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Brew Good Coffee With A French Press Pot

Learn about How to Make Great Coffee

Now, onto the French Press / Pot method. Why a French press? First, a drip brew doesn’t get the water quite hot enough to highlight all the characteristics of high quality beans. Coffee brews optimally at 195F – just short of boiling – and a good drip brew will probably only approach 180-185F consistently. Second, a French press gives full exposure to all the grounds the entire brew cycle. In contrast, a drip brew system seeps water over the grounds slowly, so most the ‘early water’ has almost too much exposure to fresh beans, whereas the last bit of water has too little. A French Press immerses all the grounds to all the water all at once, allowing all the subtleties of your gourmet beans to brew evenly in the water. So, a French Press gives the great home coffee that we are looking for. Here’s how to best use it.

1. Measure out how much water for the coffee you want to drink (I measure in ounces, not ‘cups’ for consistency)

2. Put that water on to boil

3. Take the number of ounces of water boiling and divide by 4 to figure how many tablespoons to use. So, suppose I put on 12oz of water to boil, then I would measure out 3 tablespoons of Coffee Beans to grind

4. Grind the beans coarsely, so that they won’t clog the plunger (this takes some trial and error with slash blade)

5. The water should be boiling – take it off the burner and set it off to the side. The water should cool from 212F to 195-200F by the time you grind and dump the grounds. The exact temperature isn’t of concern, because it will be above 195F – hotter than a drip brew, but below boiling, so it shouldn’t scorch the beans

6. Dump the grounds in the Press Pot and pour the water over it quickly. Stir. A crema should rise to the top that indicates fresh beans. Immediately cover with the plunger/top.

7. Set an egg timer for *4 minutes* You do not want it to brew for just ’so long’ – it will scorch and ruin the brew past 5 minutes, and 4 minutes is the optimal time to get bored and distracted. Take it off too soon, and you’ll have a weak brew. Set a timer for 4 minutes.

8. At 4 minutes, slowly push the plunger down with only the weight of your hand. If it gets caught or too hard to push (usually because of crooked plunger placement or too fine of a grind) just pull back a tiny bit and resume pushing the grinds all the way to the bottom.

9. Turn spout around and pour into either a cup to be consumed immediately or a really good thermos. Clean up and enjoy!

10. And an aside to cleaning up – be sure to dump the grinds in the trash or in a compost, not in the sink. Coffee grinds can clog up the plumbing – but does make excellent organic compost!

For more information on Great Home Coffee

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