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The Reluctant Barista: Lowdown on French Presses

Nov 21, 2012 · coffee · Legacy
The Reluctant Barista: Lowdown on French Presses

There are so many things I love about French press coffee. First off, my mom makes it, so it reminds me of home. She has hand quilted a little coffee cozy to wrap around her La Cafetiere Classic ... it is adorable. Next, French press coffee is about as easy to make as tea. Does your grind have to be perfect? No. Do your measurements have to be perfect? No. Can you use an espresso blend? Yes, if you feel like it! In my opinion, French press coffee is more art than science. Too strong? Add more hot water. Too weak? Add an extra scoop next time. A French press requires a very low level of coffee commitment. You don't need to remember what size paper filters it takes or bemoan how much counter space it occupies. And yet for all of the convenience a French press offers, manufacturers don’t make it easy to tell how much coffee will be produced per pot. For my mad scientist coffee press experimentation I used a big measuring cup I borrowed from Brewin’ with Brandi and took over the SCG breakroom with a notebook, a Digital Timer and the Breville Ikon Electric Kettle. I pressed copious pots to give you the inside scoop! My methodology included 1 rounded tablespoon per 4 ounces of hot, not boiling, water. When I make it at home I throw in an extra scoop for the pot, but here I went 'by the book.' I stirred half way through so that the coffee grounds and water were well incorporated. However I did not leave 1 inch of headspace. I filled to the point where I felt comfortable the plunger would fit without overflowing the pot. Pro-Tip: Just like when buying a car, your mileage may vary! Go with the coffee flow. Here is a chart chock full of caffeinated results.

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