What Makes Good Coffee Taste Great
You can learn how to make great French press coffee at home. Good coffee starts with quality ingredients. The first step in brewing high-quality coffee is selecting fresh beans from reputable roasters. Freshly roasted beans have a rich flavor and aroma. If you use stale beans, your coffee will taste flat and bitter.
How To Make French Press Coffee Without A French Press
You cant really make French press coffee without a french press. You can, however, make coffee without a coffee maker. Here are two easy methods.
Method 1: Pour-over coffee
You can use either a paper filter or a mesh / metal filter that fits into the top of a heat safe container. Add your coffee grounds to the filter and pour the hot water slowly over the coffee grounds.
It will go through slowly, so take your time. You want to really saturate the coffee grounds. Once all of the water has gone through, its ready to drink.
Method 2: Camping coffee
One other method is to bring the water to a boil on the stove. Add the coffee, stir to combine, turn off heat, cover and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into a mug, making sure that the sediment stays in the pan.
Bring The Water To The Right Temp
Ouch! Pain and bitterness are never ideal, but overheated water can make coffee bitter, while water that isnt hot enough means you miss out on flavor. Plus, boiling water is painful, and tepid coffee is yucky. So theres that.
Aim for a temperature of around 200°F . But dont bother breaking out a thermometer it doesnt have to be rocket science.
Bring the water to a boil and let it sit for 30 seconds, Steiman says.
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Add Coffee Grounds And Hot Water
Add the your coffee grounds to the preheated french press and then add the correct ratio of hot water afterward, all in one pour. Then you need to take your spoon and give your coffee a quick stir to ensure that all your coffee grounds are properly immersed in your water.
Want our handy, custom-illustrated cheatsheet for brewing epic French Press coffee?
Can You Make Cold Brew With A Coffee French Press
If youre tired of hot coffee and want to switch to cold brew, you can easily do that with a French press. I have a whole tutorial on making cold brew coffee at home youll want to check out too.
How to make cold brew with a French press:
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A Longer Steep Time Does Not Always Mean Better
Some people believe that a longer steep time will contribute to bolder flavors in your coffee. This is only true up to a certain point. Eventually, you are going to reach the point of over-extraction.
Therefore, you are simply going to end up with a bitter taste.
A longer steep time will also increase the acidity of your coffee. Even though some people like coffee with a bite to it, coffee that is too acidic is not going to taste good. If you truly want a stronger cup of coffee, you should add more coffee grounds instead of increasing your steep time.
Why Make A French Press Coffee
The reason French press coffee has such fantastic mouthfeel is the metal mesh filter lets more coffee oils into the finished drink that texture and deep flavor is also enhanced by the fact that the coffee grounds are completely submerged in the brewing water for the entire length of the process, which allows for a slower and more even extraction compared to brewing a pour-over coffee or drip coffee.
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Before We Begin: Choose The Right French Press
Youre going to have a hard time making great coffee if you use a cheap, crappy press pot to brew. Its tempting to go for the cheapest option, but will it really be worth it when you have to replace it in 6-9 months?
The standard press pot size is between 4 and 8 cups. Just remember, a cup is much smaller than a typical mug of coffee. Many companies count a standard cup as a meager 4 oz.
In general, you have small, large, metal and electric options:
- Small french press if its just you and maybe a friend or loved one using it on a regular basis. Typical sizes include 3 and 4 cup presses.
- Large french press These 8 to 12 cup behemoths are meant to pacify a crowd of coffee seekers and can produce several cups of coffee in a single batch!
- Metal french press Are more durable, and seem to retain heat better than glass. Choose if you live in a cold area.
- Electric french press For the lazy. These units heat the water, brew the coffee, and keep it warm after its ready!
Youve probably heard about the ever so popular Bodum Chambord an iconic looking thing which is made in three different sizes: 3, 8, and 12 cups. They generally have glass beakers with a stainless steel base and handle. The two smaller options even come with an unbreakable beaker option!
