french press 101?

Baugo

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Nov 24, 2006
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Hi folks, I just went a got a new French press and was wondering if someone had the time to give me the 101 on its proper useage. Heres what I did so far. Brought triple filtered (reverse osmosis) water to about 195F meanwhile grind me Ethopian Yirg to a med course grind. Then put 4 tablespoons into the dry pot, pour the heated water over grounds wait 4 minutes press very slowly and pour. Much better than the drip, however, I would like to know, are the sediments normal? And the oils on-top of the cup also normal? Anything else anyone has on the FP I would greatly appreciate. Thanks just looking for my "Cup of Eden"
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
This are the brewing instructions I give to people when they buy our whole bean coffee.

Using an adjustable burr grinder, grind 1 slightly rounded Tablespoon fresh ground coffee, per 4-6 ounces of water.
Heat water to just below boiling (~197-200 degrees F). Using an adjustable burr grinder, coarse grind only as much coffee as needed. Measure coffee into the press. Pour hot water over the grounds, making sure to saturate all of them. Start timer. We recommend about 4 minutes depending on grind, and coffee. Finer grind=less time. The top of the coffee will rise or “bloom”, stir a few times, put top on press and wait. Timer goes off...Press immediately, and serve.
If you are making more than one cup, pour immediately into a thermal carafe. Do not allow coffee to sit in the press-pot. The grounds will continue to cook, destroying the flavorful notes of the coffee you have just perfectly brewed. Experiment with grind and steep time to produce the perfect cup!

Some people stir slightly after the coffee has finished blooming. You can grind finer/coarser depending on what size holes you have in your press pot. If there are TOO many grounds, try grinding a little coarser. The oils are normal... also dependant on the roast of the beans you are using.
IMHO one of the best ways to prepare a wonderful coffee.

John Piquet
caffe d'bolla
Salt Lake City, UT
 

CafeBlue

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Dec 8, 2006
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Toronto
Hey Baugo;
My 2 cents, too:
Coarse grind avoids the sludge. Slowly and steadily pressing the filter assembly also limits the sludge. While Mark recommends avoiding coffee roasted within 2 days due to high CO2 discharge (what about cupping?!?!), I think the stirring process is enough to disrupt the CO2 bloom. 2 level tablespoons per cup is the most recognized standard for coffee cup quality - I recommend starting at that level as a baseline. If your first brew is too bitter/over-extracted, adjust grind somewhat coarser before reducing the grinds to brew ratio. While most industry associations recommend brew temperatures between 185 and 205 Fahrenheit, my experience is that significantly more and better aroma and flavor extract at 200 to 205 degrees. I also find the best brew quality when steeping time is limited to 3 minutes.
This is also true at the cupping table (the extraction process is identical), where I start a timer to eliminate a variable before breaking the crusts. I know a few cuppers who always break the crusts immediately after pouring water, and this also serves to eliminate a variable.
 
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Baugo

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Nov 24, 2006
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Thanks everyone. Got it down now, had the Yirg, great cup. Now Im off to roast some Tanz PB, a couple days rest (if I can wait) and wah-lah..........Thanks again.
 
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Baugo

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I have always prefered a medium to a darker roast, but thanks to the french press and a current roast to just before 2nd crack on some Yirg and about 5 seconds into 2nd on some PB I am rethinking the way I look at Coffee.
:? :eek: :) :grin: :D Man I love this little press
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
Baugo said:
I have always prefered a medium to a darker roast, but thanks to the french press and a current roast to just before 2nd crack on some Yirg and about 5 seconds into 2nd on some PB I am rethinking the way I look at Coffee.
:? :eek: :) :grin: :D Man I love this little press

Only if you knew the power of the light side my padawan.
 
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Baugo

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Well maybe it’s that the palate is evolving, but I NEVER liked a light roast, maybe just never had a good one, but here lattely I have found that a light to bright medium has more flavor and is more enjoyable than the "Dark Side". I am probably using the wrong terminology, but I think a light roast has more depth and character (when done right) than most other roast types. Now I never thought that I would ever admit that, but the truth is “When all around is looking dark; move towards the light”.
 

scottlindner

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Oct 9, 2006
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Colorado Springs, CO
I just started using a press pot at home. I know to shoot for 195F - 200F. I have a meat thermometer and a deep fry thermometer. I got some water boiling and measured it to around 180-185F. That's the highest I can get it. Either both of my thermometers are off by about the same amount, or by the time I get the water into a preheated mug to measure the temp has already dropped significantly.

Well.. there's another contributor but I don't know how significant it is. I live at 6700ft above sea level. I know that lowers the boiling point, but does anyone know by how much?

Maybe I should use a pressure cooker to make my morning cop of Joe...
 

scottlindner

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Oct 9, 2006
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Colorado Springs, CO
cafemakers said:
scottlindner said:
Maybe I should use a pressure cooker to make my morning cop of Joe...

I'm afraid that you may need to. Found this website that performs a calculation: http://www.csgnetwork.com/h2oboilcalc.html

Good find! It looks like I can hit 200F. Maybe its the cheap thermometers, or is there too much temperature loss after boil and transfer to press? How low is getting too low for using a press pot?

Scott
 

Noonievut

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Aug 30, 2006
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Canada
Baugo said:
:? :eek: :) :grin: :D Man I love this little press

I bought my first FP about 3 weeks ago. I now own three of them!

A 3-cup if making only for me, an 8-cup for a batch I bring to work in a thermos, and a 12-cup for when company is over. Got all of them for the price of a cheap coffee maker!
 

3ternal

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Mar 22, 2007
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Seattle, WA
I just get around an inch of course coffee in, then fill hot water in, stir, and let sit for 4 minutes. Press down, and you''ve got yourself a cup of coffee :).
 
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