How to Make Coffee at Home – French Press and Peet's

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Wirelesspacket asked me how I do my coffee at home. He spends too much going to buy his coffee every day, and doesn’t like the taste of “store bought” coffees. I was all too happy to show him how I use a French Press to make my Peet’s every day.

I use a French Press to make my Peet’s Coffee every day. The biggest key is to not let your water come to a boil. You want it around 203 degrees Farenheit. The French Presses are very cheap and affordable, and easy to use. If you want some of the richest coffee you can get, a press pot can deliver. What may surprise most is that you can also get a relatively clean brew from it as well, if you have the right tools and prep everything correctly.

A French press consists of a narrow cylindrical jug usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a lid and a “plunger” which fits tightly in the cylinder and which has a fine wire or nylon mesh acting as a filter. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, leaving to brew for a few minutes, then depressing the plunger to separate the coffee at the bottom of the jug. Because the coffee grounds are in direct contact with the brewing water, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee’s flavour and essential oils, which would become trapped in a traditional drip brew machine’s paper filters. French pressed coffee is usually stronger and thicker and has more sediment than drip-brewed coffee. Because the used grounds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee should be served immediately so as to not become bitter from over-extraction.

Coffee for use in a French press should be of a consistent, coarse grind. The use of a burr mill grinder gives a more consistent grind than the whirling blade variety. The ground coffee should be more coarse than that used for a drip brew coffee filter, and far coarser than that used for espresso, as anything other than a coarse grind will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. A French press is also more portable and self contained than other coffee makers. Travel mug versions also exist made of tough plastic instead of the more common glass, and have a sealed lid with a closable drinking hole. Some versions are marketed to hikers and backpackers not wishing to carry a heavy metal percolator or a filter using drip brew.

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60 thoughts on “How to Make Coffee at Home – French Press and Peet's”

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  4. Ahh, the French Press. Agreeably one of the best coffee makers. You get all the delicious oils that a drip brew catches in its filters, which is good. However, research has proved that one of the oils in French Pressed coffe raises one’s LDL levels. LDL is the bad cholesterol, in case you didn’t know.

    PS. 204 F is 95 C, for those who use Metric.

  5. I do like proper coffee and I will used proper coffee beans with a french press but I like my coffee quick so it’s Kenco’s instant and hot water from the kettle, milk and one sugar.

    Cream is a treat!

  6. I agree with your method. Would add one comment. Let the water boil a few minutes and then COOL down to the temp you want (203). Reason,even though you are using filter water, boiling removes dissolved gases, especially oxygen, which might affect the flavor and/or quickly degrade the brew.

  7. I really can’t stand drinking super expensive coffee such as Starbucks! I prefer Folgers Coffee with milk and LOTS of sugar. Although, I recently found out how great Dunkin Donut’s lattes and iced coffees are. Blueberry iced coffee with extra cream and sugar is so good. Mcdonald’s carries the Newman’s Own coffee which is also excellent. Those are my two on-the-go choices for sure.

  8. I buy Starbucks, but it isnt the same when you make it at home. I am going to try Pete’s as I’ve heard from others that this is the best. I heard Dunkin Donuts coffee is good as well. Anyone try making this at home?

  9. the trick to making good coffee at home is a quality coffee machine. i have a Saeco brand Espresso maker, and it makes very good tasting coffee. also grinding the beans yourself just before you make it enhances the taste as well 🙂

  10. If you do not like the sediment in your French Press coffee, try the Aeropress. It makes coffee one cup at a time but it is great stuff. I think it’s even better than French Press coffed.

  11. I have never really cared much for coffee, but I watched this video and soon found myself drinking coffee(French and Peets to be known). My wife likes coffe and she loved it.

  12. wow i can smell the coffee from here! thanks Chris for tip i was on vacation and a friend made me a cup i was speechless when i had a sip.

  13. You can also ROAST YOUR OWN green coffee beans. They are economical, stay fresh longer and you can make you own blends on the fly.

    I purchase green coffee beans in bulk bags of 5#(2.27kg) each all the time. I have Honduran SHG, El Salvador Santa Rita, and Ethiopian Fair Trade Yirgaffeffe at the moment, but I’ve had literally dozens of others.

    There are high dollar home coffee roasters available, but I chose to use an old electric hot air popcorn popper that I picked up at a yard sale for $3. Alternatively, you can also roast them in your oven at 450’F. Stir them around every 3 minutes until you achieve the roast you want. The aroma is much better than that of a local coffee house.

    I roast the green coffee beans until they are a light medium or classic roast. It takes only a few minutes and when I hear that second crack and the beans are a nice cocoa brown I know they are ready. Color is everything. Take them out just before they get to the color you want.

    Now they need to be cooled off in a hurry because coffee beans continue to roast after removal from their heat source, so I put them in a baking pan and plunge them in the freezer for 5 minutes.

    Now the best grind method is with a burr mill as Chris states. Trial and error will give you the results that work best for you.

    Some beans are harder than others. In the case of HB or SHB, you need a burr grinder for certain. The beans are like rocks! For all others, if you PULSE your whirly type coffee grinder or count to around 10 seconds, you should come close. Check your grind and whirl it more if needed. Just remember that you will get significantly more fines with this type of grinder.

