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So, you’ve read all reviews and watched all the videos and are completely convinced that a French Press is what you need in your life. So now what? How the hell do I use this thing and make good coffee? For those not in the know, a French Press Coffee Maker is nothing more than a metal or glass canister with a metal plunger that has a metal “filter” attached to it. It was designed sometime in the mid-1800’s in France. Its simple, elegant, and It’s slightly messy to clean when you’re done but it makes a damn good cup of coffee. So if you do not already have one, go and get it.. We’ll wait.
Good you’re back. Took you long enough. So, let’s make some coffee in the French Press, and here are the basics. Again, feel free to experiment, we won’t tell anyone.
You’ve probably already noticed that this evil looking contraption is in two pieces, the container and the plunger. If you haven’t already, take it apart. Not all the way, like don’t smash it against the wall, just remove the plunger from the canister.
Get some Brewtality Coffee ready to go. If you haven’t seen our rant about coffee grinders in the drip coffee section already, go check it out. If you have then you already know that if you’re using your own grinder, you should be using a burr grinder. Whether you’re grinding it at home or buying our whole beans, you will mostly want a medium grind, and here’s why. This is more of a natural way of making your joe. If you grind it too fine you are going to pass thru filter and end up with a “muddy” cup, and nobody likes a muddy cup. The coffee will taste amazing, but it’s going to feel like you’re drinking dusty water thru a straw. If your grind is to coarse it can clog the filter, which is going to make it a royal pain in the ass to push the plunger down, not to mention you’ll end up with flat tasting coffee. Medium is where it’s at!
Measure said coffee. Just as we’ve told you a million times, we’re going to tell you again, this part is entirely done by your taste preferences. What we are about to tell you is strictly a guideline, not a rule. We hate rules. Give us a rule and I guarantee we’re just going to break it because we can. We recommend, for newbies, to start with a mounding tablespoon of ground coffee for every 6.5 ounces of water that you should be heating up by now. Regardless, if you like your coffee stronger, use a little more, like it lighter, use a little less. Pretty simple stuff.
Take all that coffee you measured out and dump it right into the empty container. Yep, chuck it right in there, don’t be scared, you won’t break it.
The Water. Plain and simple, good coffee comes from good water. Tap water can have chlorine in it. It also can have way too many heavy minerals or other chemicals in it which will affect the taste of your coffee, so we don’t recommend it unless you are going to filter it. Same with distilled water, it’s also a no no. Filtered water doesn’t have any chemicals in it to worry about, but it doesn’t have any minerals in it either. You want some minerals. We recommend using spring water, but at the very least use bottled water or filter your tap water. Now that we have that settled. Heat that stuff up. If you have an instant pot, heat your water to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, if you don’t, heat your water in a tea kettle until it starts to boil, then remove it from the heat and let it sit for a minute or so.
Let it Bloom! Pour a small amount of your hot water (maybe an ounce, give or take) and pour it over the grounds. You just need enough water to moisten your grounds. Once you do that, let it sit for about 30 seconds. What you are doing is letting the ground coffee “de-gas” that is it is releasing carbon dioxide. It makes the coffee taste better.
Take the rest of your hot water and pour it over the coffee grounds. Take your time, there’s no rush. You want to make sure you are pouring in a circular motion. Well we don’t care if it’s a circle or a pentagram, or any other shape that suits your fancy. Just make sure you get all the grounds wet.
Stir it. You can give it a gentle stir now, or in a minute or two, It’s up to you. It’s coffee not brain surgery. But at some point, you will want to stir it gently to give all the grounds a chance to extract that beautiful taste and caffeine! Now grab that crazy looking lid and plunger. Pull the plunger rod up until the metal screen is against the lid. Carefully place the screen into the container of blazing hot coffee and stop just above the hot slurry. Put the lid in place (do not plunge yet). Let it sit for about 4 minutes.
Plunge it! So, you went and you combed your hair and put on a shirt, thank you. Let’s do this! Slowly push down on the plunger, exerting steady pressure, until you reach the bottom of the container.
Pour it and Enjoy! No need to remove the plunger, leave it where it’s at, at the bottom of the press. Fill your favorite Brewtality mug and kick today in the face. Seriously, we’re done here.
Have a Brewtal Day!