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Cold Weather Or Not This Is The Best Way To Make Coffee  

It’s that time of year when the weather is turning just a little bit colder, even here in South Florida, and you may find that getting caught in the rain is much more, shall we say bracing?, than it was in July.  There’s just no way around it - a great cup of Joe is just spectacular now!  

A few months ago, I invested in a French Press Coffee Maker, and it’s brought my appreciation of Java to a whole new height.  In fact, I really have no desire to go back to my old cofee maker, which is only used these days by my husband, and since he rarely makes coffee it’s mostly idle.  

In this blog post I’d like to share the experience of using the French Press Coffee Maker, and let you know that it’s not complicated at all.  It’s more a matter of using excellent ingredients than skill.  Read on for the details.    

What You Need  

    French Press Coffee Maker Pot  

    Coffee Grinder

    Course Ground Coffee

    Boiling Water (I use bottled spring water)

    A chop stick

    A thermal carafe (optional)

About What Goes Into The French Press Coffee Maker  

There are two ingredients involved in making French press coffee: water and coffee grounds. The entire point of drinking coffee using a push pot is to get coffee in its purest form, so make sure those two ingredients are the very best you can afford.  

It is important to select coffee blends that are made of the highest quality beans and have been expertly roasted. The best way to find great coffee beans is through one of your local coffee shops. Frequently, they buy their beans locally or roast their own beans.

It is critical to use beans between three to ten days old. Beans less than three days old have a ton of CO2 and they produce an effect called "bloom" on top of the coffee being brewed. A bloom is a layer of foamy, brown suds that form as a result of that CO2 trying to escape the water and coffee. After three days, the CO2 has dissipated enough that the risk of a bloom forming is much lower. After ten days, the coffee beans are no longer considered fresh and should not be used, especially in French press coffee.

Water, the other ingredient, is of equal importance. If the water you use to brew your push pot coffee is at all hard or has a lot of chlorine or other mineral build-ups in it, the coffee will end up tasting acrid. If at all possible, it is best to use bottle water or water from a water cooler. This water will produce the purest flavor when combined with the coffee. If you prefer to take a greener route, attach a filter to your water faucet or fill a pitcher with a filter attached. The more chemicals and minerals you can get out of the water, the better.

Grind the Beans Coarsely  

If you get your beans ground at the coffee shop, make certain the barista knows you will be using the grounds in a French press. Grounds used in a French press are much more coarse than standard coffee grounds. (This is very, very important!)

If you will be using your own grinder to make the grounds for your French press coffee, a top quality grinder makes all the difference in the world. If you use a blade grinder, you will end up with grounds that are uneven and have finer particles that will not be trapped by the filter. These fine grounds will wind up in the coffee brew and ruin the overall taste of the coffee by making it gritty.

Using a conical burr grinder will ensure that you can get a coarse, consistent grind for your coffee beans. Even then, it is important not to skimp on your grinder if you are serious about getting the best possible French press coffee.

How To Prepare Coffee In The French Press Coffee Maker  

First, I want to tell you that despite what you see in the movies and on TV, you should not let your coffee sit in the press after it’s been brewed; it should be transferred to a thermal carafe. If you‘re using a French Press Coffee Maker that is for a single cup, than this doesn’t apply, but if you‘re looking to prepare a whole pot, like I do, then you need a good thermal carafe.

Heat your carafe by filling it with hot water, and putting the top on tightly.  This will warm the insulation layer in the carafe and keep your coffee nice and hot.  Let that sit while you proceed to make your coffee.  

Step One: Preheat The Press  

Because most French presses consist largely of glass, it is a good idea to pour some warm water in the press before you shock it with near-boiling water. Putting warm water in the pot raises the temperature of the glass and lowers the risk of the glass cracking. If you like, you can also preheat the cup with warm water so that your cup of coffee will not cool immediately when it comes in contact with the cool ceramic material.  These are small details perhaps, but you may be surprised at how much difference they can make!  

Step Two: Measure The Ingredients  

You should use about one heaping tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee for every one cup of hot water. This measurement is not set in stone and can be played with slightly if you want even stronger coffee.

Step Three: Add The Ingredients  

Scoop the coffee grounds into the press pot first. Then add water that has been boiled. You want to let boiling water sit for a few minutes so that it can get to the ideal temperatures between 195° and 205°F. Some water coolers have a hot water dispenser. This is the right temperature to use for the coffee, so you can use hot water from the cooler if you are using a French press in a breakroom with a water cooler.

When you begin pouring the water into the press, pour just enough to cover the grounds. This will saturate the coffee and allow it to expand properly before the rest of the water is added.

Add the water until the pot is about two-thirds of the way full and begin to stir the grounds and water together using your chop stick. This will aid in the extraction process and result in more flavorful coffee.

Step Four: Let It Steep  

This step involves waiting and counting. Place the lid on top of the French Press Coffee Maker (without pressing down the plunger) and start timing how long the coffee steeps. Typically the optimum amount of time to steep coffee in a standard press pot is about four minutes. For smaller pots, two minutes is best. The longer you let the coffee steep the stronger it will be.

Step Five: Press Down On The Plunger  

After the coffee has steeped for the appropriate amount of time, press down on the plunger to begin to filter the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee. Press down steadily, since pushing unevenly could result in hot coffee sloshing out of the pot, and you don’t want to let in a lot of air at once that can alter the flavor of the coffee.

Step Six: Pour And Enjoy  

Once the plunger has reached the bottom of the pot, the coffee is ready to be served.  Empty the hot water from your carafe, and transfer your coffee from The French Press Coffee Maker.  Traditionally, French press coffee is drunk black to best taste all of the flavors and natural oils in the coffee.  I add cream to my coffee, without any sweetener, and the taste is magnifique!  

Also my recipe for [Link Removed]to go with your delicious coffee!

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