Coffee experts@The Coffee Lab
Hi Chandra! Using the French Press is actually pretty simple if you know what to watch out for! Brewing hot water through finely ground beans is what makes filter coffee so special. The French Press a.k.a. Coffee Press Pot possesses the same recipe with an added twist - instead of removing the grounds after pressing down on them, they remain in contact with the boiling water throughout most of the brewing process. This leaves your brew more exposed to essential oils and esters than usual, making for a fuller flavour profile and richer aroma. Here is my go to recipe for my French Press: -Heat water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a tea kettle for this, but if you have an electric stove that has a temperature gauge, that'll work too. -Grind 32 grams of coffee to medium consistency. This is around 2 tablespoons. Just eyeball it if you don't want to break out the scale! -Place the plunger on top of your French Press, trapping all the grounds at the bottom of the container. Pour in 1/5th cup (2 tablespoons) of hot water and let it sit for 30 seconds so that it can heat up before mixing with the rest of the brew later on down the line. -Add another 2 tablespoons or so of boiling water into your French Press - just enough to saturate all of the grounds. -At this point, you should have about 3 tablespoons of water soaked up by your grinds. Start a timer for 4 minutes and 40 seconds and let the coffee brew! -After a minute or two, stir the top inch or so of your French Press with a wooden spoon handle. This will make sure that all the granules get saturated equally throughout brewing time. -Once 2:40 has passed, it's time to start pressing! Carefully push down on the plunger - don't force it - until you feel some resistance from all that liquid pressure. -Pour yourself a cup, preferably after letting it cool for an extra 40 seconds or so because this stuff is piping hot. Pour the rest of your French Press into another container if you don't intend to drink it all right away. Extra tips: - Do not use boiling water: It's said to be around 200°F (93°C) when it starts to burn the coffee grounds, which is basically hot enough to scald your tongue…so why do we think that it is okay to put that into our French Press? Let the water cool for a minute or two before you pour. - Don't expect too much from your first press: Why? Because most people aren't necessarily equipped with the proper knowledge of how to make a truly great cup of coffee and they don't exactly know what they're supposed to taste like. It takes at least three times (three pots/presses) before you can really tell whether or not you like your coffee. - Don't leave the lid on: There is a reason that there are two separate pieces to a French Press, and that's because one of them, the top part with the filter in it, needs to be removed from the main body of the pot in order for your brewed coffee to settle a bit before you pour it out into your cup. Leaving the lid on during brewing will also prevent pressure from releasing when you break up grounds at first which can make it harder to press down later on. - Don't ignore after-brews: Once your drink is done brewing and you've pressed all of your coffee into your mug, clean off excess grinds on edges by running a little hot water over the filter and pressing it down. This will also help to prevent any particles from clogging the screen as you pour out your drink. I hope this was helpful! Let me know what you think in the comments section below!
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