I love coffee and can drink it all day! Most mornings I rely on my dear friend Mr. Coffee or the Keurig at the office, but sometimes I want something different. My new favorite is the French press method: a classic way to make good coffee for yourself or a group at home. Since there is no paper filter to filter out the oils from the coffee beans, it makes a rich, full-bodied coffee. While I do love this type of brew, I am no expert, so I reached out to a fellow coffee connoisseur and master of all things coffee, Dr. Tim Kennedy. Tim is the executive director of engineering at ACU and can help you make the best-ever cup of joe!
- Gather your supplies: an 8-cup French press, a coffee grinder, 52 grams (about 8 tablespoons) of coffee beans, about 800 grams of hot water (just off of the boil) plus more for rinsing, a scale, a timer, and your favorite mug.
- Warm up the French press by rinsing it with hot water. This will ensure that the coffee can extract at its best without giving off heat to warm up the press.
- While the press is warming, measure 52 grams (around 8 tablespoons) of coffee and grind it coarsely (it should look like breadcrumbs).
- The press should now be warmed, so discard the hot water into your favorite mug (to warm it up) and add your freshly ground coffee into the warm, empty press.
- Get your very hot water (just off the boil), and start a stopwatch as soon as you begin adding water to the coffee. Fill the press half way, making sure to saturate the coffee as evenly as possible so there are no dry spots. This will allow the coffee to “bloom” and release carbon dioxide trapped in the bean from the roasting process.
- When the stopwatch hits the one minute mark, use a spoon or stir stick to break the “crust” (top layer that has formed). Give the coffee a good stir, but be gentle, so as not to break the glass.
- Fill the press all the way with hot water, and put the top portion of the press on top (without pressing) and allow to brew.
- When the stopwatch reaches the four minute mark, gently press the plunger all the way down.
- Grab your favorite cup, fill it up, stop and smell the goodness of your coffee, then enjoy. If you have leftovers, pour into a carafe or travel mug. (If you leave the extra in the press, it will continue to extract, causing it to become bitter.)
- To clean your French press, add a little water to the grounds, swirl and empty into a compost bin or trash can. (I save mine for my plants; they love coffee too!)
By Nancy Roberts