A French Press is a great way to brew a full-bodied cup. The metal screen filter allows many of the oils to remain. It is important to use a good unit made from high-quality glass. Some people may not like this method because of the sediment that can remain in the final cup but it does produce a rich and wonderful coffee.
Two keys to making good coffee using the French Press method are: 1) remember to preheat the container with hot water prior to making the coffee and 2), cleaning the french press well. If you pour boiling water into a container that is not preheated, your water temperature can drop as much as 20 degrees and this seriously effects the final cup. Likewise, failure to clean the container well affects the final cup taste with residue from your last brew.
1. Place you French Press on a stable surface.
2. Remove the cover/screen and preheat the container with hot water.
3. In a kettle, bring water to a boil and set aside.
4. Select your favorite Longbottom Coffee and choose the French Press (#9) grind. If you are grinding at home, you are looking for a coarse grind. It should be as consistently coarse as possible and coarser than what you would use for drip.
5. As a starting guide, use 16-17 grams of coffee (2 tablespoons) for every 8 ounces of water. Adjust to your taste.
6. If hot water is still warming the container, empty.
7. With the cover/plunger off, place your grounds in the French Press.
8. At this point the boiled water should have cooled slightly to a temperature between 195 and 205 degrees. Pour water slowly but deliberately over the center of the grounds to saturate and bloom. It should look like a dome and profuse bubbles will form.
9. Gently place the lid on the container being careful not to press down on the coffee at all. Set timer for 90 seconds.
10. Lift lid and gently stir in a circular motion 3 or 4 times to ensure that all the grounds have been saturated.
11. Set timer for another 4 minutes and gently place lid on the container. Again, be careful not to press down on the coffee. Total brew time should be between 4 to 6 minutes.
12. Hold the lid in place and SLOWLY push the plunger down, moving the screen at an even pace and making sure the screen stays level. Any angle will allow grounds to escape past the screen and end up in the bottom of your cup. Total time to plunge to the bottom of the container should be about 20-30 seconds. You will meet some resistance as you plunge. This is normal.
13. Pour and serve immediately. If there is extra, pour it into a secondary container like a carafe. Leaving any coffee in contact with the grounds will result in an over-extracted and unappetizing second cup.