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Press Pot/French Press Coffee


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#61 phaelon56

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 11:44 AM

What you probably want is a burr grinder. These provide a more uniform grind with little to no dust. They are more expensive, of course, but definitely worth it. Recently I have been seeing more of these and the prices are much lower ($20-$50 at Costco, Target, etc…) than I used to find a couple of years ago ($150+). However, I am not sure how well these lower cost grinders work...

The answer is not very well. You truly get what you pay for - a cheap burr grinder is never a bargain. Unless you happen to stumble across a used sem-commercial burr grinder (Anfim, Cunill, Rancilio, Mazzer etc) for a dirt cheap price... which is unlikely... the least expensive burr grinder worth buying will be a Starbucks Barista or the Solis Maestro "Classic" (same machine as the Barista).

Cheap burr grinders produce an inconsistent particle size, tend to run very hot (heat is bad for the beans) and rarely do a better job than one can do with a whirly blade grinder. The trick of pulsing the blade grinder and also shaking it a few times between pulses will help to produce a reasonable consistency in particle size but the only way to get really good uniformity is with a grinder of the proper quality level.

I use one of the scoop that came with the Bodum grinder per 4 ounces of water.

That's an important point. The SCAA (American) standard is a six ounce "cup" per standard coffee scoop (which should be roughly 7 grams of coffee) but Bodum dictates a four ounce "cup" for their press pots and vacuum pots.

#62 jgould

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 12:52 PM

What you probably want is a burr grinder. These provide a more uniform grind with little to no dust. They are more expensive, of course, but definitely worth it. Recently I have been seeing more of these and the prices are much lower ($20-$50 at Costco, Target, etc…) than I used to find a couple of years ago ($150+). However, I am not sure how well these lower cost grinders work...

The answer is not very well. You truly get what you pay for - a cheap burr grinder is never a bargain. Unless you happent o stumble across a used sem-commercial burr grinder (Anfuim, Cunill, Rancilio, Mazzer etc) for a dirt cheap price... which is unlikely... the least expensive burr grinder worth buying will be a Starbucks Barista or the Solis maestro "Classic" (same machine as the Barista).

Cheap burr grinders produce an inconsistent particle size, tend to run very hot (heat is bad for the beans) and rarely do a better job than one can do with a whirly blade grinder. The trick of pulsing the blade grinder and also shaking it a few times between pulses will help to produce a reasonable consistency in particle size but the only way to get really good uniformity is with a grinder of the proper quality level.

I use one of the scoop that came with the Bodum grinder per 4 ounces of water.

That's an important point. The SCAA (American) standard is a six ounce "cup" per standard coffee scoop (which should be roughly 7 grams of coffee) but Bodum dictates a four ounce "cup" for their press pots and vacuum pots.

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hope i'm not repeating myself:
we like our morning coffee in 8-10oz cups; therefore, using Bodum's formula of 2 bodum spoon scoops/8 oz cup of their french press should = ~ 5-6 cups of coffee if using their 51oz french press.
if normally have 3 1/2 cups which = ~30oz of coffee, would it be better to purchase the bodum 34oz press?

reason for asking: if going to all this for preparation of our morning coffee, curious if there is with any "loss" of quality" by using the larger press. vs. the press closest in size to the amount of coffee made???

thanks

Edited by jgould, 24 January 2005 - 12:59 PM.


#63 phaelon56

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 01:33 PM

if going to all this for preparation of our morning coffee, curious if there is with any "loss" of quality" by using the larger press. vs. the press closest in size to the amount of coffee made???

Can't see any reason why there would be. Perhaps someone more familiar with thermodynamics theory and issues relating to surface area and heat loss could comment. It would seem.... in theory.... that making 30 ounces of cofee in the larger press would result in more surface area exposed to the air without the insulating effect of the glass around it. Might this cause the temperature of the brewing coffee to drop just a bit quicker than when the 30 ounces is brewed in the press that's closer to 30 ounces in size?

This shaky theory is predicated on the notion that the larger press has a wider diameter, therefore more surface area on top of the coffee for a given amount of fluid.

