How to: French Press Method Coffee, and Giveaway

by Daisy on 10/14/2011

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Today, in addition to showing us how to make coffee French Press Style, the artisanal roasting company, JBrooks Coffee Roasters, is giving away three of their 3-bag Combo Packs.  The combo has 3 different coffees – one light, one medium, & one dark roast, in either ground or whole bean form, winner’s choice.

To enter to win, simply comment on this post and describe your favorite way to enjoy a cup of brew.  Curled up with a new seed catalog?  Watching the sunrise?  Winners will be selected by random number generator on midnight SUNDAY, Oct. 16, 2011.  Best of luck!

Method #2: French Press

There are a gazillion different presses out there.  We like to use the one shown above (Thermos Nissan, 1 quart capacity) for 2 reasons: 1, it’s insulated so the coffee doesn’t cool before you get your second or third or fourth cup, and 2, this is the bomb on a camping trip!
For French Press coffee, remember to use a coarse grind – you’ll have far less grit in your cup.

Since you can easily read the instructions that come with the press, please note that we’re recommending a slightly different method for press brewing here.

1. While your water is boiling, grind your coffee on a coarse setting.  Also get a timer, 2 spoons, and a mug for wet grounds.

2. Use a level 1-cup dose of coffee per quart of water.

3. Once your water boils, let it cool about 1 minute.  Optimum water temperature for brewing coffee is 195F – 205F.  Boiling water will scorch the grounds and adversely affect the flavor, so that minute of cooling is really necessary.

4. Begin timer to count 4 minutes when you begin pouring water.

5. Pour hot water slowly around the bed of grounds at first to fully saturate.  Once all grounds are saturated you can pour normally.

6. Fill the press until the grounds reach the edge of the pouring spout.

7. The coffee needs to steep for 4 minutes from the time the bed of grounds was saturated.  If you steep for a bit longer it’s not a problem.

8. After 4 minutes, gently break the crust on top with the back of a spoon and then slowly push the rest of the crust into the water.  Avoid vigorous stirring.

9. At this point use two spoons and skim as much of the remaining grounds from the top of the water as possible.  Have something handy to deposit grounds in, or do this near the sink, so that you can make 2 or 3 skimming runs.

10. Now place the screen in the press and push it down slowly to the bottom.  Take about 15 seconds to depress it fully.  Do not press hard when you hit bottom – that will increase the sludge factor coming up through the screen.  Just make contact with the grounds on the bottom and stop pushing.

11. Pour and enjoy!

Alternate Press Method:

If you’re still not happy with the amount of grit making its way into your cup of bliss, you can try a reverse press method:

1. Before you put the ground coffee into the press, insert the press screen into the press.

2. Deposit coarse ground coffee into the press so that it is sitting on top of the screen.

3. Pour in hot water and steep for 4 minutes.

4. When the time is up, gently stir the crust of grounds into the water.  Position yourself near the sink or a container for the wet grounds.

5. Slowly pull the screen up out of the press, taking 10 -15 seconds, and dump the wet grounds.

6. If  you’re not pouring the entire amount of coffee right away, rinse off the screen before putting it back into the press.  You’ll want the lid on the press to keep the coffee hot for your next cup.



{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen T. October 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

I love my coffee every morning, but my favorite “coffee time” is curled up on the couch in front of the fire with a good book on a really snowy day. Pure bliss… Great giveaway – thank you! I love the press in this post – where did you find it?

Ronnie October 14, 2011 at 7:49 am

I love my coffee everyday but Saturday coffee is always the best. Saturday I don’t have to rush to get to the office. Saturday my husband wakes me with a cup of coffee and we go out to the living room and leisurely enjoy our coffee and each other’s company.

Daphne B. October 14, 2011 at 8:42 am

My husband has been roasting coffee at home for a few years. Before I had it fresh, I didn’t really like coffee. My favorite way to enjoy a cup is watching the sun rise and listening to the roosters crow.

JeninWA October 14, 2011 at 9:16 am

In a quiet house, my cat on my lap, dog at my feet, next to a roaring fire while watching the snow fall. My idea of a perfect cup of coffee on a perfect day!

Anna October 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

French Press coffee is my favorite. I reserve it for Saturday and Sunday mornings when everyone is asleep. I pay careful attention to the timing, temperature and ground of my brew – then I pick up a book, or the newspaper and enjoy!

