For some coffee lover a French press is best, but why is a French press better? What makes a French press good?
These are questions that I have asked myself many times when I first discovered the brewing technique.
Keep reading to find out why a French press is better!
Why Is A French Press Better?
Due to their being no paper filter and the fact that one is not needed for your French press is a key reason why a French press is better.
The use of a metal filter, which forms part of the coffee brewing device, means that more of the coffee oils makes their way into your cup of coffee.
It is the rich oils that give the coffee beans their unique tastes of origin and with the use of a French press you will soon be able to taste the difference between various coffee beans and know how a Colombian bean is different from an Ethiopian and a Sumatran for example.
Tiny bits of coffee grounds do make their way to your cup of coffee, but that is not a great in convenience, it is in fact a plus point as this percolates the flavor, your coffee simply tastes better.
Your French press coffee maker is versatile and can be used for more than just brewing coffee. You can use it for making tea and herbal infusions.
The method of extraction is steeping, or full immersion as it is known, steeps your grounds for a few minutes and results in a deep, bold delicious cup of coffee where everything gets into your cup, all the flavors for rich tasting brew.
The Brewing temperature is even and consistent from the point of extraction and the press is good at maintaining the water temperature while it is brewing.
Read: French press Vs pour over
What Makes A French Press Good?
A good French press will make good coffee, but a great French press will make great coffee.
When you are looking for a French press to buy it is essential that it is easy to clean and above all, and more importantly has the ability to keep your coffee hot and maintain that temperature for extended and long periods of time.
You don’t want your brewing temperature to drop quickly as you are waiting the 3 to 4 minutes while you are waiting for it to extract and brew.
Your brewing device must also have a stainless steel filter, which is fairly standard in all presses. The design is not a a big deal for me but absolutely must have that ability to keep hot water hot.
If you are concerned about coffee style and your press being all hip and fashionable there are plenty of stunning and beautiful designs.
Presses made from plastic or plastic based material I advise to avoid as the chemicals can seep out into your coffee in minute quantities and the Xeno-estrogens are not good for your health, for men or women.
The use of a ceramic burr grinder and grinding your beans fresher will help your to make your good coffee great coffee.
Is A French Press Worth It?
A French press is not expensive and doesn’t have to be. Spend what you can afford on one and if you can afford to, punch above your weight or spending power if (and only if) you think you’ll be using it a lot – these device will last you years and even a life time for a top quality one.
If you want that uber tasty full-bodies rich tasting full-bodied cup of coffee at home and are buying specialty coffee beans regularly then yes, a French press is worth it, more than worth it.
Read: Difference between French press and pour over
How To Use French Press
9 out of 10 people are using their French press the wrong way.
If you are one of those 9 follow these French press coffee instructions and get using it the right way and above all the best way to produce the best cup of coffee that you can.
Once you get used to it, and there is nothing difficult, you will find it to be one of the easiest and best coffee brewing methods.
How To Use A French Press Step By Step
As mentioned above, this is a very low skill level required brewing technique. Follow these steps and get into the habit of brewing outstanding coffee with it.
Let’s get cracking with the first step.
Step 1: Preheat Your Press
Starting at the very beginning, it is great practice to get into the habit of preheating your French press. This a VIP step in all coffee brewing techniques as when you brewing equipment has been preheated prevents their temperature from fluctuating and helps to maintain a high temperature.
All you need to do is heat some hot water, add it to your coffee press and swirl it around for about 30 seconds or so until the press is warm. Discard the hot water.
Step 2: Weigh Your Coffee Grounds
How much coffee grounds you need to weigh depends on the size of the cup of coffee that you are making and of course you are limited to the size, the capacity of your press.
A good coffee to water ration for good, strong cup of coffee, a coffee to water ratio of 1:12 .
For a 12 ounce (360 ml) cup of coffee you will need 1 ounce (30 grams) of coffee grounds.
- A 6 Ounce (180 ml) cup of coffee will need half an ounce (15 grams) of coffee grounds.
- A 8 Ounce (240 ml) cup of coffee will need 2/3 of an ounce (20 grams) of coffee grounds.
- A 12 Ounce (360 ml) cup of coffee will need an ounce (30 grams) of coffee grounds.
- A 16 Ounce (480 ml) cup of coffee will need 1 and 1/3 of an ounce (40 grams) of coffee grounds.
It is advise that you grind your coffee immediately before you start brewing for the maximum freshness. I suggest using a medium-coarse grind.