That said... I think the possible effect of such a difference might be so negligible as to be undiscernable. If storage space is not an issue and you'll routinely be making 30 ounces of coffee or more but on occasion wanting to make 50 ounces or so.... just get the larger one.

#64 jgould

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 02:43 PM

if going to all this for preparation of our morning coffee, curious if there is with any "loss" of quality" by using the larger press. vs. the press closest in size to the amount of coffee made???

Can't see any reason why there would be. Perhaps someone more familiar with thermodynamics theory and issues relating to surface area and heat loss could comment. It would seem.... in theory.... that making 30 ounces of cofee in the larger press would result in more surface area exposed to the air without the insulating effect of the glass around it. Might this cause the temperature of the brewing coffee to drop just a bit quicker than when the 30 ounces is brewed in the press that's closer to 30 ounces in size?

This shaky theory is predicated on the notion that the larger press has a wider diameter, therefore more surface area on top of the coffee for a given amount of fluid.

That said... I think the possible effect of such a difference might so negligible as to be undiscernable. If storage space is not an issue and you'll routinely be making 30 ounces of coffee or more but on occasion wanting to make 50 ounces or so.... just get the larger one.

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unfortunately begs another question: so many different coffee/water formulas as per previous replies above:
how many oz cup? scoop vs. tsp vs. tbs??
4 tsp/cup
4 tbs of whole beans/750ml of water
1 scoop of Bodum's spoon/4oz of water
2 level tsp/6oz of water
1 oz of coffee/4 cups (size?) of water

geez :unsure: which coffee/ cup size is "supposedly" what one should be using??

Edited by jgould, 24 January 2005 - 02:45 PM.


#65 His Nibs

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 03:04 PM

one word.... METRIC!

A normal mug contains ~250 mL


No idea how many grams 4 tablespoons of whole coffee weigh but the main thing is to experiment.

#66 phaelon56

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 03:49 PM

one word.... METRIC!

A normal mug contains ~250 mL


If only it were so easy. What is a "normal" mug? Here in the US a very common mug style and size holds about 12 ounces of liquid of filled to the brim but about 10 ounces if actually being used for a hot beverage. That doesn't make it a defacto standard as I regularly see mugs in use (both in restaurants and in private homes) that range from 8 ounces to 16 ounces.

#67 jgould

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 08:47 PM

one word.... METRIC!

A normal mug contains ~250 mL


If only it were so easy. What is a "normal" mug? Here in the US a very common mug style and size holds about 12 ounces of liquid of filled to the brim but about 10 ounces if actually being used for a hot beverage. That doesn't make it a defacto standard as I regularly see mugs in use (both in restaurants and in private homes) that range from 8 ounces to 16 ounces.

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so, the answer to my question about the "right" amount of (freshly roasted, then ground via the solis "maestro plus" burr grinder) coffee/8oz cup for my 51oz bodum french press is _______? :unsure:

Edited by jgould, 25 January 2005 - 01:24 PM.


#68 phaelon56

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 02:04 PM

If my math is correct you should be using about 90 grams of ground coffee in the French Press for 51 ounces of water. My vacuum pot is a Bodum and they recommend 7 grams per four ounces of water for that product. I use 40 grams for a full 25 ounce pot and it gives me the body and flavor profile I find most desirable. YMMV may vary contingent on your taste.

Another way to look at is this: the standard SCAA coffee scoop is roughly two level tablespoons of ground coffee (about 7 grams). If Bodum calls their "cup" 4 ounces you'd need 12.7 scoops or 88.9 grams. Let's round it off to 90 grams or just over 3 ounces. If you don't have a kitchen scale that's accurate down to about the gram level it's no big deal - just grab one of those "standard coffee scoops" like the one that might have come with the press pot and start scooping ground coffee into a larger cup measure. You'll very easily arrive at a correct measure and be able to use something like a standard measuring cup to scoop out your coffee.

In my experience, using the standard coffee scoop for whole beans before grinding is reasonably accurate for most beans - I just leave it slightly rounded and find that after grinding it's about one level scoop.

I repeat and stress that YMMV (your mileage may vary). Depending on your tastes, how finely you grind and how long you steep the coffee before pressing the plunger... you may want to adjust the weight/volume of beans slightly.

