Categories:Coffee & Tea Information
How To Use A French Press Coffee Maker
Source: Caravan Coffee, Pete Miller, Newberg, Oregon.
The most popular coffee maker in Europe and Australia is the classy French Press. Also known as the plunger pot, coffee press, or press-pot. This stylish coffee maker is making in-roads in America and coffee addicts swear by it.
This popular method uses a cylindrical glass carafe and a stainless steel mesh filter to separate the coffee grounds from the water. The grounds stay at the bottom and the strained coffee stays above the filter, ready to pour.
Important: French Press brewing is used to make fresh coffee to consume immediately! It is not good to leave the coffee in the press for any length of time.
Tailor the size of the press or the amount you make to what can be consumed in 10 minutes or so. Do not try to keep the coffee warm. Don’t let the coffee sit long in the press; even in the plunged position as it continues to extract. If you need hot coffee for a longer period and want to use the French Press, decant the coffee into a thermos after brewing.
Equipment and Ingredients needed for making French Press coffee:
Coffee Scoop or measuring spoon
Electric Kettle or other vessel for heating water to boiling
Good quality whole coffee beans
Brewing method for using the French Press:
When you’re using a French press, always boil the water before you start grinding the beans:
This will allow the water to cool to the correct temperature and prevent scalding the coffee. Depending on the quality of your water, you may find that using filtered water significantly improves the taste of your coffee. Fill a kettle with cold water. Place the kettle on your stove (or better still use an electric kettle that has an automatic turn off button) and heat the water to between 190 degrees and 205 degrees F.
While the water heats, remove the lid and plunger/filter assembly from the pot. Pull the plunger unit straight up and out of the pot
Fill you French Press with hot tap water. This will warm the glass of the press and help keep your coffee hot. Once the water in your kettle is heated, pour the tap water out of your French Press and discard.
Grind coffee medium to coarse grind. The grind must be large enough so that the mesh filter works and does not get clogged.
Here is where the experimentation comes in. It is recommended using 1 heaping tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee per 5 ounces of water. Adjust to taste (a bit of experimentation when you first start using it can bring you very worthwhile results).
Measure coarsely ground coffee into the French Press.
Slowly pour very hot (almost boiling) water over the ground coffee, filling to the desired level. Most of the coffee will float. You can briefly, gently stir the water at this point and many grinds will sink. TIP: Use chopstick for stirring, as they are longer and can reach to the bottom of the French Press.
Replace the lid and plunger/filter assembly with the plunger just 2 inches down into the brew. Do not press down yet, but allow the coffee to steep for approximately 4 minutes for a large pot and 2 to 3 minutes for a small pot, depending on desired strength (the longer the coffee grounds steep, the stronger the coffee).
While the coffee is steeping, pour some hot water into your mug or cup to warm it. Carefully swirl the hot water around your mug, then pour out the water and discard it.
After the coffee has steeped, hold the lid with one hand, and using slow, steady pressure depress the plunger keeping the rod upright. It should have some resistance, but not too much. If you tilt the rod, or press too quickly you might ruin your brew by letting coffee grounds escape from beneath the filter, or by overflowing the pot. NOTE: Using excessive force can cause scalding liquid to shoot out of the pot.
Allow sediment to settle in the pot for 30 seconds before pouring.
Enjoy the smooth taste of a French Press brewed coffee. Do not let the coffee sit long in the press; even in the plunged position as it continues to extract. If you need hot coffee for a longer period, pour the coffee into a thermos after brewing.
Always wash you pot after each use to remove the oils that form on the glass.