In the year 1929, the world was undergoing a great economic depression. So dire was the situation that the Great Depression started after the stock markets crashed. However, amidst the gloom, a world-changing invention saw the light. Perhaps, the only indisputable highlight from an otherwise dreadful period. French Press was born with much popularity and acclaim!
How Does a French Press Work?
French Press is a coffee brewing method where coffee grounds are steeped in hot water for a few minutes before being pressed down with a plunger. This extracts the flavor and essential oils from the beans, resulting in a cup of coffee that is richer and more flavourful than brewed coffee. The mesh filter pushes and holds the coffee grounds at the bottom and you can go ahead and pour a rich and flavorful cup of coffee.
The Mufasa of Coffee Brewing
It’s often said that the French Press epitomises the heritage of coffee making. Despite the technological advancements and invention of flashy gadgets, French Press remains the indisputable king of the coffee jungle.
French Press is sometimes called the “original” or “true” way of brewing coffee. This is because, before the advent of electric coffee makers, French Press was the most popular way of making coffee. Even today, many coffee aficionados consider French Press to be the best way to make coffee.
So, what makes the French Press so special? Let’s take a look.
Easy Preparation, Delightful Taste
The French Press uses a coarser grind than other brewing methods. This is because the coffee grounds need to be able to interact with the water for longer in order to extract all the flavor. The French Press also uses a higher water-to-coffee ratio than other brewing methods. This allows more of the coffee’s flavor to be extracted.
The French Press is a manual coffee maker, which means that you have more control over the brewing process. This allows you to experiment with different brewing times and grind sizes to find the perfect cup of coffee for your taste.
French Press coffee is also unique because it is not filtered. This means that all the coffee’s natural oils are retained, giving the coffee a richer and more full-bodied flavour.
French Press is also one of the quickest brewing methods. From start to finish, you can have a fresh cup of coffee in just 4 minutes. These will be the best minutes spent making a drink because of the taste. In simple terms, the flavour makes each sip sweeter than the previous one.
How to use the French Press
Coffee tip 1
According to some industry insiders, almost 90% of French Press goes wrong.
That’s massive. However, worry not because we got your back, Our reality is to ensure you don’t land in the majority who, in this case, is wrong. The minority have their way; the right way.
Making coffee using the French Press is quite simple but one must follow basic rules. By the time we’re done learning about the use of the French Press, you’ll be more than competent to enjoy the best coffee brew.
French Press procedure
- Start by placing the pot on a flat and dry surface. Firmly hold the plunger before pulling out the plunger.
- Add a heaping tablespoon, say 7 – 8 grams of coffee, to the pot for every 200ml of water.
- Pour hot water, emphasise hot not boiling, into the pot and stir gently.
- With an enthusiastic approach, place the plunger into the pot and stop just above the ground coffee and water (do not plunge as yet), and let it stand for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Gradually press the plunger down to ensure the extertion of steady pressure.
- After use, remember to thoroughly wash the clean water and a mild detergent. Then let it dry. Cleaning the French Press goes beyond rinsing and letting it dry. Disassemble and clean each part thoroughly.
Coffee tip 2
Paper filters are not needed when using a French Press. The ground coffee is directly soaked in the hot water.
It means that French Press is a form of immersion brewing whereby the coffee grounds are submerged in water for a few minutes.
Choosing the Right French Press
I guarantee you’re going to make crappy coffee if you use a French Press that doesn’t fit your needs. The French Press comes in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to find one that’s the right size for you.
What’s the need of going for the cheaper option and then replace it after 6 months?
French Presses come in a variety of sizes, from small cups to large eight cups. If you’re making coffee for one or two people, a small French Press will suffice. If you’re making coffee for a large group, you’ll need a larger French Press.
There are also French Presses made of different materials, such as glass, metal, and plastic. Glass French Presses are the most popular type because they’re durable and easy to clean. Metal French Presses are also durable but more difficult to clean. Plastic French Presses are the least popular type because they’re not as durable and can retain flavours from previous batches of coffee.
The Electric French Press is mainly used by lazy coffee lovers. They basically automate the entire coffee-making process, robbing the joy and satisfaction derived after one makes the perfect flavor.
Coffee tip 3
Weighing rather than measuring the ratios of use between water and coffee assures one of a better outcome and asserts control while undertaking a French Press. Therefore, focus on ensuring that you have the right devices for use.
What’s the best French Press ratio? (Water-to-Coffee)
Truth is, we cannot describe or prescribe a one-size-fits-all approach. With a varying spectrum of roasts, coffee beans, and personal preferences, each batch of coffee is entirely different. So, start with a ratio you feel lives up to your expectations and then build make adjustments as you proceed. Find your taste!
Rule of Thumb 1
The coffee universe holds a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water to be upheld at all times. For every 1 gram of coffee add 15 grams of water. Use this as a standard starting point since it’s on the weaker side, and you can always add more coffee as you proceed.
What’s the right grind size for a French Press?
The best answer is; anywhere between a coarse grind and a medium-coarse grind setting. Well, you can read our coffee grinding guide to further understand why a good burr machine will be massive for such an undertaking.
Coffee tip 4
If you have a pre-ground plunger for home use, it’s a recommended grinding tool. Why? There’s a lot of confusion over the press pot coffee grind.
Rule of Thumb 2
The finer the coffee grounds, the stronger the coffee brew. The coarser the coffee grounds, the weaker the coffee brew. The beauty lies in striking a balance rather than going beyond any of these extremes. Too coarse coffee ground and you get a weak and distasteful coffee. Overextraction occurs when the coffee grounds are too fine, making it bitter.
How long should a French Press Steep?
Unless you want stronger stuff, a standard French Press lasts 3 – 4 minutes. You should be careful to minimize the chances of over-extraction. Don’t let the coffee steep for longer than necessary. For lighter coffee, remove the batch a few minutes earlier.
Best coffee for a French Press
It all comes down to personal choices. French Press coffee is best with a medium to dark roast, as it provides more robust flavors. These are the most popular, and come highly recommended.
Perfect for Any Occasion
Whether you’re making coffee for one or a large group, French Press coffee is perfect for any occasion. French Press coffee is also great for iced coffee and cold brew.
With love and care
French Press requires a little love, care, and attention but isn’t that a rule of life for most things in life? Treat your French Press and you’ll enjoy the reciprocity, one sip at a time!
Also, read about How to Brew the Perfect French Press at Home