How to make coffee with a cafetiere

CafetiereAn easy way to brew consistently great coffee at home is to use a cafetiere or 'French press'. Coffee to water ratios and timing are key to a good cup. Watch out for the final tip, it will improve your experience of cafetiere coffee no end...

You will need...

To make a coffee with a cafetiere you will need:

  • A cafetiere ('French press')
  • A kettle
  • A timer
  • Freshly ground coffee to a coarse setting (brewing with fine coffee can result in over extraction and siltiness in the coffee)
  • Scales

The method / coffee to water ratios

We recommend you use a set of scales as this will help you use the correct coffee to water ratios...and make the best coffee! If you don’t have scales, or you want to use the ‘eye and spoon’ method, a heaped dessert spoon contains approximately 10 grams of coffee.

If you don’t know the size of your cafetiere you can work this out as follows: put your cafetiere on a set of scales and set them to zero. Fill your cafetiere with water, and take note of the weight. Because 1ml of water weighs one gram, you can work out how many millilitres of water you cafetiere holds - i.e., if your cafetiere weighs 400g it will hold 400ml of water.

You then need to put 6g of coffee into the cafetiere for every 100ml of water it holds - the below table will help you work out how much coffee to put in.

Cafetiere size 400ml (3 cups) 600ml (4 cups) 1 litre (8 cup) 1.5 litres (10 cups)
How much coffee to put in cafetiere 24g 36g 60g 90g


Step by step instructions

  1. Preheat the cafetiere with hot water.
  2. Put the water onto boil.
  3. While it’s boiling prepare the coffee. Measure and grind coffee based on the ratio above and add it to the cafetiere.
  4. Once the water has boiled leave it to stand for 1 minute before adding to your coffee. Never pour boiling water over fresh coffee as it can destroy the delicate flavours.
  5. Pour the correct ratio of water into the cafetiere. You may need to pour, stop and pour again to allow the coffee to ‘bloom’.  This is caused by gases releasing from the freshly roasted coffee. Stir the coffee to make sure all the grinds are wet.
  6. Let your coffee brew for 4 minutes!
  7. When 4 minutes is up, stir the coffee to break the crust before plunging. This will allow the plunger to go down without resistance and therefore prevent grinds filtering through to the coffee.
  8. Your coffee is ready to serve. Letting cafetiere coffee sit for too long before serving can result in bitter flavours developing. 

Why not try this out with one of our hand-roasted coffees?

Download these instructions as PDF

You can download / print a PDF of these instructions here (right-click on link to save to your computer).