I would love to try it with J Brooks Coffee!

Norma October 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Weekend coffee is the bestest! Sitting on my patio enjoying the sights and smells or fall or curled up in my favorite chair watching College Football GameDay or CBS Sunday morning – this is my time to exhale and relax and enjoy a great cup of coffee.

Carolyn October 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I love a fresh cup of coffee first thing in the morning while I am reading. The perfect way to start the day!

Mary Shilling October 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

I love coffee on winter afternoons!

lisa October 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

I like to have a hot cup on a cool saturday morning while snuggling with my kids and a bag of new library books!

Khira October 15, 2011 at 9:11 am

My absolute favorite time to drink coffee is on a crisp fall weekend morning with a doughnut (or something sweet)…just the way my Grandmother loved it. The Donut Friar in Gatlinburg during the Fall is perfect!!

Ann October 15, 2011 at 9:13 am

I love my early morning coffee while I read my bible, sometimes in the recliner, sometimes outside enjoying the sunrise (when it’s warm enough). It is glorious right now with the New England fall colors!

Bernie Haberman October 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

I am not a coffee drinker, but my mother loves her coffee! We are staying with her and my father while we look for a house, so I would LOVE to be able to present her with some yummy coffee. I know that she likes to drink her coffee in the morning while looking out her breakfast room window, searching for deer. 🙂

Terra McFadin October 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

There is no wrong way to enjoy a cup of coffee! But my favorite way is in the early coolness of a brisk fall morning while the rest of the family is still quitly sleeping. The smell, the warmth, the flavor completely wakes me and prepares me for the day ahead.

Laura B October 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I love a hot cup-o-joe early in the morning before my husband and children wake up!

Danielle R. October 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

My favorite way to enjoy a cup of coffee is to sneak in at least a few sips in the semi-dark, quiet kitchen before any of the kids are awake!!

Jen M October 16, 2011 at 7:21 am

My husband and I love to make coffee. We live in Singapore, where it is a tad harder to enjoy in the unrelenting heat and humidity:) But I love to drink coffee just before doing lessons w/ my kids.

Joan October 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I like to sit on the couch in the winter and watch birds while having a cup.

Stephanie A. October 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I love coffee best in the morning, when I have a chance to sip and savor. I like the flavors of all brewing methods. I drink espresso or coffee with 2% or whole milk only. No flavorings. I have to say, a French Press is my favorite flavor of home brew. But my press broke months ago. I’m using my Mr. Coffee right now. It’s still good.

I’m so excited about your coffee series, because coffee and knitting are my favorite comforts of the day! I enjoy both together. 🙂

Boni October 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm

While writing!!

Tanja Vaughn October 17, 2011 at 9:19 am

After I mow the grass on a hot summers day, I treat myself to an iced toddy coffee with milk, sugar, and shaved ice. If you have never made toddy it is a rich syrup coffee delight cold brewed for 24 hours. Delicious and rich!

Ann October 18, 2011 at 6:39 am

Know I missed the giveaway, but just wanted to say a thank you for these coffee posts. I’m always struggling to brew it the way I like it in our small french press. I’ll try this way next time. Also, I just love coffee made in a percolator. Maybe it’s memories of my grandmother and my husband’s grandmother making it that way, but “boiled coffee” (as Granny used to call it) can be so good when done properly. Shoot, Granny could make a pot of Maxwell House in her percolator that would rival any of the fancy brews I’ve tried!
Thanks again, I’ve learned a lot in these posts!

Tomato Lady October 25, 2011 at 6:25 am

Jen T.–Sorry for the delay in response. Here’s the press:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___80791

Jeff Moore September 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I first buy free trade or organic coffee. That is the prime factor. Cheap coffee makes cheep coffee. I grind my beans fine because I think it makes a stronger cup for the amount of beans I put in. I use a press or a french press mug for the car and the fine ground just prevent the last one half inch of coffee from coming through.
I have lately re-started to use a one cup drip that sits on my cup. I nuke a cup of water a quickly pour the water into my coffee maker and get the coffee cup under the drip end for the made coffee to come thru into my cup. The finer the grind, the longer it takes (two to three minutes) if not strong enuf, just run it thru again. Clean up of the plastic is done in less then a minute after the used grounds are dumped in the garden.

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