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French Press Recipe's - How to make Classic Hot, Iced Coffee or Cold Brew Coffee

 

The french press is the quintessential coffee maker. It’s classic, easy to use, and brews a killer cup of coffee - but it’s also a pretty versatile coffee tool. While most people just think of regular hot coffee when they see a coffee press, there are actually three different ways to make coffee with it.

Let’s explore these three different methods so you can extract the MOST value possible from your french press coffee maker and enjoy a variety of coffee drinks, like… 

  • Classic Hot Coffee
  • Smooth Cold Brew Coffee
  • Crisp Traditional Iced Coffee

Let’s begin with the most obvious recipe.

Classic Hot French Press Recipe

Hot Coffee - Bodum Chambord French Press

Chances are, this is the recipe you’ll follow the most since it’s the most classic. It’s easy, straightforward, and makes delicious coffee.

Because of the french press’s mesh filter, natural aromatic oils - as well as some microscopic grounds - are able to make their way through to your final mug. This enhances the aromas, adds some ‘umph’ to the mouthfeel, and gives the flavor a boldness that’s unrivaled by other coffee brewers that use a paper filter.

Flavor Profile

  • Full, bold flavor
  • Full, heavy mouthfeel
  • Vibrant aromas
  • Rich Complexity

Recipe At A Glance:

  • Combine coffee and hot water
  • Set timer for 4 minutes
  • Press down the plunger when time’s up
  • Pour immediately and enjoy

 

Now let’s see a more detailed rundown of the recipe that assumes you’d like to make 3 cups of coffee at a well-rounded 1:16 ratio (you can read all about the best coffee ratios HERE).

Prep Ingredients And Press

  • How much coffee for french press - Collect 48g of coffee (roughly 9 tablespoons of beans)
  • Set water to boil in a kettle. When your water’s hot, pour a bit into your french press to preheat the brewer.
  • How to grind coffee for french press - Grind your coffee at a coarse setting (little larger than kosher salt size) and set to the side. Pour out the preheat water and pour in your fresh ground coffee.

Begin The Brew

  • Start a timer for 4 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in 750ml of hot water over the grounds, making sure to saturate all of them.
  • After 1 minute, use a spoon to gently submerge the grounds that have formed a ‘crust’ at the surface of the coffee.

Pro Tip: Use a wooden stir paddle to prevent damage to your press by a metal spoon

Finish It Up

  • When your timer reaches zero, attach the french press lid and press down slowly.
  • When you’re finished plunging the filter, pour out all of your coffee into three mugs or a carafe to keep the coffee from continuing to extract.
  • This coffee’s going to be so delicious and balanced, but let’s move onto the other (more exciting) ways to make coffee with a french press.

Smooth French Press Cold Brew Recipe

French Press Recipe - Cold Brew Coffee

unsplash-logo Suhyeon Choi

 

Cold brew coffee is a newer thing, but it’s here to stay. Because you use cold water to brew instead of hot water, the result is pretty unique.

The cold water fundamentally changes how the coffee extracts, which results in up to 66% less bitterness and acidity. This makes it taste soooo smooth and refreshing over ice.

Flavor Profile

  • Full flavor
  • Smooth mouthfeel
  • Less bitter, less acidic
  • Rich complexity

Recipe At A Glance

  • Combine coffee and cold water
  • Set timer for 12 hours
  • Press down the plunger when time’s up
  • Filter, dilute, and enjoy

 

You’ll notice in this recipe that we aren’t going to use a typical 1:16 ratio like we did for classic french press coffee. That’s because we’re going to make a concentrate. We’re going with 1:4 (yeah, 4x as strong!). 

We’ll show you how to dilute that concentrate below.

Measure Your Ingredients

  • Collect 170g of coffee (roughly 2 cups of grounds) 700ml of water (3 liquid cups).
  • Grind your coffee at a coarse to medium-coarse setting and pour into the french press.

Start The Brew

  • Set an alarm for 12 hours.
  • Slowly pour all 700ml of cold water over the grounds into the press, making sure you saturate all the grounds evenly.
  • After 5 minutes, use a spoon to submerge the grounds that have formed a ‘crust’ at the surface of the coffee and cover with the lid.

Time To Filter 

  • Twelve hours later, set up a coffee filter over another carafe or server.
  • Plunge the french press coffee filter, then pour out the cold brew concentrate through the coffee filter. Come back a few minutes later to pour some more through the filter if it fills up the first time.
  • To dilute your resulting concentrate, use 1 part cold brew and 3-4 parts cold water (adjust to taste). Then top with ice and enjoy! Alternatively, you can cut your cold brew concentrate with hot water to make a sort of hot cold brew coffee drink.

Crisp Traditional Iced Coffee with French Press

Iced Coffee Recipe - French Press

unsplash-logo Matt Hoffman

 

But what if you want iced coffee but really enjoy the tang and fuller flavor of coffee made with hot water? Luckily, there’s a way you can make traditional iced coffee too!

This iced coffee is really essentially chilled hot coffee. It has the acidity of hot coffee, the gentle bitterness of hot coffee, and all those rich flavors too. It’s a more bright, crisp, and tangy brew.

Flavor Profile

  • Full flavor
  • Bright and tangy
  • Heavier body for iced coffee
  • Complex

Recipe At A Glance

  • Combine coffee and water
  • Set timer for 4 minutes
  • Press down the plunger when time’s up
  • Immediately pour over ice

 

For this recipe, we’re going to use a stronger ratio (1:11) brew the coffee by using less water. This will make the brew unpleasantly rich at first, but when we pour it over ice, it’ll dilute to a perfect strength that’s balanced again.

Collect All The Ingredients

  • Collect 48g of coffee (roughly 9 tablespoons of beans) and set water to boil in a kettle.
  • When your water’s hot, pour a bit into your french press to preheat the brewer.
  • Grind your coffee at a coarse setting and set to the side. Pour out the preheat water and pour in your fresh grounds.

Start Your Brew

  • Start a timer for 4 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in 525ml of hot water over the grounds, making sure to saturate all of them.
  • After 1 minute, use a spoon to gently submerge the grounds that have formed a ‘crust’ at the surface of the coffee.

Finish And Pour 

  • When the timer’s up, plunge down the french press filter slowly.
  • Fill three tall glasses with ice and slowly pour your extra-strong coffee over it to chill the coffee instantly. Enjoy!
  • These three recipes can give you three totally different kinds of coffee - and all with one coffee maker! That’s why the french press is our favorite brewer of all time.

PRO TIP: Just be careful when brewing! Metal spoons can cause damage to your glass press.

We offer free french press insurance with every press purchase (we’ve got you covered), but if you use a wooden stir paddle, you can avoid the hassle altogether.

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