While the French Press is widely lauded as a simple and inexpensive way of making superb coffee at home, often the coffee we make tastes bitter or just does not have the kick of, say, a small cup of Starbucks brewed coffee. I find myself venturing outside the home when I really want to get pepped up.
The set up.
Today I resolved to stop cheating on my French Press, so I set out searching the web for the best French Press methods. Here is what I learned:
1.) Use good beans- duh. I bought the Pike Place whole beans from Starbucks for this project. They are similar in price to the Peets' Major Dickinson beans we previously used but give me the peace of mind that I am really replicating that jittery Starbucks brew I love so much. Go to Caffeine Informer to find out how much pep is in your bean. You can even find out what is a lethal dose of your favorite caffeinated beverage. It turns out that 65 cups of brewed coffee would kill me.
2.) Grind with a burr grinder. The grind should look like breadcrumbs. If your coffee tastes over-extracted, grind coarser. If your coffee is weak, grind finer. If your coffee tastes good, mark that grind level on your burr grinder. Lock it in and rip the knob off.
3.) Fill your French Press with hot tap water and plunge it while your filtered water boils in the kettle. Before adding the grounds pour out the hot water. This not only cleans out yesterday's coffee flavor, but heats all of the parts of your French Press.
4.) Put 1 tablespoon of grounds per cup of water into the French Press. Keep a scoop handy. Set a timer for four minutes.
5.) Pour half the boiling water over the grounds and let it "bloom." One minute later, stir and add the rest of the water. Cover with the cap (plunger up and spout closed).
6.) At the four minute mark plunge the plunger slowly. Pour into your cup and enjoy. If you have made extra, pour right away into a thermal carafe otherwise the coffee will continue to extract and will become sludgy. Or save in a glass jar and refrigerate for iced coffee later.
Now you will be so caffeinated that you will spend your lunch hour writing a blog post.