The classic cafetière, or French press, if you’re posh. We love it, and with our cafetière brew guide we’ll show you how to nail it. It’s an immersive brew method, meaning the coffee is steeped in water which is exactly the same method we, as coffee roasters, use to evaluate coffee when we do a cupping. It’s basic, it’s simple and it is consistent. There are just a few things to keep an eye on, mainly to do with grind degree and brew time. The cafetière has a reputation for terribly muddy drinks with lots of sediment in the bottom, but we have a technique for you that will blow your mind. When done right you can expect surprising clarity, good body and balanced sweetness. A coffee like our Guatemala is banging in a cafetiere. Here’s how to nail it.
Start by boiling your kettle to 94 degrees Celsius. On a conventional kettle turn it off when you first see bubbles rising from the bottom. Heat up the beaker of the cafetière with hot water.
Add your ground coffee. You’re aiming for a pretty coarse grind, but not mega coarse. You want to aim for something a little coarser than filter. Use a 60g of coffee to 1 litre of water brew ratio, so in this instance we used 21g of coffee for a 350ml cafetiere.
Pour your hot water over the grounds and start a timer. For this cafetière we’re using 350ml of water.
Place the plunger/lid combo on top of the beaker and wait for 4 minutes. Not nearly 4 minutes, or about 4 minutes. 4 minutes. Got it?
When 4 minutes is up, give the surface of the grounds a little stir. We recommend 3 circular motions – just enough to sink the “crust” of grounds sat on top. Try not to agitate the grounds on bottom of the beaker too much.
Now comes the tough bit. Wait for a further 4-6 minutes (yes, we’re talking about up to 10 mins total brew time). This lets the sediment settle at the bottom of the beaker, and means the coffee has extracted properly. Don’t worry, the coffee won’t over-extract. Finally, the mind blowing bit. Pop the lid and plunger back on to the beaker and pour the coffee while holding on to the lid without plunging. That’s right. No plunging! Serve all the coffee immediately.
This cafetière brew guide is based on a technique by James Hoffmann. If you’re interested in finding out more head over to his blog Jimseven.