These are intended as a "starting point" for
the respective type of brewing. Ultimately, you will figure out the best
and most convenient ways to use these brewing devices, so please remake,
twist, turn, distort, decomplile, torch, grind and brew these instructions
to suit your own need!
French Press Brewing
Now that you can buy a cheap French Press (also called
a Press Pot) at K-Mart or Target, people seem to think they are missing
something by not trying it out. Personally I love brewing in a press.
The advantages are many:
- No paper filters to dispose of, to absorb aromatic
coffee oils or to impart a "paper taste" to the coffee
- Total control over water temperature and brew time,
unlike most auto-drip coffee maker that is rarely at correct brewing
temperature (195-205ºF) when the water hits the coffee.
- It is simple, easy and quick.
- It is fairly easy to clean up.
- I don't mind the additional sediment in the coffee,
because there is also more body in the cup.
... but is French Press Brewing for everyone? No!
- There is more sediment in the cup: You never take that
- To manage the sediment, you need a decent burr mill
that can create an even grind. We don't recommend brewing with a French Press if you are using a whirling blade grinder.
- French Press brewing is used to make fresh coffee to
consume immediately ...which is ideal. It is not good to leave the coffee
in the press for any length of time. Tailor the size of the press or
the amount you make to what can be consumed in 10 minutes or so. Don't
try to keep it warm. Don't let the coffee sit longer in the press, even
in the plunged position it continues to extract.
- For the above reason, I discourage the "travel
press" design in which the press doubles as a cup and you drink
out of it. And I don't like the stainless steel thermal French Press
that insulates the coffee because it is not meant to store coffee or
keep it warm while still in contact with the grounds. If you need hot
coffee for a longer period and want to use a press, decant the coffee
into a thermos after brewing.
Vintage advertisement for the original Melior
Recommended French Press Brewing Method
|1. Use the finest even grind coffee you can, but coarse enough
to avoid having the grind pass through the filter. I use a grind just a
few notches coarser than filter drip, and nowhere near a coarse multipurpose
or perc grind. They key to avoiding sediment is in the evenness of the grind,
and a burr grinder will give you this.
|2. Pull the lid and plunger out of the glass beaker. Put one coffee measure
(7.25 grams by weight is the standard) per 6 oz. water, into the beaker.
measure cups in 4 oz (about 125 ml), also called a Tasse. A 3 Tasse
press makes about 12 ounces maximum. (That's 1 mug of coffee for many people!)
Buy a press that's just a little larger than you need because you can always
|3. Pour the correct amount of 195 to 205 ºF water into the press,
slowly at first to avoid creating a dry island of coffee grounds. Allow
the coffee to float to the surface. Don't overfill
the press. The water/coffee needs to be just at, or a little below the bottom
of the beaker spout.
4. Pick up the plunger by the knob so that the lid is down against
the screen. Place it lightly on top of the press so that it keeps the
heat in, but does not start to push down on the coffee at all. Leave it
for 1 minute.
|5. After 1 minute either remove the lid and briefly stir the coffee
with a spoon, or (and this is what I do) carefully swirl the press in a
circular motion to agitate the brew and make the grinds sink. If you removed the top, replace
|6. After a total infusion time of 4 to 6 minutes, begin to plunge. Hold the lid in place
with one hand, and carefully start to push on the knob at the top to force
the plunger screen downward, pushing the grinds with it to the bottom. Take
care right at first, because it is easy to have the filter disc in crooked
and allow a flurry of grounds to escape around it. If disaster strikes,
don't worry. Just pull out the plunger and lid completely, rinse quickly
in hot water, and start over right away.
|7. Push steadily and the plunger should reach the bottom in 20-30 seconds
or less. There will be some resistance. Pour, serve,
don't save it! Coffee is best right away, within the first 10 minutes. Don't
try to keep it hot, just make more fresh coffee if you need it. Enjoy!
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