How to Make the Best-Tasting French Press Coffee at Home
The variety of ways you can enjoy a cup of coffee seems endless. Hot or iced, bitter or sweet, black or with a splash of oat milk. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to get the best flavor your coffee at home. But if you consider taste, simplicity, and affordability, it’s hard to beat the classic French press. We asked baristas for their tips on making the best French press coffee at home.
What is a French press?
You may have seen someone pour hot water into a pot, push down on a plunger, do nothing for a few minutes, and somehow produce a cup of coffee or tea that blows your mind. That’s exactly what the French press method is. There’s a plethora of French press pots you can buy, but all you really need is a pot big enough for your brew with a solid plunger and strainer. Brewing French press is mostly a game of patience, so you can still make a great cup of coffee with an inexpensive set up.
What You Need
- French press pot
- Freshly roasted coffee beans
- Coffee grinder
- Hot water
- Kitchen scale (optional, but helps measure precisely)
- Choose the right beans
Great tasting coffee starts with great tasting beans. This part is up to your preferences, but we recommend a balanced, medium-dark coffee as a starting point for the French press method. We have been loving Dogwood out of Minneapolis, MN and Parlor Coffee out of Brooklyn, NY. Even if you can’t leave the house, you can still support your local roasters, order coffees online, and try something new!
- Medium-coarse grind
A medium-coarse grind is ideal for the French press method. A very coarse grind will clog the filter of your French press, while using a fine grind may allow grounds to sneak into your brew.
- Measure out coffee into French press
A common rule of thumb for the French press is to measure out 1 gram of coffee for every 15 grams of water. Having a kitchen scale will improve the precision of your measurements, but if you don’t have one this works out to about 3 tablespoons of coffee for each cup of water used to brew.
Raise the plunger, and add your coffee to the pot.
- Heat and pour in water
Bring your water to just under boiling. Pour in just enough hot water to soak the grounds and let the coffee stand for 30 seconds. Then pour the rest of the water.
- Let the coffee brew for 4 minutes
Don’t touch anything and give the French press some time to do its magic.
- Stir crust and scoop foamy layer
After four minutes of brewing, you’ll see that there’s a crust of coffee grounds and foam that has formed at the top. Take a spoon and stir that crust. You’ll start to see most of the grounds float down to the bottom. There might still be a little foam sitting at the top that you can scoop off as well to ensure a clean-tasting brew. Your coffee is essentially done brewing, but you should give the liquid a few seconds to rest and allow the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom of the pot.
- Lower the plunger and pour your coffee
Slowly lower the plunger until the filter is just under the surface of the liquid. Your coffee will now be ready to pour
- Enjoy (with Willa’s Oat Milk)
Your cup of French press coffee will taste great black, if that’s your preference. Otherwise, Willa’s Oat Milk is a healthier alternative to creamer that doesn’t sacrifice the rich flavor in order to soak in the nutrition of whole oats.
Don’t have a French press? We asked baristas for their tips on brewing pour-over coffee at home.
Want to make espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos with oat milk? Willa’s is the only oat milk that steams without added phosphates.
Want to learn more about why baristas choose Willa’s Oat Milk?