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How To Use a French Press

How To Use a French Press

On Camano, at CICR’s roasting building or by phone, we are frequently asked questions about proper preparation techniques for coffee. One of the most popular brewing methods is using a french press pot. Read on to learn how to use a french press.

An Introduction

The french press is considered by many to be the best way to enjoy the true flavor of the coffee. If there was a college course on coffee, How to use a french press would be in Coffee 101! The preparation of the drink allows more sediment to be included in the beverage, making it a strong, rich, cup of coffee. After brewing, the ground coffee beans remain in contact with the brewed coffee causing the flavor to grow stronger and at some point, turn bitter. It’s generally considered to be “expired” or “old” after 20 minutes or more of contact with the water. One interesting thing about our coffee is that you’ll find the flavor will last well past that 20 minute point due to the extreme smoothness of our high quality, shade-grown, and ethical coffee beans. We still recommend consuming it prior to 20 minutes but if you don’t, don’t throw it out! You may still really enjoy it!

On to the brewing…

Great! Let’s get started. French Press is painless and easy but to cut back any confusion (in case you’ve pulled out that french press in the back of your cupboard and are following along), I’m going to do a numbered list to help guide you through the preparation steps.

How to Use a French Press in 12 Steps

  1. Start a pot of water boiling.
  2. While the water is boiling, it’s time to get your other items accumulated and ready. You’ll need a grinder, a scoop or some utensil for measuring your coffee into the french press, a french press, and a mug or two for the finished product.
  3. Once the water is at a boiling temperature, it’s time to start the process.
  4. Turn off the burner and remove the pot so the water can cool slightly. By the time we are done, it should be very close to the exact temperature we are aiming for.
  5. Grind your coffee beans on your grinder’s coarsest setting.
  6. After grinding, immediately scoop the desire amount of coffee into your french press. (A good starting point is about 8.5 grams of coffee per 4 ounces of water – then adjust to taste).
  7. By this point, your water should be perfect temperature.
  8. Fill the pot up towards the top moving the stream around to saturate all the ground coffee beans. (Make sure and save some space for the plunger mechanism)
  9. Add the top and plunge down slightly to completely submerse all the grounds in the water.
  10. Wait. 2-3 minutes for smaller, personal french presses is a great time and 4 minutes for larger ones. (I personally will err on the side of waiting too long rather than not long enough to make sure I get a good extraction)
  11. It’s time! Slowly and steadily press the plunger down while trying not to let the rod bend or bow.
  12. Serve and enjoy! ~ That’s how to use a french press!

Note: I’m writing this assuming you use a good burr grinder (either flat burr or conical burr). If your coffee comes pre ground coffee beans or you use a small hand grinder, I HIGHLY recommend that you looking into purchasing a burr grinder (for the sake of a good, consistent, fresh grind) and promise you’ll love your coffee all that much more!
It’s really easy! After you do it one or two times, you’ll become a pro and be making it often in the future. While french pressed coffee is very popular, coffee is a wonderful product in that there are so many ways to enjoy it. Each individual finds their own way of enjoying every last drop. Keep your eyes peeled for more “Coffee Making” posts and you’ll be able to brew the perfect cup of coffee no matter what you’re presented with.
Until next time, Press Away!

Dan – CICR

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How To Make The Best Coffee — Cone vs Flat Drip

how to make the best coffee

In the USA, drip coffee is the single most popular way to brew that morning cup of coffee. Most people brew coffee in a drip coffee maker because it’s easy and habitual. Many people, however, consistently prepare their coffee incorrectly. In this post I’ll show you how to make the best coffee.

We all make coffee differently

Depending on the individual, it can be misinformation or just the way they’ve been brought up to brew their coffee by their parents. Keep in Mind… everyone enjoys their coffee differently. My guide is to steer those who are unaware of the proper techniques towards enjoying a much better cup. There are a group of people who purposefully do things differently. While that may not be considered “the ultimate” way to enjoy coffee, for that person it may be.

Also, fresh coffee vs. ground coffee beans is going to make a HUGE difference in flavor.

I’m writing this post assuming you have a good burr grinder. I’m also going to assume that you are receiving whole bean coffee from CICR. If you’re currently getting it ground, you can skip over any steps that mention grinding the coffee. I do, however, strongly recommend that you purchase a decent burr or even a conical burr grinder and start grinding your own coffee. The flavor difference is huge… especially a couple weeks into your coffee shipment. The brewing process is simple and many people will find this part boring. In an effort to be complete, however, I’m going to spell it out briefly.

How To Make The Best Coffee Step 1: The Water.

Fill the water tank on the brewing unit to the fill line (or to the level acceptable for the amount of coffee you’re brewing). Make sure you don’t use distilled water or unfiltered tap water as the water will severely alter the flavor of your coffee.


How To Make The Best Coffee Step 2: Grind your coffee.

Typical grinders will have numbers 1-9. Assuming 1 is the finest grind on your grinder, grind a number 4 for your cone filter or a number 6 for your flat filter. If your grinder isn’t numbered, put the dial in the center for a flat filter and make it a notch or two finer for a cone filter.

How To Make The Best Coffee Step 3: Use Enough Coffee!

Many people have varying views as to the strength of their coffee. That is fine and totally up to personal taste. The problem lies in the extraction. Not enough fresh coffee grounds will give you over-extracted coffee. It’s better to make it strong and water it down afterward with hot water.

How To Make The Best Coffee Step 5: Start your coffee maker

Start your coffee maker and set a timer for the length of time it will take to remind you to come back when it’s finished.

If you have a thermal pot, you’re ready to go and your coffee will stay hot for a long while. If you have a glass pot, make sure you turn the burner off immediately or else your coffee will continue to cook and you’ll lose a lot of flavor.

Untitled-1.jpgThe Cliff Notes of How to make the best coffee!

– Use at least 1 tablespoon of grounds per 8oz of water (I prefer 6oz personally).

– If possible, grind the amount of coffee you need just before brewing it.

– Do NOT brew your coffee weak if you like it weaker. Instead brew less and add hot water.

– Cone Grind – #4; Flat Grind – #6 on a typical burr grinder.

– Use water that is purified but not distilled for the flavor. That will ensure your coffee tastes the best possible. Thanks for reading! Please ask any questions you may have. Either respond to this post or catch us on Facebook or Twitter! Dan – CICR

how to make the best coffee