Once you get the hang of using it, a French press delivers consistent results and a heavier-bodied brew. Plus it makes your morning coffee ritual much more enjoyable. There are a few prerequisites: Coffee that is too finely ground will make your final product murky and give it an oily sheen and bitter flavor. If you do not have a coffee grinder, ask the person in the coffee section of the grocery store or your local coffee shop to grind the beans for French press. Water temperature also matters—too hot and it can cause the brew to taste burnt. How long to let it steep is subjective so experiment to find your own target time.
Bring a kettle of water to boil. Pour the water into a 4- to 8-cup French coffee press to warm it while you grind your beans. Refill the kettle with 2 cups water and return to a boil.
Grind the beans in a coffee grinder on the coarse setting; the ground coffee should resemble coarse sugar or sand. Coffee that is too finely ground will make your final product murky and give it an oily sheen and bitter flavor.
Once the kettle comes to a boil, remove from the heat and let sit 30 seconds to reach the optimal temperature for French press. If it's too hot, it can cause the brew to taste burnt.
Pour the hot water out of the French press. Put the measures coffee in the bottom. And 1 cup of the hot water, put on the top (but don't press) and let sit 1 minute.
After 1 minute, gently stir with the handle of a wooden spoon to break up the layer of coffee on top. Pour in the remaining 1 cup hot water. Put the top on (but don't press) and let sit for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, depending on how strong you like your coffee. Taste is subjective, so experiment to find your own target time.
Slowly push the plunger down to press the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot. As a rule of thumb, if it is very difficult to press, your coffee is probably ground too fine. If it glides right down with no resistance, your grind is probably too coarse. There is a sweet spot of resistance somewhere in the middle.
Serve right away with milk and sweetener if using. If you aren't sharing the pot and want to wait to have a second cup, it's best to transfer the coffee to a thermos or carafe. If you leave it in the press, it will continue to brew and can become too strong or bitter.
If you do not have a coffee grinder, ask the person in the coffee section of the grocery store or your local coffee shop to grind the beans for French press. You can use a slightly heaping 1/4 cup of pre-ground coffee.
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