When I first set out to write some how-to guides on brewing coffee I thought that I would mention French Press as a courtesy. It had been years since I had made it myself and I was under the impression that it was a substandard cup of coffee. It was silty and at times over or under extracted.
Some of the extraction problems were due to my use of a blade grinder at the time but it still didn’t really change my perception of french press as a dirty cup of coffee.
Oh how wrong I was.
I was recently reading The World Atlas of Coffee and came across a new recipe for french press that I had never seen before. It defied all of the conventional wisdom of making french press so I thought I’d give it a try.
What is French Press?
Simply stated, french press is an immersion method of brewing coffee. The water is in contact with the coffee grounds for the entire brewing process. Due to this, the resulting cup is a full bodied cup of coffee. The brewing process keeps all of the oil in the final cup and the fines (the really small particulate when you grind coffee) end up suspended in the coffee, adding even more body.
This is one of the most simple brewing methods so if you are new I would recommend buying a french press off of Amazon as it is a really inexpensive way to improve your coffee.
Because of this the conventional wisdom is to coarsely grind the beans so that they don’t over extract in the brewing process.
How is this Method Different?
This method is radically different from the textbook way to brew french press. The two factors that determine the final cup of coffee, the grind and brew time, depart from the standard.
The typical grind for french press is a coarse grind. For this method, you will use a medium grind. Think raw sugar.
The typical brew time for french press is 4 minutes. It will be 9 minutes for this method.