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Video:How to Use a French Press

with Jessica Berton

Coffee brewed in a French press is particularly luscious and flavorful. But making it is something of an art form. See our tips for making the perfect cup of French press coffee.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use a French Press

Howdy, I’m Jessica Burton from Joe in Manhattan. Here for About.com to show you how to brew coffee in a French Press.

French Press Supplies

So, the tools we need are a French Press, also known as a Press Pot or as Plunger Pot, hot water, good coffee. You’ll need 2 tablespoons or one coffee scoop or ten grams of coffee per six ounces of water. We’re using a 32 oz. Press Pot, so we’ll use 50 grams of coffee and about 30 oz. of water. You’ll also need a timer and stirring utensil.

Qualities of French Press Coffee

The press pot is one of my favorite brewing methods because of the luscious mouth feel. Because the grounds are allowed to steep for a while, a lot of the oils and soluble are released into the water. And, since there’s no paper filter to catch those oils they get into your cup and into your mouth.

Heat Water

So, let’s get started. The first thing you’re going to do is put your kettle on to boil. Once your kettle is whistling, remove it from the heat source and let it sit for about 10 to 30 seconds, so that the water drops from that 212 degree boiling point down to somewhere between 195 and 205 degrees. If the water’s too hot it will burn your coffee.

Grind and Measure Coffee

Next, we’re going to measure and grind our coffee. Weighing your coffee is the most accurate method, but a scoop works just fine too.

It’s important to grind your coffee right before you brew it whenever possible because a whole bean has much less surface area then ground coffee and it will help prevent those aromas and flavors from escaping. You want to set to a coarse grind.

Pre-Heat Beaker and Fill

Now, we’re going to pre-heat our beaker with just a little swish of hot water. Then dump your coffee grounds into your beaker. And fill with your water that’s just off the boil until about two inches below the rim of the beaker.

Set Timer and Plunge

And then we set our timer for four minutes. Within about a minute a crust will begin to form on top of the water. You want to give it a stir so that all of the grounds interact with the water. Then place your plunger on top and wait until the timer goes off. Now, our four minutes are up. Turn off your timer and plunge.

Serve Coffee Immediately

It’s important to serve your coffee immediately because the coffee on top of the bed will continue to brew and become over extracted and make your coffee bitter and muddy. So, either brew just what you’re going to drink or transfer it into a thermal carafe once it's done.

So, the most important thing to remember when brewing in a French Press is not to let your coffee over steep. But as long as you’re attentive the press is a reliable and easy way to brew a great cup of Joe.

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