What’s your preferred choice of brewer when making coffee at home? Sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to hit your favorite coffee shop or maybe you’re trying to save a few bucks and make your own coffee a few days a week. Either way, you’ll need to figure out a brew type and a system that works best for you.
The most popular at home systems are: Regular drip coffee, French Press, Aeropress, Espresso Machine, Moka Pot, Pour Over, or a newer version of the classic drip coffee machine like a “Ninja Coffee Bar” drip brewer.
Today I would like to focus on the French Press method.
French Press Coffee is a top choice for people who like it strong and a little thick. A drip brewer will produce less coffee grounds in your finished cup because of the paper filter, whereas a French Press only has a metal filter so there will be some grounds that make it into your finished cup. It’s personal preference whether that’s a good or bad thing. Personally, a French Press is a little too thick for my daily cup but I love the notes and coffee taste it creates. This full immersion method of brewing really pulls all the notes from the coffee and lets you taste everything a good coffee has to offer.
Making a cup of coffee in a French Press:
You’ll need to be able to boil water on the stove or in a kettle: Best temperature to brew – 200*. If you don’t have a thermometer, let the water get to a boil and then let it sit for about 20-30 seconds before adding to the French Press.
You’ll need coarse ground coffee – you do not want to use a regular ground bag of coffee that you can buy from the grocery store. The coffee needs to be specifically ground coarse so that it can be filtered out through the metal filter. If it’s ground too fine, it will produce a muddy looking coffee.
Recommended measurements by volume are 1 tablespoon of coffee per 4oz. of water if you like it fairly strong. Most bags of coffee will recommend 1-2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 oz. of water. A scale would be ideal and you’ll want to start with a 1:16 ratio of coffee to water. Meaning – about 20 grams of coffee and 420 grams of water to start, then adjusting to find your sweet spot. A scale works better than volume measurements because each coffee has a different density and weight therefore 1 tablespoon of coffee is not the same for every type of coffee and roast.
Add the ground coffee to the bottom of your French Press first. Then slowly pour in half of your 200* water on the grounds. Let sit for about 10 seconds and then give the French Press a little shake or stir up the grounds with a utensil. Then add the rest of the water and press down the top of the French press to just above where the water sits to keep the heat in the Press. I prefer a brew time of 4 minutes and 15 seconds. Most recommendations are between 4 – 4.5 minutes. Then slowly and steadily plunge the French Press forcing the coffee grounds to the bottom and the brewed coffee through the metal filter and ready to serve. This coffee will be more ready to drink than other methods because the water has been slightly cooling for 4.5 minutes.
Here is a great French press choice from Amazon.com. This French Press has great reviews, is a good size for home use, is made with quality materials and fits the right price point – below $25.