A Guide to Using your French Press / Cafetiere
There has been a lot written on how and how not to brew coffee in a cafetiere. The bottom line is if you like the coffee you make, then that’s the right way to make it.. But here’s a few tips that may be worth having a go at with if you’re not doing it already…
1 Use the best quality coffee beans, but I would say that wouldn’t I!
2 Freshly ground beans are always better than pre-ground beans and they stay fresher longer .. so if you don’t have a grinder, it is worth a small investment. We sell hand grinders which have their own benefits (cooler grind, quieter, no need for electricity, aesthetically pleasing…) but if they are not for you, we can recommend an affordable electric grinder – we think the Krups coffee grinder is very good.
3 Use water that’s around 94°C, as a rule thumb (and mine’s a big thumb), if you are boiling about .5L of water, just as the water begins to bubble is about 90°C, so give it a few moments and you shouldn’t be far away. Alternatively allow to boil and wait for it to cool a little – this takes longer than people would have you believe, probably about 3 minute before it drops to the right temperature.
As an Experiment try using water that is boiling and then compare with water that has just started to bubble so about 90 deg. Compare the taste. A quality coffee that has been roasted well can take a bit more heat than a oily, poorly roasted coffee.
4 Try different steeping times to find one you like .. this is easy – just pour a little coffee out at 30 second intervals starting at 30 seconds. Notice the different flavours that develop at progressive times to find the time that you like.
5 Use filtered water and never reboil water, it can affect the oxygen levels that can effect the extraction of the coffee and so the taste.
Some other ideas..
6 Have you tried using a cafetiere to texture milk? Just put a little warm milk in a warm cafetiere then plunge the handle up and down vigorously, in a few seconds you will have smooth silky textured milk for your cafe latte.
7 Use your cafetiere to cold brew coffee.
Put your preferred amount of ground coffee in the cafetiere, pour over cold filter water give it a good stir, don’t plunge just put it in the fridge for about 24 hours. Again, experiment until you find your preference… remove and plunge. This will give you a nice cold brew coffee with some beautiful bright flavours (depending on the coffee beans), Cold brew coffee is nice over ice or just as a refreshing pick me up during the day.
In our next article we will be talking about coffee to water ratios ..
Enjoy your coffee!