Coffee 101 // How To Brew A French Press

Happy Tuesday! If you're subscribed to my email list (which I highly recommend ;) just type your email in that little box to your right!) you got wind of this new series already- but for those of you who haven't heard, I'm so excited to bring you the first post in a series of coffee tutorials! I know these don't exactly qualify under the "simplicity" umbrella, but without coffee, life would be a lot more complicated, so I think it fits. Besides, I think everyone should know how to brew the perfect cup from the comfort of home! 

A French Press is a great place to start if you're looking to brew a better cup than your Mr. Coffee coffee maker can do. It only takes 4 minutes and yields a nice, bold cup. 

First though, a little bit of my coffee background, so you know where I'm coming from with this love of coffee that sometimes rivals obsession. 

My very first job, way, way back in the day, was for a local roastery in Winter Park, CO. I was a barista at their coffee shop and got to learn lots of the "behind the scenes" process about roasting coffee and, of course, making it. 

During college, I worked at a cafe in old town Fort Collins which is where my love for traditional coffee began. I started learning the basics of latte art, and how to make traditional drinks like macchiatos and cortados. I also learned a little bit about manual brewing methods like French presses and pour-overs. 

I've worked at a few more shops here and there since then (yes, I's excessive) and my dream is to one day own my own coffee shop- the culmination of my love for community and coffee! Seriously, what could be better? But that's a story for a different day. 

One thing that I've noticed is that most people rely on the baristas at Starbucks to give them their morning coffee, and while there's certainly nothing wrong with that, besides being a slightly costly addiction, there's no reason you can't learn to make your own coffee right at home. It will taste even better, I promise ;) 

What you'll need: 

  • Your whole bean coffee of choice (opt for an Arabica, fair trade coffee!) 
  • Grinder (grinding your coffee at home yields a MUCH fresher cup)
  • French press
  • Water kettle
  • Scale (if you're feeling extra fancy.) 
  • Timer

Step one: boil your water

Do this first so that you can grind your beans and such while the water boils. After it's done boiling, be sure to preheat your press with some of the hot water. 

Step two: weigh out and grind your coffee

While your water is boiling, weigh/measure your coffee (my press is a 6 cup, so I use about 48 grams- or just use one heaping tablespoon per cup, it will come out to about the same weight). Grind it to the consistency of breadcrumbs- French Presses use a coarser ground than most other methods. Then pour out the hot water and pour the grounds in the press.

Step three: pour the water

Start your timer for 4 minutes and pour the water half way, making sure all the grounds are covered, then wait for 1 minute (this is called letting it "bloom"). Fill it the rest of the way up, put the top on and then wait for 3 more minutes. 

Step four: slowly push down and enjoy!

How do YOU take your morning coffee? I could talk about this all day....