How do I make a great cafetiere?
Cafetieres are such a fantastic and under-appreciated brewer, and a really easy starting place for budding at home barista’s, or someone who just enjoys a delicious cup of coffee (none of that instant muck in sight!)
They are cheap and easy to get hold of and there is no need for fancy equipment to be able to brew a delicious coffee with a big body. Perfect for that early morning start.
All you need is a cafetiere, or ‘french press’ as it is also known, a kettle and a set of scales (ideally that weigh to 0.1g but if you just have a set of kitchen scales, that is also fine).
Now to find a good starting point, we normally endorse a ratio of between 1 part coffee to 14 parts water (1:14) through to 1 part coffee to 18 parts water (1:18). This really depends on the coffee and how strong you like it so. Whilst there is no right or wrong here, this is a good area to start in and then work to your tastes to find out what strength you enjoy.
For this guide we will work with a ratio of 60g of coffee to 1ltr of water (a ratio of 1:16.6), which can easily be divided down to match the size of your cafetiere.
15g to 250ml
30g to 500ml
45g to 750ml
60g to 1ltr
Grind your coffee relatively coarse, slightly finer than rock salt is what you are aiming for.
The next step is your water. Now the importance of your water is actually quite large, however that is for another post! Depending on the area you live, you will find slightly different hardness of waters so if you know you live in a hard water area it would be advisable to invest in a water filter to reduce the mineral count a little in your water. You will hear a lot of advice on how boiling water will burn the coffee, but this is not strictly true. You will extract the coffee faster but you won’t actually burn it. Coffee is roasted to around 200 degrees plus, so boiling water won’t burn your coffee. Instead, you may just notice a few more bitter notes than usual.
Once you have added your water, now it’s time to let it brew. We normally endorse a brew time of between 3 and 4 minutes to fully extract your coffee, but with certain coffee’s you can actually brew for longer! This again will really now depend on how you enjoy the taste. Once the time has elapsed, it is time to plunge, but don’t plunge all the way to the bottom, just go low enough to back some of the grinds. Pour and enjoy!