A few years ago, I heard about French press coffee, and some friends made some for me–it was strong, but I didn’t really notice anything that set it apart from normal drip coffee. Last week when I visited Dark Horse coffee, I had my second experience with French Press and it was amazing. I mentioned in last Friday’s post that it was the best cup of coffee I ever had. It made me determined to try French press at home! The stars aligned when a neighbor in our complex who works for Starbucks hooked us up with a partial bag of limited-edition coffee (Casi Cielo). It was ground specifically for French press (which means the grounds are coarser) so he also lent us his press so we could make it properly.
Learning to do French press is hard! We should have looked up instructions online–it would have saved us a lot of time (and coffee grounds!) if I had proceed with some sort of guidance. Let me explain: when I make coffee in my Mr. Coffee, I use more than one tablespoon scoop for each cup of coffee I make. For example, if I fill it up to the “4” line, I use 4.5 or 5 tablespoons of coffee. With a French press you do NOT need to do this! My first go-around I used 8 scoops and the end result was like MUD! It was undrinkable. Since the grounds steep in the boiling water, more like tea would do, the coffee is much stronger and you don’t need to use as much. We dumped the first batch and made the second batch with 4 scoops. Much better. Which brings me to my next point–I think this is much more economical! Where I would use 6-8 scoops in my Mr Coffee, I only used 4 in the Bodum and it was much stronger, more robust, and complex.
So, as far as I’ve figured it out… here is how to make French press coffee.
- Boil water in a kettle.
- Scoop your grounds into the glass.
- (edited to update–let water sit for a moment so it is not actively boiling. too hot will distort the flavor!)
- Add water to the grounds, give a little stir.
- Let them sit for about 4 minutes
- Then press the plunger down–the screen will separate the grounds from the coffee.
Fellow coffee fiends, feel free to weigh in with any recommendations or funny stories in the comments! As a French press newbie, I’m sure I have a lot to learn from you.
I have a fun non-coffee-related post planned for tomorrow, but come back on Monday for a continuation of my coffee adventures… my experience with a pour-over!