French Press coffee maker

Waxen

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Nov 17, 2006
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I recently purchased and discovered the joys of a French press coffee maker. The one that I purchased is a Bonjour

http://www.bonjourproducts.com/53392.html

What I’ve noticed is the plunger goes all the way down to the bottom of the carafe as opposed to the Bodum’s which I’ve seen, where the plunger only goes as far down as 1 inch before the bottom of the carafe.

Does this make a difference? Would like input on this as I’m really interested in the whole process of making a French press coffee.

Thank you
 
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Waxen

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Thanks for the link but I do how to use the press pot and have reviewed alot of website with the info. I was asking more about the plunger and why on some press pots it goes right to the bottom of the carafe where others only allow it to go down to about 1 inch before the bottom of the carafe.
 

cafemakers

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Waxen said:
Thanks for the link but I do how to use the press pot and have reviewed alot of website with the info. I was asking more about the plunger and why on some press pots it goes right to the bottom of the carafe where others only allow it to go down to about 1 inch before the bottom of the carafe.

Pressing with too much force on the remaining compressed coffee grounds that collect at the bottom of your pot may overextract your coffee. Some manufacturers assume that you know this, others design the system for those that do not.
 
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Waxen

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That makes sense. From now on i'll just stop short of pressing to the bottom.

Thank you
 
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Waxen

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The pictures that I've seen of french press coffee sometimes shows a delicious looking foamy top of the coffee when the plunger is pressed. How is that attained? Does it depend on the type of coffee bean? When i've done it I can't get that foamy top.
 

cafemakers

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Check the temperature of your water (200 deg F), condition of your water (a whole other topic), age of the coffee (between 3-10 days out of the roaster) and only grind fresh immediately before use at a particle size slightly larger than for brewing. Steep for approximately 4 minutes and press slowly.

The crema that floats to the top will be oils that are naturally occuring in the coffee which have emulsified with water under the pressure of plunging.
 

cafemakers

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...I should mention that some coffees naturally have more oils than others. Straight robustas or blends containing robustas are known for producing lots of crema as a result of their oil content - the taste, however, is normaly not desireable to the Western consumer. You really have to look hard for a specialty robusta in North America, but they are gaining in popularity.
 
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Waxen

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Robusta?? Is that dark roast? Sorry for the newbie questions. I live in Ontario Canada and the only places that I know of that sells coffee beans are my local grocery stores (which i'm assuming doens't carry the best beans) and a coffee shop chain called The Second Cup which I would guess carries better beans. Any suggestions as to where else I might find better beans? Thanks for all your help
 

demetri

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Waxen said:
a coffee shop chain called The Second Cup which I would guess carries better beans.

They carry Arabica Beans. They're coffee is quite good compaired to Starbucks or Tim's but their service is really inconsistent from location to location. Some of their barista's are awesome and some .... well lets say that it really depends on how much training the franchisee is willing to invest in their staff.
 
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Waxen

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I was thinking my best bet for now is Second Cup. I've looked through the phone book in my city (Hamilton) and there are some coffee houses but not sure if they are roasters or if they're any good. Whats a reasoanble price for a pound of good coffee?
 

demetri

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Winnipeg, MB
Superstore (might be Loblaws in your part of the country) has some decent Arabica Beans for I believe $8/kg. It's been a while since I've bought from them.

Last time I ordered coffee I ordered from Cafe Britt and paid $9/lbs. Their coffee is nice but mostly I order from their once in a while as a reminder of a trip I took to Costa Rica a few years back.
 
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