The French press coffee brewers are extremely popular. But what is the reason behind that? They look beautiful, whether in steel or glass, but there must be something else. Well, it is the simplicity of the French press that has gained it popularity among coffee junkies and brewers. All you need is grounded coffee, boiled water, and a French press to make coffee.
However, people still can’t make that perfect cup of coffee using the French press, and that is what we are going to discuss today.
French press coffee is smooth, indulgent, and rich in flavor. Have it with a fluffy croissant and it’ll become one of the greatest pleasures for you in life. It is something you can have every day, but we are here to tell you that you can have it a little better every day.
Using a French press requires much more attention and care than using a drip coffee maker. The French press coffee method is quite different from other methods, but it is no rocket science either. The whole process can be mastered in no time if you follow the right guide, steps, and tips.
90% of people around the world don’t make the right use of a French press. Being one of the most popular coffee brewing methods globally, it is kind of a shame. The process is quite simple, and you can count yourself in the remaining 10% as soon as you are done reading this blog and ready to implement it.
What is the French press?
The simple French press method of brewing coffee works by mixing boiled water and coffee grounds in a beaker. Once both ingredients are in the beaker for an amount of time, a metal mesh filter is pressed from the top to the bottom of the beaker. French Press is also known as a plunger coffee maker.
The metal mesh separates the coffee grounds, and the liquid coffee made in the beaker.
It, however, allows small coffee particles and natural oils to pass through to give a thick and healthy liquid coffee out.
The whole process whereby coffee is steeped with water for a set amount of time, depending on the quantities, is called immersion brewing. Consequently, you get refined and uniform coffee out of this method. However, delicacy and care are required as the simplicity of the process does require concentration.
You have to be careful about the amount of coffee or water added and the size of the coffee grounds. Moreover, leaving the water and coffee to mix for too long is also problematic.
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How to use a French press
Let’s come to the real question now. As simple as the process may sound, perfecting a coffee cup by the French press requires attention to detail. First of all, you have to ensure that the ratio of coffee and water are in the correct amounts.
It is recommended to add around an ounce of ground coffee (two tablespoons) to around sixteen ounces of boiled water.
Also, boil the water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and let it stay still for a good 30-45 seconds before adding it to the beaker.
If you have a thermometer, then that’s perfect.
Simply measure the temperature until it is 200 degrees Fahrenheit and you will be good to go.
Once you have the ingredients ready, add them to the beaker. Spoon in the coffee first and then slowly add the boiled water.
Let the mixture brew for a good four minutes.
After the brewing time Is over, press the plunger from the top of the beaker till you reach the bottom. Make sure you do it slowly and at a straight angle.
The four-minute brew time allows for the perfect extraction of the natural oils of the coffee. However, taking the cup out after two minutes will also get you a decent attraction, but it won’t be anywhere close to perfection. The two-minute time should work if the coffee was ground too much, and it is easier for the water to dissolve.
On the contrary, if you want a stronger coffee, don’t let it brew for longer than four minutes. The more time you give, the worse it gets. After more than a dozen minutes, the brew starts to turn astringent and bitter. For a strong cup of coffee, add more coffee grounds, and it will do the job for you.
The pressing the down plunger part seems fun, but it requires attention too. Not pressing it down at the right angle or doing it fast will let big coffee ground past the metal mesh and it will ruin the perfect brew you just made.
A step-by-step guide to making the perfect French press coffee cup
Step 1: get a clean French press, water, and coffee beans at your hands.
Step 2: boil the water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit or make sure that it is slightly cooler than boiling water by letting it stay still for a minute after being boiled. Using freshwater is ideal instead of water that has already been boiled before.
Step 3: grind your own coffee beans. The reason behind this is that freshly ground coffee beans make a much better brew the already ground coffee beans. The difference can be judged by the flavor, aroma, and taste of the coffee. Even the size of the ground is less important than the freshness of the ground. However, the grinds should still be a perfect size, enough to be extracted and not too small to pass through the metal mesh when being pushed down.
Step 4: Add two tablespoons of coffee grounds (for one cup of water) and add boiled water around 8 ounces. Pour the water evenly and slowly.
