once you’re done, all that remains is to serve and enjoy.