Tips On How To Use A Coffee Press

Use this affordable coffee machine to make delicious coffee every morning.

Yes, you can go wrong when it comes to making coffee. Bad coffee is not always apparent to everyone but when you have great coffee, it's hard to go back. 

One easy way to make coffee without having a big machine do it for you is to use a coffee machine that's more gadget than a kitchen appliance. One of these gadgets is the coffee press or otherwise known as a French press

The coffee press actually looks more like a beaker you'd find in a science lab than a gadget for the kitchen, but it's this heat-proof beaker and its attachments that can make delicious coffee. The beaker is actually is a specialized heat-proof pitcher or carafe normally with a metal frame and handle so you do not touch the hot glass. It comes with a plunger attached to the lid. The plunger is made of a series of filters: a metal plate with a wire spiral wrapped around its edge, a wire mesh filter, and a metal plate. Some models come with additional wire mesh filters to more efficiently filter any finely ground coffee from escaping its  

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These filters work together to push the coffee grounds you add to the pitcher and filter it from the brewed coffee you pour into your coffee mug. 

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If you are not having the best luck making a great-tasting cup of coffee every morning using your coffee press, here are tips on how to use a coffee press better:   

Photo by Patrick Martires
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1 Check the size of your coffee grounds.

Did you know that not all coffee grounds are ground equally? If you have ever bought coffee beans from a local coffee shop and requested them to grind the beans for you before heading home, you might have been asked the size of the grind or for what purpose. Your barista is asking so that s/he knows how large or how small to grind the beans for your machine. 

For the coffee press, it's best to use coffee grounds that are medium or coarsely ground. Any finer and the grounds may escape your filters and end up in your coffee mug. Grounds too fine could also result in over-extraction, leading to a sour-tasting brew. Too coarsely ground and your coffee may be under-extracted, needing more time to extract the flavors from the coffee into the water. 

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2 Use enough coffee grounds.  

How much coffee ground do you add? This is actually dependent on your preference: how strong do you like your coffee? A good guide is about 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of water. Tweak the ratio of tablespoons of coffee grounds per 1 cup of water according to your taste. The amount may also differ according to the kind of coffee bean since some do taste stronger than others and the degree of roast it has undergone: light to medium to dark.  

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3 Heat the water enough to bloom the coffee grounds. 

The kettle is a great stovetop pot for boiling water but you don't need your water to be boiling for coffee. That's because you can "burn" the coffee grounds.

For those who love accuracy and actually have and use precision tools like a thermometer, the water temperature should be around 200 degrees F or around 93 degrees C. Right before it boils is a good indicator since water boils at around 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. If you accidentally boil the water, remove it from the heat and let it stand to cool slightly before using. There is also the danger of not heating the water enough which will result in a poorer extraction of the flavors from the coffee grounds. Basically, you're heating the water enough that it's hot enough to bloom the coffee grounds

To "bloom" coffee grounds is similar to what you do to cocoa powder when baking. In the case of coffee, blooming coffee in hot water results in the bubbling up of carbon dioxide from the coffee grounds. If you see foam form on top of your coffee grounds, you bloomed your coffee grounds right. The foam that results is what makes your coffee taste better. 

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4 Let it steep.  

Three minutes is a general amount of time for the coffee grounds to steep. This can be extended up to five minutes for a stronger tasting cup but it can also depend on how much coffee you're making. The more coffee you're brewing add another minute or two. Just like the amount of coffee grounds you add, steeping can also be according to your taste.    

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For perfectly brewed coffee every time, use a kitchen timer. These adorable kitchen timers should work perfectly for coffee and all your other cooking and baking needs. 

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5 Push and pour.  

Once you've steeped the coffee grounds, push the plunger down, let any grounds settle for a bit, then pour the perfectly brewed coffee into your cup for a great start to your morning.   

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.


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