French Press Coffee Thread

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kennybobby
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French Press Coffee Thread

Turns out there are some tips and tricks to getting a good cup. Here’s a place to discuss how you do it and what you like or not, good brands vs those to avoid, etc.

So i’m using a little single-cup glass unit and recently refined my procedure which improved the end result.

i use distilled water, heat it till the pot whistles (boiling), then take it off the burner and set it aside for 60 seconds for the temperature to drop slightly.

Then pour ~50 to 100ml into the press and watch the coffee bloom (carbon dioxide released) for 30 seconds, then pour the rest of the water in and wait another 30 seconds. The CO2 gives the surface an appearance of the crema, but it is not; only espresso machine can make the one true crema.

Use a bamboo chop stick or thin paddle, softly stir the top surface to sink any floaters.

Assembly the strainer and cap into position above the liquid and let it brew, set the timer for 3 to 4 minutes, then plunge the strainer to the bottom, pour the cup and it’s goldilocks to drink.

This ain’t Maxwell House—i don’t drink it down to the last drop. There will be some fine silt at the bottom (bitter), and the coffee is too cold to drink by the time it’s down to the bottom anyway.

My previous random method burnt the coffee (poured with boiling water) and had lots of bitter taste; this is perfect method for me.

What to do with the used grounds?
Do you just wash them down the drain, or is there a good method for quick cleaning to make a second cup?

i’ve been swishing the press with some water and pouring the grounds into a large jar, but its sorta messy looking.

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
until i saw what i was doin',
was drivin' down the road to ruin. --JT

Edited by: kennybobby on 04/06/2022 - 09:57
SammysHP
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I was very happy with the very inexpensive Ikea french press. Or classic pour over with steel filter. But I mostly stopped drinking coffee one and a half years ago. Now it’s just tea.

bobvoeh
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I course grind my coffee right before brewing, boil water in a whistling kettle for consistent water temp and steep for 6 minutes. I have a Bodum French Press that I’ve had for over 25 years and works as good as the day we bought it. It’s Starbucks branded, but its the same as the Bodum sold in stores at the time except for the design on the outside.

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I’ve been French-pressing for on 15 years and it’s one of the best ways to make coffee. There’s a technique though. I medium to fine grind coffee and use water just off the boil. 2 heaping tablespoons per 8 ounces of water does the trick, but if you want it stronger you can double it. Pour the water in u til the grounds are fully saturated and floating then stir with a spoon until the grounds are blended. Let sit for 3-4 minutes then press slowly. Until the plunger stops. Serve immediately. I use a Bodum stainless and glass 5 cup press.

I also make espresso these days in stovetop espresso makers. Probably the 2nd best coffee method, and I’ve done pourover as well.

Paul321
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I enjoy my French press, I mainly use it on the weekends when I’m not pressed for time Facepalm

I have a small one- cup Bodum and a larger GSI (30oz) for the backpack. I generally grind the beans coarse right when I brew. Lately I have been drinking Sumatra grown varieties (what is on sale is my brand ) of coffee.

Paul-

gravelmonkey
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Usually use V60 or aeropress but, being into coffee, I like to add variation and occasionally use a French press.

I was gifted a large, stainless, twinwall press after I broke a small and a large press.

I generally use the James Hoffman method.

30g of coffee, freshly ground, ‘medium’ grind setting.
Add 500ml water, wait 4 min. Stir crust, scoop any floaty bits out. Wait 5 min, plunge only to surface of coffee, gently pour into a mug.

siata94
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I have a few french presses but they’re only used for tea if ever. I cut my hand good when one slipped while hand-washing.
Never used a FP again since.

As much as I enjoy coffee, unfor can only handle 1 serving, a cappuccino, a day. Occasionally will make a pourover during the weekends, 25g of coffee to make 500ml and that’ll last the weekend.

I have many other brewers, including 3 levers, but rarely use them anymore. If I roast some decafs, then I might have it with
desserts at night but since I don’t drink it much it gets stale and end up getting tossed.

