How to Make a Perfect French Press Coffee
This is a guest post by Sarah Reinertsen, Chief Operating Officer at Foodtree.
We’re setting up our new Foodtree Treehouse here on Pender Street in Chinatown, and while the kitchen is yet to be installed, coffee is definitely a priority! We may be temporarily fetching the water from the bathroom down the hall, but with an electric kettle, a French Press and a coffee grinder, we’re pretty well set for the daily caffeine fix.
We’ve sourced the beans from one of our favorite spots, Everything Cafe. They use direct trade, organic Stumptown coffee roasters out of Portland. Naturally it’s important to keep the beans in a sealed container to ensure they stay fresh.
No doubt a poll of coffee purists would yield varying results on the recommended ratio of beans to water, but at culinary school I learned 57 grams of coffee grounds per liter of water is the perfect ratio. (If you want to go with 58, we won’t protest…)
Coarse grind of beans is recommended to keep gritty sediment from mucking up the bottom of your cup. So, now that the ground coffee is in the bottom of your press container…
As with green and herbal teas, don’t use boiling water! To get the maximum flavour from the beans, wait a minute after the kettle boils before pouring over the ground coffee. If you want to get your thermometer out, the optimum temperature is around 200°F or 93°C.
Adding Water to the Coffee
Slowly pour the hot water over the ground coffee and try to fully saturate all the grounds, but do not stir or agitate them. Ideally you’re creating a raft on top, and the nicer the raft the fresher the coffee.
30 seconds without stirring or interrupting the coffee.
Break the raft
Chopsticks work wonders, but a knife or spoon will be fine. Poke a hole in the top to allow the CO2 to escape. Now you can put the lid of the press on, but don’t do anything yet!
Wait some more
3-5 minutes depending on the size of your press.
You know you want to…Press it down
Slowly, evenly, gently – you don’t want to crack the glass or splash the grinds up the side of the pot.
Giving it another 5 minutes before pouring will lead to optimum drinking temperature – coffee flavour profiles change with time. Having said that, don’t wait too long to enjoy!
Thanks to Corey Hess, self-professed coffee geek and fellow culinary student, for his thorough instructions on brewing the perfect cup of coffee in a french press.