The French press or cafetiere is a great way to make coffee and probably the most widely-used coffee device in Ireland. There are many different French presses on the market but the method for making coffee with them is pretty much the same.
Here are some tips on how to get the best out of your French press.
Use coarsely ground beans – If you have a burr grinder, set it to a coarse setting – this will be similar to granulated sugar, with no powdery bits. If you’re using an electric blade grinder, grind the beans for around 10 seconds. The longer you grind the more chance that small particles will get into your brew and make it bitter or gritty. Grind the beans just before you make the coffee, if possible. Use filtered water – A lot of tap water is hard and contains dissolved minerals which can affect both the taste of your coffee and how it extracts. If you can, use filtered water or bottled water in your brewing. Use the best beans you can get. This should be obvious but bad beans will make bad coffee! Any of our Good Morning Project coffees will work great in a French press but our Colombian is a good starting point if you’re not sure.
The amount of coffee for French Press Coarse good rule of thumb is 1-2 tablespoons of coffee per 200ml of water (or 1 part coffee to 16 parts water). Remember that a tablespoon is bigger than a dessert spoon or most soup spoons.
Heat your water to 90 – 93 degrees celcius (or just off boiling) as this allows the beans to release more oils and aromas. If your kettle doesn’t have a temperature control, let it sit for 30 seconds after boiling before pouring it over the coffee – this will allow it to cool slightly.
When pouring hot water into your French press, pour it over the back of a spoon onto the grounds, this will help to keep the temperature up and ensure that all the grounds are evenly wetted. Some people soak the grounds in the bottom of the cafetiere for about a minute before filling it up but we have never been able to detect any change in flavour by doing this so we don’t bother any more.
Steep the coffee for 3-4 minutes depending on how strong you like it. 5 minutes is definitely enough.
Push the plunger down very slowly, taking about 6 to 8 seconds to plunge. If you plunge too quickly, you will miss some flavour and you can also end up with some sludge in your cup.
Pour into your cup straight away. Enjoy your Good Morning Project Coffee!