However, Perfect Daily Grind recommends trying out French Presses made out of other materials .
You may also want to subscribe to some of these amazing coffee-brewing channels.
Choosing A French Press Coffee Maker
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
If you need a French press that will not break easily, you will have to go for the stainless steel one.
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.
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French Press Coffee To Water Ratio Calculator
Tip: start with 8 grams of coarse ground coffee per 4 oz. of water, then add or subtract coffee grounds to your taste.Coffee Press SizeBoil waterSHOP COFFEE KETTLEGrind Coffee Beanscoffee beansPour hot water and StirTip: If you’re using a metal spoon, be careful to not break the glass of your French Press. It’s actually better to use a wooden stirrer for this step.SHOP COFFEE STIRRERSWait and RelaxTip: Recommended brew time for French Press coffee is 4 minutes but some coffee lovers prefer a French Press brew time of 3 minutes, for instance, while others swear by 5 minutes. You will find your ideal time with some trial and effort.Press slowlyPour and EnjoyTip: If you need hot coffee for a longer period, immediately pour the leftover coffee into a thermos or carafe so it stays warm and stop extracting from the existing coffee grounds.
Coarsely Grind Your Beans
Next, coarsely grind your beans. A fine grind makes strong coffee, while a coarse grind produces milder coffee. If you’re grinding your beans, be careful not to overdo it. Too much grinding can damage your beans and reduce their ability to absorb flavors.
After grinding, pour the coffee into the French Press, do this slowly to distribute the coffee evenly.
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Q Why Is French Press Coffee Bad For You
A The fine mesh filter of the french press cant filter out cafestol and kahweol. These two are LDL cholesterol-boosting compounds extracted from coffee grounds during the brewing process.
If you already have high cholesterol, coffee filtered using paper filters would be a safer alternative for you. That being said, drinking less than 5 cups of french press coffee wont hurt if your cholesterol levels are normal.
Pros And Cons Of French Press Coffee
French press coffee has somewhat of a cult following. It extracts a very strong and robust cup of coffee, without the need for any sort of electrical brewing system. You get complete control over your brew, and you can use a French press coffee maker to make other beverages like tea or even cold brew coffee. Plus, it’s dirt cheap. You can get a .
But the French press is not without its drawbacks. Because it’s a manual brewing system, you can’t exactly set it and just walk away. It’s also a little finicky when it comes to the grind size it’s recommended that you grind your own beans to achieve the uniformly coarse grind necessary for French press coffee. But once you get the hang of the process, you really will end up with delicious coffee in its simplest form.
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The Lid Plunger And Filter
French Presses use a metal filter that allows natural oils and fine particles from the coffee beans to pass through into your cup. This is what gives French Press coffee it’s rich and hearty body compared to brewing methods that use a paper filter.
The filter is connected to a metal rod that passes through the top known as the plunger which is used to press the filter to the bottom of the beaker and earn the French Press the latter half of its name.
The lid fits onto the top of the beaker and the filter is sized to snugly slide into the beaker with enough pressure on the side walls to prevent coffee particles from sliding by when its pressed.
How Does A French Press Work
Its quite simple, really:
The main part is the beaker which is where you place your coffee grounds and hot water. Attached to the beaker are the base and handle. These ensure you wont burn yourself or the surface you place it on. You have the lid with the attached filters and plunger. They are fairly intuitive to assemble, though, and the whole setup is quite simple.
The best part is: no need for paper filters. With French press brewing the grounds are directly soaked in hot water.
This means its a form of immersion brewing the coffee grounds are submerged for a few minutes in the hot water, rather than a few short seconds .
To get good coffee every time, it is important to know to disassemble and clean your french press. Aim to do this once per month. This really helps. Theres more to it than simply rinsing it out.
How To Use Your French Pressplus 5 Tips For Better Tasting Coffee
One of the greatest things about French press coffee is its rich, thick body. Learn how to make a perfect cup of coffee of French press coffee with these step-by-step instructions. Plus, get insider tips on how to trouble-shoot common brewing problems.
