The Cafetière or French Press as it’s known in America was patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. With this method the coffee grounds are steeped in the water producing a rich, full bodied flavour. The grounds are separated from the finished drink with a metal or nylon filter which has relatively large holes. This lets more of the non-soluble material through giving more texture to the mouthfeel but unfortunately this forms a sludge at the bottom of the cup. To avoid this scoop off the floating crust just before plunging.

Finely ground beans produce bitter coffee as they are over-extracted with the long steep time. To avoid this we need a consistent grind between medium and coarse. Using a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder is essential to creating an even particle size.

When you come to plunge, if you find it too hard to press down the grind is too fine. If the plunger thunks immediately down to the pot’s floor, it means the grind is too coarse.

Don’t forget to unscrew the plunger and clean it from time to time.

Good Cafetière Method

Recommended quantities

Cafetière size Volume Water Coffee Weight
8 cups 1 litre 70 g
6 cups 850 ml 60 g
4 cups 500 ml 35 g
2/3 cups 350 ml 25 g

  1. Boil a full kettle of water
    Boil kettle
  2. Weigh coffee beans as above and grind on medium-coarse
    Grind coffee
  3. Pour boiling water into cafetière to pre-heat it
    Pre-heat cafetière
  4. After 30 secs transfer the water into your mugs to heat them
    Pre-heat mugs
  5. Add grounds to cafetière & fill with 80ºC water from slightly cooled kettle
    Add coffee to cafetière
  6. Stir the coffee to ensure well mixed
    Stir cafetière
  7. Wait 4 mins then remove the floating crust using 2 spoons
    Remove coffee crust
  8. Plunge gently and pour into mugs
    Plunge cafetiere