One of the most rewarding cups of coffee is also one of the simplest. The press pot (AKA French Press, cafetiere, coffee plunger, plunger pot…) uses a metal mesh filter to separate the grounds from the liquid, allowing more fats and oils into the beverage than a drip coffee maker’s paper filter, which traps essential oils and keeps them out of the drink. Coffee prepared this way usually has a heavier body and more sediment than drip-brewed coffee. Because the used grinds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee is served immediately so as to not become bitter from over-extraction.
For most brewing methods, we will use 2 tablespoons (or one coffee scoop) of fresh coffee for every 6oz of clean water, brewed at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 seconds off the boil). Our press pot is “8 cup” size, which is about 30oz.
Measure the water and start boiling it.
A coffee scoop is 2 level tablespoons/10 grams of coffee (whole bean or ground). Measure the coffee. Since our press pot is the 30oz variety, we’ll use 5 coffee scoops (10 tablespoons/50 grams)
Set grind. For this method, we’ll use a coarse grind (usually called “French Press” on the grinder). Grind a little coffee and check the grounds (it should feel similar to rough sand/raw sugar). If it’s to your liking, grind the rest.
Add Ground Coffee to Press Pot
Place your ground coffee into your (dry) press pot.
Has the water started to boil? If so, take it off the boil and wait about 20 seconds. Pour water into press pot and start timer simultaneously, ensuring that all grounds are wet (gently rock the kettle as you pour, as this will disturb the grounds and wet them).
Set your timer to 4 minutes!
Stir gently and briefly. Some of the dry grounds will be trapped in the “bloom” of bubbles. They need attention, too. Use all of the water! Since this is measured out, it is important that we use all ingredients to preserve our coffee to water ratio (2 tbsp to 6 fl oz). Check out that bloom.
Cover Press Pot
Cover with plunger-lid assembly (but don’t plunge it yet!) to preserve heat.
When the timer goes off, gently push the plunger down.
Serve immediately, as the grounds are still in contact with the water and will over-extract in a matter of minutes. To solve this dilemma, be sure to share!