French press coffee has earned a reputation for being one of the fancy coffee brewing methods—like drip coffee or espresso—but it’s actually pretty straight forward. You just steep your coffee grounds in hot water for about four minutes, strain them, and you’re good to go. As advocates of the French press method will tell you, you can definitely taste the difference.
Just ask Patrick Main: As the Beverage Innovator and Senior R&D Manager at Peet’s, he knows a thing or two about coffee.”When I want to get the full expression of the coffee, I’ll do something that’s more of a direct infusion process, like a French press, where you’re letting coffee and water sit there together for a long time before separating the coffee from the water. That actually allows a little bit of sediment and oils to come through,” Main says.”This method offers a direct infusion for full-bodied coffee, making it an ideal companion for dark roasts, bringing out rich, complex flavors. It extracts the body and depth of a well-crafted dark roast, and espresso absolutely demands a dark or extra dark roast to showcase those rich chocolate and nutty flavors. You get complete control over your brew without the need for any sort of electrical brewing system.”
Want tips to getting the perfect cup from your French press? Main’s got those, too.
- Use fresh beans: The fresher the beans, the richer the cup. Buying freshly roasted coffee and storing it properly to maintain its freshness makes a huge difference. Buy for what you think you’ll actually brew. Storing your coffee beans in a quality container is necessary for keeping them fresh and ready to brew at a time most convenient for you.
- Pour fresh water: Fresh, cold, and filtered water that is not chemically softened or distilled makes a delicious difference. If you do not have access to fresh, cold, and filtered water, try using bottled water.
- Fine tune the grind: Grind your beans to the consistency of coarse sea salt. A consistent grind enables even extraction. If the plunger is difficult to push down at the end of the brew, try a slightly coarser grind next time.
- Trust the recipe: The secret to perfect coffee is the right ratio of coffee to water. Measure 1/4 cup of ground coffee for 12-ounces of water (about one mug).
Another must-have for a good cup of French press coffee? Well, a good French press. Here are the models that should be on your radar, based on costumer reviews, expert insight, and a couple of our favorite models here at Delish.
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