How-To: French Press Coffee

Posted by Sarah Klacik on

7 Steps To Making The Perfect French Press Coffee.

Coffee Gallery French Press

Less “finicky” then most methods, French press brewing is an ideal way to make coffee, producing a full-flavored cup with a delicious sweetness. It retains the oils that a paper filter naturally soaks up.

But it’s not just about the method. There’s 2 things to remember when making sure your coffee grounds are all they should be: freshness and consistency.


Bottom line? Buy whole beans and grind them moments before you use them. A whole bean naturally protects the coffee oils by keeping them right where they should be: in the bean. Coffee oils are water soluble, and oxidize easily, so as soon as you break the protective shell, the delicate oils are then opened to the air and can make them deteriorate quickly, losing flavor.


Consistency in grind is especially important when using a French press. Because the grounds steep in hot water for an extended period of time, will release extra bitterness (Not to mention, you could potentially end up drinking them, due to the built-in filter being made for a coarse grind.) 

Consistency is best achieved with a burr grinder, so if you don’t already own one, you can always ask our staff to grind it for you! However, in doing that, you sacrifice freshness for a consistent grind. Which is more important? You’ll have to experiment and decide for yourself.


Ready to make coffee?

Step 1:

Clean your French Press. Anything left from last time can give your coffee a bitter flavor.

Step 2:

Coarse Grind your coffee. Think “Hawaiian Sea Salt” size, however, this is a personal preference so grind it a little finer if you prefer a stronger brew.

Step 3:

Bring water to a boil (filtered is best). Wait 20-30 seconds after pulling water from it’s boil, before pouring it over your coffee grounds. If you’re using a dark roast or decaf, aim for 190-200*.

Pro tip: Boil extra water, to “preheat” your french press with. This will keep your water from cooling too fast.

Step 4:

Add your coffee grounds. 

Coffee Ratio:

Let’s get technical for a minute. For french press, a good ratio of coffee to water is between 60-70 grams of coffee per liter of water. If you don’t have a scale to weigh your coffee, that’s about 12 TBS per 36 oz of water (4.5 cups)

Step 5

Brew Time. Ever heard of coffee bloom? It’s the fast release of gas that occurs when hot water hits coffee grounds, and you want it. In fact this is a good way to tell how fresh your coffee is. More gas = more flavor, fresher coffee, and a bigger “bloom”.

To start the bloom, begin by pouring just enough water over the grounds to get them evenly wet, and wait 20 seconds before pouring the rest of the water in.

At this point it’s easy to walk away and guess the amount of time it’s rested, but don’t do it! Set a timer for 4-5 minutes depending on your brew preference. 

Step 6

Take the plunge. You don’t want to disturb the coffee grounds, so push it down slowly. If you feel it getting tight this could be due to small coffee particles clogging the filter. Pull it up a little and try again.

Step 7:

Enjoy. Serve the coffee immediately. If you let it continue to sit in the french press, the grounds will continue to release bitter flavors. Pour it into an insulated container if you don’t plan on drinking it right away.

What coffee do we recommend for French Press?

Waialua Estate PeaberryAny of our coffees will perform well, but one of my personal favorites is our 100% Hawaiian Waialua Estate Peaberry! Find out what makes the unique peaberry bean so special here.
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