How Does A Coffee Press Work?

A coffee press or French press is an alternative method for brewing coffee. How does a coffee press work? Instead of running hot water through your ground coffee beans you let your coffee beans sit in the hot water and then “press” the coffee grounds out of the water with a screen. Continue reading to learn more about the process of using a coffee press.

How to use a French press?

  • Start by measuring your whole coffee beans to the desired weight (25 grams for a 12 ounce coffee press)
  • Grind your beans to a medium coarseness
  • Preheat your press with hot water then dispose of the water
  • Add the grounds to the empty press
  • Add enough to water to cover the grounds and stir
  • Let steep for 30 seconds
  • Add the remaining water
  • Let steep for 3 and 1/2 minutes
  • Press the plunger to remove the grounds
  • Serve perfectly pressed coffee

What is the best water temperature for French press coffee?

200 degrees is the ideal temperature for brewing coffee whether it be in a coffee press or traditional brewing. If you don’t have a thermometer handy you can easily approximate 200 degree water by bringing your water to a boil and then waiting 30 seconds. This will allow the water to cool to approximately 200 degrees.

Why are French presses better?

Pressed coffee is preferred by many because the coffee is steeped as opposed to brewed. Brewed coffee typically uses a paper filter which can remove coffee oils from the brewed coffee. Also, coffee presses allow for more contact time with the coffee grounds. For these reasons, pressed coffee has a more rich flavor than typical brewed coffee.

Can you use any coffee in a French press?

Yes, although the grind needs to be a medium coarseness so that the metal screen of the press can remove the coffee grounds. Ideally you would grind your own beans and use a quality coffee bean. If you’re going to the trouble to extract the best flavor from your coffee beans you really should be starting with a quality bean.

What’s the best way to grind coffee beans?

Having a burr grinder at home is the best way to grind coffee beans because it allows you to easily control the coarseness of the grind. There are manual and electric burr grinders available and many price points. Manual burr grinders will be the most economical. Electric burr grinds tend to be expensive although there are some good deals to be had. Be sure to check out our article on the best budget coffee grinders.

Can you use pre ground coffee in a French press?

Sure, but you’ll need to ensure the coffee beans have been ground to a medium coarseness so the French press can remove the coffee grounds.

Can you use finely ground coffee in a French press?

It’s possible but you’ll need to significantly reduce the steeping time. You’ll also have to put up with a much higher quantity of grounds remaining in your coffee than a typical French press coffee that uses a medium coarse ground bean.

Can you make cold brew coffee in a French press?

Absolutely! A coffee press does an excellent job of brewing outstanding cold brew coffee. Add you room temperature water and your coffee grounds to the press and then place in your refrigerator for 12 hours.

How do you dispose of coffee grounds from a French press?

Most people simply throw them in the trash and rinse the remaining bits down the drain. Others keep the grounds for composting. To get the grounds out of the press without allowing any to go down your drain you’ll need to use a paper towel or kitchen rag to clean it out.

Can you put coffee grounds down the drain?

Coffee grounds are a major source of clogged drain pipes. A few grounds going down your drain shouldn’t be a problem but you wouldn’t want to completely empty your coffee press into your sink and wash the grounds down the drain. Effort should be made to limit the amount of grounds going down your drain as much as possible.

What can you do with used coffee grounds?

  • Coffee grounds can be used as a natural fertilizer. Several plants love the acidic fertilization that coffee grounds provide. Azaleas and roses for instance are particularly fond of coffee grounds as a fertilizer.
  • Grounds are a great addition to a compost. They are very nitrogen rich and very beneficial.
  • A great garden insect repellent is coffee grounds. By sprinkling the grounds around your garden, pests will be deterred from bothering your prized fruits and vegetables.

Other Resources:

Helpful Links

Wrapping Up:

How a French Press Works

Using a coffee press is a more involved way of making coffee. Many people prefer the more rich flavor of coffee from a French press despite the more involved process. If you are a coffee lover but haven’t tried French press coffee you should give it a try. The flavor of the coffee changes due to the natural coffee oils being allowed to mix with the water and remain in the coffee. Traditional brewing with paper filters removes the oils. You may find the few extra steps involved well worth it. If you’re more concerned with the easiest way to make a good cup of coffee, check out our article on how to make perfect coffee easily.

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