If you’re one of the millions that can’t function without their favorite morning brew, you’ve likely considered getting a French press coffee maker. However, since it’s typically higher-end and more complicated than your usual coffee machine, it can often seem intimidating to use at first, which may deter some beginners.
The good news is that when you get the hang of it, French press coffee makers are pretty simple to use, while giving you a delicious cup of sustainable coffee to enrich your mornings further. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about French press coffee makers:
1. Is It Worth the Investment?
Brewing coffee with a French press is certainly not as straightforward as spooning grounds into a pot and waiting for it to work its magic. Still, the result is a magical cup of coffee that’s even more delicious and rewarding than anything you’d get from other standard brewing methods.
Unlike electric coffee makers, the French press requires manual work, which means you’ll need to measure your coffee, grind the coffee, add the water, and time the brew all by yourself. While it’s much more hands-on than a regular coffee pot, it’s simple and easy to learn. Sure, there are a few more steps, but they all take just a few minutes.
For instance, grinding coffee and boiling water takes around two minutes. Brewing takes four, which means it takes about six minutes to finish this calming, aromatic process. You’ll get a rich, aromatic coffee full of flavors, a full-bodied brew, and the satisfaction of making an amazing cup of coffee by yourself.
2. What Equipment Do You Need?
French press coffee needs only one additional piece of coffee gear, a burr coffee grinder. Having your own grinder is crucial to making unforgettable coffee with your French press since you can brew beans at their peak freshness. Once it’s ground, the coffee has only 20 to 30 minutes of peak freshness, so you should always grind your coffee right before brewing it, which preserves its many nuanced flavors.
Having this grinder also helps you make coarse grounds. Small grounds usually get stuck in the fine mesh filter, slipping right through, which leads to sludge in your cup and makes it even harder to press down on the plunger. If your grounds are coarse, they won’t clog or pass through your filter.
3. Will There Be Grounds in Your Mug?
It’s impossible to avoid having coffee grounds in your mug. Even when you’re aiming for a coarse grind size, some break down into even smaller pieces that are tiny enough to pass through the filter. Don't panic if you find some coffee grounds in your mug, as that’s perfectly normal.
4. Is It Important to Pour Out All the Coffee From the French Press?
It is crucial to pour out all the coffee from your French Press. When you press the plunger down, the coffee beans are still mixing with the water, which means they’re brewing, albeit very slowly, which is not a good thing.
Brewing outstanding coffee means controlling every single variable to get a balanced extraction. If you allow your coffee to continue brewing after plunging, you’ll end up with less-than-stellar coffee, so be sure to pour all of it out once you’ve pressed the plunger down.
5. What Kind of French Press Should You Buy?
Many French press manufacturers use cups instead of ounces when telling you how much coffee each maker produces. Naturally, you’d be inclined to think a “3-cup French press” makes enough coffee to fill three cups, but that isn’t the case. These “cups” are based on European-sized cups, which are smaller at around 4 ounces or 100 ml.
An average American mug is larger at eight to ten ounces or 235 to 295 ml, so calculate the number of cups you drink in a day and multiply it by eight to ten. You’ll end up with the number of ounces you need to select the right French press.
For instance, three cups of coffee—using American mug measurements—is about 24 to 30 ounces of coffee, which means you’ll need an 8-cup French press. This is also the standard size most people purchase.
Common French Press Sizes:
- 3 cups (0.35 liters or 11.8 ounces)
- 4 cups (0.5 liters or 17 ounces)
- 8 cups (1 liter or 33.8 ounces)
- 12 cups (1.5 liters or 50.7 ounces)
If you’re a coffee enthusiast who wants to upgrade your morning brew, then a French press coffee maker is definitely worth the investment. It extracts all the oils and flavors from your beans, giving you a full-bodied cup that perks up your morning.
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