We’ve all been there right? You have that good ol’ Moccamaster in your home that gives you your morning coffee to start the day with. It is quick and easy. But let’s face it, nothing beats the thrill of falling in love with a new coffee brewing method. And if you are guilty just like me, that love affair started with the French press.
Using a French press is a simple but effective way to brew a perfect cup of coffee. But it is far from quick and easy. Oh no sir/ma’am, far from it. Using a French press is art and requires commitment. It is coffee in its purest form—resulting in a dark, deep and full flavored tasting experience. But talking about it isn’t going to help you, so this guide will help you make the perfect coffee experience using a French press!
So first things first what we need is–you guessed it--coffee! Yes I know what you are thinking: “Uhmm… of course you need coffee, you dimwit!” But listen my friend, not all coffee is created equal. It is all about the quality! And when I say quality, that means freshly roasted, specialty coffee beans. And guess who happens to have said beans for you? Well you guessed it, we at Dash of course! For this recipe, we recommend using Hinga Kawa Medium for your ideal experience!
The next step is the water. And yes, this step is also important. You want to use clean water that doesn’t have a strong taste. Unfiltered water can mess with the flavor of the coffee so if you yourself wouldn’t drink it, don’t brew your coffee with it. Luckily here in Finland you can use regular tap water just fine. When heating the water I would avoid using boiling water, since it will over-extract the coffee and lead to a bitter flavor. Instead use a kettle and heat the water up to 96° celsius.
Step by Step Guide
OK we got the basics covered, now for the good part: brewing. You want to use medium grind or filter grounded coffee. If the grind is too coarse it will clog the filter and if it is too fine it will pass through, creating a rather muddy result. The coffee-to-water ratio is important, and we recommend following the 1:12 ratio using 30 grams of coffee per 350 grams of water (for 2 cups of coffee). Allow the coffee to steep for 4 minutes, stir the crust that forms and remove any floating bits.
Now this is where you need some patience. After 5-7 minutes, the sediments will have settled to the bottom and at this stage it is tempting to pour your coffee right away. But what you should do before is to press the plunger–very gently–down until it touches the surface of the coffee. It will act as a strainer in case there are any big floating pieces still around, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you have waited over 7 minutes for the sediment to settle.
Finally, you can pour the coffee and enjoy. Using a French press is certainly not the quickest brewing method, but it is definitely worth the extra effort. With patience and precision (and of course love), you can enjoy a dark, smooth coffee experience. To give a small tip, while we do have our own recipes for using a French press, we encourage you to try your own coffee-to-water ratio and find a perfect combination for your own taste.
- Place the pot on a flat surface.
- Use 30g of coffee and 350g water (for 2 cups of coffee).
- Pour hot water (96° celsius) into the pot.
- Carefully reinsert the plunger into the pot, stopping just above the water and ground coffee (do not plunge yet), and let stand for 4 minutes
- Wait additional 5-7 minutes for sediments to settle, then press the plunger slowly down.
- After use, wash the pot with water and mild detergent, and dry thoroughly
If you have made it this far and are still interested about learning more, how about a quick history lesson? The very first design of the French press method was patented in 1852 by Frenchman Delforge and Mayer.
Delforge and Mayer, 1852
It was a simpler version, but the modern French press that we know of today was patented by Italians Giulio Moneta and Attilio Calimani in 1929. However, it is worth pointing out that the method of using a cloth filter to separate coffee grounds from brewed coffee dates back much further. The first known reference to coffee filters dates back to Ethiopia in the 9th century, where coffee was brewed by placing grounded coffee in a cloth and allowing it to seep through.
Giulio Moneta & A ttilio Calimani, 1958
The French Press gained widespread popularity in the 1950s, due to its ease of use and producing a full-bodied cup of coffee. One of the main benefits of the French press was that it allowed the coffee oils to fully develop which resulted in a more complex and richer cup of coffee. Its popularity was aided even further in 1965 by its use in the Michael Caine film The Ipcress File.
So if you are ready to up your coffee game and brew delicious coffee, give the French press a go. Just remember, with a little bit of patience and love, you will get the perfect coffee cup. Happy brewing!