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How To Make French Press Coffee

gourmet coffeeYou have more than likely come to this blog mainly because you like a cup of coffee. It could be that you try to make coffee at your home and see that the level of quality of your brew does not really satisfy. Well, you’ve come to the best spot. In this guide, I thought I’d get down to business and discuss how I make French press coffee on a normal day. This is a cup of coffee that rivals practically everything you can get in a cafe, and even lots of coffee shops, and it will without doubt be far better than what is coming out of your Mr. Coffee.

When I started on my venture for a wonderful cup of coffee at home, I had two aims:

  1. I needed the coffee to taste great!
  2. I needed a consistent experience. In other words I needed the coffee to taste precisely the same whenever I made it.

The procedure I will discuss with you satisfies both aims. You might initially believe that the methods are a bit too detail-oriented. That’s mainly because to be able to attain consistency, you must have a consistent formula and procedure. Afterwards, I will share some helpful hints on how to speed things up and avoid most of the measurement steps, but at the start it’s essential to know the proper way to do it.

To produce French press coffee in the accurate way, you need the following things. If you do not own some of these, you can read ahead to the time-saving guidelines and avoid investing in a few items, but apart from the coffee grinder, none of these products is horribly pricy.

You will need:

  1. Whole-bean coffee. For my usual mug of java, I personally use Starbucks House Blend, which may be ordered on the internet, at Starbucks retail outlets, or even at Wal-Mart. This is a moderately -priced coffee that’s noticeably greater in quality compared to the majority of the brands for sale in the major stores. I would suggest selecting the smallest-sized packages you’re able to, as it will be easier to use it just about all before it sits around for very long. The moment you open the pouch, time and oxygen conspire against you, and the quality of the beans begins to degrade.
  2. A coffee grinder. The one I own and recommend would be the Baratza Virtuoso. It’s not inexpensive at approximately $200, but it does a very good job. Naturally you may find some other model if you want, but I suggest buying one which utilizes a burr grinder, and not the kind that uses the rotating cutting blades. Burr grinders produce a considerably more uniform grind, where the spinning blades pulverize some of the coffee to dust, while leaving big pieces behind to boot.
  3. A digital scale. This can be used to measure an exact quantity of coffee beans to place in your grinder.
  4. A French press. I use a press from Bodum, though I find the particular model isn’t very significant. They’re a straightforward apparatus and virtually any press will do the trick satisfactorily. Try to look for one which has a metal screen which can be taken out for cleaning.
  5. A digital meat thermometer. This is used to determine the temperature of the water just before introducing it to the ground coffee within the press. We need to add the water after it has cooled down a bit from the boiling stage.

That’s it! Seems like a lot? OK, I suppose if you truly wanted to get this done on the cheap, you can buy a bag of beans from Starbucks and ask them to grind it for you, and make do with just the coffee and the press. You’d be making a few compromises in the level of quality of your brew, but if you are relatively thorough, you can still make quality coffee that way.

Alright! Once you’ve gathered all your tools and goodies, let’s make some gourmet coffee!

First, set some water to boil. The proportion of water to coffee I personally use is 6 ounces of water to 10 grams of beans. I ordinarily make 12 ounces for myself, so I measure out a cup and a half of water, with a little bit more to take into account loss due to steam. Put it in your tea pot or other vessel and bring it to a boil.

While the water is heating up, measure out 20g of coffee with the help of your scale. Put the beans into your grinder and grind ’em up utilizing a coarse grind setting. Place the ground coffee in to the French press.
When the water has begun boiling, shut off the heat. The preferred temperature for brewing gourmet coffee is 195 – 205 degrees Farenheit. Given that the water will continue to cool even while it is brewing, I add the water once it cools to 205 degrees. That maximizes the period of time that the temperature will remain in the preferred range. Employ the thermometer to observe the temperature decrease until it gets to 205 degrees, and then pour it over the grounds in the press.

Give the press a swirl, or mix with a wooden spoon, and place the lid on your press with the screen at the top.
Set a timer for FOUR minutes, or simply keep an eye on your watch until the minute hand goes around FOUR times. This is a great time for you to put all of your other items away and get out your preferred mug!

Right after the 4 minutes have passed, carefully push down the plunger on the press. The screen will force the grounds to the bottom, leaving tasty coffee above. Pour your coffee in to your cup, and add cream or sugar if desired.

Enjoy!

After you have done this a few times, you might be in need of some shortcuts so that you could get your coffee more quickly. Here are a handful of tips I use to avoid most of the measuring:

  1. 10g of coffee is a little bit more than a heaping coffee scooper full of beans. So for 20g, I personally use 2 heaping scoops, plus another 1/4 to 1/3 of a scoop. No weighing necessary!
  2. See all of the text printed on the side of my press? Well, I understand that 12 ounces comes up to a specific line of text. Therefore, I simply pour in water until it reaches that line. No measuring cup necessary!
  3. How much time does it take your water to go from a boil to 205 degrees? Don’t know? Well, I do! It will rely a great deal on the altitude where you are located, the level of quality of your water, your coffee pot, and some other variables, so the next time you do this, see if you can time just how long you have to wait before pouring. No thermometer necessary!

I hope you found this article instructive. If you choose to have a shot at this formula, be sure to let me know how you enjoy it. Have any adaptations that you enjoy better? Tell us in the comments!

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If you would like to learn more about French press coffee, or read more about coffee-making and reviews of great gourmet coffee, please visit Gourmet Coffee HQ.

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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Uncategorized