French Press coffee may seem like a complicated and slightly hipster way to make coffee; but it is really easy and the taste is way better than your regular coffee pot.
The french press was designed in 1929 by an Italian designer, Attilio Calimani. It is also called a coffee press. It is composed of a beaker, lid, and a fine mesh filter attached to the plunger. They come in a variety of sizes, from single serving to 8 cups. There are even travel versions, though that seems a little bit impractical for use on-the-go. French presses also come in a wide range of material; glass, stainless steel, plastic and metals.
What you will need:
A french press, of course!
Coffee beans, or coffee grounds
Spice grinder, to grind your coffee beans
Milk, sugar, coffee creamer
When using a french press, it is best to use a courser ground coffee than you would in your normal coffee machine. The grounds are pressed down by the plunger and become pressed against the mesh. When the grounds are fine, they sometimes seep through the mesh and go into the coffee. It is possible to find coarse ground coffee in the store or you can grind coffee beans in a spice grinder like I did. Target has really cheap but good spice grinders. Aim for the consistency of bread crumbs.
The first step is to remove the plunger from the beaker, and then pour your ground coffee into the beaker. Give it a little shake to settle the coffee grounds. My french press is 4 cups, so I used 4 heaping tablespoons. If your french press is 8 cups, use 8 tablespoons, more or less depending on how strong you like your coffee.
After putting your coffee grounds in, take half of your boiling water and pour it over the coffee grounds. Let it sit for one minute, then pour the rest of the water and give it a gentle stir. You will see a really nice foam on the top of the water as well as the coffee grounds.
Place the lid back on with the plunger pulled all the way up. This will brew for 4 minutes, so be patient and resist the urge to plunge it!
You may now begin the descent! Slowly, press the plunger down.
If your coffee is too fine, it will be hard to press the plunger down and you will feel a strong resistance. With a course ground coffee, the plunger will be very easy to push. But dont get too excited, go slow. Experiment with different grinds to see how you like it.
Once you have plunged your coffee and the grinds are at the bottom, you can serve it. It is best to serve it right away. If you don't drink it all immediately, transfer it to another carafe because it will keep brewing and become mud. You dont want mud, trust me.
The french press coffee is so mild and delicate, I guarantee you will love it. Take a sip before adding your milk, cream or sugar, and see if you can taste a difference in the coffee. It is more richer and full flavored. This is really nice to make for a special breakfast with friends, or a quiet afternoon treat.
How did your french press turn out??