How To Make A Perfect French Press Coffee
Have you ever tried coffee brewed in a French Press?
Many people have; in fact, it’s one of the most popular ways of brewing coffee! You can probably see the picture-perfect scene: a sunny table with a beautiful, hearty breakfast and a crisp newspaper to flip through while your beans brew in the glass container in front of you. After a few minutes, you pour out that rich, steaming cup of coffee, and there you have it: one of the simplest and most delicious ways of brewing coffee.
But is it really that simple?
While using a French Press might be a bit more hands-on than putting ground coffee into a machine and pressing a button, it doesn’t seem especially complicated - and it’s not! However, a few easy tips and tricks will make your French Press brewed coffee even better.
What is a French Press?
A French Press consists of two main parts: the container (usually made of glass, but sometimes made of stainless steel) and the plunger (usually attached to the lid). A French Press may come in many different sizes. Small ones may be labelled as 3-4 cups, but don’t let the size fool you - that’s 3-4 standard cups, which are much smaller than your average mug. A 3-4 cup size French Press makes coffee for 1-2 people.
Why Use a French Press?
Coffee made using a French Press will have a different flavour profile than coffee made using a pour-over or drip method. This has to do primarily with the oils in the coffee: when you use a paper filter method, some of the coffee’s natural oils will be trapped in the filter.
When you use a French Press, your coffee is physically filtered by the plunger. You don’t get grounds in your coffee, but the oils remain in your cup.This gives a different - but delicious! - flavour experience.
You can also brew your coffee to your personal preference. Unlike a drip machine, you control how long the coffee grounds steep in the water.
Making the Perfect French Press Coffee
As straightforward as it may seem, you can make your French Press experience even better by following a few simple steps:
Start With Good Quality Water: Water makes up 97% of a cup of coffee. If your tap water tastes good to drink, it’s good to make coffee with. It is best to use cold, freshly poured tap water if you can. If your tap water has a lingering flavour, use natural spring water for best results.
The first thing you’ll need to do is boil the water.
Freshly Ground Beans Are Key: With any method of brewing coffee, it’s always ideal to grind your beans just before brewing. With the French Press method, it’s especially important. The more recently your beans are ground, the better your resulting cup of coffee will be.
You also want to make sure to use coarsely ground coffee. Using too fine a grind means your grounds may get stuck in your plunger. Not only is this more difficult to clean, it can also lead to a murky cup of coffee.
Fill The French Press: Once you’ve ground your beans, add them to the French Press. By this point, your water should be boiled, but don’t add it right away! Let the water rest for at least 30 seconds before pouring it over the beans.
Measurements are important at this point; at Aladdin, we recommend using a coffee to water ratio of 55 grams (11 tablespoons) of coffee per 1L of water. If you want to be more bold, you can use more!
Watch It Bloom: When hot water meets coffee grounds, CO2 escapes and expands. This creates a “bloom.” Once this is complete, the coffee grounds are much more receptive to absorbing water, which results in a better extraction of flavours.
In simple terms, mixing coffee with hot water creates the perfect environment for all those delicious, nuanced flavours to develop.
Once your coffee has bloomed, give it a good stir.
Wait: The ideal amount of time for the coffee to brew is four minutes. This is the perfect time to flip casually through your newspaper as you relax and anticipate the amazing cup of coffee you’ll have in just a few minutes’ time.
Plunge Gently: Once the four minutes is up, gently press the plunger down and serve immediately. Don’t let the coffee sit in the French Press for longer; doing so means the coffee will continue to brew and may over-extract, which causes bitterness.
Following these simple steps will give you a delicious cup of coffee every time!