Coffee ground should not go down the drain. Toss in garden/yard or compost.

Lojik
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I am into coffee as much as I’m into flashlights. And I can tell you with a certainty, that the single most important part of your coffee drink bar none, and it’s not even close…is your grinder. You need a true quality burr grinder, and ideally a stepless one for dialing in beans perfectly. I make espresso to absolute perfection and my drinks are 100 CRI -100 duv every single time. None of it would be possible even if I had a $10,000 machine, if I didn’t have the right grinder. So to reiterate, if you don’t have a proper burr grinder, get one ASAP, you’ll thank me later. Never ever EVER us the spinning mill coffee grinder, especially for French Roast. You will will get endless soot in your drink and miss out on all the oils that your tongue could be gettin down on. I promise you, nothing makes a good cup of coffee like a good grinder. That goes for the most basic of brew methods all the way to the absolute most intricate and professional ways to extract coffee.

I love all forms of coffee brewing and have many versions of them all (too many probably), but for the record let me note, that nothing is the punch, beauty and perfection that espresso is. Granted you do gotta weight everything before it goes in and also when it comes on top of having a tier 1 grinder, but if you do…it is absolute perfection and second to none in body and flavor.

Anyway, for you coffee heads, invest in a good grinder. Nothing makes a bigger difference besides fresh beans.

raccoon city
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I love the taste of some cappuccino, but I try not to drink caffeine (or sugar) all day long, so I don't drink cappuccino very often.

Lojik
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raccoon city wrote:

I love the taste of some cappuccino, but I try not to drink caffeine all day long, so I don’t drink cappuccino very often.

A little sad to see you changed your signature. CRI beating foo’s up John Wick style is a BAD bad dude and as good as it gets IMO. Cool

raccoon city
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Yeah, sorry, but I kinda got sick of that signature.  :-)

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@Lojik wrote:
You will will get endless soot in your drink and miss out on all the oils

Make sense . Had a brand new 40 years old BODUM that i started to use with commercial grinded . I need to get better . Wrong grinder, wrong coffee and wrong method . Thank you all .

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Lojik
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raccoon city wrote:

Yeah, sorry, but I kinda got sick of that signature.  alt=)" />

You’re the one that see’s it all the time so that makes sense. Well then let me just convey for the record, that it was a constant pleasure to come across it and was always worth a chuckle for sure. So good shit on that one, instant classic. Thumbs Up

siata94
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Lojik is absolutely on point… grinder first.

Curious, which grinder/s do you use? Mine has 98mm burrs Smile

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temperature is one of the most important aspects for making a good cup of coffee IMO.
195°-200° F (90.6°-93.3°C) is best for me. some many claim up to 205°F (96.1°C) but i’ve found that is bitter territory.
higher temps or boiling water will over extract and add bitterness to it. some actually like this, i don’t.

to achieve 200°F i pour boiling water into a thermos/carafe to both preheat the carafe, and cool the water.
a loli-pop thermometer is good for this.

grounds i measure by weight. 10grams per 6oz (170.4784ml Innocent ) of water. course grind. if you want it stronger, add more grounds.
if you want it less strong, add water after you strain. using less grains can lead to over extraction/bitterness.

i put the fresh grounds in the press, pour 200°F water from the carafe into the press.
push the press down just far enough to submerge the grounds. i wait 4 minutes then press s l o w l y.
pour into carafe, and enjoy.

my press i think i got at Ikea. can use up to 30oz of water/50grams coffee seeds. i use 24oz of water, and 40 grams of coffee seeds.
for a single cup i have a pour through, but that doesn’t taste nearly as rich as the coffee press.

grounds in the winter get strained into a paper towel and thrown away. when it’s warmer it gets tossed in the yard.
never down the sink.

i own a Hario ‘Pro’ grinder, and i don’t like it. one side of the blades is two pieces and there is lateral movement.
the two piece blade also moves a bit on the axle as well which leads to inconsistent grinds. Facepalm i’m looking for something better.

kennybobby
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Thanks for that @Dude, i just updated the OP with my method details and i found that the temperature definitely affects the bitters.

