The French Press: The Coffee-Taster’s Choice

Why French Press?

Yes, French pressing your coffee is a bit of a process.  But if you are looking for a truly perfect cup, rely on the method most used by coffee cuppers (seriously, that is a job and I am trying to figure out how to get it).  French presses are used to test the quality of beans for a reason, it allows the coffee bean to shine without tainting the flavor during the cooking process.

The idea behind the French press is that instead of passing coffee grinds through an absorbent material like a coffee filter or a sock (yes, people do that and yes, we are trying it).  This allows the oils in the coffees to end up in your coffee, not in your tube sock.  You can actually see the oil droplets floating on the surface of the coffee when it is finished.

The whole set up can be a bit of a process.  It involves boiling water and, preferably, grinding coffee fresh.  I never imagined that I would make the switch from my programmable coffee maker.  I am not a great morning mom and the idea of doing something more than stumbling into the kitchen and pouring the ready-made brew into my mug was daunting.  But trust me, even this exhausted mamma found the time to French press.

French Press Method

Grind your coffee on a coarse setting.  You don’t want the grounds small enough to go through the mesh filter.  It will take you some time do how much you need to add, but for my 34 oz. press, I use 1.26 oz.  (My favorite coffee scale is linked at the bottom of the page)

Pour the coffee grounds right into the bottom of the carafe and boil some water.  I use the electric kettle linked at the bottom of the page.

Place the plunger of the press resting on the top of the coffee.  DO NOT push down yet.  Set a timer for 4 to 5 minutes.  The longer the stronger.

When time is up, slowly (cause you will burn the crap out of yourself if you do it too fast) press the plunger down.  This moves the coffee through the filter and pushes the grounds down to the bottom of the carafe.  You will see a beautiful, foamy layer of crema on the top of the coffee.  This is the oils and flavors that will truly make this one delicious, if time intensive, cup of Joe.

For the history of the French press

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