Learn how to use a French Press
You don’t have to be a professional barista to make great coffee at home. If fact, you can make delicious cafe style coffee anytime, at home, for just pennies a cup, and you will save a ton of money over coffee shop prices. Below you will find the easy 5 step process for using the tried and true French Press method.
One of my favorite ways to make coffee at home is to use a French press. If you don’t know how to use a French Press, it’s a very simple yet elegant way to make a delicious cup of coffee. It’s made-up of two parts – A glass carafe, and steel mesh plunger/lid. That’s it. The process can be intimidating the first time you use it, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making amazing coffee in no time!
- Put medium/coarse ground coffee in the bottom of your French Press carafe.
- Slowly pour near- boiling water over the grounds, and put on the lid/plunger, letting it steep for about 4 minutes or so.
- Remove lid and stir with a wooden spoon, then replace the lid, and slowly press down on the plunger handle, pushing the grounds to the bottom of the carafe. Don’t push too firmly.
- Pour coffee into mug
Now that you know how to use a French Press, there are some things to remember. The amount of coffee you should use will vary according to taste, but generally 7 to 8 grams, or a heaping tablespoon of coffee to 200 milliliters of water, which is about 6.7 ounces. For this process, a medium/coarse grind coffee is generally recommended.
It’s important to let the coffee steep for at least four to five minutes before transferring to your cup. This allows the coffee to gain its full flavor and allows the grounds to fully settle to the bottom of the carafe, otherwise you’ll end up with very fine sediment in your cup.
The amount coffee you are trying to make, and how finely ground the beans are, will impact the speed at which the water absorbs the coffee – and the length of time you have for brewing in general. Allowing coffee to steep for too long could result in over-extracting the beans, giving the coffee a bitter taste, so experiment to determine your preferences.
Many people, myself included, believe French Press coffee tastes better than drip coffee. The reason for this is that the filter in your automatic drip coffee maker, and even the tiny filter inside your K-Cup remove many of the oils inside the coffee that give it its unique flavor. A French Press does not remove any of these oils and produces a fuller more complete flavor.
The Water is crucial
We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating here that your coffee is only as good as the water you use. If your water doesn’t taste great by itself, it can’t make a great cup of coffee. So we suggest that if possible, always use only filtered water when you use your French Press, or any coffee brewing method.
Choose the Best beans
Obviously, the beans you choose will have a huge impact on the quality of the coffee, and can be a difficult choice. Here are just a few suggestions. Read here how to choose the best grinder for you purpose.
I absolutely love my French Press. One of the biggest things it has going for it is it’s very inexpensive compared to most coffee makers. You can get a good French Press for as little as $30-40. The Bodum Chambord French Press is a really nice unit to begin with. .
A French Press is also relatively easy to clean, and there are no paper filters. You simply wash the carafe and plunger by hand or in your dishwasher.
Finally, it’s totally portable. You can take it anywhere and make delicious coffee any place you can heat water. If you’ve never had coffee made in a French Press, you’re really in for a treat.
There are some minor drawbacks when you use a French Press, however. For one, it’s not as easy to clean as an automatic drip coffee maker where you just throw away the filter. It’s also not as convenient as a K-Cup, where you simply throw the pod in the trash. But these drawbacks are a small price to pay for the superior coffee you’ll get from a French Press.
When done correctly, pressed coffee is as good or better than other brewed methods.
Give it a try!