We have arrived! The “Coffee” portion of Life. Travel. Coffee.
(Have you noticed the pattern yet?)
Please accept our apologies for the wait – that will be addressed more in the next post. In the meantime, let’s get started with today’s discussion on home coffee brewing.
For me, life is fueled by caffeine – probably unhealthy amounts of caffeine. Over the years, I have experimented with different ways of getting my coffee fix. With this trial-and-error, I now have a favorite way of making coffee at home.
Enter: the French Press
While not as fancy as the espresso maker or as quick as your drip coffee maker, I have found the French Press to be my favorite means of coffee brewing. Before I impress my bias on you, let’s look at the pros and cons of the beloved French Press.
1. Low Cost for Quality Coffee
Considering the cost of a cup of coffee, brewing coffee at home can definitely save you money. The caveat is maintaining the coffee shop quality at home. Unlike a drip coffee maker, the French Press yields a much higher quality cup of coffee.
For the price of about 2-3 coffee shop purchases, you can purchase a French Press. They come in a variety of styles, colors, sizes, etc. (see below for fanciness and size). Take a look here for some options on Amazon.
2. Perfect Amount of Coffee
Struggling with making coffee cup-by-cup using an espresso machine for more than one caffeine-deprived person?
Worried about only filling half of your 12-cup coffee maker?
The French Press is here to solve all of your problems! Well, at least coffee-related problems. The typical French Press yields up to 6-8 cups. Because the strength and amount of coffee made are dependent upon how much water and coffee grounds you add, you can create the perfect coffee-to-person and coffee strength-to-coffee ration.
Again, because there are so many inexpensive varieties to choose from, it is easy to find one to suit your needs.
3. Low acidity
As much as I love coffee, I do not like the aftereffects of the acid. With a French Press, you enjoy a much smoother brew that cuts out some of the acidity.
Just look at these!
Pretty fancy, am I right?
Make your coffee in style. End point.
There are none.
That was just a little joke to make sure you are paying attention. Here are a couple of the downsides I have experienced with the French Press:
Brewing with a French Press does take a bit more time and attention than a drip coffee-maker. Time includes 5-10 minutes to boil water + 30 seconds to stir the coffee + 5-10 minutes to allow the coffee beans to steep.
2. French Press brewing is ideal for coarsely-ground coffee
Most prepackaged ground coffee that you find in stores where the coffee beans have been finely-ground. Frech Presses typically require coarse-ground coffee beans, which are sometimes hard to come by. Here are a few ways to deal with this challenge:
Seek the help of your favorite local coffee shop
Many coffee shops these days sell their own coffee beans in addition to their lattes, pour-overs, pastries and other coffeeshop goodies. Find a favorite coffee shop and purchase your beans from there. If you ask nicely, they are usually willing to grind them for you. Just be sure to ask for them to coarsely grind them for your French Press.
This is actually a play on words and shout-out to one of my favorite coffee shops in my hometown of Baltimore, The Daily Grind Coffeehouse.
Nothing beats the smell or taste of fresh ground coffee. Grinding my coffee beans is actually one of my favorite parts of making my morning coffee. Because French Presses require coarsely-ground beans, it takes only a few seconds to grind whole beans into delicious coffee-ready grounds.
There is no need to buy a super expensive coffee grinder. I personally use a regular single-use grinder/blender for my grinding. A similar one can be found here.
Because most French Presses are glass, you must be very careful in cleaning and handling them. This is especially the case when the French Press comes into contact with hot water. I have broken about four French Presses just by using water that was too hot, causing the glass to crack. Wash with caution!
Now that I have convinced you to try French Press-ing, we would like to hear from you. What is your favorite way to brew coffee? Have you tried the French Press? What are your thoughts?
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This week, we are enjoying the beautiful, sunny September weather with freshly ground New Oriente coffee from Guatemalan Coffees. This is a Happy Belated Independence Day to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (15 September 2017)!