    Never use municipal water straight from the tap. That defeats the whole purpose of an exceptional brew.

    Then it is a matter of heating your filtered water to 203′ and finishing with your press pot.


  14. I have a French press at work and home, along with espresso makers and bean grinders. I like my coffee! I haven’t tried anything from Peet’s yet, but my favorite so far is Sanchez Gran Reserva from Costa Rica. When brewed correctly it’s much better than anything Starbucks offers.
    For those of you wanting a caffeine kick, but can’t have the sugars you find in energy drinks, or don’t like black coffee, I recommend Water Joe. Filtered, caffeinated water. And yes, I have made coffee with it!

  15. I don’t have a French Press but after Chris’ demonstration, I asked for one for Christmas. Thanks for the actual demonstration.

  16. I like Louisiana coffee with chicory, straight. My old fashioned
    drip pot has a metal filter, so it does a good job of letting all
    the flavor through. But the French Press is nice. I can enjoy
    the French roast at La Madeleine, but most of the rest is just
    something to help me keep awake on a long drive at night.

  17. I vote for the Aeropress.
    Watch the video and know that the filter can be recycled for days.

    Chuck has summed it up beautifully
    I heat my water on the stove and reuse the filters. It performs pressure extraction through a disk of 2 inch micro-filter paper. It extracts at 2x potency and then you dilute the liquor when serving. Combine with a milk foamer for cappacino. It produces no sediment so the liquor does not become bitter if used later. It is easy to clean and dry for reuse. There is no residue or flavor imparted by the press if you clean, wipe and let it dry. The plunger is air tight like a syringe and allows complete pressing leaving a small puck of grounds, however it does not require much force to express the coffee liquor. The unit elegantly organizes the neccesary procedures required to make a smooth non-bitter coffee extraction

  18. I tried coffee made in a French Press for the first time about a year ago. When I tasted it, it was like having coffee for the first time! Now, I can’t hardly stand coffee made in a drip pot. The only thing better is espresso.

  19. What are your thoughts on Seattle’s Best Coffee?
    I just purchased the Tassimo from Braun and it uses the pod system. The cool thing is that the pods have a barcode on it and tells the machine what your going to brew. Thus it set’s the amount of water, Duration of Brew Very High tech. The French press is two old fashion for me 🙂 The Tassimo would look great on your desk

  20. Chris,

    Thank you so very much for answering my question in a video. I have learned so much about making Coffee in a French Press. I will be purchasing my French Press ASAP..

    Thanks again,


  21. I love coffee but are you saying that manually making the coffee is better than having an automatic coffee maker because I think the fact that I don’t have to make it myself would be better rather than if I made it and it tasted better…ok yea I’m going to rephrase that in case my question didn’t come out clear…Is the taste of manually made the coffee better than the ease of not having to make it?

  22. Being relatively new to coffee, this will be an awesome alternative to the coffee machine at work. I’ll go buy one tomorrow I think.

  23. I was going to buy a french press a long time ago, but never did. After watching Chris enjoy his coffee on the video, I took the french press plunge and finally ordered one. Now on to find the beans, a good grinder (important), and maybe a water heater (convenience).

    Important note which I’m pretty sure Chris mentioned, at one time or another. When you buy a 8 cup french press, that’s 8 – 4 ounce cups. So buy a little bigger if you like more coffee from a pot. Some pots are insulated such as a stainless steel one, or others may have double wall glass which helps trap the heat and keep the coffee hot longer. Whatever, just get one if you feel the urge to try something a bit time consuming, but sure to be tasty.

    The coffee Chris is fond of is called PEET’s, not Pete’s. There’s a nice bit of history there and an association with Starbucks, even.'s_Coffee_&_Tea

    1. miss-lain are U familiar with a stainless press that has 2 part press that twist together and locks down by twisting. i not sure how to describe. Love it but can get working properly. Given to me with no instructions. can u help?

  24. Chris, I recently moved from Starbucks to Peet’s. Wow, what a difference. This video rocks… and i’m going to use your suggestions for making Peet’s the right way including temperature. Never thought about the temperature. And I’m going to try cream instead of half/half as well.
    Here is the video I did about Peets as well:

  25. For me, nothing compares to Peet’s “Sulawesi-Kalosi”, made with a gold foil filter. The gold filters are also relatively inexpensive, and with care can last forever. Sulawesi-Kalosi costs a bit more, but is worth it… Complex but never bitter.

  26. ummm… Why don’t you get a decent burr grinder and grind the coffee 1 minute before brewing. That makes the biggest difference in flavor instead of buying preground “stale” coffee.

    Oh yeah. This video was unnecessarily long too. All can be explained in less than 1 minute.

  27. And isn’t that a shame! every st. corner…

    …ruining the landscape of America.

    I agree..we need more Peet’s but it takes a while to build a biz. They are not in debt and they work with their own capital so they can only expand at a certain rate.



  28. All i’m trying to find is how much spoons of the coffee grind I’m supposed to put in the coffee, yet this entire article+comments don’t have anything on it! I have water boiling, and the coffee pouch out (it’s my roommate’s, so I usually don’t drink it but I’m trying it).

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