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Simple & Elegant is back in style
Making coffee in a French press (actual name the cafetiere) is one of the most popular methods in use today to prepare your morning Joe. The French press is gaining in popularity as coffee lover’s knowledge evolves on the way to make the best cup of coffee. Many movies and TV shows have caught on to the simple elegance of the press and take special care to place them in kitchen settings to demonstrate how trendy the protagonists are.
Get ready for the “Plunge”
Using a French press has a lot of advantages over traditional coffee makers. Generally, a good press is relatively inexpensive and there is nothing mechanical or electrical to fail or replace. Some of the more popular presses even offer models with polycarbonate cylinders so you don’t have to worry about breaking or chipping.
Some of the higher end and more expensive presses offer even more features such as insulated presses, built-in heating elements, etc. You can get as extravagant as you want. But at the heart of using the French press method is simplicity.
This brewing method draws out and highlights all of the flavors and body of your coffee. You have to be somewhat cautious with your grinding and how you use the press of course or you risk getting a few grounds in your cup.
French presses obviously require ground coffee which means if you intend on using whole bean coffee, step 1 is to get yourself a good grinder. The only instance where pre-ground coffee is recommended and preferable over whole bean is if you are using Boresha Coffee’s Organic Fat-Burning Bskinny Coffee, which only comes in ground form. If you aren’t using and drinking the fat-burning Skinny Coffee, you will need a good burr grinder (as opposed to a blade grinder, we will cover the differences in another post; check back for the article). A burr grinder typically provides you with a more even grind which allows for a smoother and more consistent flavor in your coffee.
Another important part of the equation when using the French press to make great coffee is the water and the water temperature. Keep a stick thermometer handy. The optimal water temperature for your press coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Often, the basic instructions that come with your French press will tell you to use water off the boil. These directions allow for a wide range of temperatures which can lead to the use of water that is too cool if you let it set to long.
Keep in mind that the water loses a lot of its heat as it passes through the air while being poured from kettle to French press. If you aren’t sure it is hot enough, use your stick thermometer and check it. After using your press a few times, you will have a good idea how hot your water needs to be and you shouldn’t need the thermometer.
These temperatures are an approximation. Some coffee experts state that darker roasted coffees taste better on the cooler end and that the lighter roasts test better with higher temperature water. Play around with the temperatures and determine what is best for your taste.
Now, you will pour the water into the press on top of the coffee. Be careful not to fill it any higher than the bottom of the highest metal collar; you need room to press the screen down without splashing any of the boiling water out and burning yourself. 205 degree water is very hot. Do not overfill.
When it is time to press down on the plunger be sure to press down slowly and evenly. Do not press down rapidly or in a jerking manner. If you have trouble pressing it down, your grind was a little too fine. If this happens, gently pull up on the plunger and then begin pressing down again.
Other valuable little tools for French press brewing (along with the press, grinder, & thermometer of course) are a wooden chopstick, a cheap timer, and an insulated thermos.
The timer is easy. You want to allow your coffee to steep in the press between 3 to 4 minutes before plunging and pouring. Again the difference in time is according to your personal taste.
The chopstick is for stirring the coffee and boiling water right after you add the boiling water to the coffee. Stirring is VERY important to a smooth even cup of coffee. Stir until all the coffee is evenly distributed and wet to promote even flavor.
And finally, the thermos, the thermos is for decanting the coffee. Once you have steeped the coffee for your desired amount of time, you need to get it away from the grounds. If you leave the coffee in the press, the coffee will continue to interact with the grounds which can cause bitterness. As soon as your coffee is done steeping, pour it into your thermos.
Lastly, the specific coffee you use and its quality is very important. If possible, you want to use the highest quality coffee possible. 100% AA Arabica coffee is commonly agreed to be the best. It also helps to have your coffee be organic so it doesn’t have pesticides or other harmful chemicals on it. Boresha Coffee carries whole bean coffees that are 100% AA Arabica (not blended with low grade coffee filler), and certified organic. Boresha Coffee also happens to carry the fat-burning Bskinny Coffee. Bskinny uses the finest coffee Boresha has to offer and then adds their patented fat-burning compound to the coffee. Boresha offers free samples of Skinny Coffee & their other coffees – Try a free sample of Bskinny Coffee here
Stir the coffee when you very first pour the boiling water in on it. Let the coffee steep for 1 to 2 minutes and then stir it again. If you look closely, you will see that the lightest particles of coffee might be trapped at the bottom of the press. Stirring will help get these pieces back into the liquid which will give you better flavor extraction.
Now to the trickiest question in this equation; how much coffee to how much water?
Unfortunately this is a somewhat subjective answer. The answer depends on how strong you like the flavor of your coffee. In our house, we use Boresha Coffee which provides more flavor while using less coffee so the amounts we will discuss here pertain to Boresha Coffees and their Bskinny coffee. The typically recommended amount of ground coffee to water for other coffees is 2 tablespoons for every 6 to 8 ounces of water.
In the case of Boresha coffee, and because of the way they roast their beans (infrared roasting), you don’t need anywhere near the amount of coffee to water ratio of other coffees. In fact, it is advised to use 1 tablespoon of boresha or bskinny coffee to every 6 to 10 ounces depending on your preferred coffee strength. Our coffee press at home holds approximately 32 ounces of water, so we usually use 4 tablespoons of Bskinny (1tbsp of coffee to every 8oz of water) which gives us very rich and smooth coffee flavor.
If you are unsure how large your press is or how much water it holds, pour water into it up to the bottom of the highest metal collar and measure that amount of water. Don’t always believe what the box your press came in tells you. Measure it once for yourself. You might find that the smaller presses hold less water than their stated size.
Once you’ve done this, you will always be able to remember the right amounts for you, and you will be absolutely amazed at the difference in flavor and how great your coffee tastes.
Remember the most important factors for the best cup of French press coffee are:
The right ratio of coffee to water (if using Boresha Coffee or Bskinny coffee , use 1 tbsp coffee for 6 to 10 oz water depending on preferred strength)
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The right water temperature (recommended 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit)
Stirred correctly (stir when the boiling water is poured over the coffee, steep 2 minutes, stir again)
Steeped for the proper amount of time (total of 3 to 4 minutes, stirring half way through)
Pour the coffee into a thermos away from the used grounds when you are finished pressingTime to enjoy ! Be sure to read about the health benefits of coffee. Drink up and be healthy !