You just cannot underestimate the value of a nice cup of coffee. Whether it’s used as a kickstarting jolt to begin your day, sipped with a friend to catch up on lost times and distant memories, or to relax with a nice cup of Irish whisky on the side, coffee is to us what nectar was to Greek gods.
Normal Joes and Janes would usually frequent a coffee shop to get a nice cup of Joe. You do have the option, however, to make that perfect cup of coffee right in the comfort of your home. Whether the day is just too rainy to go out or you’re finishing a paper that has to
e submitted in the next hour, or if you’re just feeling plain agoraphobic. This life hack series on Coffee Made Perfect is for you.
Today we’re going over some key hacks on how to make the perfect cup of coffee using the French Press. The French Press, sometimes called a plunger or a coffee press, is an elegantly simple coffee making apparatus that needs no electricity to operate. The press produces a full-bodied cup of coffee that retains its essential flavors by using immersion. This means that the coffee grounds are immersed in hot water to extract the flavors from the beans. After a set time, the plunger is set down to filter out the coffee grounds and allow that wonderful elixir we call coffee to come out and gratify us. Here are a few tips on how to make pressed coffee truly perfect.
Select Freshly Roasted Beans
When you’ve decided on what grounds you want, make sure your beans are freshly roasted. Beans that have been roasted for a long time tend to lose their inherent flavor and their aroma. It also results in a bad tasting cup of coffee which is sometimes too acidic or too flat. Always ask when the beans were roasted or check the packaging. If none of this information is available it might be a good opportunity to find something that does. A general rule of thumb is to select a batch that was roasted between 8 to 21 days ago, nothing less and nothing more.
The Right Amount
The right ratio between coffee and water needs to be measured with absolute precision. The right ratio is 1 unit of coffee for 16 units of water. So if you have an ounce of coffee make sure to pair it with 16 ounces of water. Use a measuring cup or mark the level you usually use on your press for the water, but better yet, use a kitchen scale with a tare functionality to get an accurate measurement for both of them.
Water Temperature Matters
Since this brewing technique uses immersion, the grounds and the water will be married for quite a while. So it is your duty to make sure that marriage is perfect with the right chemistry. Water that is boiling hot will result in an extremely bitter cup of coffee and will wipe out the taste that was dwelling in that bean since it was planted. After boiling your water, open the lid and let it cool for about a minute and a half to bring its temperature down. For a truly perfect cup, use a cooking thermometer. You should be pouring water that is 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit or 80 to 90 degrees Celsius.
It’s About Time
Accurate measurements of weight and temperature just aren’t enough. You need to pay close attention to the amount of time the coffee is immersed into the water. The coffee grounds will be releasing its flavor and chemicals into the water and the grounds in there for too long will result in a strong, bitter cup of coffee. Leaving them in there for too short a time, on the other hand, will mean your coffee will be weak and tasteless. The generally accepted time for coffee to steep before lowering the plunger is 4 minutes. Make sure you pour the coffee out of the press because it will continue to steep even with the plunger down. The plunger doesn’t really separate the water from the coffee, it’s role is to keep the grounds from going into the liquid you’re about to enjoy.
Once you’ve followed the steps to crafting your own marvelous cup of coffee and paid close attention to these hacks, you’ll be sipping wonderful, home-brewed goodness every single time.