Is It Worth It Seems Like A Lot Of Work
Ill be honest with you: brewing coffee with a french press is not as easy as scooping grounds into a pot and letting it do all the work for you.
But it does make coffee thats far more delicious and rewarding.
The french press is a manual brewing method, which means youre not letting an electronic device do everything for you. You get to measure your ingredients, grind the coffee, pour in the water, time the brew yourself, and press the plunger.
Is it more hands-on than using a regular coffee pot? Yes.
Is it difficult, time-consuming, or hard to learn? Absolutely not!
Grinding coffee and boiling water takes about 2 minutes. Brewing takes roughly 4. Its 6 minutes total of a relaxing, aromatic process. Not bad at all!
But heres what you get:
- Richly aromatic coffee. The french press metal filter lets through the coffees natural oils to your mug. These oils are vibrantly aromatic and add lots of flavor to your brew.
- A Full-bodied brew. The metal filter also lets some microscopic coffee grounds into your mug. These boost the flavor and give your coffee a fuller feeling that leaves you satisfied.
- The satisfaction of a cup well brewed. Okay, sounds cheesy – I know. But a super delicious mug isnt just tasty. Its personally rewarding to know that you made something with care that ended up being awesome in every way.
Yes, Id say its worth it.
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Since the coffee grounds are always in contact with the water, even after plunging the filter, youll want to pour out all of the coffee once steeped. Otherwise, it will over extract and begin to taste bitter. Pour the coffee into mugs or a thermos to keep it warm.
Keep in mind: A standard cup of water is 8 ounces, but a French press cup is 4 ounces. Most French presses come in four different sizes: 3-cup/12-ounce 8-cup/34-ounce and 12-cup/51-ounce.
What Is The Best French Press
First things, first. What is the best French Press? We are personal fans of the Bodums French Press products. It is a tried and true French press that all three of us own and use. We love that its glass and that the handle doesnt get hot when you pour the water in.
In addition to Bodums French press, we also love their other coffee accessories as well! Check them out below.
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Measure Out Your Coffee
For a really bold coffee in a 3 cup carafe, youll want 30g of ground coffee and 300g of water. If youre using an 8 cup carafe, increase the quantity to 90g of coffee and 900g of water.
For a more subtle flavor, try 18g of coffee and 300g of water in a 3-cup carafe. For an 8-cup version, its 55g of coffee and 900g of water.
If your French press is a different size, adjust the measurements accordingly.
Dont be afraid to experiment to find the right ratio to suit you. Just make sure that you measure your quantities carefully and keep notes of the results. You want to make sure you know what youve done when you create the perfect flavor!
Pro tip: Always measure by weight rather than volume for best results. Use a kitchen scale thats accurate to 0.1 grams to make sure your measurements are precise.
Should There Be Coffee Grounds In My Mug Of Coffee
Short answer: dont worry about it.
Realistically: you cant avoid it 100%. In a perfect world, all of your coffee grounds would be the exact same size and just large enough to not go through your french press filter.
However, when coffee beans are ground, they inevitably shatter into extra-small pieces that are tiny enough to get through the filter. We call these fines. It even happens with the worlds most advanced coffee grinders.
But heres the thing
A small amount of coffee grounds in your mug is perfectly fine and normal.
Even a large amount wont hurt you. You can literally eat coffee beans by the handful and be fine .
The issue isnt one of safety, but one of mouthfeel. If you dont like the thin layer of sludge at the bottom of your mug, you dont have to drink it. Easy as that!
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Troubleshooting French Press Coffee
There are two things that really muck up French press coffee: water temperature boiling water that scorches the grounds, or tepid water that doesnt extract fully and badly ground coffee with too much fine grit that makes the pressed coffee muddy and bitter.
These are the two factors that, to me, are most commonly ignored and yet easiest to remedy. All you need is a sense of how hot your water is and a burr grinder.
Takeaway: Getting the temperature right is easy .
What Type Of Coffee Should You Use In A French Press
It is best to use coffee beans that are very coarse in a french press coffee maker. You can browse all of our coffees to find a roast or flavor that best suits your taste. At checkout, just select Very Coarse as the grind type, and youll have freshly ground coffee ready to be used in your french press delivered to your doorstep in no time!
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French Press Grind Size
To make the best coffee in a French press, your beans should be properly ground.
