Brew Guide - The Art of the French Press

A Little History

Did you know the French Press, also know as the cafetiere, beloved in households throughout France and the world, might actually be an Italian invention?!

French Press by Inventor Attilio Calimani GB Patent 395548A

Some will claim that, already in the 1850’s, the French were using a plunger pot with a fine mesh screen to contain the coffee grounds as the liquid was poured off. However, the first patent for such a contraption we would recognise as a modern-day French Press  was made by a designer from Milan named Attilio Calimani in 1929.

 

What to Expect in the Cup

What to expect in the French press cup

Because there is no paper filter in the French Press many small coffee particles along with oils from the coffee make it into the final cup. This results in a more full-bodied, textured, cup of coffee.

There will, however, also be small particles that remain suspended in the liquid, continuously extracting flavour. It’s important to serve French Press coffee directly after plunging and drink it as soon as possible or else the continued extraction will result in a horrible taste.


Ratio 15:1

Muttley & Jack's - A Scandinavian RoastIn order to preserve the unique flavours in our speciality grade beans Muttley & Jack’s Coffee is roasted lightly - to a level sometimes known as the Scandinavian or the Nordic Roast.

At this roast level we recommend a water to coffee ratio of 15:1 - that is 15 ml of water for each 1g of coffee. Or for an average cup - 240 ml water per 16 grams coffee.

To achieve the exact quantities it helps to have a weighing scale. (You can find scales made for coffee brewing here, or less expensive ones for general kitchen use such as this one from Clas Olsson)

 

 

15:1 Ratio

Water

Coffee

 

15 ml / grams

1 gram

Average Cup

240 ml / grams

16 grams (2 Tbspoon)

French press for 2

500 ml / grams

33 grams (4 Tbspoon)


Start out with this 15:1 ratio, and adjust according to your own taste.


Method

  1. Heat some water to about 95 degrees celsius. (It’s best to stop the kettle before it reaches boiling point rather than allow it reach 100 degrees and cool.)
  2. Measure out the coffee and grind it - not too finely. It should be coarse like sea-salt.
  3. Pour some of the hot water into the French Press to warm it. Pour that water from the French Press into the cup to warm that as well.
  4. Put the ground coffee into the French Press. Pour the hot water over the grounds in a slow, thin stream.
  5. Stir the mixture gently and put the plunger / lid into the jug - but do not plunge yet - position it about 1 cm above the coffee.
  6. Let the mixture steep for 3 minutes.
  7. Press the plunger down and push the grounds gently to the bottom of the pot. If it feels difficult to push the plunger down to the bottom then your grind size was too small. If it plunges too easily then the grind size was too coarse. (It should take about 9 kg of pressure to force the plunger down - you could test what this amount of pressure feels like by pressing down with your palm on a bathroom scales to keep it at 9 kg).
  8. Serve immediately after brewing otherwise the coffee will continue extracting - adding bitter compounds to the liquid. If you aren’t going to drink it all at once pour it into another server while you wait.
Alternative - For a lighter bodied coffee, with fewer particles in the cup add this step between steps 6 and 7:
  • Remove the lid and use a slotted spoon to remove someof the coffee ground from the jug before plunging.

Remember to clean the jug and filter carefully! Old coffee grounds will make the next brew taste nasty.

Muttley & Jack's Coffee Roasters

Muttley & Jack’s is a prize winning coffee roastery based in Stockholm. Each month members receive a box of freshly roasted specialty grade coffee with an education pack to help coffee lovers and the coffee curious get more out of their coffee.

Award winning roastery: Muttley & Jack's

The 'Coffee Experience' packages together speciality coffee, travel and education. Discover more about 'Coffee Experience' membership.

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