How To Use A French Press

How To Use A French Press - Instructions

Some of the best tasting coffee comes from making it in a french press. French Presses are unlike a drip coffee maker or a percolator. They are not hard to use, but you do need to learn the basics before using one. Below are instructions on how to use a French Press coffee maker.

1. Coffee Beans: For the best coffee you need to grind your own coffee beans. You should use the ground coffee as soon as you finish grinding the beans for the absolute best tasting coffee. Ground coffee starts losing its flavor almost immediately, so the quicker you brew the coffee, the better it will taste. Next you need to get a good grinder which would be a conical burr grinder. Cheaper grinders are blade grinders and they won't grind nearly as well. The beans should be ground to a coarse grind so that the grinds don't clog the holes in the coffee press plunger. This would make for pressing the plunger down more difficult. You also don't want the grounds to get past the mesh filter.

2. Water: For the best tasting coffee, you should use filtered water. The most important point about the water is that you do not use boiling water. It should be just shy of boiling, at about 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do bring the water to a boil, let it sit for about 5 minutes, by then it should be at about the right temperature for best results.

3. Coffee Grounds: This will depend on your preference for weak or stronger coffee. But a good starting point is using 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee per cup of water. Then you can adjust from there until you find the right amount for your personal taste. Take the grounds and put them into the coffee press.

4. Putting Water into the Press: Slowly pour the water into the press and then stir it into the grounds. Make certain that all of the coffee grounds have been mixed with the water. This will ensure that you will extract all of the oils and compounds to give you the best flavored coffee. Recommend that you don't use a metal spoon for stirring. A wooden chopstick will work great for stirring.

5. Steeping: Keep in mind that the longer you steep the stronger the coffee will be. First thing you do after adding the coffee grounds and water is put the lid on the coffee press. You put the lid on and the plunger unit with the filter being raised up to the top. In other words the stem should be sticking through the top of the lid as high as it will go. Then let the coffee steep (brew) for around 4 to 5 minutes. Longer for stronger coffee, less time for weaker coffee.

6. Push the Plunger: After the coffee is finished steeping, gently and slowly start to press the plunger down. Try not to push it down crooked because this will allow some of the coffee grounds to get into your brew. Push down on the plunger in a slowly and evenly for best results.

7. Pour: Now you are ready to pour the coffee. After pouring, let it sit for a minute or so to allow any sediment to settle in the bottom of your coffee cup or mug. Don't leave any coffee in the French press as it will continue to brew and this will cause it to get bitter. You can use a thermos to keep the remaining coffee warm for later use.

8. Washing: It is best if you wash your press after every brew. This will ensure that you continue to get the best tasting coffee.


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