There are almost as many ways to brew coffee as their are coffee roasts. Well, maybe. Although I have most often used a drip-coffeepot, I have ventured into other ways of brewing coffee such as the Keurig Machine, “Swedish” coffee, percolator, and finally a French Press.
I’ve always wanted to try a French press, but was concerned about having a mostly-glass appliance which may or may not make a difference in the way coffee tastes.
However, when my hubby bravely bid on a coffee-tea basket at our kids’ most recent school-fundraiser and won – I got to TRY a French Press for myself. It is basically a one-cup model, but a great tester and something I have grown quite fond of using. I have even opted for the French Press over my Keurig (gasp!) many mornings, and enjoy the ability to vary the depth and richness of each individual cup of coffee I prepare with the French Press.
It is fairly easy to use – and quite honestly, I googled the many ways one can use a French Press. It really comes down to two key things:
When I found some general ideas online that seemed to coincide, I took the Plunge (haha – French Press humor) and haven’t looked back.
- Get yourself a French Press. (see link below for the next one I want to get!)
- Add enough coffee to the bottom of the glass carafe for your serving size (I use a regular spoon and French Roast coffee – sometimes it’s 3 spoonfuls and sometimes its 4 spoonfuls of coffee grounds per cup.)
- When the water comes to a boil, take it off the heat and let it rest for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in enough hot water to cover the grounds and then stir the grounds to “activate” them.
- Pour water into the carafe to where the bottom of the pour spout lines up.
- Pull the plunger towards the lid so that it is sticking straight up and settle the lid on the carafe (mine does not form an airtight seal).
- Set a timer for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
- When the timer goes off, very slowly begin to push the plunger down into the water / coffee grounds. You should see the coffee grounds all in a mass huddle at the top of the carafe and they will slowly sink towards the bottom under the pressure of the plunger. Continue to push until the plunger will sink no more.
- Ensuring that your lid is on tightly, pour coffee carefully into a prepared mug.
Some people do not pour the coffee “sludge” at the bottom of the pour into their cup, but I generally do and just stir it well. I often find a little sludge in the bottom of my mug, but have found that without it, my coffee does not taste as rich or complex.
For me, a single serving size works really well when I want decaf and my hubby wants regular. It is also something like a “science experiment” and very hands on and I enjoy that process. It doesn’t take long, either, and is a really easy cleanup – just rinse out well and dry. I wash it in soapy water about every 3rd cup. That’s just my preference.
As far as timing goes, I have found that timing anything longer than 4 minutes really brings out more acidity and bitterness, which I do not enjoy in my coffee. I did play around with the timing, and I reduce it to 3 minutes when I use a lighter roast.
Interested in your own French Press? If you have Amazon Prime, you can get your hands on a 34-oz press for less than $20! (!!!) And this one comes in red, black or green! (Yep, this is my amazon affiliate link. If you click the image below and order this french press, you will help pay for my next cup of coffee!!!)
Have you ever used a French Press? Would you consider giving it a try?