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Learn how to make amazing plunger coffee

Learn how to make incredible plunger coffee at home!

The plunger (also known as a French Press) is a simple way to prepare coffee at home and requires no extra filtration as the device does this for you.

There's a good reason why so many hotel rooms and offices have plungers - they are easy to use! But to make a great cup of coffee? Well that requires a few more steps, which we have outlined in this article. 

A plunger can produce smooth, rich and full-flavoured coffee. 

Plungers are great if you're looking for an affordable, quick and elegant solution for making coffee at home or on the road. 

It takes a minimum of five minutes to brew a cup of coffee using a plunger and cleaning it afterwards is relatively easy. 

A benefit of the plunger is that the filter is built into the system, meaning you don't have to carry paper filters like you do with an AeroPress, V60 or Chemex

A plunger does allow for you to have control over the end result, as the brew time and coffee/water ratio can be varied to produce a different tasting cup of coffee. 

Learn how to make delicious plunger coffee by following our video or written guide below.

Written guide - how to make plunger coffee

Equipment

  • Plunger. We recommend the Bodum Chambord Plunger. The Bodum Chambord Plunger is made from high quality chrome-plated steel and heat-resistant glass.The filter is made from stainless steel and the handle from black bakelite for comfortable handling when hot. 

  • Freshly ground coffee (6.2 grind rating which is coarse). We recommend our Private Blend, Espresso Blend and Arriba Arriba Blend for plunger coffee.

    Or try our new Sample Pack which contains 4 x 250g of our favourite coffees.

    If you don't have a grinder at home, we can grind your coffee to this rating instore or onlineLearn more about the different grind ratings here

  • A wooden or plastic spoon. 

  • Kettle. 

    Step 1

  • Scoop ground coffee (6.2 grind rating) into your plunger. We recommend one rounded tablespoon per cup as a good ratio to follow.

    Step 2

    Fill the plunger with hot water. A good ratio of coffee/water ratio to follow is 120ml (4oz) of water per spoonful of coffee. 

    Water should always be hot but not boiling, as boiling water will burn the coffee grounds. Aim for 92°c which should be the water temperature about 30 seconds after your kettle boils. 

    Step 3

    Stir gently and avoid tapping the sides of the plunger as the glass beakers may crack. Place the lid back on top. 

    Step 4

    Leave to brew for three minutes and then plunge. You will know you have the correct grind and amount of coffee when it is firm to plunge.

    Use one hand to steady the plunger with the spout pointed away from you and plunge straight down with firm and steady pressure for 20 seconds.

    Step 5

    Pour and serve immediately.

    Tips

    • If you like your coffee stronger, use more coffee and less water. 
    • Experiment with the amount of time you leave the coffee to brew. Try for six-eight minutes for a stronger brew. 
    • For a lighter, sweeter and more acidic brew, try one of our light (filter) roasts like Colombia or Ethiopia Guji Muda Tatesa. Light roasts are roasted for less time than our normal espresso roasts, making them suitable for use in devices with a slow extraction time.
    • Don't let coffee sit in the plunger for extended periods of time. It will become bitter. 

    Video guide - how to make plunger coffee

    Remember, when making coffee at home:

    • Fresh is best when it comes to coffee – we recommend buying your coffee in smaller quantities, more frequently. Whole beans tend to go stale after about six weeks and this process is quicker for ground coffee. 
    • We custom-grind for all brewing methods – just tell our staff how you make your coffee at home, or select your brewing method when you order online
    • Use filtered water where possible.
    • A Merlo subscription is an easy way to make sure you never run out of coffee again. Save time and receive bonus beans with every 6th order, plus easily cancel, update and manage your subscription at any time.

    History of the plunger

    The plunger was patented by Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1928. The Bodum Chambord Plunger, which we know and love today, was introduced in 1958. 

    Shop Merlo's range of coffee and brewing equipment