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What's your French Press process...

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
I found my French Press under the cupboard and it has been a long time since I brewed a pot.

What is your process for brewing up a French Press coffee? What grind to you use (number)?
 
I love French press. I haven't made one in quite some time. We use a keurig for convenience, but it isn't the same. I may have to break mine out, convenience be damned!
 
1 tablespoon of ground Kirkland Colombian per 4 oz of water, not-quite-boiling water, 5 minutes.

When I grind my own, I make it pretty coarse, I'm not sure what number it would be.
 
Weight of grounds and amount of water for me is always the same to start with. I "guess" 8-9 grams of coffee per cup and adjust coffee weight up or down basted on how it tastes.

Grind is the same as I use for auto drip (coarse salt or beach sand)

I pre heat the press using boiling water, pour it out, add grounds and just cover them with brew water. Bloom for a minute or untill it stops rising, than add the water. I will lightly stir to break the crust. Half way through the steep time I will stir gently and wait.

Slowly depress the screen until it is fully down. I like to wait another minute before pouring.

 
My preferred brew method is french press. I have an old vintage Bodum Bistro 8 cup french press that we got from someone as a wedding present about 27 years ago and sat in a cupboard until about a year or two ago. I decided to improve the quality of coffee I was drinking and decided this would be more economical than buying a high quality grinder and machine.

I bought a decent grinder and an inexpensive kitchen scale so I can weigh my coffee and water to ensure consistent ratios. The grinder is a Baratza Virtuoso which I have set at about 26 or 28. I also preheat both my carafe as well as my mug with hot water.

After some adjustment I ended up with a 1:13 ratio of coffee to water. So that works out to 23 grams of coffee to 300 grams of water which yeilds two mugs of cafe au lait.

So, I'll wait to grind the beans until just before the water comes to a boil. Next I'll pour the water right off the stove and just off the boil. Once I add the water to the carafe with the coffee in it, I swirl it to make sure all the grounds are submerged and in contact with the water and set the timer for 4 minutes to brew. Once it's done brewing I use a spoon to stir the crust and scoop off the foam and floating bits of coffee on the surface. I then put the press back on so it is just above the level of the coffee. I then let it sit for another 7 minutes. Once the 7 minutes are up I DO NOT PLUNGE THE PRESS. I simply let it serve as a filter and pour the coffee into a mug. Plunging the press only serves to stir things up and can make the taste in the cup bitter.

I use a stainless steel manual milk frother that I heat directly on the stove until it is at between 130 and 140 degress. Then I pump the frother for about 15 seconds and pour it into the coffee. Sometimes I'll top with some cinnamon. This process makes for a really nice smooth mug of coffee that is not bitter. When I first started I wasn't really paying a lot of attention to the process and ended up with some pretty bitter coffee. Below is the video I found that changed everything for me and my french press process. He definitely knows what he's talking about. Give it a watch. Good luck with your coffee adventures.

I used to bloom the coffee for a minute or so but then realized that with a full immersion type of brew method, there is no need to bloom. I'd bloom for drip or pour over but it isn't necessary for french press.

 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
I made a slight variation to the standard brewing method. I'd first put in just enough hot water to make a slurry with the ground coffee and let that sit for the few minutes. Swirl occasionally. Then I'd add the rest of the hot water at the end of the process, let it sit just briefly (30 seconds?) and give it an occasional spoon stir to get any remaining "floaty crust" to start sinking.

Then press as per usual, and drink.
 
I never realised a cafetiere could be so complicated for some people.

Two or three heaped teaspoons of coffee. No measurements, no idea what grind. Fill with hot water, stir, put lid on with plunger up and wait. Shove plunger down, pour, top up with hot water from the kettle if needed. Add milk and sugar, and drink it. Wait (not very long) for laxative effect to happen.

I naively assumed everyone did this.
 
My ratio is 60 grams of coffee to a litre of water. I use water that is 200-205 degrees, and I preheat the cafetiere. I use medium/coarse grind (28 on the Baratza Encore). I start the timer when the water hits the grounds. I pour in about half of the water I will end up using, and at about the minute mark, I give it a stir and then pour the rest of the water in. At the 4-minute mark, I slowly plunge and pour.
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have already learned that a course grind makes a better cup of coffee with a French Press. I am now working on my proportions for the ideal cup. And timing. I like the slurry idea.
 
My ratio is 60 grams of coffee to a litre of water. I use water that is 200-205 degrees, and I preheat the cafetiere. I use medium/coarse grind (28 on the Baratza Encore). I start the timer when the water hits the grounds. I pour in about half of the water I will end up using, and at about the minute mark, I give it a stir and then pour the rest of the water in. At the 4-minute mark, I slowly plunge and pour.

Worked perfectly for me in an Espro press. Thanks!

Marty
 
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