The how to's of French Press coffee

The how to's of French Press coffee

By Michael Potters The Classic French Press. Mmmm. Brewing coffee can be more more sophisticated and gadgetry these days, and yet the French Press still has claim to the throne of one of the more popular brewing methods. Simple. Elegant. And a damn good brew method. You’ve seen them everywhere from Canadian Tire to the Bay. The stainless steel and glass not only looks great in the kitchen, but it also brews a great cup of coffee, especially for those that prefer a lot of body in their brew. Here are three ways to help improve your French Press coffee.  Trust me, you’ll notice a difference right away.

1. Grind size

Ok, I’ve said it before, but buying a good grinder is the single most important thing that you need to do in order to brew a better cup each morning. With your French Press, you’ll notice a mesh filter. If the grind particles are too small, the coffee particles will pass through the filter too easily, resulting in a sludgy and bitter cup of coffee. Yuck. With a good burr grinder (see my previous column), you should adjust the grind settings until the grind size is a little more coarse than Kosher salt.

2. Brew time

Coffee can get really scientific, but today we won’t get into details. When it comes to extracting coffee particles from water, remember this for your French Press brew: This is an immersion brewing method, which means you need to let the coffee do it’s thing for 4-5 minutes. Let it sit and relax. If you plunge prematurely, you’ll get a weak and under-extracted cup of coffee. Simple as that.

3. Let it settle

Don’t go rushing to brew the coffee as soon as you’ve plunged. I know you want to because it smells so good, but wait for 1 minute to let the dust settle a bit. There’s a lot of particles floating around, and they need a minute to settle to the bottom to avoid a gritty cup of coffee. Voila! Happy brewing!

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