March 22, 2010 Off

The Joys of French Press Coffee

By in Coffee
Cafetière/French press.
Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever enjoyed a steaming mug of French Press coffee? If not you will be quite astonished by the bold flavor and heavenly aroma, and also by the fact that it is incredibly easy to make.
A French Press is a two-part device that relies on a glass carafe and a lid with a specially designed plunger. This plunger utilizes a fine metal filter that separates the coffee grounds from the boiling water. This way of making coffee really gives the cook a great deal of control over the results. Unlike traditional percolators, espresso machines, or regular coffee pots, the French Press devices allow the user to determine the ratio of coffee to water, the fineness of the grounds, and the length of time that coffee brews. This is the reason that it can be used for almost any type of coffee and any type of grind.
It does take a bit of practice to perfect the technique because the optimal results come from pre-heating the carafe and also making the ideal mixture to suit the taste of the drinker.
To begin, the cook must use a kettle to heat double the quantity of water that they anticipate using in the coffee-making process; and this is to first heat the coffee cups and the carafe. Next, it is usually best to grind the beans just prior to making the coffee, and for the novice maker it is best to use a very moderate and even grind.
Once the water is just about to boil the maker should use a small amount to heat the carafe and cups. They must then measure the amount of coffee necessary, and a preliminary formula uses between two to four tablespoons of coffee to every eight ounces of water. Measuring is key to the best results as well, and simply “eye balling” either of the ingredients will give inconsistent results.
Once the carafe has been pre-heated and emptied of water the maker can add the proper amount of coffee, pour the water over the top, and then stir this briefly with a wooden spoon. The minimum brew time is three minutes, though a longer period can be used for a stronger pot of coffee. After that time has passed the maker can position the plunger into place and slowly push down the stem until it hits the bottom of the pot.
It is this point of the process that will indicate if the grind of the coffee is too coarse or too fine because the plunger will tend to create some resistance. If there is absolutely no resistance then the grind is far too fine, and if it is incredibly difficult to sink the plunger then the coffee is too coarse. Generally it requires a count of twenty for the plunger to reach the bottom of the pot.
Once this done the coffee is ready to be served. You can empty the mugs of the pre-heated water and add sugar or cream to your liking. It is never a good idea to allow coffee to remain in the press overly long as this can create a very bitter mixture.

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