A Swell Guide to French Press Coffee
The French Press is arguably the best and easiest way to expand your coffee brewing horizons.
By following some simple instructions, and a small investment in a new french press coffee maker, you can immediately see, smell, and taste the difference of your favorite whole bean roast.
Swell prefers our whole bean roast for the perfect cup.
What is a French Press?
Some of the earliest documentation suggest the first versions coming out of, you guessed it, France. However, it would not hit the mainstream coffee scene until its patent in 1929 by Italian designer Attilio Callimani.
The french press is a simple machine consisting of three major components:
A carafe for holding hot liquids, a rod for plunging, and a filter attached to the rod for filtering grounds.The best carafes are made with heat resistant borosilicate glass.
It provides a clear view of your coffee as it brews and is shatter resistant making it a better choice than glass.
Steps to Brewing French Press Coffee
Start with your favorite whole bean roast. Swell recommends our Tsunami or Sumatra. Both have traditional profiles that perfectly fit this traditional brewing favorite.
Next you are going to measure out the perfect amount of coffee. The best ratio for french press is a ratio between 1:15 to 1:17.That is 1 part coffee for every 15 to 17 parts water. Let’s start with a 1:17 ratio.
As you perfect your french press coffee skills you can try different ratios to suit your taste.
For the perfect cup, grab a kitchen scale and weigh out 50g of fresh roasted whole bean coffee. At a 1:17 ratio, that will require 850g of water.
The next step is to heat your water. We suggest using filtered or bottled water for the best taste. The best temperature for water is between 195 degrees and 205 degrees fahrenheit. Water temperature is crucial for getting the perfect amount of strength and taste from a french press coffee maker.
Once the water is on the boil, you need to grind those beans. It is important to use a consistent coarse grind.It can be tricky to get a consistent grind out of a metal blade electric grinder. We suggest a Burr grinder. There are some great cheap options for hand grinders and with a little elbow grease, these grinders work great.
Whatever you use to grind, consistency is everything!
Once you have achieved the perfect grind, pour them into the french press.
Slowly pour the perfect temperature clean water over the grounds. Make sure you thoroughly saturate all the grounds.
Let one minute elapse, then gently stir in the top layer, or crust, of grounds into the water.
The next step is putting the lid, plunger up, on top to keep the heat in and finish the brewing process.
After 5 minutes, you will slowly push the plunger down until all grounds are condensed at the bottom. Don’t push down too hard or you take a risk of extracting fine sediments.At this point your perfect cup of french press coffee is ready to go!
You are going to want to pour coffee into cups or a separate carafe immediately to make sure it does not sit longer.
Sitting coffee will continue to brew and ruin the perfect balance of coffee oils and flavors that make french pressed coffee so great!
Once you’ve cut the ribbon on the french press experience, you can start tweaking these steps to achieve ultimate coffee bliss.
Try a slightly less or higher ratio of coffee to water, depending on if you like it a bit stronger or lighter.
Different styles of roasts will produce a great variance of different flavors. We encourage you to try all styles of our Swell whole bean roasts.
Brew time can be anywhere from 4 minutes to 8 minutes. Find the perfect time to make a consistent brew every time.
The more you make, the easier it becomes. After becoming familiar with your equipment, the amount of beans and size of grounds will become second nature.
We hope this simple machine known as the french press will produce some of the best tasting coffee you can make at home.
If you don’t get the best results the first time, don’t consider it a failure.
After years of using a french press, a mistake here or there is not out of the ordinary.
It just means there is room for improvement and the next cup of joe will be even better.
Cleaning your French Press
When the party’s over and you’ve had your fill of freshly brewed french press, it’s time for a quick clean-up.
Remove the plunger and give it a couple light taps on the side of your trash can.
Most plungers unscrew from the steel mesh filter. You can then give it a quick rinse to remove any remaining grounds down the garbage disposal.
Cleaning the carafe is similar. Just give it an upside down shake over the trash can to get rid of most of the grounds. Rinse what remains down the garbage disposal.
Cleaning with soap is not necessary every time. When you do give it a good hand scrub, make sure all soap residue is washed off. Nobody wants soapy coffee.
That is definitely not a trendy additive to flavor your coffee.
Have fun! Live well! Drink Swell!