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.
Which Is Better Paper Coffee Filters Or A Metal Filter
All types of filters lower the concentration of cafestol and kahweol, but paper filters are more effective. Paper filters trap diterpenes much better than other filter types making them the number one choice for anyone concerned with health and cholesterol. Unbleached paper coffee filters are the more natural choice, but youll need to rinse each filter through once with clean water, or there will be a slight taste of paper left in your coffee. Otherwise, opt for high-quality bleached paper, and it wont affect the healthiness of your brew or its taste. Bleaching leaves no hazardous chemicals behind.
Why Is French Press Coffee Is Potentially Unhealthy
The main problem with drinking from a French press seems to center on the fact that the oil is not filtered out from the final cup of coffee. Whereas with a drip method, or a pour over method of making coffee, you will not be drinking as much oil.
If youve ever had the feeling that your cup of coffee from a French press is a touch too heavy and silty, then you understand what Im referring to. That heavy feeling you get from a cup of French press coffee is due to the fact that youve not filtered out a lot of the sediments and oil.
The oil in coffee that is normally filtered out by paper filters is not healthy and in fact has been linked to raising cholesterol levels. So, if youve recently purchased a french press and have been disappointed to find that that trendy french press youve purchased is making a silty, thick and heavy cup of coffee that is also potentially unhealthy, then you have a few options.
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You Want To Use Coarse Grounds
Pre-ground coffee is ground to a size that works well with drip coffee makers, but its not so great for french presses .
The small grounds get stuck in the fine mesh filter – and sometimes they just slip right through. This creates a lot of sludge in your cup and can make it difficult to press down the plunger.
A coarse grind size keeps grounds from clogging or passing right through your filter, while still delivering a stellar cup.
How Long Can You Leave Coffee In A French Press
The French press coffee brewing method is a classic that has been used for a long time. While not everyone is fond of this brewing process, the result it offers is flavorful and delicious. However, to achieve this, you need to have the right tips and tricks in hand.
A fact that is common knowledge is that brewed coffee does not stay fresh for long. With this in mind, its crucial to figure out why it goes bad and how to circumvent the situation.
French press coffee, in particular, is affected by this stated rule.
As much as the brewing process promises simplicity, things may go wrong as it utilizes immersion brewing.
The French press brewing process takes 2-4 minutes to be completed. Also, the coffee tends to be good for only 30 minutes after brewing. The only way to maintain its freshness for longer is by storing it in a carafe or an airtight thermos.
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The Pros And Cons Of French Press Coffee
French press makes coffee by steeping the grounds in hot water, and then pressing the grounds out.
After the drip coffee maker, its one of the easiest, least time-consuming ways to make a great cup of coffee. Also, unlike pour over and the Aeropress, it makes it easy to brew coffee for several people at once. But it is prone to bitterness and oiliness, since the coffee is sitting directly on the grounds for a period of time, and this can turn people off.
How Long Is Cold Brew Concentrate Good For
In the refrigerator it will last for 3 to 4 weeks, that is if it lasts that long. If you are the only coffee drinker, brew a large batch and freeze part in ice cube trays to defrost later.
The cubes will last months in the freezer, and you can brew less frequently. Or you can serve iced cold brew over the coffee ice cubes to keep your summer coffee from getting watery.
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Pros And Cons Of French Press Coffee Brewing
A French press is actually a relatively popular way of brewing coffee and it has its good points and its not so good points. If youre looking to have a great cup of coffee and youre considering using a French press make sure you consider this:
The good thing about using a French press is that its relatively inexpensive to get started, you get consistent coffee that tastes great and you have a very small learning curve in order to figure out what youre supposed to do to make it right.
On the other hand, youll need separate equipment for boiling water and you may want to get other pieces like a scale and timer. Not to mention its not quite as safe as a drip coffee maker and you could end up with poor quality coffee if you dont get it done right.
