For many people, the cafetiere (also known as a French Press) is their coffee maker of choice, and for good reason. They are easy to use, affordable and look great too. By following these five easy to remember steps they can produce amazing results.
You will need -
- Some amazing fresh, coarsely ground coffee from Cast Iron Coffee Roasters
- Fresh filtered water
- Gram scales
- Timing device
1. Boil your water in your kettle and let it stand for a minute to let the temperature drop slightly.
2. A cafetiere uses an immersion technique of brewing where the coffee sits in the water and extracts the flavour slowly. To get a really good cup, the coffee bean s need to be ground course. If you try to use a too fine grind you will find your coffee will loose sweetness and taste bitter.
3. Gram scales - Ok, we are on the edge of coffee geekery here so the first time you may want to try this in the privacy of your own kitchen with the blinds drawn. But accurately measuring the amount of coffee and water you use to get the correct brewing ratio really helps (honest !) As a starting point we suggest you try 30grams of coffee with 500g of water which produces two cups for you and a friend to share. If you prefer a stronger cup, or drink you coffee with milk, you may want to try slightly more coffee to water say 34-36g per 500g. The fine-tuning is down to personal taste.
4. Once you have weighed out the correct amount of coffee put it into the french press and place the french press on the scales. Now reset the scales to zero. Start your timer and carefully pour in 500g of water just off the boil, give it a quick stir and pop the lid on, but do not push the plunger down yet.
5. If you only remember one thing & this is the really important bit, brew for four minutes. It's so important, I’m going to say it again. four minutes. Once four minutes is up on your timer, push down the plunger slowly and carefully trying not to get the coffee too angry and pour into cups immediately but remember to leave a couple of centimetres of coffee left in the pot to avoid the sludge.
And thats it, simple!
Just one more thing. The french press is a brilliant device for brewing coffee but it is not a serving device. If you are not planning on drinking immediately, you need to decant the coffee into another jug to serve. The reason is that the coffee is still brewing, it's still extracting and it's just going to get more and more bitter and destroy all the lovely juicy sweetness and complexity.
If you have managed to do all the above and got this far, congratulations! bask in the glory of admiration from your friends and relations and enjoy your delicious coffee.