Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    11

    Giving up on Keurig, tried stovtop perc, want to try French Press

    Hey guys;
    I posted in this forum a couple months ago about my dissatisfaction with the Keurig K-cup brewing system. I recently took out an old Corningware stovetop pot (6 cups or so) and decided to give it a try.
    I made a couple mistakes:
    1. I used very old beans that had no more flavor left in them
    2. I allowed the coffee to boil for too long

    I did some Googling, and learned that I want to turn the heat down once the water starts to perc, to the point where percs are 2-3 seconds apart. However, when I tried that this morning, I found that even using the smallest burner on the stove and at its lowest setting, I was getting around 2 percs per second. I tried to regulate the temp by shutting the burner off completely until the percolating just about stopped, then turned it back on low until it began percolating again. I repeated this process 2-3 times before I had let the coffee perc for about 10 minutes.
    The coffee was drinkable, but had little or no flavor, and was somewhat bitter. I used a small amount of non-dairy creamer but no sweetener (the creamer has enough!).

    Since it does not appear that I will be able to control the temperature on the (gas) stove well enough to keep the brew from boiling, I thought of my options:
    1. An electric percolator. I was fairly happy with the 12-cup Presto electric I was using, but now that I am the only one drinking percolated coffee (other family members use the Keurig), I am not going to make 2 cups in a 12 cup pot.
    I thought about buying a small (2-4 cup) electric percolator, but after doing a lot of reading, I now believe that a French Press would be my best option.
    That, and fresh beans to start with.

    With that said, what brand/model French Press should I get? The prices on Amazon seem very reasonable compared to even an electric percolator.
    Once I decide on a brand/model, I would like to learn exactly how to grind my beans, and how much grinds per 8oz of water. That ratio seems to vary, depending on which website you're on, but all seem to agree on a medium-coarse grind.
    The grinder I have been using is a Kusinart model DBM-8, which is a burr grinder, so I think it will do a good job at whatever setting I use. But it is hard to know exactly how much coffee it is grinding, as the grinder is controlled only by time, not actual weight of grounds. I read that one should always measure the grind by weight, not volume, since the weight varies by the grind. I suppose i need to convert the amount of water from fluid oz to weight as well in order to get the correct water/grinds ratio (1oz water weighs 1.04oz), so for a large cup 16fl oz water will weigh 16.64oz.
    Then, do I need to add a bit of water for the grounds in a French Press, just as you would for the percolator?

    I also read about blooming the grind to release CO2. I read that you're supposed to pour about 1/3 of the water onto the grounds, mix it up and let it sit for 30 seconds before adding the remaining water. Then mix again, and allow the mixture to steep for 4 mins before plunging.
    I doubt that the beans I have will have enough CO2 left in them to need blooming though. They are Wellsley Farms (BJ's) Columbian Arabica with a use by date of 12/2020. I have had the sealed bag for at least 6 months now.
    But I figure start with the beans I have on hand so I can perfect my technique before spending money on some really good beans.

    OK. I think I've provided enough info to get started.
    When I can enjoy my brew black, I will know that i have reached my goal!

    Thanks for your help/advice
    Ultrarunner

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,320
    Well - lets discuss water... you can heat it up on your stove via kettle or get an electric kettle - both do the same thing. You want to use water as close to 200 as possible (within reason). Most people bring to boil, let it sit for 30-45 seconds, and then use.

    French Press - the 'big' brand name is Bodum... various sizes and options. They are well built but are pretty basic contraptions. I'm sure there may be less expensive options just as good, but I tend to stick with proven solutions. There are others out there that are insulated, good to keep the coffee hot. It really just depends on how much your making and your personal drinking habits.

    For the best coffee experience use fresh coffee beans, grind just before use, use the right amount and grind for your brewing method.

    The grinder is the 'chef knife' of the coffee world - the more you spend the more consistent grinds you will get (within reason). I tend to recommend the Baratza Encore as the first entry-level 'high-quality' grinder. The longer your coffee sits in water, the larger your grind needs to be.

    Coffee is a little like a sponge, you have to get it wet before it works best. That is what blooming is doing... you pour a small percentage of your water and let the coffee soak it up for 30 seconds or so... then when you pour your bulk water in it will brew more consistently wetting of the coffee grinds.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    11
    Thanks Musicphan;
    I have also read that the Bodum is a good brand, and Amazon has several of their models. I would prefer stainless steel over glass, but so long as the glass is good quality, it shouldn't be a problem for me; so long as I am the only one using it. I won't say that for other people in my household, but fortunately, they're not inclined to spend any extra time to get a better cup of joe, so I think I'm safe.
    That Baratza Encore grinder looks great! I think that once I develop a taste for good coffee, and am buying high quality beans, I will go for it. After all, it's something that only needs to be purchased once. In the end, I will spend a lot more on beans over the life of the grinder.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    11
    Well, considering the horror stories I have been reading (on Amazon reviews) of glass presses, I think I will go for a SS model. Even the Bodum glass models seem to have issues with glass breaking. I really do prefer Stainless anyway. My best Thermos bottles were all SS!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    11
    What do you think of the Frieling stainless steel models? Expensive, yes. But perhaps more durable? But I am disappointed that a company with a German name like Frieling is made in - of course - China. I guess there's really not much of an option in this regard...

