These are intended as a “starting point” for the respective type of brewing. Ultimately, you will figure out the best and most convenient ways to use these brewing devices, so please remake, twist, turn, distort, decomplile, torch, grind and brew these instructions to suit your own needs!
French Press Brewing
Now that you can buy a cheap French Press (also called a Press Pot) at K-Mart or Target, people seem to think they are missing something by not trying it out. Personally I love brewing in a press. It is the primary way that I drink coffee! The advantages are many:
- No paper filters to dispose of, to absorb aromatic coffee oils or to impart a “paper taste” to the coffee
- Total control over water temperature and brew time, unlike the auto-drip coffee maker that is rarely at correct brewing temperature (195-200 degrees) when the water hits the coffee.
- Its simple, easy and quick.
- Its fairly easy to clean up.
- I don’t mind the additional sediment in the coffee, because there is also more body in the cup.
… but is French Press Brewing for everyone? No!
- There is more sediment in the cup: You never take that last sip.
- To manage the sediment, you need a decent burr mill that can create an even grind. If you have a whirling blade mill, you can install a Nylon Filter in addition to the Stainless Steel one to help manage the sludge. But it will always be there. Personally, I would not brew in a French Press if I had only a whirling blade grinder … but they don’t tell you that when you buy it!
- French Press brewing is used to make fresh coffee to consume immediately …which is ideal. It is not good to leave the coffee in the press for any length of time. Tailor the size of the press or the amount you make to what can be consumed in 10 minutes or so. Don’t try to keep it warm. Don’t let the coffee sit longer in the press, even in the plunged position it continues to extract.
- For the above reason, I discourage the “travel press” design in which the press doubles as a cup and you drink out of it. And I don’t like the stainless steel thermal French Press that insulates the coffee because it is not meant to store coffee or keep in warm while still in contact with the grounds. If you need hot coffee for a longer period and want to use a press, decant the coffee into a thermos after brewing.