How to Brew the perfect cafetiere French Press
You will need -
- A French press (cafetiere)
- Some amazing freshly coarse ground coffee (from us obviously)
- Fresh filtered water
- Gram scales
- Watch (iPhone timer is perfect)
Many people in the coffee world unfairly give the cafetiere bad press but if you follow these simple instructions, it is capable of constantly producing amazing results
1. Water - your cup of coffee is roughly 98% water, so it is worth using the best you can, filtered or bottled is good.
2. French press 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 needs to be ground very course. If you try to use a too fine grind (a larger surface area) your coffee will be over extracted and taste very 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 like milk with your coffee 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 stopwatch 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 really important bit, brew for four minutes. Its so important, I’m going to say it again. four minutes. After 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.
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, its still extracting and its 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.