Brew Guide: French Press

Brew Guide: French Press

Brewing coffee doesn't have to be complicated (though it can feel like a fun science experiment if it is!). Using a French press or cafetière is a perfectly uncomplicated way to brew coffee at home or in the office. Here's our recipe for using a French press. Hope you enjoy!

Coffee wise, we suggest trying La Esperanza, an organic washed Peruvian single origin we roast here at Downriver. It's quite chocolately with apple and citrus notes and it brews really well this way. French press brewing tends to produce a rich, heavy body because it's an immersive brewing method and retains a lot of the natural oils in the coffee. 

Yield: 1-2 people

Ratio: 1:16 (ish)

What you'll need:

  • 30g coarsely ground coffee
  • 500g boiled water
  • a French press (duh!)
  • stirrer/spoon
  • scale (optional)

If you've got a scale, weigh out 30g of coffee. If not, it's about 4 tablespoons-worth. If you're using whole beans, you're going to want to grind is so it's pretty coarse - bread-crumb like. 

Combine the coffee and water in the press, making sure to wet all the grounds. Leave that to sit - I prefer doing all this without the lid to help the brew cool a little faster. 

After 4-5 minutes, use your spoon/stirrer to give the mixture a good stir. If a crust has formed on top, be sure to break it up. Then leave it to sit again for 3-4 minutes. You want all the grounds to settle at the bottom.

A completely optional bonus step at this point would be to use your spoon to skim the top of the brew and remove any floaters. This can help to ensure a slightly cleaner cup but your coffee is completely fine without this step.

Then just gently add the plunger and push down to about the half-way point. I find if you push it all the way down you can squeeze the grounds at the bottom and it can leak through the mesh filter. From there, just pour and enjoy!



The ratio for this recipe is approx 1:16 which means 1 part coffee to 16 parts water. If it tastes too weak for you, add more coffee! Too strong? Add less! If you've got a 1L french press and want to make more coffee with it, try 50g of coffee with 800g of water. 

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