Can You Make Espresso in a French Press: The Different Ways

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Can you make espresso in a French press? Yes, you can. But, seriously, the more important question that you should be asking is how to go about it. Espresso is a slightly different kind of coffee from the one that you normally get with a French press. The type of coffee that you get with regular French press brewing is that of a clean, light, yet flavorful coffee. On the other hand, for an espresso to be rightfully called one, it should be heavier, richer, and stronger both in taste and aroma.

Most of the time, espresso shots have a “crema” on top, which is froth from the pressure exerted against the brew. With that said, espresso is really produced by heavy pressure. You should force out the brew onto the cup. This method will give an intense after-taste, minus the high caffeine kick of a regular French press coffee.

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Can you make espresso in a French press?” We will talk about the different way on how to do so, in this article. At the same time, we are also going to discuss the different techniques you should master. Surely, in the process of studying and doing these methods, you will have a deeper understanding of coffee brewing.

Can you make espresso in a French press? If so, how?

As we have discussed previously, espresso is made to be what it is due to intense pressure. Therefore, the pressure is the key element in making one. If you do not want to bother with the long way of doing it in a French press, you can opt for the Aeropress.

Naturally, the result of Aeropress brewing is espresso as you brew the coffee by means of pushing it into two cylinders. Also, in this method, you can get a lot of crema on top. Moving on to the French press method, there are a lot of ways, but here are some of the most effective ones:

Pre-Heat Method

Just as its name suggests, you are going to add pressure to your French press by pre-heating it. What happens is that hot air pockets get trapped in the pre-heating process. These pockets do not get released as you will then add more heat as you brew the coffee grounds.

  1. Pre-heat your French press. You can do this by filling it with hot water and closing the lid.
  2. Grind the coffee beans. You have to grind them until they are fine so that no water can pass through the grounds, ensuring a finer and stronger brew.
  3. Heat the water that you will use for brewing.
  4. Pour out the water that you used for pre-heating using the spout. Do not open the lid.
  5. Put in your coffee grounds. Use more compared to your regular brew. Work fast so as not to release hot air pressure.
  6. Pour in all the water in one go, making sure that the grounds are being covered. Use a circular motion.
  7. Brew it for five minutes.
  8. Raise the plunger in one whole stroke and push it down as fast as you can, combined with a strong and firm handle.
  9. Pour yourself a cup of coffee.

Do-Over Method

This brewing method is almost the same as the previous one. However, this one comes with added steps. For this, you still have to pre-heat the French press to get that water pressure an espresso requires.

  1. Pre-heat the French press. Fill it with almost boiling water, or you can also place it in a bowl with hot water.
  2. Grind the coffee beans and make sure they are fine.
  3. Heat up your water to be used for brewing. Getting it to 195 F is ideal.
  4. Slowly dump out the water for pre-heating with the use of the spout.
  5. Quickly put in your coffee grounds and add the brewing water.
  6. Let it brew for just two minutes.
  7. Press down the plunger as hard as you can.
  8. Pour out the coffee.
  9. Add a few more coffee grounds in the French press.
  10. Put the coffee you just brewed back into the French press.
  11. Let it brew for four minutes.
  12. Again, push the plunger down with a strong force.
  13. Pour out your coffee.

Mixing Method

This one is a little bit different compared to the other two previous methods because it does not require any pre-heating. Here is how it is done.

  1. Grind the coffee beans finely.
  2. Heat up the brewing water.
  3. Put the coffee grounds in the French press.
  4. Add the brewing water.
  5. Let it brew for three minutes.
  6. Push the plunger down with an abrupt and strong force.
  7. Mix the liquid inside by moving the French press itself. Use circular motions.
  8. After mixing it for at least 20 seconds, pull the plunger up slowly and push it back again with a strong force.
  9. Mix the French press again. Continue doing this until you see a slight froth forming.
  10. Pull the plunger up and push it down one last time.
  11. Pour out the coffee.

Plunger Method

This method is slightly similar to the mixing method in such a way that you are manually making the coffee richer and developing a froth. This time, there will be no moving of the French press, though. Instead, you will just use the plunger.

  1. Grind the coffee beans finely.
  2. Heat up the brewing water.
  3. Put the coffee grounds in the French press.
  4. Add the water.
  5. Let it brew for four minutes.
  6. Push down the plunger slowly with one firm grip.
  7. Pull it back fast.
  8. Push it down again, this time with strong and fast motion, and then pull it back.
  9. Do this until you see a froth forming.
  10. Let the liquid settle and push it down one last time.
  11. Pour out the coffee.

Final Words

We gave you four different methods on how you can make espresso using a French press. However, the first method is the one with the most successful results. Do take note that all of the methods are centered around creating as much pressure on the coffee grounds.

Accordingly, this pressure can be achieved by pre-heating or applying force against the water to shock the coffee grounds. Furthermore, if these methods do not work out, you can combine them. So, there you go! There really is no need to buy another coffee maker to get your daily shot of espresso.



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