Person brewing French press using James Hoffmann's method

James Hoffmann French Press Method (Step-by-Step)

Henry Muller

Hello, home-brewers! As we all know, there are a million ways to brew coffee at home. But some of us just can’t let go of that French Press. If you are also ‘Team French Press’, then you must stick with us till the end. We are going to reveal the experts’ way to enhance your French Press coffee and you certainly don’t want to miss this. 

The James Hoffmann French Press Method is quite popular and for all the right reasons. It is known to produce a cleaner cup of coffee, and who doesn’t want that? The method was introduced by the well-known coffee consultant, James Hoffmann who is nothing less than a human encyclopedia for coffee. Let’s learn a bit more about him and his French Press recipe.

Who is James Hoffman? Why is he so popular in the coffee industry?

Widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the coffee industry, James Hoffmann has won numerous awards for his coffee brewing techniques.

Besides developing a number of innovative brewing methods like ‘reverse Aeropress, ‘the ultimate French press technique’ and the ‘v60 spin’, he has authored several books on coffee. His book titled ‘The World Atlas of Coffee’ created a lot of noise as it brilliantly covered everything one needs to know about coffee. 

Hoffmann is also the founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee roastery based in London. The company has won numerous awards for its coffee, including the UK Barista Championship, and has been named the Best Coffee Roaster in Europe by the Specialty Coffee Association.

He is also a popular YouTube personality, where he shares his knowledge and passion for coffee with his audience. His videos on coffee brewing and equipment have garnered millions of views and have helped to popularize the third-wave coffee movement.

What makes the James Hoffmann French press recipe different from the normal French press recipe?

Here is a pointwise comparison between James Hoffman's coffee method and the normal French press coffee method:

1) Grind size

In James Hoffmann’s method, medium to coarse grind size is used which is a bit finer than the grind size used for the normal method.

2) Steep time

While the steep time for both methods is similar, James Hoffmann recommends a strict 4 minutes of steeping.

3) Water temperature

Both methods work fine with a water temperature of 90°C.

4) Stirring

While making coffee with the James Hoffmann method, you gently stir your mix after 4 minutes of steeping. With the normal method, you stir once right before plunging.

5) Plunging

As we know, in the regular French Press method, we plunge all the way down to the bottom of the press. But in the James Hoffmann method, the plunger is pushed down very slowly to avoid any agitation only till the surface of the brewed coffee, not all the way to the bottom.

6) Sediment

James Hoffman's Method produces less sediment due to the finer grind size and slower plunging.

7) Flavor profile

With the James Hoffmann method, you get a cleaner, brighter, and more nuanced flavor profile compared to the heavy and rich flavors of the normal French Press method.

Overall, James Hoffman's method is a more refined and precise approach to brewing coffee in a French press. It produces a cleaner and more nuanced flavor profile but may take a bit more time and effort to achieve.

The normal French press method, on the other hand, is a quicker and simpler method that produces a heavier and more full-bodied coffee, but with more sediment‍.

What equipment do you need to prepare French press coffee using the James Hoffmann method?

So, are you excited to try your hand at James Hoffmann’s French Press coffee? Well, take note of the equipment mentioned below, gather them, and let’s get brewing!

  • French Press
  • Digital kitchen scale
  • Kettle 
  • Coffee Grinder (Ideally, a burr grinder)
  • A timer (phone timer is fine)
  • Spoons

A step-by-step guide to performing James Hoffmann's French press method

Step 1: Boil water

Start by boiling fresh, filtered water and letting it cool for a minute or two until it reaches around 195°F to 200°F. James Hoffmann doesn’t really put much emphasis on the water temperature. So, you can go easy with that.

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Step 2: Grind coffee beans

While the water is boiling, grind your coffee beans. You'll need about 60 grams of coffee for 1 liter of water. Hoffmann recommends a medium-coarse grind, which should have a texture similar to coarse sea salt. For better grind size, use a high-quality burr coffee grinder.

Step 3: Add ground coffee and water

Add the coffee grounds to the French press, and pour hot water over them. Unlike the regular French press method, you add all your water in one go here. Now, Let the coffee steep for at least 4 minutes.

Step 4: Stir the crust

You will notice that a crust has formed on the surface. Stir the crust gently with a spoon to ensure that all the grounds are fully saturated with water. Then, scoop out the foam and bits on the top with a teaspoon.

Step 5: Wait for a few minutes

Place the lid on the French press, but don't plunge it yet. Let the coffee steep for an additional 5-8 minutes. This is the real deal with James Hoffmann’s coffee. This step allows all the particles to settle at the bottom of the cafeteria.

Step 6: Push the plunger 

After the steeping time is up, slowly and steadily push down the plunger. Be sure to apply even pressure and avoid any sudden or jerky movements. Remember not to plunge all the way down. Plunge only until just below the surface of the brewed coffee. This will keep the unwanted sediments away from your cup.

Step 7: Pour and enjoy

Pour the coffee into your cup and enjoy! Hoffmann recommends transferring the coffee to a separate container after brewing to prevent it from over-extracting and becoming bitter.

That's it! With these simple steps, you can make a delicious French press coffee that will satisfy even the most discerning coffee lovers.

Best Practices For James Hoffmann French Press Recipe

Here's what to consider while brewing James Hoffmann's French press coffee:

Start with fresh beans

It's important to use fresh coffee beans as they will give you the best flavor. Ideally, use beans that have been roasted within the last two weeks.

Use high-quality coffee beans

The quality of your coffee beans will affect the taste of your French press coffee. Use premium brands and choose beans that are freshly roasted and have a high-quality flavor profile.

HERE is the right coffee bean brand for French press brewing.

Measure the coffee and water accurately

Measuring the coffee and water accurately is essential to achieve a consistent brew. James Hoffmann recommends using 60 grams of coffee per liter of water.

Coffee-to-water ratio

The ratio of coffee to water is important because it determines the strength and flavor of your coffee. A general rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1:15 (1 gram of coffee for every 15 grams of water).

Steeping time

The steeping time is crucial in determining the flavor of your French press coffee. James Hoffmann recommends steeping the coffee for 4-5 minutes and then waiting for another 5-8 minutes after stirring the crust.

Right grind size

The grind size of the coffee is important as it affects the rate of extraction. For James Hoffmann’s French press coffee, a medium-coarse grind is recommended. The texture should be similar to coarse sea salt.

Plunge it right

Once your coffee is steeped, Hoffmann insists on pushing the plunger down only till the surface of the liquid in your cafetiere. This allows a sediment-free cup of coffee.

Clean French press

Keeping your French press clean is crucial to prevent the buildup of old coffee oils and residues, which can affect the taste of your coffee. Clean your French press thoroughly after each use.

By following these tips, you can make a delicious cup of French press coffee that will impress even the most discerning coffee connoisseurs.

Wrapping up

Various beliefs and opinions exist when it comes to making French Press coffee. We think James Hoffmann has some great tips for brewing coffee at home that could be helpful no matter what your taste preferences. Be sure to let us know how your French press coffee turns out if you try it following this method.


Henry Muller

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I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...