Step 5: stir the mixture to make sure the mixture is even. Let the mixture brew for a good four minutes by covering the lid of the beaker. For a strong brew, use more coffee ground and steep for a few more minutes. There is no set rule for this as it varies from person to person, so we should try to find what suits us best.
- For extra dark: 10 minutes.
- For standard: 4 minutes.
- Short steep: 30-60 seconds.
- No steep: Plunge immediately after stirring.
Step 6: once the steeping time is over, press the plunger down from top to bottom. Make sure to do this slowly and at the right angle, so no coffee ground gets to pass through the metal mesh.
Step 7: pour the perfect cup of French press brew you just made and enjoyed.
Should I stir my french press before pressing?
Well, the point of a French Press is to extract the maximum amount of flavor, aroma and oils from every bit of coffee bean. Even though the ground up coffee beans and water are mixed together, stirring helps to extract even more of these essential characteristics. So, after you have put hot water into your coffee press, shake in the necessary amount of coffee grounds and then give it a quick stir.
It is also important to note that many French Press enthusiasts would rather use a wooden spoon than a metal spoon. The reason for this is twofold. First of all, using a normal metal teaspoon would be difficult because they are usually not long enough to reach to the bottom of the press. A wooden spoon is usually made for serving and stirring, so it will be much longer.
The second reason is that a metal spoon can sometimes give the coffee an unpleasant taste. This could be because there is still residue left on the spoon from washing or just because the metal mixing with the water produces some kind of reaction. No matter what the reason is, I would personally recommend that you use a wooden stirring spoon to stir up this mixture.
Remember, also, to allow this mixture to sit for a few minutes before you actually press the coffee. Some people will tell you that you can mix the coffee grounds and water together and stir them right away. Then, you should leave them sitting for about a minute before stirring them a final time and allowing them to set for an additional 3 minutes. This is the method of preparation that I would recommend.
Top coffees to make in a French press
Bulletproof Coffee originates from passive-organic plants. The coffee beans are farmed using medieval methods requiring no chemicals. The roasting takes place in the US roasting house in small batches. As a result, a dark roast is produced that gives a sweet, smooth, and smoky note with a hint of chocolate.
2. Two Volcanoes Ground Coffee
As much as home-ground beans are most suitable for the French press, two volcanoes stand out for various reasons. This coffee is made from Arabica and Robusta beans that are cultivated organically. The beans are manufactured, processed, and packed in Guatemala. Their specialty is the freshness and flavor preservation. Keeping in mind the French press coffee is coarse ground to perfection.
3. Koffee Kult
Koffee Kult beans are roasted in small batches in the US. The beans used in the process are 100% Arabic beans and are non-GMO. The natural flavors of the coffee include cocoa and sweet cinnamon, which are preserved by the dark roast. The final outcome has a bright and smooth finish.
4. Stone Street Coffee
These coffee beans are also especially made for press brewers. They are pretty good for cold brewing in a French press. The coffee is pre-ground, but its quality speaks for itself, giving out incredible results. These coffee beans are also made up of 100% Arabica beans, which are dark roasted to preserve flavor.
5. Death wish
This can be regarded as the deadliest coffee as suggested by the name. The name came from the company due to their claim and pride of being the world’s strongest coffee producer. This result due to the double dosage of caffeine in a regular deathwish cup. This coffee is quite popular around the globe. The beans are sourced from USDA organic and Fair-Trade plantations.
6. Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s coffee is regarded as one of the best coffee roaster and retailer. It is based in the San Francisco Bay. These dark roast coffee beans used in a French press will result in a complex, rich, and smooth blend complementing multilayers. The coffee blend is a perfect match for the French press method.
How to clean a French press
As much as it is important to know how to use a French press, it is also essential to know how to clean it. You can only finish the journey of making the perfect cup of French press coffee if the French press is initially clean.
This is an understandable question. After all, when you’re done pouring out all of the coffee that you have made, all that is left is some damp coffee grounds. You don’t want the coffee grounds to end up on your counter and you don’t want them to end up in your garbage disposal because they can build up over time. Many people have had to call plumbers to clean up their disposals that have been clogged by grounds.
How frequently should I clean my French Press?
You should wash your French press after every usage. Because coffee oils can quickly go rancid and rancid oils can ruin the flavor of your coffee! A clean French press is essential for making a good cup of coffee.
