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formerly grueldelux

Press Pot/French Press Coffee

163 posts in this topic

How many teaspoons does you use per cup?

At home, we use about four teaspoons per cup and generally brew French Roast.  It's very full bodied but a bit bitter.  That's how my wife likes it so that's what we go with, however.

Depends on the size of your cup, I generally use 4 tablespoons of whole beans for 750 ml of water.

One more press fan here.

Is four minutes the accepted standard? I drink a fair trade coffee, and I find even 4 minutes to be a bit too long...it tastes so bitter and acidic at that point that's no fun at all.

With a simple cuisinart blade grinder, what's a decent grinding time for Bodum? I lost the manual :(

If it's too bitter, then you either :

a) brewed it too long

or

b) power is too fine a grind.

Since you are letting it steep for 4 mins, I'd say you are grinding your coffee too fine. From Good Eats' episode on coffee, I'd say 12 short pulses should do the trick. The consistency of the powder should be somewhat coarse.

I use one of the scoop that came with the Bodum grinder per 4 ounces of water. I have a big 16oz mug so four scoops, i brew for just around 4 minutes total with a good stir after the first minute


Edited by lancastermike (log)

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the standard measure for french press coffee is two level tablespoons for each 6 ounces of water.

I highly recommend starting with this, and changing proportions depending on your taste as you adjust to this method of brewing.

For CharityCase and others, we hope you are buying your beans somewhere decent, if so, they will grind a small portion for you at the appropriate fine/coarse level for French Press, you can then put this in a clear small zip lock bag to use as a reference point as you grind at home.

it is a old trick from my days as a barista, I hope you find it useful.

Also ... beware as French press is the first step to wanting a fancy home espresso machine ... you can't say I didn't warn you!

Happy coffee brewing and drinking !

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Good tip there SushiCat, thanks. I tried the 12 little whirrs recommended above and it was just about right. I had been holding it down for 5 or 6 seconds and that's clearly too much.

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Curious departure in this thread was suggestion that water should not be boiling...

One of the reasons (among others) I French Press is total control of water temp; making sure 205 is achieved.

I bring to a boil, coarse ground (like sushi's suggestion!), wait 5 min's & consume promptly.

And really wish Maria's had that gold filter thingies for sale (can ya make one from the drip version...? Any have the drip version...?)


~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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I'm new to this forum but i am a big coffee press fan. i always use whole beans and grind them down to a medium grind. i use 1 oz. of coffee to 4 cups h2o, press the coffee into the h2o and wait 5 min. and i got great coffee. My only complaint is that my coffee/spice grinder doesn't grind evenly. It seems to get some of the beans to where i want it but always bashes some to a powder. My wife grabbed the french roast coffee one morning, weighed out 1 oz. and ground it to a powder. After 5 min. in the h2o we had some REALLY strong coffee. I'm looking for a grinder that will give me an even grind, like the kind in the supermarket or in good coffee shops. I wonder if these are prohibitively expensive.


...and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce it tastes alot more like prunes than rhubarb does. groucho

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French press really is awsome coffee. I just used my little one cup this morning for the first time in a long time with freshly coarse ground Ethiopean dark roast and it was so much better than my hamilton-beach drip (same coffee same water). I can see sushicat's comment about wanting an expresso machine!

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I'm looking for a grinder that will give me an even grind, like the kind in the supermarket or in good coffee shops.  I wonder if these are prohibitively expensive.

I assume you are currently using a blade grinder. 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...

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How many teaspoons does you use per cup?

The reason I ask is that I had breakfast at a restaurant yesterday that recently introduced individual Bodum french presses for customers who wanted premium coffee.  You could choose from Kona, Blue Mountain and Yirgacheffe.  Initially, I was ecstatic, although the cheapest of the three (Kona) was $2.95 for a two cup press.

That excitement quickly faded to disappointment when I tasted the coffee.  Despite letting it sit for four minutes, the coffee was incredibly weak and watery. 

It's hard to tell the volume of coffee once it is wet, but my guess is that there were no more than two teaspoons of coffee in the press.

At home, we use about four teaspoons per cup and generally brew French Roast.  It's very full bodied but a bit bitter.  That's how my wife likes it so that's what we go with, however.

This would be good enough reason to send it back, or complain. Who knows what was going on back there? New staff; inconsistent policy; running out of some beans? It would be simple for the restaurant to do do something about your complaint.

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I'm looking for a grinder that will give me an even grind, like the kind in the supermarket or in good coffee shops.  I wonder if these are prohibitively expensive.

I assume you are currently using a blade grinder. 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...

There is a thread on this forum regarding obtaining a solis maestro burr grinder from costco.com. Also, you can purchase a rebranded solis maestro classic from starbucks (~$99). I use a cheap delonghi burr grinder (costco~ $25) for my press coffee and the starbucks one for my espresso.

Another tip on using the blade grinder is to move it about while grinding. This ensures the blades hit most of the beans instead of pulverising a few beans to dust.

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I love my french press. I don't know if its because I'm more aware of my coffee to water ratio (I also saw the 'Good Eats' coffee epi, and have followed AB's ratio ever since), or if the press does indeed produce better coffee than a drip maker, but its the smoothest home brew I've ever made. I used to be a strictly turkish coffee kind of girl, but now I'm leaning more towards the french press for my every day coffee.

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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.

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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.

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 (log)

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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.

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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.

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 (log)

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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.

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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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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.

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 (log)

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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.

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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.

merci

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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.

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

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 (log)

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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


Stephen

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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

merci

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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

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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

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:

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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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