The French press is one of the most intuitive manual brew methods around. Add coffee and water, then filter. A French press is an immersion brew, which means the coffee and the water hang out together before being filtered. Also, most press' have metal filters that allow the oil to stay in your cup, resulting in a more full-bodied coffee. If you're looking to buy a press, stainless steel will keep your hot coffee longer and be more durable then glass, but the most critical aspect is the filter itself. Is it fine enough to strain all particles of coffee?
This French press guide will be a little different, using some clever hacks we've learned from our friends in the industry.
You want to preheat your brewing vessel, especially for manual brew methods. Keeping the temperature consistent is crucial for a great cup o'joe. Pour some boiling water into your press, and throw the lid on for 30 seconds.
Grind your beans! French press demands an extremely coarse grind, and fresh ground coffee is once again paramount. Add your coffee and water. Water temp should be off the boil since you'll be letting it cool later on. For how much coffee and water, refer to our brewing guide.
Once your coffee and water have mixed, let the brew sit on its own for 3-4 minutes. Now grab one of your spoons, and give the crust of coffee grounds that have formed a stir. Once stirred, skim the surface of the coffee to pick off any floating grounds and sludge.
Now here's the trick. Let the coffee sit, untouched, for 5 minutes. You might need to let it sit for longer if you're using a stainless steel French press. What you're doing is allowing the coffee to cool off, as it's too hot to drink anyway, and all the grounds are sinking to the bottom of the brew, which means you'll get no particles in the bottom of the cup.
Now that you've waited so patiently, assemble the lid and filter on top of the press. Lower the filter until it's just sitting on top of the liquid, and pour gently. Give it a sniff, a taste, and enjoy! Remember to make changes to your brewing process if there's something about the coffee you don't like.