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You’ve been using the French Press wrong all this time

The French Press has been a household staple for a very long time. Depending on where you come from, the French Press is also known as a plunger (Australia, New Zealand), caffettiera a stantuffo (Italy), cafetière à piston (France) and coffee press (USA).

Its classic design hasn’t changed much since its invention in 1929 by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani. It remains one of the most popular brewing devices due to its simple brewing method and heavier cup profile.

What you will need:

  • French Press
  • Freshly ground coffee
  • Hot water
  • Goose neck kettle (not crucial)
  • Scale
  • Timer
  • Stir stick or spoon
  • Cup


  1. Warm up your French Press by filling it with hot water.  I do this to pre-heat the French Press. It will help maintain the temperature once you start brewing.
  2. Weigh out 18.5 grams and grind the beans to a coarse consistency. It should feel a little coarser than table salt.
  3. Discard the hot water from the French Press.
  4. Pour your ground coffee into the French Press and gently shake it to settle the grounds. Make sure you tare the scale to zero.
  5. Start your timer as soon as you add hot water. Fill your French Press with 250 mL (92-96 degrees celsius). Make sure you saturate all the grounds. We don’t want any dry spots.
  6. Once your timer hits 1 minute,  you will notice a thick layer of coffee forming on top of the water. With a wooden stirrer or the back of a spoon, push that crust down and give it a gentle stir.
  7. Put the top on your French Press and allow the coffee to brew without pressing it down.
  8. At 3:30 minutes, grab a spoon and scoop off any floating foam or particles of coffee. This enhances cup quality.
  9. Once the timer hits 4 minutes, gently push the press all the way down.
  10. Immediately pour all the coffee out of the French Press. We don’t want the coffee extracting anymore than 4 minutes.
  11. Enjoy.

This post was written by Matthew De Angelis, a coffee roaster from Melbourne, Australia and a coffee blogger at Brewing is for Everyone. Since people are becoming more and more interested in all the different brewing methods available, he decided to create simple brewing methods that he does in his own kitchen and share them on Brewing is for Everyone. Go check it out for more recipes, machine reviews and people interviews.

Cover image by Blue Bottle Coffee Company.

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