As spring unfolds in Minnesota, we at Driven Coffee Roasters are embracing the longer days and warmer weather by refreshing our spaces and rediscovering forgotten treasures. In the spirit of 19th-century textile designer and craftsman William Morris, who famously advised to “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” we recently unearthed an old French press tucked away in the back of a cupboard. While it may not have been beautiful, we realized it still had the potential to be incredibly useful.
With that in mind, we decided to give our neglected French press one last chance, and to our delight, we discovered an amazing cup of coffee—sweet, bright, and satisfying. Our only complaint was the small amount of silt left at the bottom of the cup. This led us to the wisdom of coffee aficionado and 2007 World Barista Champion, James Hoffmann, who shared his French press technique that eliminates the silt while maintaining the simplicity and deliciousness of the brewing process.
What You’ll Need:
- French press
- Grinder (if grinding fresh)
- Your favorite Driven Coffee beans (we recommend the bright, sweet Meyer lemon acidity and buttery almond toffee body of our Costa Rican Microlot for the spring season)
This recipe makes approximately 16 fl. oz. of brewed coffee.
- Bring 600g of filtered water to 203°F/95°C.
– Coffee is over 98% water, so using filtered water, rather than tap, can really make a difference in the flavor and nuances of your cup.
– 203°F/95°C is a great temperature for most coffees, however, if you prefer dark roasted coffee, we recommend reducing the temperature to 195°F/91°C and, conversely, if you prefer very light roasted coffee, try raising the temperature to 208°F/98°C.
- Grind 30g of your chosen coffee beans to a medium grind.
– Finding the perfect grind size can be challenging, as it varies depending on the coffee and individual preferences. Start with a grind resembling coarse salt. If you’re ordering ground coffee from Driven Coffee Roasters, we recommend choosing the “drip” grind for this recipe. While many French press recipes call for a coarser grind, this method benefits from a slightly finer medium grind. Adjust the grind based on taste: if your coffee is too acidic, go slightly finer; if it’s too bitter, go slightly coarser. Remember, even small adjustments can make a big difference in the cup.
- Preheat the French press with hot tap water, then discard the water.
– Preheating is essential for maintaining the ideal brewing temperature due to the extended steep time.
- Place the French press on a scale and add the ground coffee.
– Take a moment to enjoy the aroma of the freshly ground coffee in the warm French press. When coffee is ground it begins releasing volatile compounds which can range from bright and fruity to rich and chocolatey!
- Tare the scale to zero.
– Depending on your scale this can be achieved by pushing the button that says either “tare” or “zero”.
- Start a timer and immediately pour 500g of water into the French press.
– Pour with enough force to saturate all the grounds evenly with water.
– Some French press recipes will divide the pour into two parts, calling for the addition of only a portion of the water when saturating the grounds to “bloom” the coffee followed later by the rest of the water. However, as the French press is an immersion style of brewing this step is unnecessary.
– Do not put the lid onto the French press at this time. This step will come later the process.
- Wait for 4 minutes.
– A crust of coffee will form at the to of the French press. This is OK, just be patient!
- At the 4-minute mark, gently stir the coffee to break the crust.
– Use alternating clockwise and counterclockwise motions to avoid agitating the grounds at the bottom. If any foam or bits of coffee remain floating, simply scoop them out with the spoon.
- Wait for an additional 3-5 minutes.
– I know! Wait again?! But this step will help us achieve a cleaner cup by letting the finer particles of coffee settle to the bottom. The closer to 5 minutes you wait the cleaner the cup will be!
- At the 7-9 minute mark, put the lid on the French press.
- Slowly press the plunger down just below the surface of the coffee.
– Depress the plunger just to the top of the liquid. At no point should you plunge down to the coffee grounds at the bottom; doing so will only churn up the coffee grounds that you waited so patiently to settle. We are using the mesh of the plunger to strain out any coffee the is still suspended.
- Gently pour the coffee into your favorite mug.
– With the intention of minimally disturbing the coffee grounds at the bottom of the French press, gently pour off the coffee into a carafe or mug. Stop before pouring the last of the liquid to avoid sediment escaping into your cup.
- Enjoy your delicious and clean French press coffee!
– As with other brewing methods, we highly recommend letting your coffee cool before consuming. However, due to the extended brew time of this method the coffee should be sufficiently cooled at this point and will be ready to drink. Cooling the coffee allows the flavors to develop and will make your cup more enjoyable.
A huge thanks to James Hoffmann for sharing this recipe with the coffee community!
Give this French press recipe a try and rekindle your love for this classic (and often forgotten) brewing method. Don’t forget to share your experiences and any variations you’ve tried with us on our Facebook page. As always we love hearing from you!
Driven Coffee’s French Press Recipe
This recipe makes approximately 16 fl. oz. of brewed coffee.
|30g||Coffee (Ground, Medium Fine)|
|500g||Water (Filtered, 203°F/95°C)|
|1||Preheat the French press and discard the hot tap water.|
|2||Add ground coffee to French press.|
|3||Place French press on scale and tear to zero.|
|0:00||Pour 500g of water in the French press and saturate all grounds evenly.|
|4:00||Gently stir the coffee, alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise motions to break the crust.|
|7:00-9:00||Place lid on French press and plunge only to the just below the surface of the liquid. Gently pour off coffee allowing a small amount of liquid to remain so ensure minimal silt.|
Because of the relatively long brew time, the coffee has cooled sufficiently and is ready to drink.