The Tried, Tested and Trusted Formula for Cafetiere Coffee

cafetiere, cafetière, french press, coffee press, coffee grinder

French press coffee is just about as simple and traditional as it gets. In the right hands, even the most basic cafetiere can be used to create remarkable results.  Even when compared alongside the most advanced machinery on the market, there is nothing quite like the ceremony of French press.

Best of all, brewing perfect cafetière coffee really couldn’t be easier. There’s a tried, tested and trusted methodology that guarantees superb results, consisting of the six simple steps outlined below:

1) Use a Coarse Grind

The key to quality French press coffee lies in using grounds slightly larger than with comparable brew methods. The extraction process is significantly slower and it is essential to keep the grounds relatively course, in order to avoid producing a cloudy and gritty cup of coffee. This is something that calls for a quality coffee grinder – like a manual burr grinder.

2) Weigh Your Coffee and Water

Weighing water and coffee is the most accurate way to measure it, due to the fact that some coffees are denser than others. You cannot therefore necessarily rely on volumes, due to these differing densities. With French press coffee, the perfect coffee to water ratio is somewhere around 1:16. Though there is plenty of room for experimentation, in order to find out what works for you.

3) Let the Grinds Bloom

After boiling the water and allowing it to cool for around 90 seconds, add a small quantity to the grinds. The subsequent ‘bloom’ releases the carbon dioxide and prevents it from making the resulting coffee too bitter or sour. Wait 30 seconds before adding the rest of the water.

4) Stir after 60 Seconds

Give the fully immersed grounds 60 seconds or so to settle, before giving the mixture a good stir. This will help ensure even extraction and produce a more enjoyable cup of coffee.

5) Allow 4 Minutes to Brew

It takes approximately 4 minutes to brew a perfect pot of cafetiere coffee.  However, these 4 minutes begin the moment the water hits the grounds for the initial bloom. It is therefore a good idea to use a stopwatch or kitchen timer of some kind, in order to keep an eye on timings. A few seconds either way will not make a huge difference, but leave things too long and the coffee will have over-brewed.

6) Plunge Slowly

The final step in the process is to plunge slowly and carefully, so as to ensure minimal debris makes its way into the coffee you will be drinking. Never let brewed coffee sit in a cafetière for too long - decant it into an appropriate carafe or jug to prevent over-extraction. And of course, ensure the receptacle you use has been preheated appropriately.

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