It's also worth noting that vacuum pots and press pots typically require a bit more coffee per ounce of water than drip makers but yield results that many of us find to be vastly preferable.

#69 jgould

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 07:35 PM

If my math is correct you should be using about 90 grams of ground coffee in the French Press for 51 ounces of water.  My vacuum pot is a Bodum and they recommend 7 grams per six ounces of water for that product. I use 40 grams for a full 25 ounce pot and it gives me the body and flavor profile I find most desirable. YMMV may vary contingent on your taste.

Another way to look at is this: the standard SCAA coffee scoop is roughly two level tablespoons of ground coffee (about 7 grams).  If Bodum calls their "cup" 4 ounces you'd need 12.7 scoops or 88.9 grams.  Let's round it off to 90 grams or just over 3 ounces.  If you don't have a kitchen scale that's accurate down to about the gram level it's no big deal - just grab one of those "standard coffee scoops" like the one that might have come with the press pot and start scooping ground coffee into a larger cup measure. You'll very easily arrive at a correct measure and be able to use something like a standard measuring cup to scoop out your coffee.

In my experience, using the standard coffee scoop for whole beans before grinding is reasonably accurate for most beans - I just leave it slightly rounded and find that after grinding it's about one level scoop.

I repeat and stress that YMMV (your mileage may vary). Depending on your tastes, how finely you grind and how long you steep the coffee before pressing the plunger...  you may want to adjust the weight/volume of beans slightly.

It's also worth noting that vacuum pots and press pots typically require a bit more coffee per ounce of water than drip makers but yield results that many of us find to be vastly preferable.

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merci

#70 jgould

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 04:13 PM


about 90 grams of ground coffee in the French Press for 51 ounces of water.  My vacuum pot is a Bodum and they recommend 7 grams per six ounces of water for that product. I use 40 grams for a full 25 ounce pot .

Another way to look at is this: the standard SCAA coffee scoop is roughly two level tablespoons of ground coffee (about 7 grams).  If Bodum calls their "cup" 4 ounces you'd need 12.7 scoops or 88.9 grams.  Let's round it off to 90 grams or just over 3 ounces.

standard coffee scoop for whole beans before grinding; slightly rounded after grinding, about one level scoop.

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merci, BUT this simply too confusing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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measurements condensed from above information:
should use 90g of ground coffee/51oz of water re: bodum's french press
1g = .035oz; therefore, 51oz water * .035 = 1.785g's of coffee
or,
using SCAA's coffee scoop: 2 level tbs of ground coffee = 7g coffee/6oz of water, i.e., .85oz water/g of coffee; therefore, using bodum's 4oz cup, need 12.7 scoops ~90g(3.2oz)
or,
std coffee scoop for whole beans (before grinding) slightly rounded after grinding = 1 level scoop = 3.5g coffee/3oz water,
or,
use 40g of coffee/25oz bodum vacuum pot; therefore, 40g * .035 = 1.4oz of coffee??
:blink: -- :rolleyes: -- :wacko:

Edited by jgould, 30 January 2005 - 10:40 AM.


#71 Stephen B

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 11:07 AM

I use about 20g of coffee in a 6-cup cafetiere (=french press) to make 10 fluid oz of coffee (I like mixed units :biggrin: ), so a 51oz chappy should take about 100g of coffee, say just under 4 ounces.

But, each to their own - that ratio won't be right for everyone. I use a thermometer to get my brewing water to 95 deg C :nerd: and leave it for four minutes.

SB
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#72 jgould

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 02:06 PM

I use about 20g of coffee in a 6-cup cafetiere (=french press) to make 10 fluid oz of coffee (I like mixed units  :biggrin:  ), so a 51oz chappy should take about 100g of coffee, say just under 4 ounces.

But, each to their own - that ratio won't be right for everyone.  I use a thermometer to get my brewing water to 95 deg C :nerd: and leave it for four minutes.

SB

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merci

#73 bleudauvergne

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 04:43 AM

I also recently started with the French Press and have a couple of questions.