The Basics Of Great French Press Coffee
It took me a while to warm up to French press. I have been brewing it since shortly after college, when a roommate and her boyfriend gifted me my first French press and a little blade grinder. But, while I brewed it almost every day, I found it bitter and murky for my taste. Eventually I switched to the speedy Aeropress, which gives a clean, robust cup of coffee quickly.
But then I married a man who has this eerily amazing habit of bringing me coffee in bed. His brewing method of choice is the French press, and he won me over. Its not just having coffee in bed that has turned me into a devotee of French press . Turns out that my method had been missing one key element all those years: The right grinder.
Did you know that coffee and sleep go together? Watch the video!
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How Many Scoops Of Coffee For French Press
Youre going to need a bit more coffee for French press than would be normal for a cup of coffee.
For a strong French press coffee, youll need about 15 gr of coarse ground coffee, for an 8 oz cup of brewed coffee.
This is because youre using coarse ground coffee, and this one brews more like coffee really should.
Let me explain.
An espresso machine uses pressure and heat to brew very finely ground coffee. This speeds the brewing process greatly, basically stripping the ground coffee bean of everything it has.
Which is good, because its giving your everything the coffee has.
But its also making your think all coffee brews fast, and fully.
In truth, coffee brews at a much slower rate than an espresso, and its going to give you most of what it has.
In a French press coffee brews at its own pace, and its really not that quick. It takes about 4 minutes for coarse ground coffee to fully brew in hot water. Ideally youd be using 93 C/200 F water, but thats not always possible.
So, your coffee will take a bit to brew, and this means that youre also going to need a little more coffee than usual because youre looking for a more concentrated coffee than filter or Moka for example.
Of course, you can always tone down the 15 gr/8 oz of brew to 13 or to 10, according to your tastes.
For Using A French Press: Stir Gently
At around one minute, stir the top of the grounds gently with a spoon to help sink the crust of the grounds floating above, Phillips says. Manson uses a wooden or plastic spoon for stirring, to lessen the possibility of glass carafe breakage. Place the lid on the press, with the plunger all the way up.
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Preheat The French Press
You dont have to preheat your French press but it is going to keep your coffee at a better temperature if you do. All you have to do is heat up some additional water and then pour it into your French press until it is about ¼ of the way through.
Slowly push the plunger down and swirl it around a little so the hot water coats the entire inside of the press. You would then pour out the water and youre ready to start brewing your actual cup of coffee. You can also repeat a similar process with your coffee cup to get it warm and ready as well.
Common Beginner French Press Coffee Questions Answered
I know what its like to look at a french press coffee maker with confusion. As the first coffee brewer I ever bought, I was honestly intimidated by it. It seemed complicated and scary – though it wasnt really.
But I was afraid to ask the local baristas questions. They werent exactly the friendliest folks, especially towards total beginners like me.
Im sure you know what Im talking about.
So my goal is to answer your french press questions, no matter how silly or trivial, because I want you to be able to brew incredible coffee every single day.
Lets start with some of the most common questions beginners ask about french press brewing.
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How To Make The Best French Press Cold Brew
Using the French Press to make the Cold Brew is relatively easy. You dont need a coffee filter nor special equipment, and youll be surprised that the brewing process to make cold-brewed coffee is more straightforward than that of hot brew coffee.
French Press Cold Brew is best made with coarse ground coffee since there will be fewer fine particles of grounds in your final concentrate. Using grounds that are too fine can lead to a bitter taste. You can choose your type of coffee, which is a considerable benefit in drinking French Press Cold Brew. Thats why we highly recommend making French Press Cold Brew from fresh, organic micro-roasted coffee, such as Beyond 12oz. Its a dark, perfect, full-body, premium beans coffee that will take your French Press Cold Brew experience a whole level up.
Brewing Cold Brew concentrate is fairly simple with the French Press. First, you need to add the ground coffee and water to your French Press and let it sit for 8 to 24 hours. You can also let it sit for 8 hours, but bear in mind that the longer it sits, the stronger your concentrate will be.
When the time has elapsed, push down the plunger. This way, you will trap the grounds below the filter. A few grounds may pour their way into the concentrate, but you can filter them through a fine-mesh strainer.
