The Ultimate Guide to James Hoffman French Press Coffee

By Evelina •  Updated: 12/12/21 •  8 min read

The Best Answer:

Brewing coffee can be affected by very many variables such as the quality of your coffee beans, the recipe you are using, the grind setting you choose, the water quality and temperature, and of course your brewer of choice. The French Press is one of the most popular brewers out there and no doubt you will find it in every household. James Hoffman’s experience in the coffee world and expertise as a professional barista offers a fresh look at the brewing process of the French Press and take it to a whole new level.

If you’re like most people, you take your morning coffee seriously. And if you’re looking for the perfect cup of French press coffee, you need to know about James Hoffman. In this ultimate guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about making the perfect cup of French press coffee with Hoffman’s help. So pour yourself a cup and settle in – we’re about to get started!

James Hoffman French Press Coffee Guide

Looking for the perfect cup of coffee? Look no further than a French press. In this ultimate guide to James Hoffman French press coffee, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making the perfect cup at home. From choosing the right beans to grinding them perfectly, we’ll show you how easy it is to make cafe-quality coffee right in your own kitchen.

Who is James Hoffman?

James Hoffman is the co-owner of Square Mile Coffee Roasters and author of The World Atlas of Coffee. He rose to prominence after winning the World Barista Championship in 2007.

Since first entering the coffee community, Hoffmann has made it his personal mission to educate others about specialty coffee. In 2006, he authored James Hoffmann’s Guide to Finding Your Favorite Cup, in which he detailed his findings on coffee roasting and brewing methods. The following year, he collaborated with Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood to write The Barista’s Book of Coffee, which covered similar topics as well as barista training and competition.

In addition to his work in the coffee community, Hoffmann is also a judge at various coffee competitions around the world. In 2017, he served as a head judge at the United States Coffee Championships and judged the World Latte Art Championship in 2016, just to name a few.

In 2018 he started his own youtube channel which now has over one million subscribers. There, he discusses all things coffee, from reviewing coffee brewing gadgets, offering tips on brewing and grinding, and giving insight into the world of specialty coffee and not only.

What is so special about Hoffman’s French Press Guide?

The French Press, also known as a press pot or coffee press, is a brewing device that consists of a cylindrical container made up of two fitted pieces: a plunger and a mesh filter. To prepare coffee using this method, users put ground coffee beans into the container along with hot water then let it sit for several minutes to extract flavor.

After filtering, the liquid is ready to be poured over ice for an iced coffee drink or served directly at drinking temperature. Many love this simple yet effective tool for its speed and efficacy in making flavorful cups of coffee.

James Hoffman reviews and offers advice on many different types of brewers, including the French Press. What makes this particular guide so special is that he is not focusing on the brewing method per se but more so on the steps, you need to take beforehand to ensure the best possible result.

Often a French Press results in a cup of coffee full of sediment and with a particularly heavy flavor. Hoffman’s tips will show you how to use your French Press to get a clean cup with a balanced flavored profile consistently.

The Ultimate Hoffman French Press Coffee Guide

The Ultimate Hoffman French Press Coffee Guide

James Hoffman’s French Press coffee guide introduces several steps before you even start brewing your coffee, which makes the whole French Press brewing experience much better. You only need a little patience, since good things take time. If you are in a hurry, then this guide is probably not for you.

I have divided this guide into two sections:

1) Steps before brewing

2) Steps during the brewing

Steps Before Brewing

Purchase high-quality coffee: It is important to use fresh, high-quality coffee beans when brewing French Press coffee. If the beans are old or stale, they will not taste as good and may even produce a bitter flavor.

Choose a recipe: There are a variety of recipes for different types of coffee brewing, each yielding a unique cup. This is all down to your own preference of course. Hoffman suggests 30g of coffee and 500ml of water, which yields two cups of French Press coffee.

Grind your own beans: grinding your own beans is another way to ensure that you are using fresh coffee. If you do not have a grinder, you can always ask your local coffee shop to grind them for you.

Use a medium grind setting: Hoffman recommends using a medium grind setting when grinding your coffee beans. If the grind is too coarse, the coffee will be gritty and if it’s too fine, it will be difficult to press down on the plunger.

Use digital scales: using digital scales to measure coffee and water is not necessary, but it can be helpful in ensuring that you are using the correct proportions.

Use fresh, filtered water: using fresh, filtered water is important in order to produce the best cup of coffee. If your water tastes bad, it will also affect the taste of your coffee, as coffee is mostly water as you can tell from the recipe suggestion above. Hoffman recommends filtered soft water.

Steps During Brewing

Brewing Time: The total brewing time should be around 4 minutes. Add hot water to the container and let it sit for about 30 seconds to heat up.

Stir the crust: After the four minutes are up stir the crust with a spoon and remove the foam that’s left on top.

Let it sit: As per Hoffman’s suggestion, let your French Press sit for another 5-8 minutes before you plunge down. This will extract even more flavor from the coffee grounds, plus all the sediment will rest at the bottom.

Don’t plunge down all the way: Finally, when you plunge, don’t do it all the water. Plunge only until just below the surface of the brewed coffee. This will avoid causing turbulence and bringing any sediment on the surface again.

If you follow these steps you will not only end up with a consistently tasty French Press coffee, you will also find that it has no sediment and your cup is very clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much coffee do you put in a James Hoffman French press?

Hoffman suggests 30 grams of coffee per 500 ml of water. This will make about 2 cups of coffee. You can adjust this water to coffee ratio to your own taste or the number of cups you want to brew.

Is there a bad French press?

A French Press coffee can be bad and this usually depends either on the device itself or the way you brew with it. For example, if the mesh filter in the plunger doesn’t sit properly on top of the plunger shaft, it can cause coffee residue to sneak through and get into your drink. This is also likely to result in a bad-tasting cup of coffee.

As for the types of French Press, there are three main variations of French presses that you are most likely to use. These include glass, plastic, and stainless steel. The type you end up buying will depend on personal preference as well as budget constraints since they cost between $5 – $70 depending on where you purchase them from. None of these types can be described as bad, it’s all about which one suits your needs, they all have their pros and cons.

How long should you brew French press coffee?

Brewing time for French press coffee should be around 4 minutes. This is assuming you are using a medium grind setting and 30g of coffee beans. However, you can play around with the brewing time and grind setting to see what works best for you. The brewing time and the grind setting are interrelated variables because the finer you grind, the quicker the flavors are extracted. If you make a fine grind setting with a long brew time, you will end up with a more bitter flavor.

Last Thoughts

When it comes to making French Press coffee, there are a lot of different beliefs and opinions. While we can’t give you the one “right way” or answer for everyone because that will depend on your tastes and what equipment you have at home, we think James Hoffman has some great tips in his article. If you do try brewing French press coffee following James Hoffman’s advice, don’t forget to let us know what you think!

Related Articles


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.