The first time I tried it, I was pressing down and there was a lot of resistance, and then suddenly it gave way and splattered coffee everywhere. Why?

It says on the thing to use a coarse ground coffee. What would happen if you used on that had been ground more finely?

Is Espresso grind ok to use in a French Press?

I am beginning to remember what coffee is supposed to taste like....

Thanks

#74 His Nibs

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 01:10 PM

I also recently started with the French Press and have a couple of questions. 

The first time I tried it, I was pressing down and there was a lot of resistance, and then suddenly it gave way and splattered coffee everywhere.  Why? 

It says on the thing to use a coarse ground coffee.  What would happen if you used on that had been ground more finely? 

Is Espresso grind ok to use in a French Press? 

I am beginning to remember what coffee is supposed to taste like.... 

Thanks

View Post



If you have trouble pressing it down, your coffee is ground too finely. Espresso grind is definitely way out!!!! :biggrin:

It splattered because your filter got clogged with small particles of coffee and does not allow the separation of the solids (aka coarse ground coffee) and liquids (aka the good stuff). Since you pressed it down, the liquid can only escape through any openings (aka the spout).

Anyway, hope you have fun with the press and remember the 5 rules to good press coffee:

1) use the proper amount of coffee
2) coarse grind
3) water must be around an off-boil
4) stir with a wooden implement (1 chopstick works really well here)
5) wait for 4 minutes, press slowy and give praise to the coffee gods!


PS: I totally enjoy your food blogs :laugh:

#75 azlee

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 10:49 AM

i have just started to use a french press and i hate the clean up but love the better taste of the coffee. i have been buying from a local coffee house that roasts its own but wondered if i can use a brand like illy. if so which grind is best in the press? medium? thanks.
azlee

#76 phaelon56

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 01:37 PM

You'll want a slightly coarser grind than that used for drip coffee and much coarser than that used for espresso.

Issues with Illy:

1) If I recall correctly it's ground for espresos maker / moka pot use and will be too fine for a French Press.

2) It's way overpriced

3) You'll never get it as fresh as what you can buy from a reputable local microroaster or what you get from any number of US specialty roaster by buying online. Even with shipping charges you'll likely find the US product to be cheaper per pound or at least no more expensive.


It's just a fact that any coffee roasted and canned in a factory in Italy and shipped here then distributed... cannot get to you within a few weeks of roasting date. More like a few months. t

There's no amount of nitrogen flushing or vacuum packing that can overcome that fact even though Illy offers a better canned coffee product than any other I've tried.

If you're in Italy the Illy or Lavazza coffee you can get in most stores will generally be very fresh and superior to the Illy available in the US.

#77 azlee

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 04:06 PM

You'll want a slightly coarser grind than that used for drip coffee and much coarser than that used for espresso. 

Issues with Illy:

1) If I recall correctly it's ground for espresos maker / moka pot use and will be too fine for a French Press.

2) It's way overpriced

3) You'll never get it as fresh as what you can buy from a  reputable local microroaster or what you get from any number of US specialty roaster by buying online. Even with shipping charges you'll likely find the US product to be cheaper per pound or at least no more expensive.


It's just a fact that any coffee roasted and canned in a  factory in Italy and shipped here then distributed...  cannot get to you within a few weeks of roasting date.  More like a few months.  t

There's no amount of nitrogen flushing or vacuum packing that can overcome that fact even though Illy offers a better canned coffee product than any other I've tried.

If you're in Italy the Illy or Lavazza coffee you can get in most stores will generally be very fresh and superior to the Illy available in the US.

View Post


Thanks, I appreciate the info. Was just looking for a mindless way to handle my coffee fix. Thought it would be nice to just drop an Illy canister in my cart as i do my grocery shopping. Have heard good things about Terroir. Would that be a good place to start? I like the idea of fresh product from my local Ozzie's but I haven't been impressed with the variety. Have been tempted to try pods but worry about freshness and expense of buying a machine when I'm not sure I will like it. Has anyone tried Keurig? I get the impression that those keep very fresh and are easy to store. Thanks again
Azlee

#78 Bubbalicious

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 06:33 AM

i have just started to use a french press and i hate the clean up but love the better taste of the coffee. i have been buying from a local coffee house that roasts its own but wondered if i can use a brand like illy. if so which grind is best in the press? medium? thanks.
azlee

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Do you rinse the coffee down the drain? I find it the easiest way to dispose of the grounds. I read or heard somewhere that it is good for your drain as well as the grounds would get caught in anything that may potentially clog your drain. The acids in the grounds would then help to break down the prospective clog. I may have dreamt this but I find it a little satisfying to pour out the grounds from my french press. Odd, I know.

