Posts Tagged ‘gravity’

Really Good Coffee: How to Make Good Coffee with a French Press…

Really Good Coffee:  Video Making Good Coffee Using a French Press.

Really Good Coffee is always looking for ways to make good coffee and as far as flavor goes, the French press is one of the best lo-tech ways to do that.  The video here is one from YouTube and it’s a very good video. We’ll make our own in the near future.  A discussion about french press coffee follows the video.

French press is a great way to prepare a single varietal coffee because it highlights the flavors so well. As an example if you love to drink Columbian Supremo, the French press tastes excellent when you grind it course and let it brew for 4 minutes in the press. In fact, that is my very favorite way to drink Columbian Supremo – in terms of flavor. Although, you can use any type of varietal or blend you prefer in a French Press.

Most hot water brewing methods expose the bean to the water for less than a minute.

Bodum french press

Bodum French Press

Most traditional brewing methods use heat and gravity – exposing the coffee bean to water for considerably less time than the French Press method. In a melitta style pour through and most traditional coffee machines, the coffee grounds are exposed to the water for about 30-45 seconds – maybe a minute – depending on how fine you grind the beans.

Espresso extraction uses heat and boiler pressure to force hot water through a specific volume area containing a very finely ground coffee bean that is packed firmly. Actual extraction time is usually less than 30 seconds.

How the French press brewing method is different.

When you grind the coffee beans for brewing in the French press, you grind them very coarse. This factor, combined with the longer brewing time of 4 minutes, creates a very rich, satisfying flavor.

Coarse Grind for French Press - source: www.ineedcoffee.com/03/coffeegrind

Fine Grind Coffee

Fine Grind Coffee

Looking at the grind on the left, you can see how coarse it is compared to the grind on the right.

The coarse grind actually provides more surface area for the water to come in contact with the ground beans. This allows more access – in a sense – to the flavor from the bean.

The French press brewing method (as you saw in the video) basically just allows the coffee grind to sit in the hot water for four minutes.

The net result is that since there is more surface area of the coffee grinds exposed to the water for 2-3 minutes longer than other gravity brewing methods, it results in a deeper, richer flavor.

It also results in a higher concentration of caffeine per serving because you are leaving the grinds in the water longer.

Caffeine Misconceptions

There are a lot of misconceptions about caffeine in most cases simply due to a lack of knowledge.

One of the lowest portions of caffeine per serving is from properly extracted dark roast espresso. It takes 20-30 seconds per extraction depending on the beans, barista, equipment and style.

On the other side of the caffeine continuum is French press. If you want flavor and are not caffeine sensitive, it’s awesome coffee. If you are caffeine sensitive and you can find a swiss water processed decaf that you like, this might be a good application for it.

You can reduce the caffeine concentration by the adding hot water to the finished French press coffee.

It takes some experimentation to find out exactly how you like it the best. Flavor is a very personal thing.

Be sure to write down what you are trying while you are experimenting so you can duplicate what you did when you find what you like. Copious notes will eliminate frustration.

One other bummer about French Press. The glass cylinders are easy to break. Replacements are available and in stock at stores like Sur La Table. If you really like the flavor, you’ll probably want a spare at all times in case you break the original.

Properly ground and brewed French Press produces really good coffee.

Enjoy your French Press brewing and experimentation and the FLAVOR…

I AM Michael Barrett and I Love Really Good Coffee and French Press Columbian Supremo.

Categories

 

 

Worthwhile Links
December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031