Home Brewing Methods: Plunger/French Press


The coffee plunger, as it’s known in Australia, or French Press across other Western countries is a type of manual coffee brewing method. Patented in 1852 and officially published in 1924, the coffee plunger has been a very popular brewing method for almost a century now.

What is a Plunger/French Press?

A plunger/french press is a manual brewing method, meaning all steps are done by hand, rather than by machine such as an espresso machine. Ground coffee and hot water are put in the plunger and left to sit for a few minutes before the grinds are pushed to the bottom and you’re left with black coffee. It can be drunk on its own, but it is also common to add a small amount of milk and/or sugar to plunger coffee.

Where does Plunger/French Press Originate From?

The French Press was invented in – you guessed it, France. Mayer and Delforge, two French inventors, created the patent for the forerunner to the french press in 1852. From this, Frenchman Marcel-Pierre Paquet dit Jolbert then published an official patent for the french press on August 5 of 1924.

The best way to Brew Plunger/French Press At Home

For an in-depth explanation of the ultimate plunger/french press brewing method, check out this video linked at the top of this blog post. In short, you should put your coffee in the plunger, just cover the grinds with water and mix them together slightly to ensure they’re spread evenly. Then, pour the rest of your water in and let it sit for four to six minutes before pressing the plunger down and trapping the coffee grinds at the bottom of the plunger. It is best drunk immediately to avoid over-extraction.

The Best Coffee for Plunger/French Press Brewing

Any light, medium or dark roast will work in a french press – however, we always recommend a medium roast. Generally speaking, plunger coffee is mostly drunk black. For a lovely strong and flavourful cup, we would recommend our Papua New Guinean Coffee. Its very punchy, with bright fruity and chocolatey flavours, medium acidity and full body.

For those who prefer a smoother cup of coffee or are new to drinking black coffee, we would recommend our Brasilian Coffee. It’s a slightly mellower flavour profile, with notes of maple syrup, cocoa and malt with mild acidity and full body.

Ryadan Jeavons

by Ryadan Jeavons

Ryd is a passionate coffee educator who started his career in 2000 as a barista. Having seen the coffee industry develop over the years and how much there is to learn about coffee still, his personal mission has become a role as the conduit between the industry and the consumer. He is passionate about educating the public on all the wonderful things we are learning about this golden liquid drink.

One comment on "Home Brewing Methods: Plunger/French Press"

  1. Russell Volz says:

    Why does French Press coffee taste different than AeroPress coffee? These two methods are almost identical, so you’d think that they’d taste the same, but they don’t. The AeroPress produces a much smoother cup of coffee than the French Press. That doesn’t mean better, just smoother.

    I’ve always said that the French Press produces the purest form of coffee. By pure, I mean that the French Press doesn’t hide anything. If you start out with lousy beans, you end up with lousy coffee. On the other hand, if you start out with a bold nutty bean, then you’re going to get a bold nutty cup of coffee.

    When I’m comparing different coffee beans, I always use a French Press. Besides, making coffee doesn’t get much easier than a French Press.

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