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
until i saw what i was doin',
was drivin' down the road to ruin. --JT

Lojik
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DudeMan wrote:
temperature is one of the most important aspects for making a good cup of coffee IMO.
195°-200° F (90.6°-93.3°C) is best for me. some many claim up to 205°F (96.1°C) but i’ve found that is bitter territory.
higher temps or boiling water will over extract and add bitterness to it. some actually like this, i don’t.

to achieve 200°F i pour boiling water into a thermos/carafe to both preheat the carafe, and cool the water.
a loli-pop thermometer is good for this.

grounds i measure by weight. 10grams per 6oz (170.4784ml Innocent ) of water. course grind. if you want it stronger, add more grounds.
if you want it less strong, add water after you strain. using less grains can lead to over extraction/bitterness.

i put the fresh grounds in the press, pour 200°F water from the carafe into the press.
push the press down just far enough to submerge the grounds. i wait 4 minutes then press s l o w l y.
pour into carafe, and enjoy.

my press i think i got at Ikea. can use up to 30oz of water/50grams coffee seeds. i use 24oz of water, and 40 grams of coffee seeds.
for a single cup i have a pour through, but that doesn’t taste nearly as rich as the coffee press.

grounds in the winter get strained into a paper towel and thrown away. when it’s warmer it gets tossed in the yard.
never down the sink.

i own a Hario ‘Pro’ grinder, and i don’t like it. one side of the blades is two pieces and there is lateral movement.
the two piece blade also moves a bit on the axle as well which leads to inconsistent grinds. Facepalm i’m looking for something better.

Def agree on temp. It’s huge reason why stovetop espresso’s are a non-starter for me. The water has to be a boiling temp before it can extract and that’s just no bueno. All the other methods you can manipulate the water temp, stovetop espresso’s simply do not have that capacity.

Side note: A huge thing I love about the Chemex pour-over method, is that their glass is stovetop safe and you can give your coffee a good warming before you start drinking it. Obviously never to a boil, but you can get it to pour perfectly hot with one of those. A lot of people call Chemex “ColdEx” cause they say coffee just gets cold, but I guess many people don’t know that that’s exactly why it’s intended to be used on stovetops.

Lojik
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siata94 wrote:
Curious, which grinder/s do you use? Mine has 98mm burrs Smile

My first “real grinder” was a Cunill Full Metal, which is a huge commercial grinder. Did perfectly fine, but couldn’t dial every coffee in perfectly. My next/current one is a Pasquini Moka 90, which I bought from a closed down Italian Deli & Bakery. They “said” it was fully overhauled 6 months before they shut down. It’s from 1995, so it’s a tank too. And I does work even better, maybe my Cunill needs new burrs, but it’s def better than that one. But I can say that ultimately, a stepless grinder is the only way dial in fresh beans to perfection (for espresso). I got both my grinders for $50 bucks each. And they work too good to upgrade, but I also am jot looking forward to spending $1000 on a better grinder. I have more than one thats easily still good enough. Oh and mine are both 62mm burrs I believe.

Lojik
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Lightenzaza wrote:
@Lojik wrote:
You will will get endless soot in your drink and miss out on all the oils
Make sense . Had a brand new 40 years old BODUM that i started to use with commercial grinded . I need to get better . Wrong grinder, wrong coffee and wrong method . Thank you all .

Commercial grinders are usually amazing. If you’re having issues with one, it could need new burrs or a tune-up and cleaning. Commercial grinders are just huge, so they are more inconvenient for counter tops. But it could very well be cheaper to get yours tuned-up and humming, than to buy a new one cause they are expensive, But also, a quality commercial grinder will last for decades and decades. Fresh coffee is always a major plus too.