On the Illy note: Alton Brown and others say that coffee should be consumed within a week of roasting. But you should do a taste test. I love Illy when it's used in an espresso but I wasn't happy with the Illy beans that I bought at the same shop.
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#79 curlywurlyfi

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 07:15 AM

Do you rinse the coffee down the drain?  I find it the easiest way to dispose of the grounds.  I read or heard somewhere that it is good for your drain as well as the grounds would get caught in anything that may potentially clog your drain.  The acids in the grounds would then help to break down the prospective clog.


I put my coffee grounds down the toilet - I fear the opposite of what you say is true - that in the narrow soil pipe from my kitchen sink, the grounds would clog the U-bend instantly. Whereas with the bigger soil pipe from the loo... whoosh, and away they go.
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#80 Bubbalicious

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 01:56 PM

I've been using the sink for...
maybe fifteen years and haven't had a problem yet.
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#81 azlee

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 04:05 PM

Thanks everyone! I have always heard that grounds down the drain was bad news but maybe it's just an old kitchen wives tale. Will maybe ask a plumber.
Thanks

#82 jscarbor

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 10:27 AM

Im pretty knew to coffee. I want the best tasting coffee for me. I am getting a french press soon.
What is the best way to buy beans if you are using a press? In Houston I can go to Central Market and buy beans in bulk. Do I have them roast? Should I tell them a specific way to roast? Like I said, I am a novice.

Edited by jscarbor, 16 December 2005 - 10:28 AM.


#83 dvs

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:30 PM

our coffie maker died & thankfully we have the french press... problem is we have never used one.
it's standard (4 cup?) size. how much beans do we grind? waiting times after adding hot h2o?
help!!
we'll be dying tomorrow w/ out the info :smile:

#84 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:01 PM

You'll soon learn its variances, but it is entirely subjective depending on how strong or weak you like your coffee. I am one of those that like it REALLY strong and tend to grind about 1/3 of cup of beans (give or take) for four cups. After the hot water is poured in, I wait about four minutes before pressing down.

#85 Blether

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 04:52 AM

You want a medium-coarse grind: and purists say it's past it if left sitting in the jug for more than half an hour or so.

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#86 weinoo

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 06:03 AM

You want a medium-coarse grind: and purists say it's past it if left sitting in the jug for more than half an hour or so.

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I use about 10-12 grams of coffee per 6 oz. of water...(btw, 4 cups in a coffee maker generally means about 20 oz. of water, so you should measure the amount of water you put in and forget about "cups!").

Medium - grind...bring water to just under a boil (around 200 - 205 degrees), pour over grounds, stir gently (maybe stir again after a minute), put the lid on and start thinking about pressing about 3 1/2 minutes in. Press gently and enjoy!
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#87 Della

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 07:34 AM

Not 100% sure as it's been quite a few years since I used a coffee press but I seem to remember that you don't stir the grounds with a metal spoon. Use something plastic or maybe wooden.

#88 slkinsey

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 07:36 AM

Using a metal spoon shouln't make any difference. After, the screen and plunger are made out of metal.
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#89 Alex

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 08:29 AM

Here's a comprehensive blog entry about French press coffee by a coffee connoisseur. (Scroll down to the entry for November 26.) I've gotten excellent results using her recommended coffee:water proportion and brewing technique.
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#90 rlibkind

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 11:35 AM

Not 100% sure as it's been quite a few years since I used a coffee press but I seem to remember that you don't stir the grounds with a metal spoon. Use something plastic or maybe wooden.

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It's possible (I know from experience!) to break the glass with a metal spoon.
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