How to make plunger coffee

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A coffee plunger uses immersion brewing, which means that the coffee grounds are submerged in hot water for a certain period of time. This is contrast to to drip / pour over methods, where the coffee is only in contact with water for a few seconds.

Standard pot sizes for a french press range from 4 to 8 cups of coffee but there are also larger ones that can make up to 12 cups in a single batch.

The material can vary between glass, ceramic and metal with zero need for paper filters. Glass is the most common material used for brewing in a french press as it doesn’t impact the flavour of the coffee.

The popularity of the french press is due to the fact that it is very simple to use and requires only a small amount of equipment.

Ready to make the perfect plunger brew? Below we cover the basic steps for making an excellent cup of french press coffee at home.

Steps for Making Plunger Coffee

What you need:

In order to make a successful cup of coffee out of your plunger, you will need the following:

  1. A coffee plunger
  2. A measuring tablespoon
  3. Ground coffee (or beans and a grinder)
  4. Just off boiling water
  5. Stirring spoon

Once you have those things you should be ready to start brewing.

Step 1: Preheat

Preheat your french press by adding some boiling water to the base and swirling it around with a spoon. Discard the water. This step will help by keeping your coffee hot for longer.

Once you have discarded the water, it is time to grind your coffee.

Step 2: Grind and add Coffee

Coffee beans for plunger should be ground to medium-coarse size. You may want to experiment with different grind sizes to find a taste that you like.

The rule of thumb is a 1:15 coffee to water ratio – one gram of coffee for every 15 grams of water.

Add your ground coffee into the french press.

Step 3: Bloom

Pour a small amount of hot water on top of the ground coffee and gently stir with a spoon, making sure all of the grounds are wet. Leave the ground coffee for about 30 seconds – this process is called blooming.

The purpose of blooming is to provide your ground coffee with some time to make space for the hot water. Further, blooming prevents the sour taste of carbon dioxide from infusing into your coffee.

Then pour the remaining water and stir once again. We suggest a water temperature of about 92 degrees Celcius but if you don’t have a temperature controlled kettle just boil it then leave it to sit for a minute with the lid off.

Step 4: Brew

Place the lid on top of the coffee plunger and wait. The standard brewing time is 4 minutes but you can go up to 8 minutes depending on your flavour preferences.

Step 5: Plunge

After the desired time has passed and your brew is done, slowly push the plunger down. Make sure the plunger goes all the way down or otherwise your coffee will continue to over-extract.

Step 6: Decant and Pour

Decant your coffee, then pour into your coffee mugs and enjoy.

To Decant, transfer your brew into a separate, preheated vessel, stir, then pour into your coffee cups. The purpose is ensure any remaining coffee grinds remain in the plunger, and so that all cups taste the same (otherwise the first cup is likely to be weaker than the final cup).

RELATED: How To Make A Long Black

Plunger Coffee Tips

In order to brew a delicious cup of coffee with a french press, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • It is important to always start with freshly roasted coffee and making sure you preheat your french press with hot water before starting.
  • Always pour a small amount of water on top of your coffee grounds so that the coffee can bloom, usually about 20% of your total water.
  • Serve immediately after you have pressed the plunger down in order to avoid bitter coffee.
  • When you serve the coffee, pour slowly so that the sediments stay in the plunger and not in your decanter or cup.

Plunger Coffee FAQ

How many scoops of coffee do you put in a plunger?

We know that there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to coffee. However, we suggest using a 1:15 ratio. This is about 3 tablespoons of coarse ground coffee for every 1 cup of water. Don’t be scared to experiment and create your unique recipe.

How long do you let plunger coffee brew?

4 minutes is the average amount of time suggested when using a coffee plunger. If you enjoy a strong flavoured coffee we recommend playing with time and going up to no more than 8 minutes.

Is a Plunger the same as French press?

Yes, a coffee plunger is the same as a french press. The name “french press” is used mainly in North America. Plunger is the name used in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. In Britain and Ireland it is referred to as a Cafetière. All names refer to the popular device used for an immersion brew.

What type of coffee do you use in a plunger?

Medium and dark-roasted coffee beans are most recommended in this type of method. They should also have a coarse grind. However, you can brew practically any type of coffee in a french press. What is important is using the right grind size and using a high-quality bean which will result in a great cup of coffee.

Is plunger coffee bad for you?

It is said that that plunger coffee is “bad” for your health because, since it does not use a paper filter, it might slightly raise cholesterol levels. Not using a paper filter means that some oils or impurities might end up in your coffee. A 2020 study found that drinking unfiltered coffee was linked to having higher rates of heart disease; however, you would need to drink more than 9 cups per day.

Can you use espresso coffee in a plunger?

Yes. As long as the coffee beans have the correct grind size, you can use espresso beans in a french press. Take into account that using these coffee beans will result in a stronger cup of coffee and it must not be confused with an actual espresso.

Recipe Summary

How To Make Plunger Coffee

Ready to make the perfect plunger brew? Here we cover the basic steps for making an excellent cup of french press coffee at home.

Type: Beverage

Keywords: Coffee, French Press

Recipe Yield: 1-12

Preparation Time: 2M

Cooking Time: 5M

Total Time: 7M

Recipe Ingredients:

  • A coffee plunger
  • A measuring tablespoon
  • Ground coffee
  • Just off boiling water
  • Stirring spoon

Recipe Instructions: Recipe Summary: 1. Preheat your french press 2. Add your ground coffee 3. Bloom 4. Place the lid on top of the coffee plunger and wait 4-8 minutes 5. Decant your coffee, then pour into your coffee mugs and enjoy

Editor's Rating: