The Brewguide to the Classic: The French Press

The French Press preparation method

For many, the French Press preparation method is one of the best and easiest ways to brew coffee. The French Press (or press pot) was probably developed in France in 1850, and since then it has firmly established itself in the ranks of filter coffee brewing methods. It costs quite little to purchase and you don't need any other accessories, like extra paper filters, which also makes it a very environmentally friendly brewing method. However, some among us may have already relegated the pot to the back of the kitchen cupboard nirvana, as the morning coffee has usually only vaguely met expectations. The French Press preparation is actually quite simple, but simple mistakes in the handling can negatively affect the coffee taste. For this reason, we dedicate this blog entry to the correct French Press preparation.

Step by step:

For the French Press preparation you need, in addition to the French Press and the coffee beans, a kettle, a scale and a timer. Also, a wooden spoon is useful so as not to damage the glass carafe.

1. Preparation and dosage

First weigh your coffee beans. Basically, when preparing French Press coffee, the brew ratio is 1:16. This means that for every 1 part of coffee powder, there are 16 parts of water. So if you want to brew a liter of coffee, you use about 62 g of coffee powder, for 500 ml of water you need 31 g, and so on. This is a helpful guideline for now, which you can adjust depending on your coffee and preferences.

2. The right grind

The right grind is a decisive criterion for a successful French Press coffee. The goal in coffee preparation should always be to optimally extract the aromas and ingredients of the coffee bean with water and thus produce a balanced and harmonious-tasting coffee. For all coffee nerds among you who want to know exactly: Ideally, 18 to 22% of the aroma substances should be extracted from the coffee. This creates a balanced relationship between aroma and strength.

But what does the grind of the coffee powder have to do with it? The finer the powder is ground, the larger its surface area and the more ingredients can be dissolved by the water. In French press preparation, water and coffee powder are in contact for quite a long time, for several minutes, and thus the water has plenty of time to extract flavor and aroma substances from the coffee powder. For this reason, the grind of the coffee powder should not be too fine, otherwise over-extraction will occur and the coffee may taste bitter and too strong. Adjust the grind so that the texture of the powder resembles coarse sea salt or breadcrumbs (about level 7 on a scale of 1 to 10). Pour the coffee powder into your French Press.

Small tip: it is best to rinse the glass jug briefly with hot water beforehand so that the glass warms up and there are not too many temperature fluctuations.

3. pour water

Bring the water to a boil and then let it cool for 30 to 40 seconds, so that the water temperature is about 92°C. If the water is too hot, unpleasant odors will appear. If the water is too hot, unwanted bitter substances will be dissolved from the coffee. Now fill half of the hot water evenly into the French Press, stir briefly with the wooden spoon to wet the entire coffee powder with water, and then add the second half of the water.

4. Brewing time

Keep the brewing time to 4 minutes. The best way to do this is to set a timer immediately after you have poured all the water. Your coffee can taste bitter and over-extracted very quickly if you exceed the brewing time.

Once the four minutes are up, press down evenly and slowly on the strainer. Don't press so hard or the water may be forced out of the pot by the pressure.

Tip: Shortly before the 4 minutes are up, "break" the coffee crust by stirring the layer of coffee powder floating on top with a spoon and pressing down a little. This will cause the powder to drop to the bottom of the pot even before it is strained, and the coffee will be thoroughly filtered and taste clean.

5. Enjoy

Now don't let the coffee sit too long in the French Press pot to avoid further extraction. It is best to serve immediately or transfer to a coffee pot.

OUR COFFEE RECOMMENDATION: the filter coffee from Peru with floral notes of jasmine and violet, accompanied by the aftertaste macadamia nut: La Requia Geisha Washed


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