Most people like to start their day with a perfect cup of coffee, and French Press coffee is one of the best ways to get your caffeine fix in the morning. Coffee that is made using a French Press tends to be rich in flavor since there is minimal contact with other materials that might reduce the flavor of the coffee. And, since the metal filter used means that most of the coffee oils are retained during the process of brewing, you’ll also get a strong coffee that is perfect for getting you going on those cold early mornings.
What is a French Press?
French Press is an immersion method of brewing coffee where the coffee is completely submerged in the water throughout the brewing process. Since all the coffee is immersed in the water, the grounds get equal contact time meaning that there’s a much lower chance of something going wrong compared to drip coffee methods, where the water passes through ground coffee instead.
Why Is French Press Coffee the Best?
Many people believe that French Press makes the best coffee, for a range of reasons. These include:
- Metal Filter: Paper filters tend to filter out more oils and flavors. On the other hand, the metal filter used in the French Press method doesn’t soak up any of these flavors and even adds some tiny bits of coffee grounds to your coffee, adding even more flavor to your final brew.
- Steeping: The French Press is an immersion method that allows for steeping, which ultimately makes the coffee taste better compared to when the water simply runs through the grounds.
- Complete Saturation: The French Press method of brewing coffee makes sure that none of the grounds are missed, which leads to complete saturation of the coffee and oil the oils. Coffee machines like drip machines, on the other hand, won’t hit all of the grounds, which ultimately gives the coffee a different flavor.
- The Right Temperature: Using the French Press maintains the correct water temperature throughout the process. On the other hand, drip machines and other brewing methods will often heat and cool the water just as quickly, which results in the right temperature only happening in the middle of the process rather than throughout the brewing cycle.
How to Make French Press Coffee
If you are wondering how to make perfect French Press coffee, the good news is that this method of brewing makes brewing coffee easier than ever. As long as you get a few variables right, it’s hard to not get it right when making coffee in a French Press. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to understand the different variables that are going to impact the taste of your coffee. How to make perfect French press coffee? Consider the following:
- Coffee Beans: Fresh and high-quality coffee beans are an absolute essential when brewing a good cup of coffee. Once the coffee beans are ground, they will start losing their flavors and freshness after around thirty minutes or less, which is why it’s always a better idea to buy whole beans and a grinder, so that you can grind the beans immediately before brewing.
- Grinding: Ground coffee should have the right consistency when it comes to shape and size. When using a French Press coffee maker, coarser grinds are the best option since finely-ground coffee is more likely to be over-extracted and will also more easily pass through the metal filter, meaning that you’ll end up with a grainy cup. If you’re grinding whole coffee beans at home, a burr grinder is the best option since they offer more consistency and do not overheat the coffee beans, with no risk of losing freshness.
- Coffee to Water Ratio: When making French Press coffee, you should aim for a coffee to water ratio of 1:15. More water will lead to a coffee that is bitter and over-extracted, while less water is likely to lead to a more acidic cup of coffee. For an easy way of determining how much coffee you should use, divide the amount of water you’re going to use by fifteen.
- Brewing Temperature: The best temp for coffee French Press should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that isn’t warm enough will lead to a coffee that is under-extracted, while too hot, and it can burn the coffee and ruin the quality. You should also consider using filtered water, rather than tap water, as this will not contain any minerals that can impact the final coffee taste.
- Steeping Time: How long to steep coffee in French Press? Once the coffee grounds are immersed in water, it’s important to let them steep in order to ensure that the flavors and oils are extracted. So, how long to steep French Press coffee for the perfect taste? Ideally, you should leave the coffee grins in the water for around 4-6 minutes to prevent an under-extracted coffee. Make sure that you steep the coffee for at least four minutes, and bear in mind that the longer you leave it, the stronger your coffee will be. However, be careful not to leave it to steep for too long, otherwise, your coffee will be bitter.
How to Make French Press Coffee Step By Step
If you’re looking for a simple French Press recipe, follow the below steps to make the perfect cup of coffee using your French Press.
- Heat 2L of filtered water to 200 degrees
- Take 60g fresh, whole coffee beans and grind them coarsely while the water cools.
- Transfer the coffee grounds to your French Press.
- Allow the coffee grounds to bloom, by pouring 100g of water over the coffee grounds and making sure that they are all wet. Stir them and wait for around half a minute.
- Pour the remaining water over the coffee grounds and put the lid on.
- Allow the coffee to steep for around four to six minutes, depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.
- Once the steeping time is up, push the plunger down into the carafe steadily and slowly to filter the coffee grounds by pushing them to the bottom.
- Your coffee should be ready to drink immediately!
How to Clean a French Press
It’s easy to clean a French Press coffee maker, which is one of the reasons why they are such a popular choice. Begin by pressing the plunger to the bottom and discarding any remaining coffee. Remove the plunger and rinse it and clean out the carafe with soapy water before rinsing. You can use a brush to clean the springs and filter screen.
Can You Use a French Press to Make Cold Brew?
If you enjoy cold brew coffee, you will be glad to hear that this is something you can also make using your French Press. To make cold brew coffee in a French Press, start as normal by adding coffee grounds to your French Press before pouring cold, rather than hot water over. However, before you press the plunger, wait around 12-15 hours for the coffee to brew. The French Press should be put in the fridge during this time. Once the time is up, push the plunger down and your cold brew will be ready to serve over ice. It’s best to use coarsely ground coffee for making cold brew in a French Press.
Common French Press Issues and How to Fix Them
It’s not uncommon to get things wrong if you are using a French Press for the first time, and everybody makes mistakes from time to time. Thankfully, most mistakes are easy to fix and you’ll know what needs to be adjusted for a better brew next time. Some common problems that people face when using a French Press include:
- Coffee Not Tasting Right: If the coffee does not taste right, it’s usually down to under- or over-extraction. If the coffee is over-extracted, it will taste bitter and dull. If you’re getting this problem when using a French Press, try grinding your beans coarser, or reducing your steeping time by around thirty seconds. On the other hand, if you’re getting sour and acidic coffee, it’s likely under-extracted, which you can usually fix by allowing the grinds to steep for a little longer.
- Filter Not Plunging: Sometimes, this is a simple issue that is caused by the coffee grounds getting in the way. Try lifting up the filter a little before continuing to press down, to try and dislodge anything that could be causing it to stick. If this doesn’t work, then it might be due to using a grind setting that is too fine. The ideal grind for a French Press is coarse, as too finely ground coffee grinds risk getting lodged in the holes of the filter, which will prevent it from being pressed down.
A French Press is an inexpensive and simple way to make the perfect cup of coffee. If you like your coffee strong and flavorful, this could be the ideal choice for you.