18 Tips for the Perfect French Press Coffee (Part 1)

French press, cafetière, coffee press, cafetiere

Year after year, coffee connoisseurs worldwide are coming up with increasingly elaborate methods for producing the ‘perfect’ cup of coffee. But for many, perfection lies in simplicity. Precisely why the traditional French press method always had a strong following worldwide.

In fact, some genuinely believe that cafetière is the best coffee brewing method, hands down.

Truth is, you really don’t have to go to extremes to brew fantastic coffee at home. Feel free to experiment with the latest gadgets if you like, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s compulsory.

Get it right with a basic French Press (a.k.a. coffee press) and you’ll be looking at a cup of coffee that’s pretty much as good as it gets. As for what ‘getting it right’ means, you need only ask a barista or two how they get the job done themselves.

With this in mind, here are all the tips, tricks and guidelines you’ll ever need to make fantastic cafetiere coffee at home, each and every time:

1) Make your measurements as precise as possible

First up, only you can decide how you like your cafetière coffee. Nevertheless, consistency lies in ensuring you accurately measure the amount of coffee and water you use, each time you brew. Once you’ve nailed the perfect ratio of coffee grounds to water, make a note of the quantities and stick with them.

2) Buy a good grinder

The importance of investing in a quality grinder cannot be overstated.  Irrespective of whether you’d prefer a manual grinder or an electric grinder, quality counts. The more precise control you have over the coarseness of the grounds, the better.

3) Use a coarse grind

The biggest and most common mistake when French press coffee is concerned is grinding the beans too fine. If anything, it’s better to err on the side of caution and keep things slightly coarser than you think you need. Try to avoid that ‘muddy’ texture that guarantees an unpleasant cup of coffee.

4) Use filtered water

There are various minerals and trace elements in tap water that can affect the flavour of the coffee you brew. Irrespective of your preferred brewing method, try stepping up to a higher quality water and you’ll almost certainly notice the difference.

5) Use premium coffee

Garbage in, garbage out - don’t expect miracles from bargain-basement coffee beans. However simple your preferred brewing method may be, you still owe it to yourself to use the best coffee beans you can get your hands on.

6) Warm the cafetière / coffee press before starting

A simple tip but ingenious nonetheless, always warm your cafetière and the cups you use, before preparing and serving your coffee. This will help keep things at the ideal temperature and add to your enjoyment.

7) Stop using boiling water

It’s not necessary to measure the temperature of the water you use to the exact degree. However, it’s very necessary to let boiled water stand for around 30 seconds, in order to avoid scolding your grounds with excessively hot water.

Stay tuned for the second half of our two-part French Press / Cafetiere masterclass, coming soon…

In the meantime, at Hayman’s online coffee store, you will find freshly roasted specialty coffees, such as Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, best Kona coffee Hawaii, and Panama geisha coffee beans, which are perfect when you brew them with your cafetière – click here to order today, we offer free worldwide shipping!