How to Make the Perfect Cup of French Press Coffee for One

French Press Coffee

Are you a coffee lover? 

When Mat and I first decided to start working towards zero waste, we switched from an electric coffee maker to a French press.  We picked up a second hand Bodum for about £3 at our local charity shop, and we fell in love with it.  Not only does it make great, strong coffee, it takes just a few minutes and is completely waste free. 

We don't have to buy coffee filters anymore, and we tend to only make as much coffee as we're going to drink right away, so we never end up with wasted coffee.  The Bodum is also much more minimal and attractive sitting on our countertop than a clunky machine. 

Since I started working from home, I've started making single-servings of coffee for myself, so I've fine tuned the art of making coffee for one with the French press.  Here's how it's done: 

1. Boil the kettle.

Fill your kettle with 450ml water and bring it to the boil.

2. Warm the carafe. 

Pour 150ml boiling water into the carafe and swirl it around to heat up the glass.  This helps the coffee grounds to start releasing their flavor as soon as you add them to the carafe. 

French Press Coffee

3. Add the grounds.

Add 10g coffee grounds to the carafe, which is roughly one rounded soup spoon full of grounds. 

French Press Coffee

4. "Bloom" the coffee.

Pour in 150ml boiling water and let it sit for 30 seconds.  This allows the coffee grounds to "bloom", releasing their flavor and aroma. 

French Press Coffee

5. Stir.

Stir your grounds for 5 seconds, then let them sit for an additional 25 seconds

French Press Coffee

6. Steep. 

Pour in another 150ml boiling water.  Place the plunger and lid atop the carafe, but don't depress it yet.  Let it sit for another 1 minute

French Press Coffee
French Press Coffee

7. Press.

Slowly depress the plunger until it reaches the bottom of the carafe.

French Press Coffee

8. Pour. 

Pour your coffee immediately.  If it's left to sit atop the grounds for too long, the flavor can become bitter. 

French Press Coffee

9. Enjoy.

Savor that gorgeous flavor.

10. Compost.

Don't forget to add your used coffee grounds to your compost pile.  Your garden will thank you for it!


How are you making zero waste coffee?  Are you using coffee socks?  Doing pour-overs?  Using a bialetti?  I'd love to know! 

P.S. For more on keeping your coffee habit ethical & sustainable, click here!

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How to make the perfect cup of French press coffee for one