Invented in the late 1920’s, the French Press has become one of the most popular brewing methods around the world due to the rich flavors it produces. A simple construction made out of a cylindrical pot and a permanent metal filter makes the press easy to clean and maintain, and the absence of a paper filter means there is no byproduct aside from the used coffee.
A personal favorite, the press can produce great results if used correctly; although I must admit it took me a few times to get it right. So let me tell you the do’s and don’t’s that I have learned so far.
Maintenance is the Key!
If you want great coffee, take good care of your brewer. This applies to all brewing methods, and it’s one of the most important steps to ensure a great cup of coffee. Choose a press that is easy to disassemble. Make sure to pull it apart after every use and clean each part, removing any leftover coffee.
The Coffee Beans: Single Origin vs. Blends:
Finding the right coffee takes time. Your favorite may not be the first you taste. The #EsperantoExperience aims to introduce you to some of the best coffee from around the world and advise you on its preparation so that you discover what you love.
Esperanto is a Single Origin Coffee Club helping people discover, explore, and enjoy the world of coffee. We started it because we love Single Origin’s; they tend to have rich flavor profiles and are very distinctive between countries, and even between regions within a country.
The Roast and Grind:
Like any other food product, the fresher the beans, the richer the flavor. This applies both to the green beans (before roasting) and the roasted coffee.
For the press, usually a medium roast will produce the best flavors; personally, I prefer medium-dark as it keeps the chocolate and nutty notes while adding a smoky aftertaste. As for the grind, you need a coarse grind shown on the right side of the picture; trust me, you don’t want excessive powderiness on your coffee.
The last step: preparing the perfect cup of coffee! If you read the manual of your press, it probably says that you should use a ratio between 1:15 to 1:25 (coffee:water). This ratio is something you will have to experiment with. For my usual medium-dark roast, I prefer a 1:18 or 1.6oz of coffee to 25oz of water; this yields about 4 regular cups.
I do recommend getting a scale if you are into experimenting, else you can also use a scoop. Coffee scoops are usually 7-8g which comes to 0.25oz; the exact weight depends on the grind.
When adding the water, a thin layer of foam should form at the top. That is a good sign, as it means the water is at the right temperature. You will also notice that the coffee will float at the beginning, and after a few minutes, it will start to sink. I recommend giving it about 5 minutes to release its flavor, after which you can use the plunger to push the coffee down.
When using the press often enough, you will start to notice that the plunger is easier to push when the coffee has soaked for long enough, while a tough plunger usually means your coffee needs more time.
We hope you enjoy your next brew, and please let us know if you have any advice or if you do things differently. Check back for advice on making cold brew on your French Press and other brewing methods. If you want to receive premium quality, single origin coffee from around the world, click here to register for the #EsperantoExperience