French Press

Cafetière à piston and the 8 minute method

Although the first French patent dates back to 1852, the French press only gained prominence in 1965 with the British film "The Ipcress File". She later became known through the Danish manufacturer Bodum, whom many still know today because of the French Press.

Many recipes speak of a brewing time of 5 minutes and somewhat coarser ground material. However, there are better recipes like that from San Francisco barista Nick Cho , where the coffee is ground relatively coarsely, but the cup at 8 minutes is more even, full-bodied and more delicate. For this recipe you need a French press, a (hand) grinder, a scale and a timer .

Parameters at a glance

degree of grinding amount of coffee amount of water temperature total duration
Rough 28g 400ml 96°C 8 minutes

suspended matter and coffee oils

The biggest difference to other filter methods lies in the metal filter. This creates a rather oily infusion with a lot of body which is a matter of taste. The suspended matter also continues to extract when the coffee is decanted and kept warm, so it is best to let it cool down a little and enjoy it immediately. The following recipe reduces the negative properties of the French press. Have fun trying!

  1. Switch on the kettle and set the temperature if necessary. Since this step takes the longest, let's start with it.
  2. Choose a coarse grind, like coarse sea salt. Please do not use pre-ground coffee, as the aromas also disappear very quickly here.
  3. If you have a hand grinder, grind the coffee while the kettle heats up. Otherwise shortly before.
  4. When the water is hot, put the grist into the pot and start the timer (8 minutes)
    Caution: If the kettle has no temperature control: open the lid after boiling and wait 1 minute
  5. Fill the jug completely with 400ml water. For larger pitchers, adjust the recipe proportionately.
  6. After 30-45s has passed, stir gently until the coffee grounds on top sink to the bottom.
  7. Now place the lid with the pestle on the pot, but do not press it down
  8. When the timer runs out, gently push the plunger down to avoid unnecessary turbulence. This significantly improves the taste.
  9. Immediately pour into a carafe or distribute and enjoy!

Somehow I don't like it

Case 1: The coffee tastes too bitter or generally too strong.

Solution: Set the grinding degree coarser or shorten the brewing time a little. Be sure to push the plunger down slowly
Case 2: The coffee is too weak or tastes too sour
Solution: Adjust the degree of grinding finer.
If you still don't like the coffee, you may want to switch beans or methods. Especially if the taste is too bitter, it is worth switching to medium/light roasts or trying out pour-over methods.