Even though its often stated that you should use a coarse grind when brewing coffee in a French press, I recommend using a medium or a medium-coarse grind.
This is essential if you use medium or lightly roasted specialty coffee beans.
If you grind them too coarse, the brew will likely turn out too sour, and you wont get to experience the complex flavor notes of your single-origin coffee.
Important: If you use darkly roasted coffee beans, you may want to grind on the coarser side, as its easier to extract the coffee flavors from darkly roasted beans. If you grind too fine, your coffee will turn out too harsh and bitter.
To make the best cup of French press coffee, you need to use freshly ground beans not a pre-ground package that youve bought from the grocery store.
If you dont have a grinder, the best possible alternative would be going to a local coffee shop, and purchasing a bag of freshly ground beans.
For this particular brew that you see in the photos of this post, I used a Hario Skerton a hand burr grinder .
Its not the best one that you could use with a French press, as it doesnt provide a consistent grind on coarser settings.
If you brew with an uneven grind, the smaller coffee bits may get over-extracted, while the bigger ones under-extracted.
This would worsen your coffees taste and you wont be able to make the best cup possible.
Two Methods For French Press Iced Coffee
The French press is a small pitcher with a plunger thats used to brew coffee. Despite the name, the French press is actually Italian: it was patented by an Italian designer in 1929. Its most often used for hot coffee, but the French press also makes tea, cold brew, espresso, and more.
There are two main methods you can use for French press iced coffee: cold brew or brewed coffee. Many coffeeshops use cold brew for serving an iced coffee, though traditionally an iced coffee is made with hot brewed coffee. Here are the pros and cons to each method:
- Cold brew iced coffee: Make French press cold brew and it makes a big pitcher of 5 servings, so you can sip off of it all week. The flavor is great and even smoother than with hot coffee. The con? You have to wait 24 hours.
- Brewed iced coffee: You can make French press iced coffee with strong coffee, then pour it over ice. It also has great flavor and only takes 10 minutes to make. The con? It makes only 2 servings at once, so youll need to make it to order.
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Getting Geeky Over French Press
However, you can get a lot more technical and geeky than that over French press. Just take a look at the varying levels of instruction and minuscule attention paid to grams and brewing time at Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle, and Serious Eats. Whew.
Personally, I dont feel that one needs to quibble over 40 grams versus 36 grams of grounds to water, or whether you should weigh your beans and water rather than measuring them by volume.
I have a hunch that some of you will argue with me about that, but if you are Into Coffee, then there are a million things to twiddle all the time. Thats part of the pleasure of coffee like other things in cooking, you can improve and tweak to your hearts content, and find a lot of satisfaction in it.
But if youre just getting into French press, I think that this is the easiest method that includes the essentials but doesnt get too geeky. If you are more comfortable weighing your coffee and water than measuring by volume, go to it! If you are persnickety about how long to brew which roasts, have at it! Im right behind you.
But for now, lets just talk basics. Because in the end, its just a cup of coffee, and I do hope that more of you will find your morning sustenance in a cup of French press, as it is really so delicious when done right.
Allow The Coffee To Steep
Next up, youre going to want to let the coffee steep. Grab the top of your French press and place it back on, and carefully begin to push the plunger down into the pot. Stop just above the water level.
From here, its a matter of simply waiting for the coffee extraction process to work its magic. The optimal amount of time to wait is somewhere between 3-5 minutes. Feel free to experiment to find the wait time that works best for you when it comes to flavor.
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Why Does My Coffee Taste Bitter Sour Grainy Stale Etc
No one wants a cup of coffee that tastes anything other than perfect. Here are some explanations for why your coffee may not be as great as you had hoped.
1. Your coffee beans werent roasted properly
Solution: While most people blame their coffees bitter taste on their own fault , in some cases the coffee beans themselves were the issue. Make sure to investigate your coffee before you buy it to make sure you find quality coffee beans!
2. Your coffee steeped for too long
Solution: You can do one of two things: Adjust the grind of your coffee beans or Experiment with shorter brewing periods to ensure you arent extracting too much from your coffee beans or grounds.
3. The water you used is too hot
Solution: If the water you use to brew your coffee is too hot, it will extract the bitter nature of the coffee beans or grounds you are using. The National Coffee Association recommends your brewing water be between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Your coffee brewing equipment is dirty
Solution: When your coffee brewing equipment isnt thoroughly between uses, the taste of leftover coffee can be added to the next cup of coffee you brew. Ensure that your brewing equipment is properly cleaned to get the perfect cup of coffee!
