A few years back I read an article about how to save money at coffee shops. I loved most of the tips but was a bit surprised when this coffee connoisseur stated that you should get a French press coffee and drink it throughout the day while letting the coffee sit in the press.
Here's the problem: Your first cup could be a bit weak, but by your last cup you will be, without a doubt, spitting it out from being too bitter.
Today I want to show you my recipe for making french press coffee.
How to Make Coffee in a French Press
Step One: Get Out Your Ingredients
I took this picture after putting the coffee in, so you will also need coffee beans. I recommend a locally roasted variety where you can talk to the roaster. Most of them know the farmer and can give you in-depth details about why they chose this farmer. They can also let you know if they are fair trade or not.
I chose to use Green Frog Coffee Company's Dirty Snowman coffeebeans. They are based out of Jackson, Tennessee and come highly recommended.
The reason this picture was taken was to show you that you should also be using purified water. Think about it: the majority of your coffee is water. If you have bad tasting tap water, it will affect the taste of your coffee.
Now, you have your ingredients, here's what you do.
Step Two: Temperature of the Water
One of the advantages of making coffee yourself with a french press is that you get to have complete control over just about everything. The temperature I have been using for the past three years is between one hundred and eighty degrees to two hundred.
Likewise, I have figured out that this takes three minutes in the microwave so long as the water starts at room temperature. If the water came out of the refrigerator, it takes four minutes.
I do not recommend going lower because your coffee will be too weak, too hot and it will be bitter.
Okay so, here's where we are splitting things up. I am going to give you two separate methods- one for traditional hot coffee in a french press, one for the cold brew method.
Traditional: While your water is heating up, add in your coffee grinds. The usual is two tablespoons for six ounces of water. Pour water over coffee beans once to temp.
Cold Brew Method: If you like cold brew coffee, pour room temperature water over coffee in the same ratio.
Step Three: Timer
Just like with temperature, this can throw off your coffee as well. I guess using a french press over a traditional coffee pot has the same saying as our mothers once told us, “With more freedom, comes more responsibility.” For the conventional method, too short of a time and… you guessed it, the coffee will be too weak, too much time and it will be too bitter.
Traditional: You want your coffee beans soaking in the warmed up water for three minutes. As soon as my the water is in the press, I set the timer.
Cold Brewed: Once you have your coffee and water in the French press, set the lid on it. I like to put it right over the water and beans, touching but not pushing it down. Place in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours.
Step Four: Finally
Once you have finished the time, push down on the coffee grounds slowly. If this were a race, the winner would be who did it last.
Naturally, you don't want to take five minutes to do this but about fifteen to thirty seconds is not a bad goal.
After that, make sure the spout is open like you would have for tea and then pour out the coffee. All of it.
I make mine in two dose batches (12 ounces of coffee) and separate them into two cups. I typically will drink both cups throughout the day, but it's a bit overwhelming to have that much coffee in one cup. Plus this gives me the opportunity to make something different later on.
Doctor it up how you want ( I prefer warmed, steamed milk and a small handful of white chocolate chips) and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
An Easy Guide to How to Brew Coffee in a French Press
I hope you see now why the idea of having the coffee beans in the french press with the water for possibly hours is a bad idea. I also hope that you see how easy making coffee in a French press really is.
No matter what though, this cup is for you!