There are a couple solutions that you could choose from.
The equipment that you will require to clean a French press include:
- Dish soap
- Sponge and/or bottle brush
Now let’s see how you can make use of these materials.
Once you have finished making the coffee, set the French press aside and let it cool. It is very important to let it cool. The next step to do is to empty the grounds from the beaker. You can do this with your hands, and for the parts you can’t reach with your hands, the spatula will come in handy.
The next step includes the use of dish soap and water.
For a quick clean, add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the beaker and using the water make it spread to the whole product. Make sure you get it on the plunger, the metal mesh. Push the plunger up and down to ensure the soap gets everywhere on it.
Then rinse the French press thoroughly to get all of the soap out. Make sure you completely remove the soap from the plunger by pushing it up and down again. The beaker can be cleaned using a sponge or a bottle brush to remove soap from its walls.
For a deeper clean, you should disassemble the French press. You don’t have to do this daily. Using this procedure for cleaning should be done once a week. Follow all of the steps mentioned above and use all the materials, but this time, the French press will be in pieces, and each piece will be cleaned separately. Reassemble the whole product once it dries out.
Solution #3 – Give It A Good Shake
The most obvious way to get rid of the coffee grounds is to shake the French Press vigorously over an empty trash can. This is probably the most effective method. The problem here is that many French Press devices are made of glass so people aren’t very comfortable shaking them.
Solution #4 – Enlist The Silverware
After giving your French Press a good shake over the trash can, grab a spoon or even a spatula and quickly wipe out the remaining grounds. You could scoop them right into a trash can.
Solution #5 – Hit The Bathroom
If you run a little bit of water on the inside of your French Press and try to run all of the coffee grounds down to the bottom, you can get the sides of your French Press clean pretty quickly. Give the water inside of the device a quick swish around and then dump out the remnants in the toilet. To avoid leaving any type of color or ring in your toilet, just give it a flush as you pour the liquid out of the press.
Solution #6 – Bring In The Paper Towels
After you dump the majority of the grounds into a trash can, you can lay a paper towel over the drain in your sink and rinse out your press. The paper towel will catch grounds before they find their way into your garbage disposal. Then, you can just let the paper towel dry and throw it away with the grounds folded up inside of it.
Remember, getting a few coffee grounds in your garbage disposal is not the end of the world. You just don’t want to dump all of the remaining grounds down the sink. On the same note, leaving a few spare grounds in your French Press is not going to kill you. Don’t be frustrated if you can’t get out every last ground – don’t spend too much time keeping the device clean. After all, the only thing that it it will ever be used for is to make more coffee.
*BONUS TIP– A lot of people shake their used coffee grounds into an empty coffee can and collect it over time. When there is enough collected in the can, they dump the grounds into a compost pile. Coffee grounds make excellent compost and attract lots of worms. Here are a few more things you can do with leftover coffee
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is French press coffee better?
In a drip coffee maker, the paper filters absorb much of the vital oils of the coffee grounds. Whereas the French press does not absorb the oils and allows a few coffee grounds to pass through that add to the flavor. The grounds don’t filter rather steep in a French press so yes, it is better.
2. Is French press coffee stronger?
French press coffee can be stronger, lighter, or medium. It honestly depends on what you like. All you have to do is to make sure you put in the amount of coffee that suits you. Adding more coffee grounds will make it stronger and vice versa.
3. Which is better a French press or a percolator?
With both methods, it is actually the preparations that take more time than the brewing itself. However, for French, you just need to boil the water, which can be done instantly with a kettle.
4. Do I need special coffee for the French press?
Any regular coffee can be used with a French press, but there are some that work best with it. The list of the top six is mentioned. The more important thing is that the coffee should be ground evenly and to the perfect size. Also, fresh ground coffee is far better than pre-ground coffee, so keep that in mind as well.
5. Can you reuse grounds in a French press?
To be honest, reusing grounds in a French press will work only if you do it immediately after brewing it once. However, if you leave the grounds lying around after brewing, then reusing them is unhealthy. You could be drinking bacteria instead of coffee.
6. Which is better glass or stainless-steel French press?
Stainless Steel French Press brewers have two advantages over the glass models. They can’t shatter, and they retain heat better.