Part II: A Step-by-Step Guide to Brewing
French press coffee is a favorite among coffee lovers, and for good reason. This brewing method produces a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee that showcases the natural flavors and aromas of the beans. If you want to make the best coffee possible using a French press, it’s important to pay attention to the brewing method. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Choose the right grind size: The key to a successful French press brew is choosing the right grind size. We wrote about the best blends and grind types in another recent article, which you can read here. You want the coffee grounds to be coarse and even, so that they don’t slip through the filter and into your cup. If the grind is too fine, the coffee will be bitter and over-extracted. If it’s too coarse, the coffee will be weak and under-extracted. Aim for a grind that is about the size of coarse sea salt.
- Measure your coffee and water: To ensure consistent results, it’s important to measure your coffee and water carefully. A good rule of thumb is to use one tablespoon of coffee per four ounces of water. So, if you’re making a 12-ounce cup of coffee, you’ll need three tablespoons of coffee and 12 ounces of water.
- Heat your water to the right temperature: The ideal temperature for brewing coffee using a French press is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water is too hot, it can scorch the coffee grounds and make the coffee taste bitter. If it’s not hot enough, the coffee will be weak and under-extracted. Use a thermometer to ensure that your water is within the ideal range.
- Bloom the coffee: Blooming is a process that involves pouring a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds to release carbon dioxide and other gases. This helps to ensure a more even extraction and better flavor. To bloom your coffee, add just enough hot water to wet the grounds, then let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute. You should see bubbles and foam forming on the surface.
- Pour the rest of the water: After blooming, pour the rest of the hot water over the coffee grounds. Be sure to pour slowly and steadily, so that all of the grounds are saturated evenly. You can use a circular motion or a back-and-forth motion to ensure that all of the grounds are fully submerged.
- Steep for four minutes: Once all of the water is added, let the coffee steep for four minutes. This will allow the flavors and aromas to fully develop. Do not stir the coffee during this time, as it can cause the grounds to slip through the filter and into your cup.
- Press the plunger: After four minutes, press the plunger down slowly and steadily. This will separate the grounds from the liquid, creating a smooth and rich cup of coffee. Be sure to press all the way down, so that no grounds remain in the liquid.
- Serve and enjoy: Once the plunger is pressed down, your coffee is ready to be served. Pour it into your favorite mug and enjoy the rich, full-bodied flavor.
Brewing coffee using a French press is a simple and rewarding process that results in a coffee that is flavourful, rich, and delicious every time if you follow these steps.
In short, choose the right coffee, the right grind size, measure your coffee and water carefully, heat your water to the right temperature, bloom your coffee, pour the rest of the water slowly and evenly, steep for four minutes, press the plunger down, and serve and enjoy. With a little practice, you’ll be making the perfect cup of French press coffee in no time.