French Press Coffee–Guest Blogger

My awesome hubby agreed to write this post. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a freshly brewed cup (or pot) of delicious hot coffee on the weekend!? He’s much better at writing and storytelling than I so I hope you enjoy reading his post. He also knows how to make French Press Coffee unlike me. If I learn how to make it, he might ask me to–I like it this way…only one of us ‘can’ make the coffee after sleeping in Sunday morning ;).

You should also check out Trey’s blog here.

I made my first pot of coffee in the fall of 2008 at the age of 23. It was a small, 4-cup, paper filter, coffee maker; the really small ones made for domestically-impaired folk like myself. All I had to do was put in the filter, dump in the ground coffee, fill the water tank, and hit “start”.

It was a mess.

There was water and ground coffee all over the place, and my roommates, understandably, couldn’t believe it. The great people at Mr. Coffee even did all they
could to make it easy for me, but I guess I thought of some things they didn’t. And I know what you’re thinking – yes, I’m an Aggie.

So, I hope this blog post will help redeem my early mishaps and give you hope to know that anyone can learn to make a great cup of coffee.

Today we’ll be trading in the paper filters and conventional electric coffee makers for the trappings of the time-honored and hipster-friendly French Press.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• Coffee Grinder
• French Press aka Press Pot
• Kettle or Pot
• Stopwatch
• Your Favorite Coffee Beans

Step 1: Grind the Coffee Beans Coarse
For this step, you’ll want to put the coffee beans in the grinder, set it to “coarse,” and grind the desired amount of coffee. The most common press pot holds about 5 cups-worth (realistically)…so grind 5 cups, to be safe.

Step 2: Put the Ground Coffee in the Empty Press Pot

Step 3: Boil the Water
Here’s where you get to be creative. Not in boiling the water – that might actually be the most boring part – but deciding your water to coffee ratio. I’ve read a few differing opinions on the matter, but from what I can tell, the standard is: 1 tbsp of coffee for 1 cup of water. If you want it weaker, add more water but remember how much your press pot can hold. If you want it stronger, add less water.

If you have a kettle, you can use it for this step, as this is what the snobby-snob coffee makers swear by. We don’t have one, so we just boil the water in a pot on the stove.

You’ll also want to boil just a little bit more than 5 cups, as some water will evaporate during the boil.

Step 4: Add the Water to the Coffee and Stir
They say you’re supposed to pour “aggressively” and “evenly.” Sooo, do that. Then, using your stopwatch (that would be an iPhone in the Low household), wait one minute and begin stirring the water and coffee for the following three minutes. The layer that you’ll notice at the top is called “bloom.” Breaking this stuff up might be the most fun part

Step 5: Slowly Press the Filter Down From Top to Bottom

Step 6: Pour Your Coffee & Enjoy!

One critical detail: thanks to our friend, Chad, all of the info has come from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon. Please visit their site for more great info on coffee in general and French Press in particular. After a year or two of making French Press, I still occasionally pull out their website to make sure I’m doing it right.


One thought on “French Press Coffee–Guest Blogger

  1. Quick update from the source (our friend Chad–the pro French Press coffee maker): once you pour all of the water and start your 4min timer, there’s no stirring. At the 3min mark (1min has passed), you give 5-6 easy stirs, think dunking the grounds that are at the top gingerly. Then! Nada! No more stirring, wait until time runs out, plunge, and pour all of it out immediately (otherwise it will get overexctracted. Aka yucky.)

    Thanks Chad for helping all of us have a more enjoyable coffee drinking experience ;).

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