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Press Pot/French Press Coffee


formerly grueldelux
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Weinoo, my guess is that you like strong coffee (which we lovingly call rocket fuel). In my drip machine I'm also at about 1 T for 8 oz.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Weinoo, my guess is that you like strong coffee (which we lovingly call rocket fuel). In my drip machine I'm also at about 1 T for 8 oz.

 

I don't really know what is meant by strong coffee.  I like coffee brewed properly, with freshly roasted beans, freshly ground, made with good water at the proper temperature.  No matter the method.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I use approximately 2 T per 8 oz. water. 2 T should weigh around 14 grams...7 grams per T of coffee.

 

Yep, me too. Or in my case, 21g per 12 oz. 7g per 4 oz water.

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I just made my first experimental pot. 3 Tbl grounds, approx 23 oz water, steeped for 5 minutes. What was strange to me is that the plunger had a lot of resistance for about the first 1/3 of the way down and then suddenly got easier.

Try what I said about lifting the plunger up when you meet resistance, it works.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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Coarse grind. 37 grams coffee to 24 ounces water (adjust to your taste). Five to ten seconds after my electric water kettle auto shuts, it's at about 205F (195-210 is recommended temp). Pour and stir to set grounds. I like a 6 minute, 30 second brew time ; your mileage may vary.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 years later...
12 hours ago, maurice_dudeley said:


I'm using unbleached filters for my coffee. Is it true that it can affect the taste of your coffee?
http://www.houseofbaristas.com/best-espresso-grinder/
Thanks! 

A press pot/French press doesn't use a filter. 

 

When I used to use a filter, I never noticed a big difference in taste in regular and unbleached. But I vastly prefer the press pot method now.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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  • 1 year later...

Last year I did a ton of experiments and arrived at 80g coffee per 1400g water (48 fl oz, a big press pot). This is 5.7% by weight relative to the water. I'm mostly buying East African coffees, especially Ethiopian varieties, from 3rd wave roasters who favor a lighter roast. Occasionally I'll end up with  beans that do better with 90g or 70g, but this is rare.

 

The variable that took me forever to figure out was water temperature. About 8 years ago in this thread I was complaining that the coffee I made at my girlfriend's apartment, with a crappy grinder and no scale, was often better than what I made at home while geeking out. The culprit turned out to be my (supposedly fancy) Zojirushi hot water pot, which was set to 203°F. Turns out that it was about 10 degrees cooler than that, and this was throwing off everything. 

 

I use a regular electric kettle now and check the temperature. After trying every temperature in the recommended range, I found 93°C / 199°F to be my favorite. My press pot is uninsulated, so this would be the starting temperature. I've never measured to see how much it drops over 4 minutes.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

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On 3/3/2018 at 8:32 AM, weinoo said:

@paulraphael  You really need to try a subscription to Tim Wendelboe.

 

Yikes, that's gotta be expensive. I'm sure it's great, but it seems excessive paying shipping and also Norwegian prices. You like them so much more than the stuff roasted at your doorstep?

Notes from the underbelly

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6 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

Yikes, that's gotta be expensive. I'm sure it's great, but it seems excessive paying shipping and also Norwegian prices. You like them so much more than the stuff roasted at your doorstep?

You'd be surprised at the pricing.  I don't want to say that it's less than I pay at places like Gimme or Grumpy, but my 3 bags/month subscription, for 6 months, at the current exchange rate, comes out to under $16.50 a 250 gram bag...not crazily expensive, in my book, for this stuff.

 

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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That's $30/ lb.  I pay roughly $20/lb for Stumptown or Toby's Estate. And that seems like a pretty crazy price to me ... it's high enough that I really just drink it on the weekends.

 

But I'd be happy to come sample the Norwegian coffee any time ...

Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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  • 1 year later...

Husband and I enjoy vastly different strengths coffee.    I have finally convinced him that the way for each of us get the cup we want is to make a good/prope/in his mind strong brew, then for him to dilute with hot water.    Seems to be working,    There is no way to improve weak coffee.   

eGullet member #80.

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On 2/15/2017 at 6:30 AM, Allura said:

A press pot/French press doesn't use a filter. 

 

When I used to use a filter, I never noticed a big difference in taste in regular and unbleached. But I vastly prefer the press pot method now.

I think paper filters (bleached or not) render the coffee less acidic, so it does change the taste. I too prefer the French Press. If you don't have anything but a drip method you could try a gold filter, which lets more flavor/acid to get through. However, my first gold filter was very fine and the coffee dripped through slowly enough. Most of the ones for sale now are coarser and the coffee just flows through too fast. That's useless.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I keep coming back to the press pot. It's out of fashion right now in the specialty coffee world ... everyone's all about pour-overs, which just don't excite me as much. The current obsession is with a "clean cup." But I like the sink-your-teeth-into-it full-bodied cup from the press. It doesn't taste unclean to me.

 

I strongly recommend that anyone trying to dial in their recipe should use a scale. Just like with everything else in the kitchen. Think in terms of ratios / percentages. And use a thermometer. Water temperature matters. And of course a decent burr grinder. I don't think you need a great grinder, as you do for espresso. The tech support guy at Baratza reused to upsell me when my 10 year-old burr grinder died. He said that for coarse grinds, my ancient entry-level grinder would be as good as their higher end ones, so he just sold me the $5 replacement part. 

 

I agree with Mitch that the goal is well-balanced coffee. When people say they it "strong," I think it's an image thing. When coffee is too strong, the result isn't something bolder or more aggrandizing. You get some more bitterness, and counterintuitively, many of the subtler aromas and fruit flavors get masked. It ends being a flatter, less flavorful cup. 

 

It's best to brew a correctly balanced pot of coffee. Then, if your preference is for something weaker, add some water. Sometimes just a little bit will make all the difference ... almost like dribbling water into scotch. 

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 6 months later...

Gents - and ladies - opinions needed. It might sound quite naive, still I'd like to know if it's worthy investing in a french press just to give it a try as I've been using chemex for several years? Just curious - I've heard that the taste is completely different. And I've checked some of your opinions above about filters - and that's why I'm not considering aeropress (at least for now, as it's still just a hobby and I try to keep it under control... just in case my husband will see this, I'm not a hoarder!). French press sounds like an interesting alternative. So is there anyone who made a switch from "fancy" pour overs to presses? 
My grinder is Baratza Virtuoso if this matters. 

Edited by kitchen_muse (log)
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French Press is my favorite, and it seems like a sort of brainless method, like Cowboy coffee as cowboys only wished it could be. I believe that since it doesn't use a filter it is a little more acidic than methods using a paper filter, but it has a deeper flavor, at least to me, and doesn't get bitter. But I like Chemex too. For a while I was on a low-acid diet and found that the Chemex was a good alternative. We have an Aeropress as well, and that's good too, but we rarely use it, for reasons that are unclear. Maybe it just doesn't make much quantity, and maybe because I don't know how to use it, but it does make a strong brew. I'm no coffee expert, that's for sure, just for the record.

 

Before investing perhaps you can find a cafe that serves French Press coffee and try it that way.

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