Brew Guide: Cafetiere

Brew Guide: Cafetiere

The Cafetière, also known as the French press, is one of the most popular ways to brew coffee at home. It is small, portable, and has a filter incorporated into its design, which means there’s no single-use paper filters involved nor cloth filters. Cheap, no waste, and produces great coffee. Truly a blessing for coffee lovers.

The impressive thing is that even among all the innovation in the world of coffee, the popularity of this humble coffee maker has not gone down the slightest bit. So let’s find out how to use a cafetière.

How Does The Cafetiere Work?

The Cafetière consists of two separate parts:

  • The Decanter: This is much like any other decanter. It usually has a heat-resistant base at the bottom, as well as a handle. It’s usually made of glass so you can look at your coffee while it’s brewing. 
  • The Plunger: The plunger, which doubles as a lid for your decanter, sits on top of your coffee maker. A hole at the center of the lid allows for a metal bar to move freely. At the bottom, it has a metal filter, made to separate coffee grounds from brewed coffee. At the top, it usually has a round part meant to facilitate plunging. 

Quite simple. As for the brewing method, the Cafetière relies completely on steeping – it is one of the coffee brewing methods that takes longer to brew, at an average of 4 minutes. 

using a french press

The Standard Method

The standard and much loved brewing method for the Cafetière. 

Ratio: 1:15 (Coffee : Water)
Water: 600 ml
Coffee: 40 grams of coarsely ground coffee (4 scoops)
Estimated Brewing Time: 4:30
Strength: Medium 
Yield: 2 cups


  1. Boil water in a kettle, turn the heat off and set aside. 
  2. Pour coffee grounds in your Cafetière. 
  3. Water should be at around 95 Celcius now; Pour to one third of the way up. 
  4. Wait 30 seconds for the coffee to bloom (foam forms on top of it). 
  5. Set a timer to 4 minutes. Start.
  6. Pour the rest of the water, place the lid on the Cafetière with the plunger all the way up. 
  7. Once the timer marks 3:50, start pressing down very slowly. 
  8. You should be done around the 4:10 mark.
  9. Serve immediately. 

Concentrated Cafetière Coffee Method

If you’re a fan of café au lait, this recipe lets you make a concentrated coffee that goes great with milk— in other words, it won’t feel watered down. 

Ratio: 1:13 (Coffee : Water)
Water: 260 ml
Coffee: 20 grams of medium-coarse ground coffee (2 scoops).
Estimated Brewing Time: 3 minutes
Strength: Strong
Yield: 1 cup


  1. Pour 20 grams of ground coffee.
  2. Heat up 260 ml of water to 95 Celcius. 
  3. Pour 20 ml. Wait 10 seconds, and stir lightly with a spoon. 
  4. Pour 40 ml immediately after stirring, and wait 30 seconds. 
  5. Set a timer to 2 minutes. 
  6. Pour the rest of the water. 
  7. After two minutes, press down on the plunger. 
  8. Serve immediately. 

The Long Game Method

A longer brewing time for a richer taste. 

Ratio: 1:18 (Coffee : Water)
Water: 540 ml
Coffee: 30 grams very coarsely ground coffee (3 scoops)
Estimated Brewing Time: 7 minutes
Strength: Medium
Yield: 2 cups


  1. Heat up the Cafetière with hot water to avoid temperature loss. 
  2. Pour 30 grams of the coarsely ground coffee 
  3. Boil 540 ml of water and let stand for a few minutes.
  4. Pour all the water in one go. 
  5. Place the lid on top to minimize loss of temperature. 
  6. Set a timer to 6 minutes. 
  7. After 6 minutes, press plunger down quickly (but be careful).
  8. Serve immediately. 

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