Coffee is a morning staple for most of us, and rightfully so. As an avid coffee drinker, you can’t deny that the perfect cup of coffee is both aromatic and rich in flavor. But you don’t always get that from a cut-and-paste café. Instead of spending a lot of money on expensive coffee that falls flat, you can try brewing your coffee using a French press. At first glance, a French press may seem complicated and hard to master, but this isn’t really the case. Let's explore the FAQs for French press beginners.
1. What are the benefits of a French press?
Using a French press is somewhat tiresome as it operates manually instead of electronically, meaning you will have to be hands-on during the entire brewing process. But it’s definitely worth the effort.
Your Coffee will be Flavorful and have a Rich Aroma
A French press is fitted with a metallic filter that allows the water to be in close contact with the coffee beans during the whole brewing process. This way, the oils, and acids released from the coffee beans fully infuse your coffee.
Coffee will be Full-Bodied
The filter on your French press is designed to allow microscopic coffee into your final brew. You will notice that the coffee has a rich, full-body flavor compared to coffee made using other techniques such as the drip method.
2. What size French press should I buy?
Knowing the right size for a French press is hard because they are measured in cups instead of how many ounces of coffee they make. Also, just because the size says it’s three cups does not mean it will make three cups of coffee. The French press originated from Italy, where they use small European cups rather than the large mugs that are the norm in the US.
For perspective, most standard American mugs can hold 8 to 10 ounces of liquid. As for a French press, they come in four sizes:
- 3 cups = 0.35 liters = 12 ounces
- 4 cups = 0.5 liters =13.5 ounces
- 8 cups = 1 liters = 34 ounces
- 12 cups = 1.5 liters = 51 ounces
So when you’re settling for the perfect size, consider how many cups of coffee you drink at a time and pick a size that will be just right for you.
3. Should I pour out all the coffee from the French press?
Yes, you should! When you press down the plunger but leave the coffee in the press, it will continue to brew, albeit slowly. Even though it seems like a good idea, it will overshoot your coffee, making it bitter.
4. How can I clean my French press after each use?
Contrary to popular opinion, you can clean your French press by placing it in the dishwasher. All you need to do is take it apart and place it right into the dishwasher like any other utensil—top rack if it will fit. On the other hand, you can also hand clean by following the steps below:
- Take off the lid and plunger and soak them in soapy water.
- Poor in a half cup of water into the French press and swirl it around until all the coffee grounds lift, allowing you to pour them out.
- Boil water and pour it into the French press.
- Return the plunger into the press and press it in an upward downwards motion. This will ensure all debris is removed and the walls are cleaned.
- Take the plunger out, rinse everything with soapy water, and finish with cold water.
- Let everything dry before fitting them back together.
5. How can I prevent my coffee from turning out too bitter?
Everyone prefers their unique cup of coffee. No universal ratio can help you brew the perfect cup so you will have to undergo a lot of trial and error before you can master what works for you.
If you keep getting bitter coffee, try the following:
- Only use filtered water. Tap water tends to have a metallic taste that will make your coffee bitter.
- Try not to stir or move the French press during the brewing process.
- Do not leave the coffee in the French press for more than five minutes.
- Invest in a quality burr grinder. If you use a standard coffee grinder, there is a high chance your brew will be bitter.
- Try not to press your plunger too hard when pouring the coffee.
Investing in your first French press is exciting! Don't be afraid to try new combinations to create that perfect cup of joe.
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