How to Brew Coffee with a French Press by Karen Paterson
Press Size Pour water into a French Press to the bottom of the top ring (or some permanent mark near the top of the glass). Pour the water out into a measuring cup to find our the liquid volume of your press. Remember that number for future brewing.
Filter Look at the filter at the bottom of the plunger. The smaller the holes, the smaller the grind and the faster the extraction. If the holes are big, you need a rough grind to keep the solids out of your cup. If you grind too fine the filter will clog and you will have a difficult time pushing the plunger down. After the first time, you can adjust the grind to fit the filter.
Grinder Premium coffee is brewed from evenly ground beans. Uneven grinding results in some grounds being under extracted and some grounds being over extracted. Over and under extraction does not cancel each other out. Use a conical burr grinder for grinding your coffee beans.
Coffee Beans Start by using two heaping tablespoons of ground coffee (11 grams or one coffee measuring spoon) for each six ounces of water. So a 24 ounce French Press takes eight tablespoons (88 grams) of coffee.
Water 98% of a cup of coffee is water. Coffee brewed with chlorine or hard chemicals will be flat and bitter. Use water that tastes good like bottled spring water or high quality filtered water.
Water Temperature Good coffee is brewed between 195°F and 205 °F. Coffee brewed below 195°F tastes thin and sour. Coffee brewed above 205 °F tastes bitter and acidic.
Brewing Pour the ground coffee into the press. Fill the press with hot water to the mark you used in #1. Stir the slurry once and put the press lid on top. Press the plunger until it sits on the top of the coffee slurry.
Brew Time The default brew time is four minutes. If you are using a small press or finely ground beans you can reduce the brew time. If you are using a large press or rough grounds you can increase the brew time. Remember the number of minutes for the next time. At the end of the brew time press the plunger down slowly to the bottom.
Pour Out Do not let coffee sit in the French press. The grounds at the bottom will continue to extract and will give the coffee a bitter, acidic taste. If you have coffee left over at pouring into a cup(s), put the remainder in a carafe.
Karen Jue Paterson is the owner of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, a 33 acre coffee farm in Kona, Hawaii. She is a member of the Hawaii Coffee Association, the Kona Coffee Council, the Kona Coffee Farmers Association, the Holualoa Village Association and the Specialty Coffee Association of America. She is also the author of a number of articles on Kona Coffee including: Kona Coffee Farmers at a Crossroad https://www.huladaddy.com/?p=696 How Typica is Your Kona Coffee? https://www.huladaddy.com/?p=710 and Are Roasters Eroding the Kona Coffee Brand?https://www.huladaddy.com/?p=952; Coffee Cupping Competitions – Real or Random Chance? https://www.huladaddy.com/?p=1670