One very important step in the preparation of coffee—aside from the growing, picking, processing, and roasting– is the brewing of the coffee. Brewing coffee takes precision, practice, and patience. Precision in the amount, temperature, and quality of the water. The amount of coffee being brewed and ground needs to be weighed and measured as well. However, there is more flexibility with the amount of grounds and size of the grinds one prefers to use. Experiment with the ratios of coffee and water until the desired mixture is obtained. Finally, patience is needed when creating a great brew. Rushing will lead to under-extracted coffee that will taste more acidic and unbalanced. Having a timer or stopwatch nearby is handy for maintaining consistent brew times. Here, there is once again flexibility to play around with longer or shorter brewing and see the changes in flavor.
Provided here, as well as the coming posts, is a brief list of some coffee brewing methods and suggested guidelines of time and temperature according to each method. As always, experiment and find your own perfect cup!
The French Press produces a very rich, full-bodied and great tasting cup of coffee with the oil and subtlety intact. The grind size of the coffee for French Press is up for experimentation. The finer the grind, the more flavor is released into the brew, but there will be more sediment in the cup. The more course the grind size is, the less oils will be extracted, yet still producing a great, clean cup of coffee.
The French Press is a coffee pot made of glass that includes a fine mesh filter on the handle. The handle is pushed down to compact the grounds at the bottom of the pot. This stops the brewing process and filters out the grounds from the liquid above.
We recommend using a more coarse grind when brewing in the french press. Standard grinders have a setting for this size. Thirty grams of coarse ground coffee for a sixteen ounce cup (half a french press pot) is a successful ratio. The recommended water temperature is between 195 degrees Fahrenheit to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. It may be a good idea to choose a temperature in this range and stick with it for consistency’s sake. Thirty grams of coffee is equal to just under four and a half ‘leveled’ tablespoons of ground coffee.
Heat the French Press pot in warm water before use. Thirty grams of FRESH ground coffee. The secret to a great french press is the fresh ground coffee. It is okay to brew coffee that has been ground days or weeks before, but when the coffee is freshly ground there is more subtlety and character in the cup.
Once the coffee is ground, many of the compounds leach out or degrade, so fresh ground coffee is highly recommended. In fact, if one finds the french press not enjoyable, it is most likely caused by the coffee not being freshly ground.
Next, make sure the water is within the recommended temperature range. The easiest way to tell the temperature of water is to use a thermometer or an electric heating kettle. (Please do not use your hands or fingers to test the temp of water, the skin will get scalded) Pour the water slowly onto the grounds, about half of the amount of water over the coffee at first, then stop and wait about thirty seconds to let the coffee ‘bloom’– it’s very visible. Pour the remaining amount of water over the coffee slowly– even slower than that. Place the top of the pot on, but do not push the filter down yet. Let the coffee brew for four or five minutes. Once the time is up, push the filter down as far as it will go to the bottom of the pot.
Finally, pour the coffee and enjoy!
Do you make your coffee with a French Press? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below!
Don’t have a French press yet? Click here to order a French press from us to get started.
Author credit: Melissa White