Once you have started to make coffee at home, using the French press, you might have heard about the James Hoffman French press method.

In this article, I’ll go over how to make coffee while using the James Hoffmann French press technique.

I’ve been trying this technique at home for a while now, and all I can say is that this is indeed a really good French press method.

Down below, you will read all about how the James Hoffmann method works and how it differs from the regular French press method most of us use.

After that, you’ll find a brewing guide so you can try this technique out for yourself. Grab yourself a cup of coffee, and let’s get into it!

How the James Hoffmann technique works

While thoroughly looking at the YouTube video James Hoffmann has uploaded on YouTube, I am now fully blown away by how easy this technique is and how more delicious the coffee tastes than the most commonly used French press methods.

The James Hoffmann French press technique works differently from the regular techniques commonly used.

It takes more time to finish brewing, but the extra time will give you so much more flavor and, ultimately, a better coffee in return.

The technique uses a great combination of extra steps to create a very different tasting cup of coffee. Have a look below at how it differs from the regular French press technique.

How does it differ from the “normal” French press method?

While going through James Hoffmann’s video and trying out his technique at home for a bit of time and also comparing it to the “normal” technique, I can say that James Hoffmann’s technique will give you a brighter coffee.

Have a look below for all the ways this technique differs from the “normal” French press technique:

Difference:James Hoffmann technique:Normal technique:
Grind sizeMedium to coarse grind sizeMedium to coarse grind size
Blooming?No bloomingYes, 30 seconds
Water temperature92°C (or 197°F)92°C (or 197°F)
Steep time4 minutes4 minutes and 30 seconds
Stirring?Remove coffee crustNo stirring or removing crust
Waiting timeAdditional 5 to 8 minutes of waiting No additional waiting time

The coffee that is made while using the James Hoffmann technique will taste bright and really balanced.

Although this can be a good thing for most, you might not enjoy it too much.

The bold and strong flavors found in French press coffee will no longer be there because of the extra filtering that James uses.

I usually drink French press coffee for the strong flavors that can only be found when brewing coffee using the French press.

French press coffee made using the James Hoffmann technique gets closer in flavor to coffee made while using a pour over brewer like the Chemex.

While it is fun to have tried this technique multiple times, I can say that I prefer using the “normal” technique. This way, I get to use all of my coffee brewers, which produce their own uniquely flavored coffee.

The James Hoffmann technique will work great for those who like to drink coffee with sweeter, more balanced flavors and want to use a French press to get there.

Down below, I’ll explain the James Hoffmann method in-depth so you’ll have a clear explanation of how this technique differs:

James Hoffmann French press method explained

I’ve made coffee using the Hoffmann technique multiple times now. I can say for sure that this method brings a whole other level to drinking French press coffee. Let me explain further:

Because of the extra steps involved in brewing this coffee, you’ll create a very different coffee from the regular technique.

The first steps are the same when compared to the normal brewing technique. However, this all changes when continuing on.

As you’ll see a bit further down, you’ll not bloom the coffee but instead move on to let the coffee steep for four minutes, which is shorter than usual.

Then, you’ll break the coffee crust that has formed and remove it. By breaking the crust, you’ll let the coffee grounds slide to the bottom of the beaker.

While the coffee grounds slide down to the bottom, the little pieces and stuff you don’t want in your coffee go down as well.

This will result in a more clear cup of coffee with an exceptional flavor profile. You can also play around with different coffee roasts to get a unique flavor every time!

Medium roasted and dark roasted coffee beans next to each other.

But there is more difference between the regular French press method and the way James Hoffmann makes his French press coffee:

After removing the coffee crust, you’ll let the coffee steep for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. I like to go for 6 minutes.

After those additional minutes, you’ll press down on the coffee plunger, so the ground coffee gets pushed down to the bottom.

James Hoffmann uses the plunger as a sieve rather than a plunger to get the ground coffee to the bottom of the coffee pot.

Because you’ve already removed the coffee crust, most (if not all) of the ground coffee is already at the bottom.

Finally, there is the pouring of your French press coffee. While pouring your coffee, you want to make sure not to use all the coffee in the beaker.

