French Press Instructions ~ Brewing, Serving & Cleaning
French Press Instructions: How to Make French Press Coffee & the Clean-up
Brewing & Serving Method:
For a 3 cup (12 oz) French Press:
- Grind fresh coffee beans coarsely to get 19g of ground coffee.
- Remove the lid and plunger unit, then quickly add your ground coffee into the carafe (pot).
- Steadily pour 300ml of freshly boiled water onto your coffee grounds, ensuring that they are all evenly saturated. Take note that you should leave enough room for the liquid and coffee grounds to rise later on when plunging.
- Use a wooden spoon or chopstick to gently stir the slurry formed. This will aid in completely saturating and extracting the ground coffee.
- Insert the plunger unit into your carafe, but don’t press down yet. When doing so, ensure that the filter does not come into contact with your coffee to avoid it cooling more than necessary.
- Steadily depress the plunger with one hand while holding the lid with the other. Keep the plunger vertically upright and the filter screen horizontal, to prevent the coffee grounds from slipping through the sides of the filter when plunging. This process should take about 20 to 30 seconds to complete.
- Serve the coffee immediately, taking care not to leave any extra coffee in the French Press as it will continue to brew and over-extract the coffee grounds. This will result in an unpleasant and bitter tasting coffee. If there is any extra coffee after serving or if you don’t want to drink straight away, pour your coffee into a thermos to keep it hot instead of leaving it in the carafe.
A clean French Press is essential to making good coffee. Improper cleaning methods can greatly impact the taste of your coffee, especially if continued over a period of time. Here are some such methods that you can follow to ensure your French Press is properly cleaned:
Removing used coffee grounds
Note: After plunging the coffee and pouring it all out, pull up the plunger immediately so that it’s not resting on the oily ground coffee while you savour your drink. This makes it easier to clean later.
- Pour a bit of water into your carafe and swish it around. Then pour it out, grounds and all, into a sieve. After which, you just throw the grounds in the sieve away.
- Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a paper towel that’s been pushed into your sink drain hole and then throw away the paper towel with coffee grounds.
- Finally, if you rather not follow the above 2 methods, you can simply tap the bottom of your French Press and shake out the coffee grounds into a dustbin. If you must use a spoon or some other utensil to scrape up any leftover coffee grounds in your carafe, try use a wooden spoon or chopstick to do the job. Sometimes, fiddling around with a metal utensil can cause tiny cracks in glass carafes that will increase the chances of it breaking. Ultimately, I do not advise this method of cleaning as tapping and shaking your French Press may sometimes lead to breakages whether it be from accidentally dropping the carafe or over-application of force when tapping, shaking or scraping.
Disassemble and wash
From left to right: Coffee scoop, plunger unit, glass carafe, French press casing.
Ensure that you take note on how to reassemble your French Press when disassembling it for the first time.
- Disassemble all the parts, that is the lid, plunger, plunger screen and carafe, and let them soak in hot water with dilute soap solution or baking soda.
- Use a small sponge or brush (that won’t scratch the glass carafe) to gently scrub all the parts, making sure that all traces of the coffee grounds have been removed.
- Dry the parts separately and reassemble once dried.
- Firstly, check whether your French Press is dishwasher safe. Those that aren’t dishwasher safe may be subject to rusting or cracking when put inside a dishwasher.
- Next, disassemble all the parts and put them into your dishwasher. It is advisable to put the plunger parts into the silverware basket to prevent them from moving around and breaking the more fragile pieces of your French Press when washing.
- Lastly, dry the parts separately and reassemble once dried.
Finally, do not clean your French Press just by rinsing it with hot water only. This is because coffee leaves behind an oily residue that accumulates on the plunger screen and inside the carafe. No matter how hot the water, it cannot fully get rid of these oils. If this continues over time, these oils will become rancid and thus adversely affect the taste of your coffee.
Now that it has all been said, it’s up to you to follow these French Press instructions. Despite the many variations in technique, the fundamentals of how to use a French Press, as listed above, remain the same. So I urge you to keep to these French Press instructions and not only will you be able to make a great cup of French Press coffee, but chances are, your French Press will keep on serving you well into the future.