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SammysHP wrote:
I was very happy with the very inexpensive Ikea french press. Or classic pour over with steel filter. But I mostly stopped drinking coffee one and a half years ago. Now it’s just tea.

Kathryn Janeway did the same thing, and regretted it.

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Jesus… it’s like youse are all refining plutonium or something. Shocked

I got one of those one-shot blender-type grinders with the propeller at the bottom, grind the living shiite out of the beans into powder, dump that into my FP (L-Aroma… found the box), boil water, let it stop fizzing a bit (temp drops pretty quickly), then dump that into the grounds, stir angrily, wait a while, then plunge it. Then sloooooooowly decant into my mug so I don’t get a pile of mud at the bottom, dope it up into a confection (half’n‘half, sugar, vanilla extract), and drink.

And all that pisses me off as too much work.

Oh, the grounds. I wash off the plunger with detergent (loosen the screen, spin while cleaning, retighten), then dump the sludge from the bucket into my used snotty tissues so the garbage-bag doesn’t leak in case of any pinholes at the bottom, etc. Nasty looking, like used toilet-paper, but no leaks. Then just wash the bucket with detergent, let both air-dry.

Got one of those screen-things at the drain, so even the smallest specks of grounds get caught and don’t go down the drain.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Lojik
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Lightbringer wrote:
it’s like youse are all refining plutonium or something. Shocked

As far as temp goes, people like to find a temp they prefer, but an easy rule is pretty much anything below boiling will work for coffee.

And as for your process. You already thinking it’s too much work and still doing it tells you you care about a decent cup. Like with flashlights, how deep you wanna go is up to you because coffee is definitely it’s own rabbit hole.

In all honestly, if you love your cup already, imagine if it improved dramatically? That’s what’s possible because your setup is not a good match. Those blade grinders have the best chance with filtered drip/pour over coffee, but even then, it will suffer significantly. But on French press, that grinder just creates a messy sandy coffee.. You’d get a better cup buying a preground coffee that was done by a quality grinder so everything is consistent than with you using that grinder and fresh beans. Your grinder mixed with a French press could be the next worst combination after a stovetop espresso. This is all subjective because if you like a slightly sandy deeper and dark flavor in your coffee, you won’t mind I guess. But anyone who actually likes coffee has def had those cups that leave a lasting impression from “wherever”. But that is possible everyday. You already go through a painful process, why not make it a more fruitful one. I know peope are like. Ehh, I’ll just stick with my setup, but investing in the right equipment will happen once, and from that day on, your shit is fire. French press is simple with a good grinder. Boil water, grind, drop and pour. With good grinds you won’t have to baby your cups and the mess at the bottom and it will now be rich AF still. You play with it to desired grind, but you can always bet that shit will be right once you get it. I have never heard anyone regret stepping their coffee game up at any level. People always want better coffee if possible. Coffee is work anyway, may as well make life easier on you with the right equipment and the payoff of a cup you consider awesome everyday. Not that you don’t now, but you will be able to appreciate your coffee growth in a way very similar to our flashlight growth.

Oh yeah, and coffee is arguably more important than refining plutonium, Coffee is life everyday. Blushing

Xandre
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Coffee beans Bio Aldi Amaroy

Grinder Porlex

Maker Bialetti new Venus 10

Water

Thats what I need for a good hand made coffee

All the pressed coffes are not my taste.

At my opinion it is best,when steam goes through the powder.

Regards Xandre

RichH
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Having been an Aeropress fan for many years, I recently bought an Espro Travel Press. It has a 2 very fine mesh filters, insulated, with a well sealed lid so it can go in a bag. Pressing the coffee down after a few minutes effectively seals away the grounds so no bitter oils creep in. It makes a great, clear coffee that stays hot for hours.

Short review video with default YouTube music accompaniment here:

https://youtu.be/3tvR4N5PaYQ

One of the top tips for press coffee is to separate the grounds from the coffee. A typicical Bodum type press is fine if the coffee is poured straight away, but most of the double walled presses, and larger presses, leave the coffee slowly steeping and it gets bitter.

