Dec 15

How To Make French Press Coffee

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I. love. coffee... the darker and bolder the better -- and with a little cream and sugar, please and thank you. Most days I'm perfectly happy to make it a cup at a time using either my Keurig or my Tassimo.


Yes, I have both, plus a Cuisinart drip brewer. Do you think maybe I have a problem? Oops, and I forgot about the Senseo in the basement...

Anyhow, a quickie cup is fine by me most days, but when it comes to the weekends, I like something a little more special. Coffee with my Bonjour French Press Coffee Maker not only tastes better, but I really enjoy the whole process that goes into making it. It kind of forces you to slow down and just enjoy the weekend -- and how about that candy apple red color?!?

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Beyond a French press, you really only need a tea kettle to boil the water and your favorite ground coffee. If you really want to get fancy, you can buy whole beans and grind them yourself, but five kids don't allow me that much leisure time on the weekends.

Making French Press Coffee Making French Press Coffee
Making French Press Coffee Making French Press Coffee

Four Basic Steps For French Press Coffee

Making French Press Coffee
{1} Add your ground coffee directly to your French press. The general rule of thumb is to use 2 tablespoons for every cup of water -- a little more for bold coffee, a little less for a milder brew.

Making French Press Coffee
{2} Let your tea kettle sit for approximately 60 seconds after it whistles, and then pour the desired amount of water into your French press. Replace the lid but do not depress the plunger yet.

Making French Press Coffee
{3} Let the coffee steep for approximately four minutes to as long as 10 minutes for a stronger brew. Then depress the plunger straight down to force all of the grounds to the bottom of the press.

Making French Press Coffee
{4} Pour yourself a cup o' hot Joe! If your French press does not have a feature to shut off the filter, you'll want to transfer any remaining coffee to an insulated carafe to prevent it from becoming bitter.

Now that we have the basics down, here are a few more tips for perfecting your brew:

  • Consider grinding your own beans. I won't deny that the fresher the grind, the better the final cup of coffee. But pre-ground coffee is perfectly fine as well.
  • If you do grind your own, experts recommend a burr grinder that produces a coarse grind. These can be pricey though, so keep in mind that a fresh grind is more important than an even grind if you're on a budget.
  • Like flavored coffee? A dash of cinnamon added directly to your grounds adds an unexpected dimension to coffee.
  • Use fresh filtered or spring water for best results. Again, I don't follow this as a rule, but if you have very hard water or water that has a strong taste to it, you'll want to take it under consideration.
  • Clean your press after each use. Leftover coffee oil residues can go rancid, spoiling future cups.

Are you a French press fanatic? What additional tips do you have for a perfect cup of coffee?

by Tara | 9 comments

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