At Latte Love Brew, we suggest the use of ceramic conical burr grinder to get the best and most even grind size which achieves the results for coffee grinding.
Read: Pour over Vs French press
Step 3: Weigh Your Water And Check The Temperature
Weight your water rather then measure it by volume, you will get a higher degree of accuracy. Don’t forget to tare your digital scales to take into consideration the weight of your water container.
Measure the appropriate amount of water by weight for the size of the cup that you want to make. If you are brewing a 12 oz cup of coffee weigh 12 Oz (360 grams) of water.
Note: 1 ml of water = 1 gram.
Heat your water using whatever method is most convenient, a regular kettle or a kettle with digital temperature control. A digital electronic gooseneck kettle with temperature control facility is what I reccomend for full control of the temperature and greater control over the pour.
The important part here is to heat your water the ideal water temperature of 195F to 205F (92C to 96C). I advise leaning towards the higher end of the scale.
Step 4: Add Coffee Grounds And Hot Water
Add your coffee grounds to your preheated French press. Give your press a shake to ensure a flat even distribution of your grounds and pour only enough to wet your grounds and stop, allow your grounds to bloom for 20 to 30 seconds.
Continue to pour your water in an even fashion until the rest of your hot water has poured. Take a long spoon and give your coffee and hot water mix a quick stir.
Press down on your plunger until it is just below the water line.
Step 5: Brew Time
Use a timer and time your brew time. Better still use a countdown timer with an alarm to remind you. Brew time should be approximately 4 minutes.
Step 6: Press Down On The Plunger
Once your brew time has completed slowly and with and even pressure push down on the plunger and until it reaches the bottom.
Step 7: Decant Your coffee Into A Thermal Container
This is a very important step. Since your coffee continues to extract it is VIP that you decant to a fresh container and one that will help to retain its temperature.
If you leave your coffee to extract it will eventually over extract and become overtly bitter and undrinkable.
Step 8: Pour Your Coffee And Enjoy
The best part of all, pour your coffee and add milk and sugar as per your own requirements and personal taste.
Frequently Asked Questions About Why Is A French Press Better?
Is French Press Coffee Really Better?
For many coffee lovers a French press really is better, but with the caveat of it depends of what type of beans you are using and the type of coffee that you want to make. A French press is better for brewing a full-bodied, rich-tasting coffee.
To be straight and honest, something we pride ourselves on, a French press is to the best method if you enjoy a lighter tasting cup of coffee or want to use light roasted coffee beans. In this case, pour over is excellent and a better choice.
What’s The Point Of A French Press?
The point of a French press and the reason that it was originally created was to brew a much better tasting cup of coffee. French press coffee brewing gives you full control of the variables that affect the flavor of your coffee.
The full immersion technique is great for extracting the concentrated deep flavors and oils from the coffee beans and getting you a full flavored, deep and dark cup of coffee.
Why is French Press Hard To Push Down?
The most common reason for having difficulties in pushing down on the plunger of your French press coffee maker is due to using a coffee grind size that is too fine, too small.
When the grinds are too small they block the holes in the filter and as a result you have a piston effect and the coffee-water mix is causing a resistance making it difficult for you to push down on the plunger.
A medium-coarse grind or a coarse even grind size is what is needed for brewing technique.
Is French Press Coffee Healthy?
Yes, coffee has been well researched and studied for its health benefits. This refers to the various roasts and brewing techniques as a whole. Coffee contains a number of vitamins, minerals and is loaded with antioxidants.
It also contains a substance called methylpyridinium which studies indicate may help you to reduce esophageal, oral and pharyngeal cancers.
Can I Use Regular Ground Coffee In A French Press?
Yes, you can use any coffee ground for your coffee press, just be careful of the grind size when you are buying pre-ground coffee as the wrong grind size can block the filter and lead to a over extracted and bitter coffee.
I advise grinding your own beans to get the best and freshest cup of coffee and use high quality beans.
What Kind Of Coffee Do You Put In A French Press?
For the best results use at least a medium roast and above of specialty grade coffee beans. Grind them to a medium-coarse grinds to coarse grind size.
Final Thoughts – Why Is A French Press Better?
Having an definitive answer to why is a French press better is quite satisfying as you know not only how to make great coffee with it but also why is brews better coffee and how the why, and having that knowledge means you can use it to your advantage to brew better coffee.
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