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How to Make Espresso with a French Press

Posted by Data Dive In Digital on
How to Make Espresso with a French Press

A French press is one of the most popular devices for making coffee. Most coffee enthusiasts keep it around as it’s such a simple way to make delicious and rich coffee.

French press coffee is great, but the most common base for most coffee drinks is an espresso. Espresso usually is made with an expensive and bulky espresso machine.. 

But is it possible to make an espresso with a French press? 

What's an espresso? 

Espresso is an extraction method for a rich and concentrated cup of coffee. The brewing method  is quite fast and involves pushing hot water through coffee grounds with high pressure. It has a high caffeine content and is served in a much smaller quantity than a traditional cup of coffee. 

While the extraction method is called espresso, the drink is also known by the same name and is a base for many coffee drinks. 

How an espresso machine works

The best way to make an espresso is through the use of actual espresso machines. 

While a French press takes time to filter hot water through grounds, an espresso machine is a highly calibrated system that makes coffee quite a bit faster. It pressurizes and shoots hot water through finely-ground coffee packed into a cake-like shape. 

A traditional espresso is made with at least 9 bars of pressure on the coffee grounds, which is nine times the pressure present at sea level. It only takes 30 seconds to make an aromatic and caffeine-packed espresso shot. 

Medium roasts freshly ground are ideal for making an espresso. 

What's a French Press? 

A French press is a type of immersion brewer, also known as a coffee plunger. It uses gravity and a plunger to extract flavor from coarsely ground coffee steeping in hot water.

There's a mesh filter at the end to keep the grounds separated from the extracted coffee. After your brewing time is complete, you simply press the plunger down, generating pressure. This pressure makes for a rich coffee flavor to the intensity you desire.

This brewing method makes for a powerful brew as it extracts the oil and flavors creating a rich and delicious coffee.

How to make an espresso with a French press

While an espresso machine is the best gadget for making an espresso, a French press will also work. Although you won’t be able to exert the exact pressure that an authentic espresso requires, a French press can still come out dark and smooth. 

To make an espresso with a French press, medium ground coffee beans are ideal, with about two tablespoons for every cup of water. Coarse ground beans will result in a weaker cup. If your beans are ground too fine, then it may not be filtered well. 

Here’s the recipe: 

  1. Boil some water. Here we double the ratio of coffee grounds to water, so 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds to a cup of water should do the trick. 
  2. Add the coffee grounds to the press and pour roughly half the water in your french press as well. Let it steep for one minute. 
  3. Pour in the remaining water and stir it a bit. Steep for 3 minutes or more if you want a stronger brew. 
  4. When you're done steeping, press down the plunger slowly and steadily halfway, then pull it back up, and plunge all the way down to finish up. This will create a layer of foam on top, replicating the crema that's present in a traditional espresso shot. 
  5. To further resemble an espresso, pour your espresso through a paper or cloth filter, this may change up flavor. 
  6. Pour out your delicious French press-made espresso into a cup and serve. You can also preheat your cup to keep it warm for longer.

Now that you know how to make an espresso with a french press, it’s important to remember that everyone has different tastes. Using the right water, the roast of beans that you enjoy the most, and dialing in your own method will get you the best results. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit and see what works for you!

Here are a few of our favorite roasts and french presses to get you started:

Downtown Blend

Costa Rica Las Lajas Red Honey

Hawaii Kona Extra Fancy

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