How Does A French Press Actually Work
If youre looking to start using a French press then you absolutely need to make sure that you look at the way it works. After all, you cant just plug it in and go the way you would with a drip coffee maker. Instead, this type of coffee maker requires a bit more effort from you.
The French press works by steeping your coffee grounds directly in water for a period of time that you get to decide. That way you get the flavor profile and strength that you want. You would then press the plunger down to push the water through and out of the coffee grounds.
In this process you end up with a great cup of coffee that has a lot more flavor, richness and body because its been steeped rather than being only pushed through the grounds.
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Measure/weigh Your Coffee Grounds
What you measure out depends largely on the size of your coffee press and the amount of coffee you want. I hope you used a coffee grinder to freshly grind your beans. See the FAQs below for the right grind size. For the basic method, you want a medium-coarse grind but if youre following the advanced bonus steps, you want a medium grind.
Refer to the table below the instructions if you need to. For bonus points, measure your grinds using a scale rather than a spoon heres why. And heres THE WHY in the video form:
Whether To Filter French Press Coffee Or Not
Some die-hard French press fans will refuse to filter their coffee. Unless youre a coffee connoisseur, you may not pick up on the subtle differences in flavor between filtered French press and its unfiltered counterpart, but theres a definite impact to texture. Most of the slight oiliness that grants pressed coffee its silky consistency is lost after filtration. If you only drink a cup or two daily, then filtering may be unnecessary, especially if youve got your cholesterol under control but otherwise, rather be safe.
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What Kind Of Coffee Do You Need For Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
You can use any kind of ground coffee but its best if you buy whole beans because if you use coarse ground coffee there will be fewer fine particles of grounds in your final concentrate.
I usually look for whats on sale, but the beauty of making your own is that you can use your favorite roast or flavored coffee, regular or decaffeinated. If you start with great coffee, be it light roast or dark roast, your own cold brew will be just as good, if not better than the concentrates you can buy at the store.
Can You Put A Filter In A French Press
The short answer is yes, but theres a lot to consider about this. First, a French press is not designed to be used with a paper filter, which means that youre not going to find a filter thats made to easily fit into it.
Instead, you would need to cut a filter from a different type of coffee maker in order to get something that would fit. You would also spend a bit more on filters, which can cut down on the cost savings that you get with your French press.
Now, the French press uses a metal filter, which allows more coffee grounds to get through as well as the oils that are inherent to getting the right flavor from your coffee. This is part of what makes French press coffee so unique and so great tasting.
You will want to take a look at some of the studies that have been done, however, which show that not using a paper filter actually increases LDL cholesterol because the metal filter doesnt get rid of cafestrol, which occurs in the coffee naturally.
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Can You Make Cold Brew In A French Press
Yes you can and its just this simple: Add the ground coffee and water to your French press and let it sit 8 to 24 hours. I usually just do 8, but the longer it sits the stronger your concentrate will be.
When the amount of time you want it to steep has passed, you will simply push down the plunger.
That will trap the grounds below the filter. A few grains may pour out with the concentrate, but you can filter it through a fine-mesh strainer if it bothers you. Im fine with it, or maybe Im just lazy!
Can I Drink French Press Coffee With High Cholesterol
After filtering the French press coffee, yes, you can drink it as a high cholesterol sufferer. However, most medical professionals will recommend that you switch to drip-brewed coffee in moderation instead. If youre in doubt and have any underlying cardiovascular issues or problems with your cholesterol, consult your doctor before drinking French press, Turkish, Scandinavian or pour over coffee.
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Which Coffee Has The Most Cafestol
Three main varieties of unfiltered coffee have high levels of cafestol and kahweol present, and it is these diterpenes that give coffee its oiliness. Turkish coffee, French press coffee and traditional Scandinavian boiled brews have cafestol and kahweol, which shows as drops of oil within the brew or coffee grounds floating atop. Fortunately, filtered coffee contains such low levels of cafestol and kahweol that they cant affect cholesterol production no matter how the coffee was made.