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Make better coffee using a French Press

Are you wondering if you’re getting the best out of your French Press?

Every type of coffee machine has to be fine-tuned to deliver the best possible beverage, the French Press is no different. Let’s discuss a few variables that can improve your coffee and go through some tried and tested tips to get the best out of your French Press.

How does a French Press work?

 The French Press (not French by the way) works by steeping coffee grounds and hot water in a carafe/coffee pot. Once the coffee is done steeping, a mesh filter is pressed to the bottom of the coffee pot which separates the coffee grounds from the liquid coffee. This process of steeping coffee and water together for an extended time is called immersion brewing because the coffee is immersed in the water as opposed to drip brewing where the water flows through the coffee grounds. Since the coffee and water are mixed together it is easier to get a consistent extraction with immersion brewers. However, this method is vulnerable to over extraction if the coffee is ground too fine or the coffee and water are left to steep for too long. 

Basic French Press Recipe

 It is important to understand that no matter what coffee brand or French Press you use, this basic French Press recipe will always work best. You must use this coffee to water ratio to enjoy all the beautiful flavors your coffee has to offer. 

The recipe is made up of four parts

  1. Water-to-Coffee Ratio
  2. Water Temperature
  3. Brew Time
  4. Coffee Grind Setting

Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 15:1

Example: 600 grams of water and 40 grams of coffeeIs 1g equal to 1 ml?One gram of pure water is exactly one milliliter, but some water is denser, 1 ml of seawater weighs 1.02 grams, one ml of milk weighs 1.03 grams.Do you really know the weight of your water? You don’t need to do this every time you make coffee, just once, and then you’ll have your personal gram to ml ratio. The best way to weigh your water is with a precision scale that’s accurate to the ml.

Buy a precision scale

Water temperature: 200°F / 95°C

Getting your water to the correct temperature is key, boiling hot water will burn your coffee causing it to be either sour or bitter. You can use a thermometer to check your water temperature.

Buy a thermometer

Brew time: 4.5 to 5 minutes

Depending on the type of coffee and your taste preference, brewing time will generally take between 4 and a half to 5 minutes. Lighter roast coffee will need a little more time whilst medium and dark roasts will need less time, however, you can vary this time according to your taste and preference.

Grind setting: Course

Because a French Press uses less pressure than a drip coffee machine it requires a courser grind in order to extract all the coffees flavor, fine grinds won’t extract flavor and will end up at the bottom of your cup.

Shop for a new Coffee Grinder

Barista Tips for French Press

Every coffee bean or roast is different some offer rich flavor & full of body while others are more subtle, getting the best out of your favorite beans can take some experimenting, here are some basic tips that will help you brew better.

Warm up the pot before brewing

Make sure to warm up your French Press pot before brewing so that it can hold your water temperature.

Try Blooming

The blooming process is pouring a little coffee over your grounds in the French Press and allowing it to bloom for 30 seconds before pouring the rest of the coffee into the pot.

Avoid Stirring

Don’t stir up trouble, stirring your coffee while it’s brewing disturbs the grounds and slows down the extraction process which will result in a less flavorful coffee.

Slow Press

Press down the plunger slowly, this will minimize the number of coffee grounds that escape the plunger, pressing down fast may cause spillage.

Warm coffee cups

Pour some leftover hot water into your cups to keep them warm, so they hold the temperature of your coffee, remember you’re only brewing your water to 200°F / 95°C so you can’t afford to lose temperature anywhere in your preparation.

Pour all coffee out of the carafe after plunging

You should always pour all the coffee out of the carafe immediately after pressing so the coffee does not continue to extract.

Experiment with new coffee beans

Trying new coffee and discovering new flavors is fun, try a different roast profile or perhaps a single origin bean.

Shop Coffee Beans

Have fun & discover new flavors

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