March 27, 2012

How to use a French coffee press

Ah yes! 
The French coffee press, a thing of beauty! 
I've wanted a French press for quite some time now, and I finally broke down and bought one. I think I am becoming a real coffee snob...but, I just love GOOD coffee done right! 
If you've never used a French press, it may seem a bit intimidating, but really, there's nothing to it!
Let me show you!

First, take the top and plunger out of the glass canister and set aside.

You will need a course ground coffee. I like to grind whole coffee beans so I can control the grind. However, I have used ground coffee straight from the still works and tastes's just not the optimum grind you should use.

Heat water in a kettle to just shy of boiling. For approximately 2 servings of coffee, I heat  approximately 2 1/2 cups of water.

Pour your coffee grounds right into the bottom of the glass canister. I use 2 TBSP. of ground coffee per serving. In this photo here I used 4 TBSP. of ground coffee, because I was making 2 servings. I do not have a formula for how many beans to use....I just know from experience exactly how far to fill the beans in my coffee grinder that yields me 4 TBSP. of coffee grounds. If you are not sure, just ground up some beans, dump out the grounds and measure.

Just like coffee filter is needed.

Pour heated water directly into glass canister slowly, covering all of the coffee grounds.

Stir coffee grounds with wood or plastic. You can use a wooden chopstick or a bamboo skewer. You can also use a handle to a plastic rubber spatula. Do not use a metal utensil such as a spoon or a knife. You run the risk of cracking the glass canister.

Fit the plunger down inside the canister.

Put the lid and plunger on and down into the glass canister. Notice the strainer on the lid of the press is turned away from the spout. 

Leave the plunger in the up position. 
Let your coffee steep for 4 minutes.

This is what the coffee and grounds will look like. That's normal.

After 4 minutes, start to gently push down on the plunger.

Here's the plunger half way down.

Almost down to the bottom...push til it completely stops. The fine screen in the plunger traps all of the grounds in the bottom of the glass canister.

Allow the coffee to sit for a few seconds. Get your mug, cream and sugar all ready! Oh here's a tip: run some hot water in your coffee mug to warm the mug, then dump it out. This just helps to keep the coffee hot...especially after you add the cold cream.

Turn the strainer towards the spout and it is ready to pour.

Pour yourself the most delicious, smooth, aromatic, flavorful coffee ever!

Oh yes, it is a very good cup of Joe indeed! 
I love it!
By the way, the brand of this press is called Bodum. 
I bought this particular model at Starbucks for $20.

P.S. Just a side note: here is what the French press looks like disassembled.

It is very easy to take apart to wash and reassemble. 
Stay tuned for tips on how to clean your French press.
You don't want to rinse those coffee grounds down the drain.