The French Press winds up being a lot of people's introduction to home brewing. And for good reason. It's sleek, simple, and makes a darn tasty cup of coffee (or multiple cups, which is an added bonus).
Hot water just off the boil (195-205F)
Coarse Of Course
Set your water to boil and measure out the coffee you'll use. You're gonna want to go with a coarser grind on this one, because science. Kidding/not kidding. The French Press is a full-immersion brew method, so you need a longer extraction time, which means too fine a grind could potentially lead to over-extraction. See? Science. So a coarser grind, think sea salt, and you'll be good to go.
Preppin' The Press
Remove the plunger from the French Press and set it off to the side. Freshly ground coffee goes into the pot, and set it on the scale. We'll use a 1:12 ratio of coffee to water for this one. The French Press is all about highlighting body and sweetness, so we want a higher dose of coffee than some other brew methods require to help achieve that. Our 25g of coffee means we'll be using 300g of water for this brew. As this brew method is quite forgiving, adjusting the amount for more or less coffee is as straightforward as adding more (or less) coffee and using the corresponding amount of water per our 1:12 ratio.
The Français Way
Start your timer and pour in 300g of water, just off the boil. Once you've done this a few times you'll have a pretty good visual gauge of how much water is required, but for now we'll measure it. Give the coffee an initial stir to make sure all the grounds are saturated. After about a minute, you'll give the coffee another stir. This is because the grounds will have 'capped,' and we want to break that cap in order to allow a better extraction of all the coffee. At this point take the plunger and set it carefully on top of the French Press. You can then plunge it just to the top of still-brewing coffee. This is primarily to preserve heat as we finish the brew, so no need to be too precise.
Our golden number for the French Press is a 4-minute brew time. Feel free to adjust that up to a minute either direction, depending on the strength you'd prefer. This is your coffee after all. Once you've reached the desired time, it's time to plunge. You should encounter some resistance whilst plunging, but not an extravagant amount. A good guideline is to use two fingers to press down the plunger. If it gets stuck halfway down and seems like it would require more force, don't panic. All that means is too many grounds are pressed against the metal filter. Simply lift the plunger back up a half an inch, allowing the grounds to fall away, and then continue plunging until you reach the bottom. Or as close as you can get to the bottom, seeing as there are now coffee grounds there.
Ooh La La!
Voila! You're good to serve up. Simply leave the plunger plunged and pour into your waiting pre-heated mug(s). Now, we tend to serve straight away after brewing, but because the grounds are trapped under the filter, and there's not a whole lot of agitation happening, the brewing is essentially done by this point. So if you like to brew up enough for a couple cups, and make your way through it, we shan't look at you askance. Heck, if it encourages you to make and drink more coffee, we'll even applaud you for it. Enjoy!