How Long To Brew French Press Coffee: Expert Tips

How Long To Brew French Press Coffee: Expert Tips

So, you’ve got your French press ready and some freshly ground coffee at hand, but here's the big question: how long should you steep that coffee to craft the perfect cup? If you're unsure, don't worry—you’re not alone. Steeping coffee in a French press is like a ritual; getting it right can truly upgrade your coffee experience. Let’s explore how to master the art and science of brewing coffee.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • ESPRO French Press Coffee Maker
  • Kettle to Boil Water
  • Medium - Coarse Ground Coffee
  • Paper Filters (Optional)

Step to Steep Coffee in a French Press: Step-by-Step Guide

Steeping your coffee in a French press is an art that involves several critical steps. Here’s how you can do it effectively.

STEP 1

Measure out your grounds according to the chart below (coffee is subjective so no judgement on how you choose to brew - experiment to find what you like best) 

Pro Tip: Can’t find your tablespoon – simply fill up your bottom filter ¾ of the way with grounds and dump them in your French press for a quick medium brew (remember to rinse off and lock your filters back together before using)

Coffee Roast Recommendation Tablespoons of Coffee Grams of Coffee Coffee Ratio
Dark Roast Max Line: 6
Min Line: 4
33
22
1:18
Medium Roast Max Line: 8
Min Line: 5
40
26
1:15
Light Roast and Cold Brew Max Line: 10
Min Line: 6
50
33
1:12

STEP 2 

Pour the measured coffee into the bottom of the vessel and then twist the two filters back together to lock them. 

Pro Tip: Add an ESPRO paper filter between your dual micro-mesh filters for an even cleaner brew.

STEP 3 

Boil water and fill the press with water until the water meets the maximum fill line located on the inside wall of your French Press and give a quick stir to ensure all the grinds are wet. 

Pro Tip: Boiling water is 212°F, but the ideal temperature to make French Press Coffee is 195-205 °F so let your boiled water sit a few moments to bring it down a few degrees. 

STEP 4 

Place the lid on the press gently and allow the coffee to steep for up to 4 minutes.

STEP 5 

Press slowly, counting to 20, until the plunger reaches the bottom of the French Press. 

Pro Tip: Our filters have a seal to prevent grounds from reaching your coffee after the coffee is pressed, so there will be more resistance when plunging the coffee. 

STEP 6 

Pour and enjoy. 

Pro Tip: ESPRO paper filters can be composted with the coffee grounds!

Benefits of using a French Press

Why choose for a French press, you might ask? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Richer Flavor: The French press method uses full immersion brewing, which means the water and coffee are in contact the entire time, extracting more flavor from the coffee.
  • Customizable Strength: You control the brew time and the amount of coffee added, so making your coffee as strong or as mild as you prefer is all in your hands.
  • Paper Filter optional: Coffee contains over 1000 compounds that give it that bold flavor we love. Paper filters utilized in methods such as drip, pour over, and coffee pods strip out the oils and flavors from the coffee. With a french press you’re in control of whether to utilize a paper filter or not.

Factors Influencing Steeping Time

But here’s the thing: not all French press brews are created equal. Generally, the steeping time in a French press is about 4 - 5 minutes, but it can vary based on a few key elements:

  • Grind Size: From coarse to fine, how you grind your coffee beans affects the steeping. The finer the grind the faster your coffee will extract. Keep an eye on that clock!
  • Water Temperature: Water boils at 212°F (100C) and you want to use water that’s 195-205F. So give your water time to cool off before adding it. Adding Boiling water can lead to bitter coffee. 
  • Coffee Ratio: Finding your perfect coffee to water ratio takes a little time. If it’s weak, try adding more coffee or reducing the water amount. Too Strong? Add less coffee or more water.
  • Dialing it in: Every brand and bag of coffee is different - Grind size, origin, roast level all vary. Experiment with different coffee & water ratio, water temperature, and timing to produce your perfect cup. There is no wrong way to enjoy coffee so brew it how you like!

Types of Beans to Consider

Choosing the right beans can make or break your French press experience:

  • Single-Origin Beans: These beans come from a single producer and offer unique flavors to that region or farm. Want to really taste what they offer? Adjust your steep time to bring out their best.
  • Blends: Blended coffee is the most popular option on the shelf. These coffee beans are sourced from multiple countries and thousands of farms. They are then blended to achieve a consistent taste in each batch. 

Steeping vs. Blooming

You might be wondering about the difference between steeping and blooming—two essential steps in the French press method that can significantly impact your coffee's taste. Here’s how they break down:

  • Blooming: This is the first step right after you add your coffee grounds to the French press. Pour a small amount of hot water—just enough to wet the grounds—and let them sit for about 30 seconds. This process allows the coffee grounds to swell, releasing their flavorful oils and aromatic compounds. Blooming helps to release the carbon dioxide that’s been trapped in the beans during roasting, preventing it from souring your final brew. Think of it as letting your coffee yawn and stretch before it really wakes up.

  • Steeping: After the bloom, you add the rest of the water and let the coffee grounds steep. This is where the extraction happens, pulling the flavors, oils, and essences from the grounds into the water. Steeping is a longer process, typically lasting between three to six minutes depending on your taste preference. It’s the main event where your coffee develops its full body and rich flavor.

Standard and Experimental Steeping Times
Standard steep time is about four minutes, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Some swear by a bold, robust cup that sits for six minutes, while others prefer the lighter touch of just three minutes. What’s your brew saying?

Tips for Perfecting Your French Press Technique

  • Stir Before Plunging: Giving the brew a gentle stir before plunging can help create a more even flavor.
  • Check Your Grind: Ensure your coffee is ground coarsely enough to prevent it from slipping through the press filter.

Troubleshooting Common French Press Issues

  • Too Bitter? Shorten the steep time.
  • Too Weak? Check if you’re using enough coffee, or let it steep a bit longer.
  • Coffee Grounds in Your Cup? Your grind might be too fine.

Conclusion

Mastering the French press takes a bit of patience and a lot of love for coffee. Every minute of steeping brings out different notes and nuances, so take your time to find what works best for you. Happy brewing!