The process is characterized by a shorter brew time, higher water-to-coffee ratio, and longer soaking time, focusing less on grind size.
The method is also known for producing an obvious cup, attributed to the turbulence created during the plunging process.
So, in this article, we will talk about the French press method, or what James Hoffmann calls the “turbulence brewing” method. It is a great way to start your day right!
Who is James Hoffmann?
James Hoffmann is one of the top baristas in the world. He has held World Barista Championships, won numerous gold awards at competitions, and has been named “Best Barista in America” for four consecutive years by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
His most ambitious project was the World Atlas of Coffee, published in 2014. It covers everything you need to know about coffee, including its history, varieties, cultivation methods, roasting processes, and preparation.
He has a YouTube channel that now has nearly one million subscribers. As a result, his reputation has increased, and he is well-known for his careful approach to his subjects.
How is James Hoffmann’s method different from the standard french press method?
The main difference between Hoffmann’s method and the traditional French Press method is that the press time is longer.
As James explains in his video, this makes more direct contact between the water and coffee, thus creating turbulence.
Another difference is that James uses larger-sized filters for his French-press brewing, which he claims produces a more precise cup.
There are no air pockets in the filter paper to absorb any brewed coffee particles. Only the water can do that.
As a result of this, James’ method produces a significantly more concentrated coffee, which you need if you want to make espresso instead of a typical French-press brew.
Now, let’s take a look at the complete brewing guide.
You will need to have the following ingredients and types of equipment ready:
- Freshly roasted coffee (the whole bean is ideal)
- A French press
- A kettle used to heat water
- A kitchen scale
- A burr grinder
- A bowl
If you want the best results, use freshly ground coffee beans. Of course, this will take a little bit of planning, but it is worth it because freshly ground beans produce more excellent aromatic oils and more robust flavours.
Step 1: Start boiling water.
Fire up your kettle, and put in about 2 cups of water. The water should be about 202ºF/96º C, just under boiling.
Step 2: Weigh the coffee
Weigh out 16 grams of coffee, which is close to 1/3 cup. For example, if you use 40 grams of coffee (which is a little less than two-thirds of a cup), you should weigh out 32 grams and throw away the rest. It is meant to ensure that the same amount of coffee grounds are used every time.
Step 3: Grind it!
Grind your freshly roasted whole bean coffee into french press grind size using a burr grinder. If you have a burr grinder, then grind all your beans.
If you are using a blade grinder, grind just the amount of coffee you need for one batch to ensure it is as uniform as possible.
Step 4: Put the coffee and pour water into the french press
Put the ground coffee in the french press and pour enough hot water to cover it. Add more water as necessary.
Step 5: Wait for 5 minutes.
This step is optional, but it will create more turbulence by mixing the water and the coffee in the press. After 5 minutes, use this time to drink some water or read a book.
Step 6: Stir the coffee grounds
After 5 minutes, stir the coffee grounds with a spoon, ensuring that all coffee is soaked.
Step 7: Scoop the foam
After stirring, start scooping the mixture formed on top with a spoon into the bowl.
Step 8: Wait another 5 minutes
Again, use this time to drink, read or do whatever you like.
Step 9: Plunge the French Press
After 5 minutes of waiting, run the press for about 10 seconds and plunge it up and down about five times. If you want a more robust cup of coffee, plunge longer (or press down harder).
Step 10: Enjoy your coffee!
Pour your coffee from the french press into a cup. You can add milk or sugar to taste(optional).
There you go! You now have a great cup of coffee in your hands.
Cleaning the press
There are two main ways to clean the french press:
Fill it with water, and let it soak overnight. Repeat this step after every day you use it. Next, you can add one teaspoon of vinegar to the french press.
Then run the french press under running water for 5-10 minutes to rinse all the flavors out. Then clean your press with soap and warm water.
How much coffee do you put in a James Hoffmann French press?
For the classic method, it is about one heaping tablespoon of dry coffee per 8 ounces of water.
But for a stronger brew, you could use two heaping tablespoons.
This will make your coffee stronger, but it will also make you need to wait longer for the press to settle down before plunging.
What is the best coffee-to-water ratio for French Press?
The best ratio of coffee to water is 1:5.
For one cup of coffee, you could start with 2 ounces of ground coffee and 8 ounces of water.
If you want to make two servings, then add 4 more ounces of water.
It is important that when making the double, remember that you can only add one-third of all the ground coffee at once.
This means that when making a double batch, you will need to use half a Tbsp and two tablespoons total.
It will depend on your preferences, but generally, the French press tends to have less acidity. It also has a richer body and a stronger and bolder coffee flavour.
Should you let a French press bloom?
Yes, you should.
Technically, the coffee gets more intense as it sits. But not all of the coffee oils are released because that can make the coffee bitter. Also, if you don’t let it bloom before brewing, then you will have to wait longer for it to settle down after brewing.
Which coffee machine does James Hoffmann use?
James uses a Moka Pot.
It does not make espresso, but it is a stove-top pot that brews up one serving after the other.
This is similar to a French press, but it produces something similar to an Italian espresso (without the crema).
He also recommends La Pavoni Europiccola, which has been around since 1948.
This type of machine has been refined over the years and can produce delicious espresso with simple mechanics and no electronics.
The James Hoffmann method of brewing coffee is not that different from the standard french press methods. The main difference lies in getting a more excellent contact between water and coffee grounds.
Finally, it's important to mention that this method creates a more concentrated coffee which is great for espresso. It is also an excellent alternative to the standard brewing methods.
Did you try making the James Hoffmann French Press Method? Let us know in the comments section below!