If you’ve decided to buy a French press, prepare for an explosion of taste. All experts agree that the best coffee is pressed coffee! It is of superb quality and the entire process is relatively simple. There is really no reason to exchange quality for convenience in this particular instance.
But before you rush over to make that perfect cup of coffee you need to read up on how to best use your French press. It is not particularly complicated but if you don’t know the right steps to follow you might not be overly impressed with your coffee. Best French pressed coffee is easy to make if you know how!
Following these simple steps will allow you to brew a perfect cup of every single time:
- The first thing you want to do is to start boiling the water before you even begin grinding the beans. This will allow the water to cool to the perfect coffee-boiling temperature which is between 190 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Always try to use filtered water; it will significantly improve the overall taste of your coffee.
- Use either a kettle or an electric water heater – electric heater is a better because you can set the temperature you want your water at and it will automatically switch off.
- If the water is too hot, allow it to cool down.
- While the water is boiling remove the lid and the filter out of the pot. Simply pull it straight up and it will come easily.
- Now, you will want to pre-heat your French press container before you pour in that really hot water inside. This goes double if the container is made out of glass. Pour some hot tap water inside and allow to glass to heat up. When the water in your kettle is approximately the right temperature, discard the tap water out of the French press.
- Now it is time to grind your coffee. Always make sure that the grind is medium to coarse. Grinding it too finely will leave it too small to extract coffee and you will end up with a clogged filter and a mouthful of grind.
- Decide on what you want. If you are in the mood for a stronger cup of coffee than you can use one and a half tablespoon of coffee per 5 ounces of water. If you are looking for a more delicate cup, the reducing that amount is recommended. Basically, this will depend on your taste and preference. Make sure you’re not using excessively much because too much of a good thing can hurt you, coffee notwithstanding. Measure the amount you’ve settled on and put it on the French press.
- Grab your almost-boiling water and start pouring it over the coffee. The grind will start to float so give it a good stir and do not worry about it. A quick tip: you can use a chopstick for stirring. They are longer, disposable and there is less of a chance of damaging the glass. Fill the French press with water but keep in mind how much water you put in. The reason is two-fold. You need to adjust the amount of water to the amount of coffee you put in. The second one is that you don’t want to fill it to the brim because it will splash out when you put the plunger in.
- Put the plunger back and press it just about 2 inches into the brew. Don’t press it anymore. You want to leave the grind to soak in hot water before you start extracting the flavor out. If you like your coffee stronger let the beans soak for about 4-5 minutes. If you don’t prefer strong coffee then allow it to soak for no more than 2 – 3 minutes.
- While your grind is soaking in hot water, you take the time to prepare your coffee mug. It’s always smart to preheat it before your pour in coffee in order to make sure that the coffee stays at perfect drinking temperature. Simply pour some hot tap water into your coffee mug and swirl it around until it is hot. Dispose of hot water and put the mug aside.
- It’s now time to press down on that plunger and extract the coffee. Use steady and even pressure while making sure you're holding the lid with one hand. There should a bit of pressure there, but nothing excessive. You also need to pay attention to applying the pressure evenly and concisely. If you tilt the plunger or apply more force than necessary, you will end up releasing the grind from the filter and into the top, finished brew. Again, not the best taste in your mouth. Also, if you’re manhandling the plunger you’re risking serious injury as hot water can shoot up and scald you.
- Let the press rest for a minute before pouring so that the sediment has the time to settle down. Do not remove the lid while pouring; simply hold on to it while doing so for security. Also, once you’ve pressed the coffee don’t allow it to sit inside the French press for too long. It continues to brew even in its pressed state and you can end up with a very bitter brew!
And there you have them, 10 simple steps that will make you a master in French press brewing! They might seem a bit complicated but once you get a hang of it, you’ll notice that it all comes to you quite naturally!
Of course, after enjoying that excellent cup of coffee it’s time to do some cleaning. This is essential. Brewing coffee in an unclean pot is a health hazard but more importantly, after a few times, you will end up with some really awful coffee. This is because coffee’s essential oils collect on the pot and have the potential to ruin the taste.
Cleaning it up is quite easy, however, and it won’t take you more than 5 minutes at the most.
1. Remove filtered-out coffee
This here seems like a fairly obvious step but bear with me, it is an important one. A lot of people empty their French presses by tapping them on the side and getting rid of what falls out. Doing that leaves some residue sticking on the sides. You will also want to get rid of that residue. Use a long spoon to scoop everything out so there are no coffee beans in the container.
2. Disassemble and soak
Take the French press apart completely and soak it in hot water. If you want, you can add a bit of detergent of baking soda into the mix, it will allow you to clean it more easily. Also, if you’re feeling pro you can try out Urnex Cafiza. This is a dedicated cleaning powder that gets rid of essential oils that accumulate on your French press. Make sure to rinse everything out thoroughly afterwards since you don’t want to drink your coffee and taste detergent in it.
3. Get to scrubbing
Get a small gentle brush and scrub the pot completely. Make sure that you’re using After that part is done use the brush to clean the plunger and the mesh. Do it thoroughly in order to get rid of any stuck grind that might be making its home there!
4. Dry everything out
Either leave it out on the drying rack or use a paper dish towel to dry all the parts immediately. This might be a teensy bit problematic unless you have really small hands!
Most French presses are dishwasher safe so if you’re feeling a bit lazy there is no reason why you can’t just pop them into your dishwasher and be done with it. However, keep in mind that if your French press is made out of glass you can potentially damage it that way.
And there you have it; easy steps for brewing French press coffee and for cleaning your press after the fact. It is not that bad, right? A couple of easy steps to do everything in less than 15 minutes tops. After you master the art of brewing you will be enjoying a wonderfully made cup of pressed coffee each and every day!