How to Get Delicious, Smooth and Rich Coffee Using a French Press (Cafetiere)

Have you ever tried to bake a cake when you didn’t have all the ingredients? Or maybe you had to guess how much flour/water to add to the mix? Well, if your baking skills are anything like mine – the end result of your cake was pretty unsavoury!

So, what has baking got to do with coffee? Well, attempting to make a good cup of coffee requires the same level of discipline as it does with baking. If you’re guessing at weights and measures and using the wrong type of ingredients, the result will be a bad tasting cup. I promise this isn’t coffee snobbery, it’s just coffee basics!

So If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be making delicious coffee at home in no time! (well, 4 minutes to be precise).


Step 1. Boil the kettle and use a little of the hot water to heat the Cafetière. Now put the kettle to one side to cool slightly.

Step 2. Try to buy your coffee beans ‘fresh roasted’. Going online is a great place to buy. Good coffee roasters will have the roast date on the packet. Only use the pre-ground supermarket packets as a last resort.

Step 3. If you have your own grinder (well done), grind the beans to a coarse, ‘chunky grit’ like consistency. If it’s too fine the particles will flow through the filter into your cup.

Step 4. Pour away the hot water from the Cafetière and replace it with the fresh ground coffee. Use approx 1 heaped dessert spoon for each mug of coffee. Use a little more for a stronger cup (I will let you experiment here).

Step 5. Now that the kettle has cooled slightly (boiling water will burn the coffee), add a little of the hot water to the coffee, just enough to cover all the coffee grounds. If you have a stopwatch handy, start it now.

Step 6. Leave for 30 seconds, then stir the grounds and pour in the remaining water. Replace the lid and leave to brew until the timer reaches 4 minutes. An extraction time of less than 4 minutes will make a weaker cup, longer than 4 minutes will create a bolder, more bitter cup.

Step 7. Remove the lid from the Cafetière and remove any coffee ‘crust’ from the top of the liquid.

Step 8. Slowly and carefully, push down the plunger. Pour and enjoy.

Get it right and your friends will mysteriously keep appearing for a catch up over coffee! (Just make sure you get them to do the washing up part!).


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