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Queue up some Coltrane for this one.

The French Press is the easiest and most classic method for making coffee.  For those who think that making a good cup of coffee may require too much effort, the French Press is the best place to start.

You want your grind size to be coarse.  If your coffee is too finely ground, you’ll over-extract the coffee and get bitter tannins and grit in the cup.  Experiment to find what’s best for you.

Pros: Easy to use, inexpensive, no filters or paper waste

Cons: Not ideal for lighter roasts, messier cleanup, loses some acidity in the cup

Ideal Ratio: 1g of coffee to 14-16g of water

Grind: Very Coarse

Brew Time: 4 minutes

Taste Guide: Textured, Heavy, Resonant 

Sound Guide: “Naima” by John Coltrane

Step 1

If you can, preheat your French Press by putting a little hot water in there before you add your coffee grounds.  This will prevent your French Press from stealing all the delicious heat away from your coffee, but it’s not a necessary step.

Step 2

After you’ve decided how much coffee you want and put the grounds inside the French Press, start your timer and bloom the coffee by adding twice as much water as you have coffee grounds (ex. if you have 30g of coffee grounds, add 60g of water).  Stir the coffee 7 times (preferably with something wooden or plastic, but metal will work too) making sure that all of the coffee grounds are incorporated.  Now wait 60 seconds.

Step 3

At 60 seconds, add the rest of your water (again, if you had a 30g dry dose, you’ll want the pour until you get between 420-480g of water).

Step 4

Stir back and forth one more time.

Step 5

Put your plunger on top and press down slightly so the plunger is barely submerged (this keeps the coffee grounds from floating to the top and not actually brewing). Don’t push the plunger completely down just yet.  

Step 6

Press Play on Coltrane’s Naima and wait about 4 minutes to steep (aside from being a classic listening experience this will help keep the time)

Step 7

When your coffee is done, slowly and gently press the plunger all the way down.  Immediately pour your coffee into a cup or carafe.  It is very important to not just leave your coffee in the French Press!  Just because you’ve pressed the plunger down doesn’t mean your beans will stop brewing.  Get yourself an insulated coffee thermos that will keep that coffee hot without over extracting the rest of your coffee.