We get asked often whether our coffee beans can be prepared in brew styles other than the filter, and the short answer is yes! All of our coffee beans are extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in a number of ways. One of the most popular methods we get asked about? The French press.
What is a French press?
The French press is a brew tool that consists of a steeping chamber and a plunger. Beloved by many for its convenience and ease of use, the French press makes for an exceptionally smooth cup of coffee and offers a full bodied experience.
Brewing Vietnamese coffee in a French press
Like any French press brew, the first thing you’ll need is properly ground coffee no matter the origin of the bean. Coffee beans for French pressing should always be grinded coarsely to the size of table or cooking salt. The reasoning behind this is both scientific and practical.
In the French press, coffee that is too fine will slip through the plunger area and find its way into your final cup, which isn’t desirable. Inevitably, there will be a bit of sediment in your cup with a French press brew, but these are generally very tiny. Additionally, given the full immersion of coffee in hot water, coffee that is grinded coarsely will extract smoothly– finely ground coffee tends to over-extract and yield a bitter cup in a French press.
Our golden ratio for French pressing with Vietnamese coffee beans is 4 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee for 2 cups of water. If you’re using a different sized French press, you can adjust the ratios accordingly, or experiment with the coffee to water ratio to your liking!
If you enjoy a sweet and smooth cup of coffee, we recommend brewing with our 100% arabica coffee, Moxy. The final cup when brewed in a French press is full bodied (more than a pour over) and very bright.
For those who enjoy very robust and bold cups of coffee, we recommend our 50/50 blend of arabica and robusta coffee, Loyalty, or even our 100% peaberry robusta coffee, Truegrit -- given the double caffeine content of Truegrit and the full immersion method of French press, prepare for a very bold and strong brew.
Brewing Vietnamese coffee in a French press could not be easier.
- Heat water to around 195ºF
- Add ground coffee into the French press
- Bloom the coffee (if fresh) with 4 oz of water for about 30-45 seconds
- Pour the rest of the hot water
- Stir the coffee around and let steep for 4 minutes
- Plunge the coffee slowly (around 20-30 seconds) and enjoy!
The tips and tricks
When plunging the coffee, be careful not to press hard and quickly as this can result in under-extracted coffee since the grounds will not be able to release their flavor compounds and oils completely if plunged too quickly. We recommend taking 20-30 seconds to do a slow plunge from top to bottom so that the grounds get a chance to release while also ensuring that no grounds will be left at the top of the French press and end up in your cup.
Additionally, if you aren’t going to immediately enjoy all of the brewed coffee in the French press, we recommend pouring it into another serving vessel. Because there is no filter and the coffee steeps in the French press, any coffee left inside will continue to steep over time which can result in over-extracted coffee. Some people enjoy the flavors that develop over time as the coffee sits and steeps, but this is a general rule of thumb to avoid over-extraction (unless, of course, that's your preferred style)!
All in all, it is possible to brew Vietnamese coffee beans in a French press. We personally love to brew them in many ways depending on the day! The sky's the limit when it comes to coffee beans and brewing methods so long as the grind size and the ratios are golden. Looking for ways to enjoy your French press Vietnamese coffee? Add condensed milk to make it a cà phê sữa đá-inspired drink or check out our fun coffee drink recipes here.
Shop our Vietnamese Coffee Starter Kit here.
Curious about grinding coffee? Read our grind size guide here.