What’s Brewing?

Happy National Coffee Day!  As an avid coffee drinker, there’s nothing better than a steaming cup of coffee goodness.  Using a French press is by far one of my favorite and only ways to brew at home.  After the drip coffee maker, it’s one of the easiest, least time-consuming ways to make a great cup of coffee.

French press makes coffee by steeping the grounds in hot water, and then pressing the grounds out.  Some people are intimidated by this method, but crafting your next cup is fairly simple.  Most recommend grinding your coffee beans each time you brew, but using a fresh bag of coffee grounds (rough and course grounds) works as well.  I know some of you reading this might actually shudder at the thought, but let’s be realistic and get down to basics.

I use a 32 oz French press at home and it makes about 6-8 cups.  Before you begin, it’s important to boil your water to around 195-200 degrees.  I gauge this by when my kettle whistles at me and don’t bother with a thermometer.  Again, simplifying the process.  Okay, let’s begin!


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Step 1:

Remove the lid and plunger.  Use two rounded tablespoons of coffee for each 8 oz of water.  Note that coffee cups range from 6-8 oz.  For my press, that means the water goes up to the bottom of the silver band.  Tip:  I like to sprinkle ground cinnamon directly onto my grounds for extra flavor and antioxidants.

Step 2:

Using the proper temperature water, start slowly adding water to the pot.  Most of the coffee will float.  Stir gently once you have poured all of the water to the fill line.  The grounds should start to sink at this point.

Step 3:

The screen should be up against the bottom of the lid. Place the lid on the press. Many lids have a position that does not allow steam to escape, use this position if you have it.

Step 4:

Timing from the addition of the water, after a total of THREE to FIVE minutes you will need to start the plunge. The finer a grind you use, the shorter the time. I typically brew for five minutes.

Hold the lid with one hand and carefully push the plunger down, the screen will push the grinds to the bottom. If the filter screen is tilted and grinds are escaping, just remove it, give a quick rinse, and re-plunge.

It should take about 20 seconds, this is not a fast push, there is resistance and it gets a bit tougher as you go.

Step 5:

Pour, add your sugar and cream if you must, and enjoy. Don’t let the coffee sit in the pot, it will actually keep brewing. Also, be aware, there will be some grinds in the bottom of your cup, it is best not to go for the last drop!

What’s your favorite way to brew? 


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