The best part of waking up. Coffee is a drug that as a society, we are slaves to the high it provides. Don’t worry, I’m not here to try to convince you to stop drinking coffee by any means. I realize my own addiction and have accepted it because I love that black gold so much. I simply think that if coffee plays such a significant role in all of our lives we should be sure to make sure we are consuming the highest quality cup every morning rather than settling for a lackluster brew. This is why I use my French press to make my coffee every morning. I believe this tool, when used correctly, produces the best quality coffee possible with the beans provided. Here are some guidelines for using a French press to insure your coffee generates the most satisfaction possible and starts your day on the right note.
What’s that old saying? “You can polish a turd but in the end, its still a turd.”. This very much applies to the coffee beans used to make your morning Joe. If you are committed to attaining the very highest quality grounds then you should order some organic Ethiopian green coffee beans, roast them yourself, grind them by hand, and immediately add them to your press. I however am an realist. I realize that while coffee is an important part of your morning, you have things going on in your life and cannot commit this amount of time to your brewing every morning. There are ways to work around that though.
Your second best option is to find a local coffee shop and buy your beans at a local coffee shop and grind them immediately before brewing. These beans are likely to be much fresher than ones you would buy off the shelf at the supermarket. Furthermore, by buying whole beans and grinding them immediately before brewing they will retain the most flavor.
If this is still too much for you and you wish to buy already ground beans I beg of you to make the right choice at the supermarket. At all costs avoid buying coffee in a tin. That is the sign of low quality coffee, that was probably packaged months, if not years, prior. When ground coffee sits that long it is likely to develop mold or other unsavory visitors. Your next step up it the bags of specialty coffee. While some like the artificially flavored chocolate brownie and cinnamon roll coffees, I recommend simply choosing a morning roast to get the most actual coffee flavor out of your brew. The issue with these though is that they likely have been sitting on the shelf as long as the tins though. Now we have arrived at the best choice in coffee grounds at the supermarket–the beans which you grind, bag, and weigh on sight. These will be the freshest and the fact that they were not preground means that they will retain more flavor as well as not contain any toxins such as mold.
Preparing your Press
Step one down. You have high quality grounds. This is no way means that you will produce a great cup of coffee however. There are some steps of preparation that need to be made to get your press ready. First begin heating your water as that is likely to take more time than your press preparation. We will touch on the specifics of water tempature later. One important aspect to French press preparation that often gets looked over is rinsing it out with hot water. This not only cleans out any dust that may be on your press but it raises the tempature of the press itself so once coffee is added, it will stay hot for a long time. Next, you want to add a tablespoon of coffee grounds for every 6 ounces of coffee you will he making. This does not have to be exact however and you can use more or less based on how you like your coffee. I personally like strong coffee so I always use more!
Heating the water is a delicate process as too hot water can burn your grounds making them bitter while too cool water will leave you with a lackluster cup. While you can get fancy and use a thermometer, I have a little trick that can be used eyeballing the water. What I do is allow the water to reach a hard boil. Immediately once this happens I will remove it from the heat and allow it to sit for thirty seconds to a minute. In that time the air cools it enough so it is perfect to be added to your grounds. Once you pour your hot water over your grounds you should stir to create uniformity and put the top back on your press to keep the heat in. Do not push down the filter yet! Wait three to five minutes for your coffee to brew. Then push down the filter and enjoy a perfect cup of coffee!