Leave a bit of coffee in the beaker, as this contains most of the little particles and slush.

Why you should use good quality filtered water to make coffee

Whenever you are going to make any coffee at home, you want to make sure you are using clean tap water. If you don’t have excess to clean tap water and have a lot of chlorine in it, you might want to consider using bottled water instead.

If you are making coffee at home using water with some kind of taste to it, your coffee will probably taste like it too.

Did you know a good cup of joe is made up of about 98% water?

Down below you’ll find the brewing guide to making French press coffee while using the James Hoffmann technique:

James Hoffmann French press brewing guide

Let’s begin with the recipe for this French press technique. First off, you want to start by collecting all the things you need, so you’ve got everything near you.

Make sure you’ve got the French press, coffee beans, coffee grinder, and 2 spoons to start this method.

James Hoffmann uses 30 grams of coffee to 500 grams of water for his French press brewing technique, which will brew two cups of coffee. You can use 15 grams of coffee to 250 grams of water for a single cup of coffee.

Step 1. Grind your coffee beans in a medium/ coarse setting. You don’t want the coffee beans to be too fine, as this will result in a lot of slush in your cup of coffee. While grinding too coarse will make your coffee have a slightly sour taste to it.

Step 2. Add your ground coffee to the beaker of your French press.

Step 3. Boil your water. Once the water has come to a boil, let it sit on your kitchen counter for 30 seconds.

Step 4. Slowly pour the water on the coffee beans. Now, steep your coffee and set your timer to 4 minutes.

Step 5. Once the time has passed, remove the crust that has formed on top of your coffee using the spoons. Scoop the crust and throw it out. The small bits of coffee left will now sink to the bottom of the French press beaker.

Step 6. Wait for at least 5 and up to 8 minutes (I like to use 6 minutes) until moving on to the next step. This will make the coffee beans settle on the bottom of your beaker.

Step 7. Once the time has passed, add the plunger to your French press. Slowly start pushing down until you’ve reached the surface of the coffee.

You do not want to go all the way down as this will disrupt the beans, and this will impact the flavors and will not give you the satisfaction of a very clean tasting cup of coffee this method has to offer.

Step 8. Pour the coffee into your mug, leaving the last bit of coffee behind in your French press. This last bit of coffee contains a lot of coffee slush you are trying to avoid.

Step 9. Your coffee is now done. Enjoy your cup of coffee, and don’t forget to clean your coffee equipment.

Tip: Learn about four easy ways to clean your French press to get it brand-new looking!

James Hoffmann French Press Method

Coffee brewed with the James Hoffmann French press technique.

Brew a clean tasting cup of coffee using the James Hoffmann French press technique!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Additional Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 15 grams of coffee beans
  • 1 cup (0.24 l) of water

Instructions

  1. Grind your coffee beans medium/ coarse.
  2. Add your ground coffee to the beaker of your French press.
  3. Boil the water.
  4. Once the water has boiled. Let it sit on your kitchen counter for 30 seconds before moving on to the next step.
  5. Slowly pour the water into the beaker, directly onto the ground coffee.
  6. Set your time for four minutes.
  7. After the four minutes have passed, Remove the coffee crust that has formed on top of your brew. With two spoons, scoop the crust and throw it out.
  8. Wait for 5 to 8 minutes until moving on.
  9. Add the plunger to the French press and slowly press it.
  10. Don't go all the way to the bottom, the plunger works like a sieve for this brewing technique.
  11. Slowly pour your brewed coffee out of the beaker, making sure to leave a bit of coffee behind (this has all the coffee sludge).
  12. You're now ready to enjoy this delicious French press coffee.

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1

If you want to learn more about this technique, I suggest visiting James Hoffmann on YouTube. You can also click down here, as this will bring you straight to the video of James Hoffmann explaining his brewing method for the French press:

Conclusion

In this article, I explained the Hoffman method of brewing French press at home. This method will cost you a bit more time than using any other technique. However, I can’t stress it enough to give it a try.

Is James Hoffmann French press coffee really good? Yes, the coffee brewing technique is great, and you’ll be amazed by the difference in taste that the Hoffman method will bring to the table.

