If you have ever been in pursuit of a warm, rich, indulgent cup of coffee French Press may be what you have been searching for. Unlike conventional brewing methods, which use a filter that usually absorbs the oils from the grounds, French Press is straight undiluted heaven.
A French press is a simple device constructed of the actual carafe, a lid and a plunger attached to the lid. The plunger is made with a fine mesh screen to squeeze out the flavor in the grounds without actually allowing the grounds to get into your coffee. Therefore, no filtering, just the full bodied flavor the roaster intended you to experience. With the French Press preparation you simply grind your beans, add water, stir, steep for four minutes, and, well…press.
For your coffee beans to make a well flavored divinity and not an over bearing or watery solution grind them on a course setting. If your coffee grounds are too fine they will make the coffee too strong, almost muddy. Too course however and you won’t be able to extract the full flavor from the beans.
Most automatic home grinders (usually called burr grinders) can do an acceptable course grind. Push button cheap grinders however, do not make a good course grind. Grind your beans at the local supermarket using their course setting or take them into your local Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks will grind any coffee free of charge, unless they are flavored (i.e.: vanilla, cinnamon, Irish cream), the flavor leaves a residue on the grinder and it will contaminate any other beans ground in the same machine until it is cleaned.
The next step seems simple, add water. However, there are things you probably haven’t thought about. Is your water filtered? If not the impurities in your water can make your coffee taste bitter. Try filtered or distilled water instead. How hot is your water? Too hot and it can scorch the coffee grounds making them taste burnt. Not hot enough and the grounds won’t brew properly.
For best results you want the water to be about 190 degrees, right before it starts to truly boil. Once your water is the perfect temperature add it to your press. Be sure to leave about an inch of room from the top of the grounds to the bottom of your pour spout. The grounds will expand and foam slightly as they brew. Give your grounds a good stir making sure they are all blended in.
Now take the lid with the plunger and place it on top of your grounds mixture. Do not press yet! You just want to push it down enough to prevent the grounds from pushing out of the water. Time your brewing for four minutes. After four minutes is up, press the plunger down slowly. (You may want to do this over your sink the first time, as if you are too hasty it can make a mess.) Viola, you are free to discover what your coffee is truly meant to taste like.