18 Tips for the Perfect French Press Coffee (Part 2)

cafetière,cafetiere, french press, coffee press

As promised, here’s another round up of tips, tricks and guidelines for better French press (a.k.a. coffee press) coffee at home:

8) Don’t add all the water right away

Instead, pour just a small amount into your cafetière to give the grounds 30 seconds or so to ‘bloom’. Only then should the rest of the water be added to your French Press.

9) Don’t stir the grounds too often

Contrary to popular belief, aggressively agitating coffee grounds in a coffee press can actually slow down the extraction process. Leave them to sit and let them do their thing in their own time.

10) Empty your cafetière right away

When the extraction process is complete, always ensure you remove all of the coffee from the vessel right away. Any liquid left to sit in the cafetiere will continue to be infused by the grounds, affecting its quality and flavour profile.

11) Keep your cafetière spotlessly clean

Simple common sense, but it will nonetheless help you brew more enjoyable French press coffee at home.

12) Coarser grounds, longer brewing

Try to get into the habit of using slightly coarser grounds and leaving the whole thing to brew a little longer. The result of which tends to be a much cleaner and crisper cup than when brewing with finer grounds for a shorter time.

13) Wait for the grounds to sink

Don’t make the mistake of plunging until the grounds have sunk to the bottom of the cafetiere. Some baristas don’t actually plunge at all - they simply allow the grounds to sink before pouring.

14) Skim the top before plunging

If there are any grounds floating on the surface of the liquid, it’s worth skimming them off before going ahead and plunging. This will help reduce unpleasant sediment and the resulting brew.

15) Consider additional filtration

There’s also the option of pouring French press coffee through a paper filter before serving it, which can be a great way of removing as many solubles as possible from the liquid. This double filtration method really does produce impressive and noticeably different results.

16) Use a decent cafetière

Of course, you can’t expect to brew a decent cup of French press coffee without a decent coffee press. Quality of the materials and the filter in particular will have an immense impact on the resulting brew.

17) Try DIY decaf

If you’d prefer a slightly less punchy cup of coffee, it’s actually quite easy to make DIY decaf. Simply add just enough water to cover the grounds, allow it to sit for a few seconds, press the grounds and pour away the liquid. This brief initial extraction process will remove much of the caffeine, after which you can continue brewing as normal.

18) Trial and error

Last but not least, experiment with different coffees, roasts, grinds and so on until you find your perfect brew. Make a note of your experiments along the way so you know which French press formula to stick with.

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