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Using a Coffee Press for Morning Coffee

Perhaps you’re one of those people who can’t function normally in the morning without sipping a cup of joe first. You may be an owner of a basic drip or an Aero Press coffee maker, and you’ve been enjoying it. Coffee makers with a plunger, such as a French press, might seem a bit intimidating at first as it requires a little more effort, but it’s way easier to use than you think.

Also, it’s worth the extra effort. Since you’d be using coffee grounds that are directly immersed in hot water as it brews, French press coffee makers tend to make richer, smoother, and more flavorful cup of coffee. It also retains the natural oils of the coffee that is typically absorbed by the paper filter. If you love a strong cup of coffee, the French press works best.

Here are some tips and tricks on how you should use a French coffee press for your morning coffee:

1. Get fresh coffee beans.

It won’t matter how you brew your coffee if your coffee sucks. There’s nothing wrong about waking up and walking to your cupboard to reach for ground coffee you bought from the supermarket, but there’s still a better coffee option out there. Fresh is always best. And if you know you deserve the best, pick freshly roasted coffee beans that look a little oily and smell aromatic. Keep them fresh by storing them in an airtight container and grind them just right before brewing.

2. Measure the coffee beans.

When it comes to coffee-to-water ratio, there’s no specific rule because it depends on how strong you want your coffee to be. But here’s a general guideline in terms of proportion:

·         1 cup of water (1 serving) – 2 tablespoon coffee beans

·         2 cups of water (2 servings) – ¼ cup coffee beans

·         4 cups of water (4 servings) – ½ cup coffee beans

·         8 cups of water (8 servings) – 1 cup of coffee beans

Start from here and add more if you like it stronger or decrease the amount of coffee beans if you want milder coffee. Take note that the coffee beans are measured before grinding them up.

3. Grind the beans yourself.

After measuring the required amount of coffee beans, use a coffee grinder. There are a lot of decent coffee grounders at major retail stores, coffee shops, and online shops. A burr grinder is the best choice for uniform extraction, as it can grind the beans to fine breadcrumbs-size pieces, which is the ideal size of ground coffee beans for the best flavor. But if you don’t have one, you can grind in brief, sharp pulses using a blade grinder. Make sure to stop every couple seconds to invert the grinder and give it a sharp shake as you hold the lid on. It can give rough and coarse coffee beans, but still evenly-sized. After grinding, pour the grounds into the French press.

4. Heat the water to boil, then cool for one minute.

While grinding, you can heat water in a stovetop or electric kettle. Bring it to a boil then let it sit for thirty seconds so it falls to the 200F to 298F range. If the temperature is too high, the heat will draw unwanted elements out of the grounds, which can make your coffee bitter.

5. Fill up the coffee press.

Once the grounds are at the bottom of your French press, pour a little water so that the grounds are covered by just an inch of it. Let it sit for about 30 seconds, then add the remaining water and give it a stir using a long spoon. Make sure all the coffee grounds are fully saturated with water for a flavorful brew. Then put on the lid.

6. Start your timer.

Get your timer and let the grounds steep for 4 minutes for a robust brew. It’s the recommended brewing time, but you may prefer a stronger coffee, so let it go for 6 minutes. Brew it for a shorter time if you like it milder. If you keep the grounds brewing for too long, the coffee will end up bitter; if it’s too soon, then it will taste bland.

7. Plunge the press.

When the time is up, gently but firmly press the plunger all the way down to the bottom. Be careful, as putting too much pressure can cause the hot coffee to spray out and onto you.

8. Pour into a cup and drink up.

When using a French press, it’s best to consume your brewed coffee immediately. Don’t let it sit around in the coffee maker all morning, since it will keep brewing. If you have any leftovers, pour them all out into another mug or thermos. Or you can brew just the needed amount of coffee next time.

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