Introduction to using a coffee press

There are those who stop at nothing in search of the perfect cup of coffee. This might include growing their own coffee beans, roasting their own green coffee beans or trying various methods to brew their favorite beverage.

There are various ways to brew that perfect cup of coffee. We are probably all familiar with drip coffee makers, percolators and the variety of other fashionable coffee pots available today. Less commonly known and used is the coffee press, also known as the French press.

The French press is a tall cylindrical coffee maker that plunges the coffee grounds through a strainer when activated. It is simple enough to use, and the results are nothing shy of perfect when it comes to making a great cup of coffee.

Start with enough water to make the amount of coffee you wish to drink. If you bring the water all the way to the boiling point, let it sit a few minutes until the water temperature drops to around 195 degrees. Water at the boiling point will cause the bitter elements of the coffee to be released, whereas water just below the boiling point will bring out the full coffee flavor.

Add your coffee grounds to the press. If you’re truly into the art of coffee making, these grounds may be ones you have freshly ground yourself using green coffee beans. Generally, two tablespoons of coffee grounds for every six ounces of water is considered a good amount to produce the best, full strength cup of coffee.

You be the judge; try experimenting with a little more or a little less until you find your own personal preference. After all, the advantage and purpose of using a coffee press in the first place is to create the perfect cup of coffee for your personal tastes.

Pour the hot (not boiling) water over the coffee grounds, wetting all grounds thoroughly. Stir the coffee grounds a bit to ensure they are evenly dispersed throughout the coffee, taking care not to slosh the grounds around too much.

Place the lid of the coffee press back on the press to keep in the heat. Do not push down on the plunger. Allow the coffee to steep. Depending of preferred coffee strength, steeping time could be anywhere from two to four minutes. Again, you may want to experiment to find the ideal strength for your own personal preference.

Slowly press the plunger, forcing the grounds to the bottom of the coffee press and permitting the freshly brewed coffee to pass through the press. Handle this part of the process slowly and carefully. Tipping the plunger or forcing the process too quickly could result in grounds in your coffee.

After the process is complete, enjoy your cup of freshly pressed coffee in a ceramic coffee cup or glass mug. Don’t spoil the perfect cup of coffee by using plastic or Styrofoam to serve your beverage.

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