A French press coffee maker is the easiest way to elevate yourself into the world of rich and superior coffee, and with the right know-how, tools, and prep, you can achieve superior results every time.
The first and foremost step to achieving the best French press pot of coffee is a good grinder. The particle size of the coffee grounds is important for the French Press pot of coffee because you’ll need larger grounds. These grounds should always be as uniform in size as possible and not too small. If your coffee grounds are ground too small (for instance, the size preferred for espresso) you’ll end up with a lot of watery sludge. That’s where a good grinder comes in to play. Choose a “Burr” grinder over a blade model and you’ll achieve a perfectly uniform grind, without any tiny or large particles. Your French press coffee maker requires a coarse yet uniform grind—the better the grind, the less “sludge” at the bottom of your cup.
Remember, the finer you grind your coffee, the harder of a time you’ll have pressing down the French Press plunger. This isn’t so much a factor when you invest in a quality French Press coffee maker, but keep in mind that larger models make it difficult to press down evenly and require you to use more force to do so. If your French Press coffee maker comes with a nylon filter, the grind can be finer then if what you’d need for a metal filter. No matter which filter you have, the grind still needs to be coarser then an automatic or espresso drip grind.
Before using your French Press coffee maker, purchase some quality coffee beans. They don’t have to be as fresh as possible, though. The French press is unique in that it’s not necessary to use the freshest coffee beans that have been roasted in the previous 4 or 5 days, as they have greater levels of Carbon Dioxide. This Carbon Dioxide can cause problems with your brew, mainly sudsy brown residue that can overflow out of your French Press. Let your fresh beans rest for a while before you use your French Press coffee maker.
A coarse, uniform grind (think pepper mill at a very coarse setting) and a good quality French Press coffee maker and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying one of the richest, most satisfying cups of coffee available.
Here are the instructions for brewing French Press coffee:
- Remove the plunger unit from the French Press coffee Maker and warm the French Press and each cup with hot water if you wish. Be sure to discard the warming water before pouring the coffee.
- For each four-ounce cup of coffee grind 2 T (or one standard coffee scoop) of whole bean coffee. Dark roasted, oily beans are traditionally used. Use only coarsely ground coffee as fine grind (such as for espresso) coffee may clog the filter and create high pressure.
- Place the coffee in the bottom of the French Press coffee maker. Be sure to discard the warming water if you used it.
- Add hot, not boiling water to the pot. Leave a minimum of one inch at the top. Stir gently.
- Place the plunger unit back on top of pot. Turn the lid to close off the pour spout opening. Do NOT press down at this point. Allow the coffee to brew for at least four minutes.
- Hold the pot handle firmly with the spout turned away from you. Use the weight of your hand to apply slight pressure on top of the knob and lower the plunger straight down into the pot. Lowering the plunger slowly with minimal pressure produces the best results. Do not use excessive force, which can cause scalding liquid to shoot out of the pot.
- Turn the lid open the pour spout, pour coffee and enjoy!
Or try something innovative… Definitely a new twist on a French Press.