From cappuccinos to espressos to hazelnut frappes, coffee making is seen as a fine art. A skill that only baristas knew has now become something you can do in your own home.
Thanks to coffee machines being readily available, almost anyone can now brew coffee that would impress even the biggest coffee enthusiast
There are so many recipes available for delicious cups of coffee, but one of the most recent controversies is whether to use an electric coffee machine or a French press.
Both are useful for different applications, and the choice lies in what type of coffee drinker you are, and how you like your coffee to taste. So, is french press coffee stronger?
What Is a French Press?
While most Americans are more familiar with drip machines, a French press is widely used throughout the rest of the world. Despite its name, the French press was invented in Italy, and patented in 1929. After several changes, the machine became popular all around Europe, then spreading worldwide.
Coffee enthusiasts swear that French press coffee is the best coffee you can have, with Starbucks’ CEO stating in 2012 that the best coffee is that which can be made in your own kitchen with a French press.
A French press is very simple, and consists of a stainless steel or glass jug with a handle, a lid with a plunger, and a cylindrical stainless steel mesh piece attached to the plunger.
You use a French press by putting coffee grounds into the jug, pouring hot water over the grounds, then slowly pressing the plunger down once the coffee has steeped. The mesh piece on the plunger catches the coffee grounds so they don’t end up in your coffee.
Why You Should Choose a French Press
The biggest benefit of using a French press is that you can make your coffee based on your personal taste. The size and type of grounds used, the amount of time you leave the coffee to steep, and the water temperature all impact the taste of your coffee.
The majority of French press owners prefer grinding their own beans rather than buying grounds. This is because you can then control how coarse or fine your grounds are. Finely ground coffee results in more bitter coffee.
French press coffee also retains a lot of the natural oils from the grounds. These oils give coffee its rich taste. As there are no filters used with a French press, the natural flavor isn’t filtered out.
Another big benefit of a French press is portability. It uses no electrical connections, it doesn’t need a stove to heat it, and it is small enough to be carried in a bag.
How to Make Delectable French Press Coffee
- Start by coarsely grinding your coffee beans. If you find the coffee is too weak, grind your beans a little more finely. A good ratio of coffee to water for a French press is 15 grams of coffee per 250 milliliters of water – around 1:16.
- With French presses, it is best to pour boiling water from the kettle straight into the press. If you are brewing dark-roast, it is best to let the water drop by 15°F. If you have an insulated press, boil water in a kettle, but wait 30 seconds after boiling before adding it to the press.
- Add the water to the press. Some people add a quarter of the water, stir, and then add the rest. Some add the whole amount at once. It doesn’t matter which you do, it only matters what you do after the water has been added. If you add the water and leave the coffee for the brew time, your coffee will be under-extracted. You need to pour the water over the coffee grounds, let it sit for 30 to 45 seconds, then gently stir. Once all of the grounds have sunk to the bottom, you can place the lid on.
- Contrary to what many believe and do, the best brew time is 6 to 8 minutes, not the commonly practiced 3 to 4 minutes. While you can brew your coffee for a shorter amount of time, the best flavors and unique qualities of the coffee are achieved when your coffee brews for longer.
- When time is up, it is time to stop the brewing and plunge. Always remember that you want to plunge your coffee slowly and gently. Plunging to fast will agitate the grounds, accelerating the final extraction, leaving the coffee bitter and sharp. So, when you are ready, plunge slowly. If the plunger gets tight, back up an inch and start again. When you reach the bottom, you are done.
- Once the grounds are plunged down tightly, very little brewing will happen. Still, it is best to pour the entire contents out and enjoy it right away.
French press coffee is one of the best cups of coffee you can have. Its rich and vibrant flavor is unparalleled by drip coffee machines.
Additionally, you can save yourself a great deal of money by brewing your own French press coffee while still enjoying a delicious taste.