French press coffee. Folks, get ready because we’re about to make the best French press coffee you have ever enjoyed in your life! Well, at least I hope so. So this coffee klatch today is going to be all about French press coffee. So you can put away our coffee pods. Pack up your Philips Senseo Touch, put away your Keurig coffee and let’s get down to business. All you are going to need are a manual coffee grinder or a burr coffee grinder like a KitchenAid coffee grinder or Cuisinart coffee grinder or if you’ve spent a few bucks your Dualit coffee grinder. Doesn’t matter, hell I’ll even settle for a blade coffee grinder if that’s all you’ve got. We can make it work for French press coffee.
What you need for delicious French press coffee
You’re also going to need your Bodum coffee makers or stainless steel coffee press or even just a French press mug if that is all you have. I’m going to be using my Bodum French press coffee maker with glass carafe. There are other brands that sell the French press coffee maker and most will do the job. The key here, is that we want to learn how to make the best French press coffee we can. Now everything that we need to make our French press coffee is crucially important, but in my opinion the French press coffee pot is the least important. Well maybe our coffee scoop is the least important, but you get what I’m saying.
Okay, from my perspective, the most important ingredients or items to make a great cup of French press coffee are in this order: Water, coffee, Bodum French press. The water is the most important part because let’s face it friends, water makes up 90%+ of our French press coffee. The coffee is next on the list, because it’s a coffee beverage that we’re enjoying. Now when I say coffee, I’m talking about the coffee grind, the amount of coffee we use as well as the coffee roast of our beans that we are using. These are all very important aspects of what makes a French press coffee so delicious. And as you can see, the coffee beans are crucial. It is worthwhile here to spend some good money and buy coffee beans that are premium coffee beans. Unless you are going with bulk coffee beans and roasting green coffee beans yourself you might as well spend a few bucks on a good coffee bean.
Now you guys no by now that I’m not a coffee snob, so I don’t particularly care if you want to use espresso coffee beans, Brazilian coffee, 100 Kona coffee or whatever it is you want. In fact I’d recommend that you experiment with all of the above and more. I’ve had delicious French press coffee that was made from espresso coffee beans and I’ve enjoyed great French press coffee made from city roast Colombian coffee beans. Light or dark roasts the coffee tis the thing that gives each cup its nuance.
What kind of water is best for French press coffee?
Personally, for every new coffee bean that I try or coffee bean roast that I try, I use distilled water for my Bodum French coffee press. Water is the most important ingredient in our coffee because we don’t want it to interfere with the flavor profile of the coffee. This is after all why we are enjoying a French press coffee – so that all of the natural oils and flavors can be enjoyed by us rather than trapped in filters and thus mute the flavor profile. I find that distilled coffee doesn’t interfere with the coffee profile. Others prefer reverse osmosis water and still others like a mineral spring water for their coffee. I find that the the latter add subtle different flavor characteristics to the coffee.
Now I’m not going to tell you which is best. I’m just offering suggestions. At the end of the day, coffee enjoyment is a very personal experience and a subjective experience, so experiment until you’ve found that perfect mix for your own palate.
One other suggestion when it comes to the water part of our French press coffee. I let the kettle boil and then turn it off. I don’t add the water to the coffee beans in the stainless steel French press coffee maker until it is no longer boiling and I can’t hear it bubbling. This means letting it rest just off the boil for about 10 to 20 seconds.
So now we get to the coffee. The coffee grind should be coarse, similar to the consistency of kosher salt or slightly less coarse. Now again, experiment. I’ve had lovely French press coffee with a pretty fine coffee grind that was close to espresso grind. This will give you more sediment in your glass coffee cups, but it also gives you a very nice crema too. So play around with the grind too. One tip to keep in mind when you are using a finer coffee grind is that you need less coffee for the same amount of water. This is because there is greater surface area of the many smaller coffee granules so the water is extracting more flavor.
So keep in mind that the finer the grind the less coffee you need for the flavor you want. Also, the longer you let your French press brew, the less coffee or the coarser the grind you need for the flavor extraction. As a general rule of thumb, when I am using coarse French press ground coffee I use about 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounces of water. Most bags of coffee suggest 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water but I find that a bit too rich for my blood. I also leave it brew for around 3 minutes, and perhaps as much as 5 minutes.
You just have to experiment and let your taste guide you. This is what I have loved about my coffee journey. It is hard to really ruing a cup of coffee and each day I am learning and experimenting and delighting myself with the flavors, roasts and other coffee nuances I am finding. I hope this short guide on French press coffee has been helpful. Enjoying your coffee beans with a French press is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy a good cup of coffee 🙂