The Feeder of wolves fell, worker of evil deeds. The poet chopped Ljot’s leg off, I brought Fridgeir peace. I do not ask reward from the splasher of gold for that. The spears’ din was fun enough, the fight with the pale man. -from “Egil’s Saga”

Bluebottle Coffee Company perfect french press coffee instructions

* For each 8 oz of water use three to four level tablespoons of coffee.
* Measure the capacity of your coffee cup and the amount of servings you wish to make and use the above guide to determine the proper amount of coffee.
* Put double the amount of good quality water than you intend to drink in a kettle or other vessel that is only used for heating water.
* While water is heating, grind the coffee. Press pot coffee requires an even grind, so having a burr grinder is recommended. The grind should be gritty, resembling beach sand: pleasant to walk on, but not too powdery. More Santa Cruz than Carmel.
* Bring water not quite to the boil. Place the kettle on the counter for 30 seconds (or, better yet, until an instant-read thermometer reads 198 degrees). Alternatively, pouring near-boiling water into a glass measuring cup cools the water to nearly the ideal temperature, and allows you to use exactly the amount of water necessary.
* Pour water into the empty press pot to warm it up. After a few seconds, pour this water into your cup to warm it.
* Add ground coffee to the now empty press pot, and pour water in a thin stream over the grounds.
* Gently stir the coffee with a small wooden spoon or chopstick, and place the stem on the pot with the filter about a 1/2 inch from the grounds.
* Wait three minutes for the coffee to steep. Time it. Don’t guess.
* Remove the stem briefly and stir gently with a small wooden spoon or chopstick.
* Gently push the grounds down to the bottom of the pot. If the stem thunks to the bottom with almost no resistance, then your grind is too coarse. If you have to sweat and strain to get the stem to the bottom of the pot, then your grind is too fine (note: too fine a grind can be dangerous. If the stem torques as you are wrestling with it, near-boiling water and coffee grounds can spray all over you). Ideal is 15-20 pounds of pressure. If you’re not sure what that feels like, press down on your bathroom scale with the flat of your hand until the scale reads 20 pounds. It should take fifteen to twenty seconds to push the stem to the bottom, depending upon the size of your press pot.
* When you have pushed the plunger as far down as it will go, serve entire contents immediately. Do not let it sit. Do not reheat. Drink your coffee. Now.

Bluebottle Coffee Company


One response

  1. Great notes about how to make coffee with a press pot! I like the detail about how hard to push down and also the tip to stir the grinds around.

    We just put together a step by step guide to making really good French Press Coffee over at and would love to hear what you think about it!

    September 14, 2009 at 7:48 pm

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