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    69
    I am happy with my Secura.
    https://www.amazon.com/Cafetera-el%C.../dp/B00JE36GLQ

    Double wall stainless press retains temperature well during brew process.
    Seems to be lasting - I've had it for over a year of daily use.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    253
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultrarunner2020 View Post
    Hey guys;
    I posted in this forum a couple months ago about my dissatisfaction with the Keurig K-cup brewing system. I recently took out an old Corningware stovetop pot (6 cups or so) and decided to give it a try.
    I made a couple mistakes:
    1. I used very old beans that had no more flavor left in them
    2. I allowed the coffee to boil for too long

    I did some Googling, and learned that I want to turn the heat down once the water starts to perc, to the point where percs are 2-3 seconds apart. However, when I tried that this morning, I found that even using the smallest burner on the stove and at its lowest setting, I was getting around 2 percs per second. I tried to regulate the temp by shutting the burner off completely until the percolating just about stopped, then turned it back on low until it began percolating again. I repeated this process 2-3 times before I had let the coffee perc for about 10 minutes.
    The coffee was drinkable, but had little or no flavor, and was somewhat bitter. I used a small amount of non-dairy creamer but no sweetener (the creamer has enough!).

    Since it does not appear that I will be able to control the temperature on the (gas) stove well enough to keep the brew from boiling, I thought of my options:
    1. An electric percolator. I was fairly happy with the 12-cup Presto electric I was using, but now that I am the only one drinking percolated coffee (other family members use the Keurig), I am not going to make 2 cups in a 12 cup pot.
    I thought about buying a small (2-4 cup) electric percolator, but after doing a lot of reading, I now believe that a French Press would be my best option.
    That, and fresh beans to start with.

    With that said, what brand/model French Press should I get? The prices on Amazon seem very reasonable compared to even an electric percolator.
    Once I decide on a brand/model, I would like to learn exactly how to grind my beans, and how much grinds per 8oz of water. That ratio seems to vary, depending on which website you're on, but all seem to agree on a medium-coarse grind.
    The grinder I have been using is a Kusinart model DBM-8, which is a burr grinder, so I think it will do a good job at whatever setting I use. But it is hard to know exactly how much coffee it is grinding, as the grinder is controlled only by time, not actual weight of grounds. I read that one should always measure the grind by weight, not volume, since the weight varies by the grind. I suppose i need to convert the amount of water from fluid oz to weight as well in order to get the correct water/grinds ratio (1oz water weighs 1.04oz), so for a large cup 16fl oz water will weigh 16.64oz.
    Then, do I need to add a bit of water for the grounds in a French Press, just as you would for the percolator?

    I also read about blooming the grind to release CO2. I read that you're supposed to pour about 1/3 of the water onto the grounds, mix it up and let it sit for 30 seconds before adding the remaining water. Then mix again, and allow the mixture to steep for 4 mins before plunging.
    I doubt that the beans I have will have enough CO2 left in them to need blooming though. They are Wellsley Farms (BJ's) Columbian Arabica with a use by date of 12/2020. I have had the sealed bag for at least 6 months now.
    But I figure start with the beans I have on hand so I can perfect my technique before spending money on some really good beans.

    OK. I think I've provided enough info to get started.
    When I can enjoy my brew black, I will know that i have reached my goal!

