Easy Brewing: French Press

Welcome back to easy brewing! If you read the last post in this series on cold brew, you’ll know that the goal here is to make great coffee without needing much time, or having much equipment. Cold brew was incredibly easy, basically an add water and wait situation, with a step to filter out the coffee, but not everyone wants to drink iced coffee all year round (especially in New England). So today we’re going to cover one of the easiest hot methods out there: French Press.

The French Press is great for a lot of reasons. It makes coffee with thicker body, which is lovely in the cold months, and the thicker body means the coffee takes milk better—so if you like to doctor up your cup with milk or cream (or anything else), using a French Press will give you a cup that can take the abuse. On top of that, other than an automatic machine, a French Press is probably the easiest method of making coffee out there. Let’s get brewing!

What you need:
French Press
Something to boil water
A spoon, or something to stir with
1/2 Cup measuring cup, or a tablespoon

Step 1: Heat the Water
Pretty Straight forward right? We’re looking for a full boil.

Step 2: Measure and Grind* the Coffee
We want a heaping 1/2 cup (or 8 tablespoons, or 53 grams if you have a scale*). We want this coffee to be pretty coarsely ground—it should feel gritty in your hands and look like coarse ground pepper.

Step 3: Rinse the French Press with Hot Water
Pour it in and swish it around. This simple step brings the brewing vessel to the proper temperature so you don’t loose any heat when you brew—it’s especially important in the winter time in cold kitchens!

Step 4: Pour it All In
Pour in the coffee and then the water (after it reaches a boil, wait 1 minute if it’s in an uncovered pot, 2-3 minutes if it’s in a kettle).

Step 5: Let it Bloom
Wait about 30 seconds and a crust of coffee should form on the stop, then stir the coffee to break the crust. This lets the coffee fully absorb water and then mix in with the water to brew better.

Step 6: Let it Brew
Set a timer for 6-8 minutes, depending on your preference (experiment with it!). This is longer than most other brewing methods for a brew time, but because of the coarser grind, you need the extra time. Trust me, your taste buds will appreciate it.

Step 7: Plunge and Pour
Push down the plunger slowly and pour the coffee out, and enjoy! Don’t let the coffee sit too long in the press or it will become bitter. Because of the metal filter there will always be a little bit of silt in French Press coffee, so the sooner you drink it the better!

*If you read the first post in this series, you’ll know that having a grinder is incredibly important for good coffee. Always grind fresh!

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