How to use a cafetière is one of those things that everyone should know how to do, right. It will just make morning coffee easier, and therefore life better.
Also known as a French press, the cafetière is the epitome of delicious and easy to brew coffee. The handy device was first created in the 1850s and has now come leaps and bounds so as to produce a really nice cup of coffee, using what is essentially, just a jug (usually made from heat resistant borosilicate glass) and a filter.
It’s simplicity at its best, and it’s a beautiful object to have around also – with stainless steel and copper finishes available - so it’s only right that you get the most out of this feisty little brewing device. If you want to add to your already booming coffee machine collection, we highly recommend this method.
Choosing the best coffee for your French press
The first, and fairly obvious, step is to choose your coffee. Pick your beans Robusta, Arabica or another type depending on the aroma and flavour profile that you’re going for, and while the actual type of coffee you use won’t affect the cafetière itself, it is the consistency of your coffee grounds that you need to pay close attention to.
The ideal consistency of your coffee grounds should be coarse and even, so if you aren’t grinding your coffee beans at home (this would be next level great), be sure to avoid buying grounds for espresso.
Reason being that if your coffee grounds are too fine, filtering your coffee won’t be an easy task; if your coffee grounds are too coarse, there will be no resistance when you filter the coffee which means likely spillages and a slightly watery finish. No thank you.
How much coffee do you need for a French press
Generally speaking, you’re looking for a coffee to water ratio of 1:10, which is 1 gram of coffee per 10 grams of water. A coffee scoop usually holds about 10g so makes for easy measuring, and how much you use depends on what size cafetière you are using.
How long is French press brew time?
Four minutes will give you the most well-balanced and delicious flavour.
Using a French press, step-by-step:
- Boil your water in a kettle or on the stove. This needs to be off the boil when you use it, at around 86 to 90ºC (195°F).
- Preheat your cafetière with warm water or by swirling round some of the just boiled water.
- Measure and add your coffee to the cafetière jug.
- Add the water, again, dependent on how much coffee you have used, and be sure to stir in an up and down motion so that the grounds brew evenly.
- Place the filter on top and set a four minute timer.
- In the meantime, we like to preheat our coffee cup, KeepCup or thermos flask with some of the spare hot water.
- When 4 minutes is up, filter your coffee by slowly pressing the plunger down. We say slowly because if you apply too much pressure and too quickly, you may cause a spillage.
- Pour your coffee into your preheated cup(s) and enjoy it as it is or add whatever you need to make it the perfect cup of Joe for you.
For more tips on how to make good coffee you can check out our guide.