How to: The French Press

How to: The French Press

May God forgive you, devoted COFFEEwithChuck reader, if you have now spent years using your 4 cup automatic brewer while a FP (French Press) was hidden somewhere between an old slow-cooker and your backup toaster. Those years of delicious cups of coffee – squandered as it were – were likely due to lack of knowing proper FP usage. Read closely, for this might just change your life.

Start by taking out that dusty FP (borrowing or buying is good too*), and purchasing some quality coffee beans. We want something with low acidity (maybe Brazil, India, Kenya, Sumatra) and medium to dark roast (light is a bit too pungent). Here’s what to do next:

1) Start boiling filtered water in tea kettle.

2) Grind somewhat course beans – at least more course than for drip brewing – or get out already ground beans if you’re lazy or broke. But ground within the hour is tons better.

3) Scoop into the french press beaker 2 scoops (coffee scoop is 7 grams or 1/8th cup) coffee per 10 oz water.**

4) When tea kettle whistles (exactly 200°F) pour slowly over grounds so that you get all the grounds wet. Do Not Stir!!

5) Let this sit with lid off for exactly 2 minutes.*** Watch as grinds sit on top and shiny bubbles start forming. These are noxious little acids trying to free themselves of the water (they don’t like coffee, believe it or not). Let ‘em go, the nasty little bug-gars.

6) Take lid/filter and slowly press down just till grinds are barely under the water (to wet the grinds more), then bring back to top and leave the lid on this time. Let this sit with lid on for another 2 minutes.***

7) The moment the coffee is done (4 minutes total brewing) slowly press the filter to the bottom, and serve in heated cups.***  DO NOT sit and chat with your buddies idly as your coffee continues brewing till it tastes like charred bricks- this is important.

8 ) Enjoy. And maybe drop me a line if you enjoyed this or have questions.

*I’ve created an online amazon store with my highest recommended products. You can view the store here: I’ve only placed items on there that I’ve used and have high stars. If you do end up buying something – please consider buying from this store as it gives me a few bucks (which basically turns into more coffee). 😉
** If unsure, try filling to just under the top metal rim with water and then pouring that into a measuring container to know how much to use.
*** Recommend using a timer or you’ll end up forgetting! (Not that I’ve ever done that. No really, I haven’t)
****Pouring hot coffee into cold cups diminishes flavor.

The Semi is the weekly school paper for Fuller Theological Seminary. Fuller students, let me know what you think, and what topics you’d be interested in for future articles.

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