If you are dreaming of how to make that perfect cup of French Press coffee, but are worried about not doing brewing it the right way. The good news is that its really not that hard, stay tuned and I will walk you through the brewing process.
French Press coffee makers use coarsely ground coffee beans, hot water, and a brew time of 4 minutes. They have 3 basic parts: the glass or plastic container, a screen plunger and a top. They are much easier and forgiving to use then most coffee brewers. Brewing coffee with a French Press will give you a delicate and nuanced coffee with lots of flavor.
Today, you are unlikely to find any other method that is easier to brew coffee than with a French press.Even with it being easy to use, some people are hesitant to try this brewing coffee with a French Press because they are concerned that they won’t do it right or it won’t taste as good as it could or should.
So lets talk about brewing coffee with a French Press in detail.
How To Use A French Press
What is so great about using a French Press is that its so easy to make a great coffee that its almost to good to believe. So how you do it? Let me give you my general recipe on what you should do.
Brewing with a French Press: Step by Step Guide
1. Preheat the French Press
This is often overlooked but important step for any immersion or pour over brewing method. Its done by simply adding hot water to the press and moving it around a little. After you do that just discard that water.
2. Weigh Out Your Coffee
Now use a ratio of 15 to 1 (water to coffee) to measure how much coffee you want. I usually use 20 grams of coffee and 300 grams of water. You can modify this to 16 or 17 to one depending on your taste.
3. Grind Your Coffee
Once you have that measured out, grab your burr grinder and put it on a coarse setting. Now put your coffee in and grind away.
4. Measure Out and Heat Water
At this point you may want to start heating up your water in your kettle and allow the temperature reach between 195 to 205 F or if you don’t have a temperature gauge, let the kettle sit for 30 seconds after it begins to boil.
5. Tare Your Scale
Pull out your scale and put your French Press on it and tare the scale so that it says zero. Once this is done pour in your ground coffee and verify that is says 20g (in this example) … Once that’s done, tare it again so its at zero.
While your waiting for the water to reach the proper temperature, get your timer out and turn it on.
6. Add Hot Water
Once your water is at the right temperature, start your timer and pour in 60 grams of water. If your coffee is fresh you will see what they call “the bloom”. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then pour in the remaining water until you get to 300 grams of water.
7. Put The Lid On and Wait
Put the plunger on your French press Carafe but DO NOT plunge and let the coffee brew until you get to 4 minutes.
8. Press the Plunger
At 4 minutes press the French press plunger slowly and gently. Stick to the weight of your hand when pressing to get best results.
9. Pour the Coffee into Another Container
Once you do this don’t let it sit in the French Press as it will continue to brew, besides you want to drink now anyway don’t you? So let it decant in another container or pour it in your favorite coffee mug and enjoy!
Tips For Better Brewing with a French Press
In addition to allowing your coffee to bloom for the first 30 seconds of brewing, you should do some other things to keep the French press coffee consistently tasting its best. Here are a few things to do.
- Use warm water to rinse the French press carafe before you start the coffee brewing process.
- Do not leave the brewed coffee in the French press carafe after brewing. If you don’t use it all, then you can put it into a decanter to prevent it from continuing to brew and a bitter taste.
- Use coarse grinds from a burr grinder so that you can get optimal flavor without the need of adding grit in the cup.
- Stick to a single tablespoon of ground coffee when preparing a single serving to get the best taste. I like to use a 15 to 1 ratio (water to coffee) because if you use too a little or too much, the coffee will not taste as good as it could (or should)
- Keep the French press clean to prevent the sticking of old grounds to the bottom of the carafe when preparing the next brew.
Cleaning A French Press
A dirty coffee maker will always produce less then optimal coffee – regardless of the type. Most of the French presses in the market are easy to disassemble and clean.
Start by removing the plunger Now, fill the carafe with warm water halfway and swish the water to loosen the coffee grounds that might be stuck.
Hold the mesh straighter over your kitchen sink. Pour the French press’ contents into it. Dump the strainer containing the coffee grounds into the garbage or better yet put them in your compost. (Here are some other ideas for your used coffee grounds)
Next, add some warm water and some dish soap and put your plunger back on. Pump severally to remove the coffee stains and oil Use your bottle brush with some baking soda to scrub the stubborn residues away. Rinse properly and use a dry soft cloth to dry.
If you do not have the time to do all that, you can use the dishwasher, if the French press is dishwasher safe but what fun is their in that?
Choosing a French Press
This may not be as easy at it seems. The French press has been around a long time and today they are made out of different types of materials and sizes.
Once you decide on the size you will need, whether you will be using it just for yourself or for family and friends, the next decision is to find out what type of material you want it made out of.
The borosilicate glass material contains boron trioxide and silica, which means that it is more resistant to thermal shock. The glass will not explode after you have poured your hot water into the French press.
Manufacturers use the same material to make the glass bakeware. Unfortunately, if the French press drops on the tile floor, the glass composition will not help you.
Stoneware or Ceramic
This type of French press is beautiful but can be more pricey than the others unless you can find a deal one. The manufacturers mostly supply them in a rainbow of colors, but they also coat them internally to prevent odors and stains.
The material is dishwasher safe. Moreover, it is sturdier and resistant to high temperatures. Unfortunately, it will break if it drops on a hard floor so be careful with it! You could look at one like the Le Creuset on Amazon
If you need a French press that will not break easily, you will have to go for the stainless steel one.
Generally, the carafe is vacuum-sealed and doubled – more like the heavy-duty travel mugs – so that they can keep your coffee hot for very many hours. The manufacturers supply them in polished or brushed polishes to satisfy the needs of their customers.
If you need a brushed finish style, expect to find many colors. But if you need a polished one, you should expect a mirror finish, which resembles the fine silver.
The durability highly varies from one model to the other, but you should keep in mind that stainless steel will never break if it dropped on a hard floor. Take a look at the one from Secura on Amazon
The French presses from the reputable brands feature plastic carafes made of styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) and are free of bisphenol-A (BPA). The SAN material is durable and it will withstand high temperature without leaching chemicals or warping.
BPA comes with many negative effects and can easily find its way into your coffee each time you expose the plastic to heat – such as when boiling water.
And because you will be using hot water to brew coffee, you will have to make sure that the material is BPA-free. Bodum makes a great French Press with this BPA free material.
Making coffee with a French Press is easy, fun and can produce an incredible cup of coffee. Its great way to make coffee whether you are making just one cup or for a group of people as you only have to do it once either way.
If you combine the French Press with Fresh Roasted Coffee, proper grind, water temperature and right amount of coffee you will consistently have great tasting coffee for years to come.