    Thanks for your help/advice
    Ultrarunner
    For the longest time the only coffee I was drinking at home was from our old Keurig. lI do find the Donut Shop coffee very good for what it is. But nothing compared to what I can make from the french press. Ours was given to us as a wedding present. It was an old Bodum 8 cup Bistro set with four cups and four little plastic spoons. The cups and spoons are long gone. But the pressi is excellent. But I wouldn't worry too much about which press you use. Just be sure it's of reasonable quality. All it really needs to do is prevent coffee from going through the screen into your cup . The rest is up to you. I definitely upped the quality of my coffee when I started weighing both the coffee and the water to ensure the proper water to coffee ratio. You also want to start with good quality beans that you know when they were roasted. Not the Sell By date, but the date they actually roasted the beans. You don't want to have beans that you won't use within from 4 to 6 weeks from the date they were roasted. Preferably not longer than the 4 weeks. Grind the beans to a medium courseness. I know, people always say grind course. I disagree. Following this technique will give you very littel fines in your cup. I use a 1:13 ratio, so for two mugs of cafe au lait (roughly half coffee, half milk and foam), I use 23 grams of coffee to 300 grams of water. I use the water coming right off the boil from a gas stove. Pour the water into the carafe with the coffee. Swirl or stir it so all the grounds are fully immersed. Then set the timer for 4 minutes. At 4 minutes I then stir the crust that has forumed and using a spoon I scoop off anything that has not sunk. So that means floating grounds, bubbles or crema (not the same crema as espresso crema). Once I've scooped all that stuff off I set the timer for another 7 minutes and I let it sit. I have not pushed the plunger down at this point. It's just sitting above the level of the liquid and keeping the heat in the carafe. While I'm waiting I heat up some milk on the stove to 140 degrees F. I then use a manual plunger and froth the heated miilk. Once the 7 minutes is up, I then pour half coffee and half milk plus some foam into a vintage Victor diner mug that I pre-heated with hot tap water but I do so WITHOUT PRESSING THE PLUNGER." The only thing pressing the plunger does is stir up sediment and can make the coffee bitter in your cup. You don't need to press the plunger because all of the coffee has to go through the screen anyway. So you just use the screen as a filter. Pouring slowly ensures no fines in your cup. I forgot to mention I also pre-heat the carafe before I put the ground coffee into it. The point about pre heating the mug and carafe is to prevent the quick loss of heat pouring into a cold carafe or mug. Heat retention is important. But using water right off the boil is no problem because you know the water will never be hotter than 212 degrees F and you won't "burn" your coffee. But that temp at that level is precious so you try and retain as much of it as possible. This approach I got from watching James Hoffmann on Youtube. And I have to tell you that as soon as I followed this exact approach, my coffee in my cup really wasn't all that good. Now it's incredible. I like the simplicity. It may be the oldest way to brew coffee. And I like that you can get some mouth feel from some fines in your cup and you get the oils that are normally stopped by the paper filters of pour overs. Those oils impart a ton of flavor, combined with a little bit of fines I find very satisfying.

    Looking at your post you talk about blooming. I thought that was something I should be doing so I experimented with it. I found no benefit from blooming french press coffee. It make sense for pour over because it helps the extraction because the grounds are only in contact with the water once as it passes through the grounds whereas with french press, the grounds are fully submerged for several mintues. There is no need nor benefit to blooming when all you will do next is fully submerge the gounds in water for so long.
    Absurdity is the only reality - FZ

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthSouth View Post
    I am happy with my Secura.
    https://www.amazon.com/Cafetera-el%C.../dp/B00JE36GLQ

    Double wall stainless press retains temperature well during brew process.
    Seems to be lasting - I've had it for over a year of daily use.
    Thanks. Looks good. Funny that the 34oz size is $1 less than the 17oz. Considering that I will be making only one cup at a time, I would tend to go with the 17oz, but perhaps I want the option to make more?

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    11
    MtnMan62;
    Thanks for the detailed description of your process. Sounds a bit complex, but I guess that's because you're doing the milk deal. I wasn't planning to go that far, at least in the beginning.
    It is beginning to look like I've got some really bad beans. Using the stove-top perk, I am unable to get any taste from the coffee, even after opening a vacuum sealed bag of Wellsley Farms Arabica (use by date 12/2020), but that says nothing about when it was roasted. I know it was purchased at least 6 months ago!
    If I don't get any flavor from these beans in the press, I guess it's time to dump them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Pawleys Island, SC
    Posts
    145

    SS French press...

    Preparing for a road trip that was going to include a lot of wilderness driving and camping in western Canada and Alaska, I bought an insulated 44 oz SS Frieling French press to replace my fragile Bodum Chambord press. The insulated SS press has been my favorite ever since. The following is an excerpt from a product review I wrote about the Frieling.


    "Though purchased primarily for its unbreakability, I have come to like it for other reasons. First, my coffee tastes better. I cannot say for sure why this is so. Perhaps, because the water temperature is more stable during steeping in the insulated pot compared to the rapid heat loss from the uninsulated glass pot? I just do not know why, but my wife agrees that the coffee tastes better. Secondly, the cleanup is quicker and easier. Frieling says all parts are dishwasher safe and no disassembly required. I was skeptical about the "no disassembly required" part. But, examining the plunger assembly, it appeared to be made to very close tolerances with little opportunity to trap coffee grounds. So, I used it twice a day for almost a month, washing it by hand, before I disassembled the plunger assembly for the first time. There was a very minute amount of coffee, a few flecks, trapped in the filter screen between the other two components of the plunger. Those few flecks may have gotten trapped at some point when the plunger assembly was not screwed tightly together. In any case, it was inconsequential. Third, I like the additional capacity of the 44 ounce pot. By brewing 36 ounces, I get two full 16 ounce mugs of nice clear coffee with only a bit of fine particulates in the last sip."

 

 
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Remove Ads

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-12-2016, 07:59 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-13-2016, 11:51 AM
  3. french press lid...
    By topher in forum Coffee Table
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-23-2010, 03:12 PM
  4. french press 101?
    By Baugo in forum Coffee and Espresso Machines
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-23-2007, 02:18 AM
  5. French Press
    By in forum Coffee Drinks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-11-2005, 02:46 PM