South Saxon

Lojik
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Xandre wrote:
At my opinion it is best,when steam goes through the powder.

I think coffee is ritualistic. So sometimes how perfect the coffee is scientifically, is not as important as enjoying your process. Some people have deep-rooted attachments to the way they make coffee. Can’t say for sure that one way or another is better when people can become accustomed to and identify with a specific process. Sometimes it’s cultural, sometimes is a family tradition. I guess all I’m trying to say, is that if anyone actually has any interest in improving their coffee, it is very much possible to do regardless of what way you prefer. Sometimes it’s not about taste’s, it’s about styles. But anyone really can go down the coffee rabbit hole and feel awesome about improving their own process. (If they have any interest to of course)

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kennybobby wrote:
Thanks for that @Dude, i just updated the OP with my method details and i found that the temperature definitely affects the bitters.

you are welcome. Thumbs Up

@Lojik wrote:

Def agree on temp. It’s huge reason why stovetop espresso’s are a non-starter for me. The water has to be a boiling temp before it can extract and that’s just no bueno. All the other methods you can manipulate the water temp, stovetop espresso’s simply do not have that capacity.

Side note: A huge thing I love about the Chemex pour-over method, is that their glass is stovetop safe and you can give your coffee a good warming before you start drinking it. Obviously never to a boil, but you can get it to pour perfectly hot with one of those. A lot of people call Chemex “ColdEx” cause they say coffee just gets cold, but I guess many people don’t know that that’s exactly why it’s intended to be used on stovetops.


interesting. the pour though i have is a ceramic one that is in the shape where you put filters in most coffee makers. slightly less warm so i know what you mean. stove top safe is a nice feature for sure.
lampliter
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Lightbringer wrote:
Jesus… it’s like youse are all refining plutonium or something. Shocked

I got one of those one-shot blender-type grinders with the propeller at the bottom, grind the living shiite out of the beans into powder, dump that into my FP (L-Aroma… found the box), boil water, let it stop fizzing a bit (temp drops pretty quickly), then dump that into the grounds, stir angrily, wait a while, then plunge it. Then sloooooooowly decant into my mug so I don’t get a pile of mud at the bottom, dope it up into a confection (half’n‘half, sugar, vanilla extract), and drink.

And all that pisses me off as too much work.

Oh, the grounds. I wash off the plunger with detergent (loosen the screen, spin while cleaning, retighten), then dump the sludge from the bucket into my used snotty tissues so the garbage-bag doesn’t leak in case of any pinholes at the bottom, etc. Nasty looking, like used toilet-paper, but no leaks. Then just wash the bucket with detergent, let both air-dry.

Got one of those screen-things at the drain, so even the smallest specks of grounds get caught and don’t go down the drain.

Me 2.

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” ~ U.S. Senator William H. Borah (1865-1940) affectionately known as the "Lion of Idaho"

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Coffee grounds go into the compost here.

lampliter
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I need a hand grinder for the times I’m in places with no juice.
All recommendations appreciated.

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” ~ U.S. Senator William H. Borah (1865-1940) affectionately known as the "Lion of Idaho"

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The only hand operated coffee grinder that I know is this GSI Grinder
The website indicates “out of stock” but other retailers may have it available.

Looks like REI has it https://www.rei.com/product/204980/gsi-outdoors-javagrind-coffee-grinder

Paul-

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I used to collect hand grinders, vintage and some newer ones like Hario. But have found foster homes for all of them.
I much prefer to pre-grind on the better grinder and put the ground in jars, for longer trips, in ziplock bags then in jars.
Good for trips as long as 4 weeks for pourover. I just bring a plastic cone and paper filters.

Popular hand grinders for coffee geeks: https://www.oehandgrinders.com/

BTW, Paradise Coffee Roaster is a great online roaster…

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