1. Your coffee didnt steep for long enough
1. Your coffee grounds got into your coffee
1. Your coffee didnt steep for long enough
2. The water you used wasnt hot enough
3. The coffee beans or grounds used are not fresh
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee With A French Press
If you want to use a french press to make cold brew coffee, you may want to use the following measuring standards:
400 g of cold water makes approximately 400g / 500mL of coffee.
On average, you will use between 6 9 tablespoons of ground coffee for a liter. However, a more straightforward measurement would be to make sure you use around 1/3 cup of ground coffee for every 400 mL of water you are brewing.
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How Does The Coffee Ratio Work
The coffee ratio isnt as scary or as scientific as it sounds, its simply the ratio of water to coffee you use. But what does that mean and how does it affect your coffee? Well Ill tell you
Basically it dictates how strong your coffee is going to taste, a 1:14 ratio will taste much stronger than a 1:17 cup. One isnt better than the other it just depends on what grind size you use and what type of flavor you enjoy. Im going to look at grind size in my next article so stay tuned.
I personally stick with 1:15 as my middle ground for pre-ground coffee meant for a French press. Thats my true north and usually what I go for when Im trying a new coffee, BUT my exception is if its got the word lava in the title, or its described as a 5+ in strength somewhere on the packet, and if its got the word full bodied.
These all likely mean its going to taste much stronger, much thicker in your mouth, and likely be a little more bitter. So in these instances I go for a 1:16 or a 1:17 ratio, and I know it doesnt sound like a huge difference but you really notice the difference. I dont have any coffee palette to speak of but Ive tried both with the same coffee and you can tell it tastes different.
S To Make Espresso With A French Press
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Espresso is a favorite coffee drink of many. The aroma is almost addictive. But unless you have your own espresso machine, its usually consumed in a coffee shop.
Why do we limit ourselves?
With the right technique you can use a French Press to brew a drink that closely resembles the Espresso coffee.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Grind your coffee
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Grind Your Coffee Beans
When making coffee using a French press, its strongly recommended that you use fresh, whole coffee beans and grind them yourself immediately before using them.
The reason is that if you grind your coffee beans too soon, the coffee grounds will very quickly start to lose a large amount of the compounds that contribute to giving your cup of joe its deliciously rich flavor.
You want to make sure that your coffee beans arent ground into a texture that is too coarse or too fine. For the best results, you should opt for a medium grind, producing coffee grounds with a texture that is almost similar to breadcrumbs.
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At its simplest, making French press coffee just requires you to add ground coffee beans and boiling water to the beaker-shaped carafe, steep it for a bit, then press the filter down to get your brew. However, there are some tips that all home cooks should keep in mind when making coffee with this device.
First, it’s best to warm up the beaker of the French press with hot tap water before adding the grinds. This will help maintain a more even heat level throughout the steeping process.
Ideally, the boiling water should actually be around 200 degrees, which is just under the true boiling point of 212 degrees. So once water comes to a boil, let it sit for a minute or two while adding coffee to the warmed, emptied beaker. If you want to be super scientific about it, get out a kitchen thermometer and test the water temperature before pouring it over the coffee grounds.
When it’s time to start pushing the plunger down, carefully and slowly apply pressure to move the filter down. It’s normal to encounter a little resistance, however, if its going down too easily then the grind is too coarse if its way too hard to push, then the grounds are too fine and they may be clogging up the filter.
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Time To Extract The Coffee
When your timer reads four minutes, gently press down all the way on the plunger. You should expect some resistance, but not too much.
If theres little or no resistance when you press down, you may need to grind your coffee finer next time. If you find it hard to press the plunger down, youll probably need to use a coarser grind in future.
How Long Should French Press Coffee Steep
To recap from the instructions above, we first pour in a small amount of boiling water, stir, and wait. Then we pour in the remaining water and stir again, and wait.3-4 minutes is the optimal window of time to get an average strength cuppa out of a coffee press.
If you prefer lighter coffee, finish the batch off a bit early. If youre a fan of stronger stuff, give it more time. However, I wouldnt give it TOO much time, as you may ruin the coffee by allowing it to over-extract and get bitter.
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