Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Use a French Press

You may have heard people talking about how much they love coffee when it is made using a french coffee press and you are now curious about how to use one before making an investment. 

It is highly recommended that you boil the water before you start grinding your coffee beans. This helps to ensure that the water will cool down to the right temperature to help prevent the coffee from being scalded. To heat your water you can use a tea kettle to make pouring the water out easier once you are ready for it. Heat the water between 190 and 200 degrees.

While you are waiting on your water to heat you will want to remove the lid and plunger/filter assembly from your press. Pull the plunger unit straight up and out. To warm the glass of the press so that your coffee will stay hot you will want to fill the press with hot tap water. Once the water in the kettle has finished heating, pour the water out of your french press. 

While waiting on the boiled water to cool some, grind your coffee to a medium or coarse grind. It is recommended to use a larger grind so that you will not clog the mesh filter on your french press.

Most people use 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee per 5 ounces of water, but you will want to adjust how much coffee grinds you use to your preferred strength of coffee. 

Put the amount of coffee grounds you desire into your french press. Slowly pour your almost boiling water from the kettle over the ground coffee, filling press to the desired level. Most of your coffee will float. To get the coffee grinds to sink you can gently, briefly stir the water.

Place the lid and plunger/filter assembly into the brew keeping the plunger just 2 inches into brew. Allow coffee to steep for about 4 minutes for a large pot or 2 to 3 minutes for a small pot BEFORE pressing.

After your coffee has steeped for the proper amount of time, hold the press lid with one hand and using slow, steady pressure, depress the plunger while keeping the rod upright. There should be some resistance, but not too much. If you press to quickly or tilt the rod you could ruin your coffee by letting the grounds escape from beneath the filter, or you could overflow the pot. If you overflow the pot you could possibly scaled yourself as excessive force can cause the liquid to shoot out of the pot.

Allow all the sediment and grounds to settle for 30 seconds before pouring your coffee.

Turn the lid on your press so that the pour spout is open. Now you can pour yourself a cup of coffee. To ensure that you do not spill coffee hold onto the lid of the press while pouring.

It is not advisable to let the coffee sit in the press for an extended amount of time. If you made a large pot of coffee to drink over a long period of time, pour the extra coffee into a thermos after you have brewed it.

Be sure to wash your pot after using to get rid of any residues or oils.

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