Do you know more French press methods I could try out, or do you have any coffee questions? Then let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

If you want to learn more about home brewing coffee, I suggest checking out the articles I’ve listed below:

More about home brewing coffee

Author

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about!

14 Comments

  1. CoffeeLover Reply

    Thank you very much for your explanation, this is really great ! I’m trying to use the right setting on my Encore Baratza grinder, do you have any idea what would be the right grind setting for the James Hoffman method?

    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it! As for you question; I’m not sure which grind setting works best on the Encore Baratza grinder. You should aim to get a grind size that feels like breadcrumbs, the picture down below should give you a nice indication:
      Coffee grind size French press

      If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them down below.
      Have a great day.

      -Jeffrey

  2. This might be a good cup, but just wanted to point out it’s not James’ method. He doesn’t plunge at all. He just touched the grounds with the plunger at the very top. He also doesn’t mention blooming at all in his video. But I’ll give this method here a try because I was never a fan of his French method.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for leaving a comment, I really appreciate it!

      The plunger is added to the French press to be used as a strainer. You don’t really need it, but there might be a few pieces floating around. This will give you a better tasting cup of coffee.
      James Hoffmann does add the plunger to his French press and leaves it where it just touches the coffee. I have found that the plunger often shifts during pouring, so I suggest you press it down a bit further.

      If you have any more questions, I would love to hear from you.
      Have a great day!

      -Jeffrey

  3. A. Stewart Reply

    One question I’ve had for quite some time is, “What is a good brand of INSULATED french press?” It is a shame to go through the process of making this great carafe of coffee only to have your second cup be tepid or cold.

    Would it simply be better to transfer one’s efforts to another insulated container, for serving, instead of looking for a good (good strainer, filter, spout, etc.) insulated french press?

    • Hi,

      French press coffee needs to be poured out of its original container to prevent further steeping of the coffee. Leaving the last bit of coffee inside the container with the coffee grounds will leave you a sour tasting cup of coffee.
      When you are planning on making a bigger batch of French press coffee, it would be best to transfer the brewed coffee to another insulated container to keep it warm.

      If you think of anything else, let me know as I would be happy to help.
      Thanks!

      -Jeffrey

  4. The description on this webpage varies significantly from Hoffman’s. Alternative ideas are welcome, but let us know how you wish to change recipe and why. Hoffman barely mentions off-boil parameters although other videos suggest cooler water for dark roasts and hotter water for light-to-medium. Hoffman does not bloom, either. I am all for paraphrasing, but not like this.

    • Hey Jackie,

      Thanks for letting me know about the difference in brewing techniques. I’ve just changed the article, so it doesn’t contain the blooming step.

      If you have any other questions, please let me know, as I’m happy to help.

      -Jeffrey

  5. Maybe you no longer believe this, but pouring boiling water on coffee doesn’t “burn” it. Coffee is roasted beyond 200 degrees celcius, there is no burning happening at 100 degrees celcius (water boiling point).

    • Hey Bram,

      You’re right. The ground coffee will not burn. However, by adding boiling water to ground coffee, you might introduce flavors that you’re not a fan of. This all depends on the coffee roast you’re using.
      I always suggest leaving the water to cool slightly before pouring it on your ground coffee for this reason, especially for medium and dark roasts.

      I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please let me know!

      -Jeffrey

  6. Thanks so much for yr detailed explanations. I mistakenly start my timer as soon as I add my boiled water to my grounds. And, I nvr thot I had to wait for up to 7 or 8 minutes b4 serving. My husband now calls me his personal ‘barista’. Much thanks

    • Hey Jaswa,

      I’m glad you’ve found the information helpful.

      Enjoy your coffee!

      -Jeffrey

  7. Just a slight error here…

    ” grinding too coarse will make your coffee have a slightly bitter taste to it.”

    correction… grinding too coarse – thus creating too low a surface area to volume ratio in the grounds – is likely to lead to underextraction, unless you increase the brew time to compensate. This is likely to result in sour , not bitter taste.

    Grinding too finely is more likely to result in bitter taste, due to overextraction.

    • Hey Lee,

      You’re right about this; I’ve changed it in the article. Thanks for letting me know.

      -Jeffrey

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