A French press coffee pot goes many different names depending on where you are in the world. In France it goes by the name of the manufacturer as well as a cafetiere a piston. In Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK it is known as a cafetiere the French word for carafe. In Australia, South Africa and New Zealand a French press is called a coffee plunger.
It is very easy to use a French press though everyone has their own methods. Basically you add coffee grounds and hot water to the French press, then press the plunger to separate the grounds and your coffee is ready. The amount of time you let the coffee steep will depend on how you like your coffee.
In brewing coffee the temperature of the water is very important. You want the temperature of the water to be just under boiling. The best water is water that has not been boiled before as the dissolved gases are still present.
You also want to use fresh water every single time as water that has been boiled will taste flat as it does not contain any dissolved gasses. Before using your French press you can warm up the carafe with some hot water so that you coffee is as warm as possible.
It has also been found that freshly ground coffee tastes better then pre-ground coffee as the aroma and flavor is much better in freshly ground coffee. Coarse ground coffee is the best for the French press as very finely ground coffee will not be caught by the filter in the French press which can lead grounds in your coffee.
In general about two tablespoons of coffee should be used for one cup of water. Though if you like a stronger cup of coffee you can add more coffee. Once you add the water to the grounds you should stir the grounds so that the grounds are completely wet as air pockets can form.
Generally four minutes is the perfect time for steeping but you can go for as long as ten minutes if you desire very strong coffee. There is also a no steep method that produces a less bitter cup of coffee. However you will need to use more coffee grinds to get the same amount of flavor and aroma. For extra dark coffee you can steep for 10 minutes, for standard coffee steep for 4 minutes, a short steep is 30-60 seconds and you plunge after adding water for the no steep method.
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