Here at LeFrenchPress we love coffee in all forms. But after using a French Press over the last 4-5 years, we have developed a bias.
We Love The French Press (if you couldn’t tell).
The French Press is lovingly used in Cafes and Homes all around the world by Coffee Aficionados who demand more from their morning (or afternoon/ evening) cup of joe. The level of control and simplicity of the device makes it stand out among other coffee brewing tools
The French Press: A History Lesson
The first design for this type of preparation was patented in 1852 by the French Mayer and Delforge. This did not seal the jar completely, so it was not originally the design we know today. The first patent of a French press like the one we know today, was made by Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929.
Ok, What’s so special about this simple brewing Device?
The French press is a complete immersion preparation device with a metal mesh filter. This guarantees powerful extraction with a lot of body and an increase in texture because most of the oils remain in the final extraction but also less coffee particles. If you do not like the gritty feeling in the coffee, then probably the press is not for you.
The ability to control all variables of a press such as water temperature, grinding and extraction time, allows the improvement of preparation methods according to personal preferences. The most important thing is that if you prepare it in the right way, you can enjoy the nuances of the aroma and the flavors in each coffee you prepare.
Ready to get started brewing with a French Press? Here are some factors you need to consider.
The Science in your morning Coffee
1. Coffee Granulation
We’ve gone over grinders and the importance of getting the best grind “coarseness” in our Best Grinder for French Press posts. But let’s recap.
Getting the right coarseness of your coffee grinds is important because we are chemically extracting all that caffeine (and other compounds) goodness through heat.
If your grinds are too fine, we run the risk of zapping all those compounds too fast – before the brew reaches our cup. Blade genders can shred your grinds quickly AND they run the risk of heating up your grinds while the blades are spinning – potentially destroying some of our precious oils, acids and the chemicals which make our coffee divine.
Granules of coffee that are too fine run the risk of being in your cup since they can’t be caught by the mesh filter.
Experiment and find a great grinder for your French Press and in no time you will be a French Press Pro.
2. Dosage – Do you want a lighter cup, or do you like a bitter brew?
The extraction ratio is a simple formula, the grams of water divided by the grams of coffee you will use. A common ratio is 1:15 ex. 15 grams of ground coffee per 225 grams of water. Start with this ratio and then add more coffee or use less amount of water to adjust it until you find the perfect combination for your palate.
3. Water Temp
Water temperature is another variable that can be experienced according to the taste. To begin, leave the water for 45 seconds after it reaches the boiling point so that it reaches 90 degrees Celsius (195 f). A teapot-neck teapot is a good investment if you want to control this variable more accurately
4. “Dwell” Time
Usually you will let your French Press dwell and extract for 3 to 5 minutes. Again experimenting will yield a different profile. Darker roasts are around that 5 minute mark, while a lighter cup is closer to 3 minutes.
Don’t forget to set a timer!
Now that we have the science and History of LeFrenchPress, here are a few more tips.
- If it is difficult to press or lower the filter, it means that the grinding is too fine, and if the filter sinks and there is not much resistance, then the grinding is too thick.
- Serve it immediately after the preparation because it will continue to extract the coffee adding bitter flavors. Serve it in another container if you’re not going to drink it all at once.
- Make sure you thoroughly and frequently clean your coffee maker, as old coffee beans get trapped in the filter and can damage fresh beans. Most filters can be removed for cleaning.
- If you do not like the result, play with all the variables! Preparing coffee should be an experimental and fun process. The best cup of coffee is the one you like the most, I encourage you to find it.
Here are a few well-reviewed French Presses on Amazon to Consider:
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker 18/10 Bonus Stainless Steel Screen
Cafe Du Chateau – French Press Coffee Maker
Large French Press Coffee Maker – Vacuum Insulated Stainless