Getting Started with a French Press at Home

French press coffee is one of the most desirable brewing methods - especially considering its ease of use and how inexpensive it is to get started in.  You don't need a lot of equipment or starting investments to make great coffee and learning how to use a french press takes about five minutes.  If you just follow these basic steps you will find yourself making great french press coffee in no time.  The first time I took my Bodum Chambord out of the box I immediately reached for the "instructions" they included with it.  I put "instructions" in quotation marks because they really weren't instructions as much as they were hard to understand sentences that didn't make any sense and certainly wouldn't have had me brewing good, full immersion coffee.  So I spent some time researching the french press and working with mine until I figured out a fool proof way to brew with it that can make amazing coffee every time.

  • You will need to grind your coffee very course to make french press coffee.  If it is even a little bit too fine it will end up seeping back up through the wire mesh and you'll end up with coffee grounds in your coffee - which we definitely don't want.  So make sure to use a course grind setting before brewing.
  • Heat water on the stove in a kettle.  I highly recommend having a thermometer at your disposal because one of the secrets to great french press brewing is not boiling the water.  You actually want the water to be about 200 degrees Fahrenheit in order to get the best possible extraction and boiling water will end up under extracting the coffee grounds, leaving what could have been a delectable pot of coffee weak and tasting flat.
  • Pour two grams of coffee for every ounce of water you will be using.  Pour all of the coffee into the bottom of the french press and immediately follow it with the hot water - the longer you wait before pouring the water the more chance the coffee has of getting stale, so it is best to pour as soon as possible in order to get a truly fresh pot of coffee.  Once all of the water is in, set the french press lid on top (to keep from letting the heat escape) and wait one minute.
  • After a minute lift the lid of the french press: you will notice that the coffee has 'bloomed'.  When they fresh coffee and the water meet it is natural for the grounds to start to rise to the surface, this is why we want to stir them back down after a minute in order to get the best possible extraction.  Set the lid back on top of the french press and wait.
  • After another three minutes plunge the wire mesh down into the french press.  Voila!  You will have a delicious pot of french press coffee ready to be imbibed.

That's really all it takes to make good french press coffee.  It's really simple, but most of the secrets to making it right aren't readily available so without proper instruction it is very easy to make coffee that doesn't taste right.  Just follow these instructions and you will find yourself with a delicious pot of french press coffee every time.

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Happy Brewing.

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Posted in: Uncategorized by on February 28, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

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