When it comes to brewing coffee, everyone has their favorite way to do it. Different methods bring out different flavors and results from the beans some results are oilier, some are stronger.
Measure/weigh Water And Check Temperature
Again, refer to the table below to get your coffee to water ratio for coffee presses but the core ratio you should aim for is 1:15. This means 1 part coffee for every 15 parts water.
PRO TIP: Weighing rather than measuring your water with a spoon, just like with your coffee, will give much greater control. This will facilitate more consistent results.
Heat the water in whatever way works for you. I recommend using a stovetop or gooseneck kettle: If you have a thermometer or a kettle with temperature control, the recommended coffee press water temperature is 195-205 degrees F.
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Why Pick The French Press Method
The French Press method is loved because it enables almost anyone to make good cups of coffeeand yes, espresso too.
These presses are found in almost any major store and theyre less expensive than state of the art machines.
And if you practice enough they can deliver the same quality of coffee as high end coffee makers.
Theyre also ideal for households since you can make two or three cups at a time.
This makes for less wastage of coffee compared to large machines.
Ready to try your hand at this new technique?
Whats The Ideal Brew Time
While I like to brew my French press coffee for 2 minutes plus 2 minutes, you may find you like a slightly longer or shorter brew time.
If you make this recipe once and find the coffee is brewed too strong for your tastes, brew it for less time for the next cup. If its too weak, brew it for longer next time and youll get stronger coffee.
With a little time and experimentation, youll find your own sweet spot for the best cup of coffee.
The Ratio Of Coffee To Water
In order to make the perfect brew with a French press machine, the ratio should be two tablespoons of coffee beans for every one cup of water . If you wanted to make two servings, you would have to double this ratio. For four cups of coffee, you would need to quadruple this ratio.
Once you have your coffee beans, you need to grind them down to the right size.
Your grind size will influence how long you let your coffee beans steep. The finer you grind your coffee beans, the shorter the steep time will be. That is because there is more surface area for the water to extract flavors from your coffee grounds.
How Does A French Press Coffee Maker Work
A French press makes coffee by immersing ground coffee in hot water and then separating the grounds from the coffee by pressing down the filter. Water should be at about 200ºF to optimize flavor extraction. Any hotter , your coffee will taste burnt. Any cooler, your coffee will be under-extracted, tasting flavorless and watered-down.
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What Temperature Water Works Best
The perfect temperature for brewing coffee in a French press is 195 F. I recommend using an electric tea kettle with temperature control like this Tribest kettle. It even has a coffee button, which is pretty awesome.
Be sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature before adding to your coffee press if your kettle doesnt have temperature control.
If youre boiling water regularly for your french press, youll also want to know the best way to clean an electric tea kettle.
Push Down The Grounds
After steeping you need to get rid of those grounds so you can enjoy your brew.
Push down on the plunger gently towards the bottom of the press.
If you see too many particles left over in your brew, it means the grounds are too fine so you need to adjust the grind next time.
Dont push too hard. There is pressure inside the chamber and you dont want the glass to shatter or the components to get damaged.
A great tip to get the cream you love:You probably love the crema on top of a professionally made espresso. You can create that too via some fancy techniques with your plunger. Simply pump the plunger by moving it halfway down and pulling it back up again. A few times will be enough to create the crema so adored by coffee aficionados.
Note that crema is usually a sign of quality coffee.
This depends on the beans you use, so if you want that layer of foam on top, youll have to invest in quality beans.
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What Type Of Coffee Grinder
A burr grinder really gives you the best control over the grind of whole coffee beans. A blade grinder is less expensive and uses a blade like a blender to grind up the coffee beans.
A burr grinder, on the other hand, uses two burr wheels to crush the coffee beans. While theyre more expensive, burr grinders make much better tasting coffee. And if youre taking the time to make French press coffee, you want to make sure youre using the best ground coffee.
A lot of burr grinders, like this Cuisinart Burr Grinder, even have a French Press setting to make it easier for you.