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How to make GREAT coffee with a French press (press pot)

Updated on June 30, 2011

French press

Mornings can be difficult. It is not always easy to break yourself from the comfort of your dream world and warm bed to the all too often harsh reality that waits. It is time to go to work.


A cup or three of coffee can ease that transition from dreamland to a bearable reality but it must be good coffee.


The best way to make a good cup of coffee is to use a French press. Before we explore the virtues of the French press and making coffee with one, we will take a quick look at the value of making your own in the first place.


First it is cheaper, you will save money. Second, it is quicker; you can make your coffee while engaging in other activities such as your morning exercises or glancing at the newspaper.


Three, you do not have to spend time in line waiting to place your order.


Four, you will get a superior cup of coffee, provided you follow the proper procedure.


To make a good cup of coffee in a French press it is essential to start with a quality coffee bean. Bean ? Yes bean.


If you want it good then grind it yourself, it will take no more than eight seconds to do this. One second to add the beans of yoru choice to the grinder and two seven seconds maximum to grind them and add them to the pot. The actual grinding time works out to be six seconds or so.


You do not want too fine a grind but you do want to reduce the beans so that the coffee will dissolve into the hot water.


If you do not want to grind your own coffee beans, then buy your coffee beans from a vendor who will grind them for you. Be sure to tell them the coffee is for a French press.


Now once you have ground the beans add them to the press. The next step is to add the hot water. I put the kettle on to boil while I am adding the beans to the grinder. When the kettle begins, just begins to boil, I take it off the burner and pour it into the press, a quick stir with a wooden spoon then the plunger is put on but not lowered.


Before plunging I let the coffee settle for seven minutes. You can move faster or wait longer but I find seven minutes is just right.


It also gives me a space for quiet meditation while I wait.


I have been using a French press for close to thirty years and would not make coffee any other way.

French press and coffee

Bob Ewing photo
Bob Ewing photo


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    RGraf, My sister-in-law introduced me to the french press some years back. I had never seen one before.

    UW, congratulations and enjoy. Thank you both for stopping by.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    I've done it, I've gone back to using a French press. I'll definitely follow your advice. For now, I'm using Starbucks coffee I got for was freshly ground at one point :) In fact, I'm drinking it right now. Definitely has a richer taste than my coffee maker.

  • RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

    So that is what my in-laws have. Always wondered but was too embarrassed to ask. Thanks for the info. :)