6 Steps to great French Press Coffee.

Started by Moab, January 30, 2023, 06:42:40 PM

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Moab

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(I'm adding this second pic of a glass model. Just to better illustrate how simple it is. And how it works. Its a filter/plunger that pushes the grounds to the bottom. The top might be confusing as it shows the extra filters the press comes with. Although the extra filters are rarely needed.)

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And here's a quick video of how to use one. It's 51 seconds:


https://youtu.be/MHZl1imHyOA


6 Steps to great French Press Coffee. Anywhere!

I've been using a french press for over 25 years. And if you can boil water you can use a french press.

It's quick, easy, and gives you the best taste of any method I could find. Its also made in a bombproof device, that won't break, and that you can take anywhere.

You simply grind your beans. Dump them into the cannister. Pour boiling water over them. Let it brew. Then press the grounds into the bottom of the cannister. And you've got the best tasting coffee ever.

Couldn't be simpler.

And if you buy an all metal french press, rather than glass, you've got a bulletproof way of making coffee in any environment. Bug out, bug in, car trip, camping or hiking.

If you prefer a lighter coffee, like what comes out of an automatic coffee maker. Or you prefer dark rich coffee. The french press is a master of both.

Here are some tips.

1) Start with a good press. Don't buy glass with the metal frame. They are a flimsy press. And even though I've never broken one. They are glass and can break.

Not so with this one below. You can probably find an exact copy for cheaper. (I've seen a few.) This is just the one I've been using for many years.

It's stainless steel. Beautifully polished inside. Will never break. And looks like they run about $23. Scroll down below this one on Amazon. I saw several exactly like it. For cheaper.

It's also larger than the traditional glass ones. So you get a good pot of coffee that is large enough to serve several cups of coffee. Think three or four people at a time.

Scroll below this one for cheaper options. Just pay attention to size. And make sure its stainless steel.

Large French Press Coffee Maker - French Press Stainless Steel - Insulated French Coffee Press, Metal French Press Large - 50oz 1.5L (Black) https://a.co/d/8RQBe6b

2) If you like really dark, rich coffee like me. Grind the hell out of your beans. If you like lighter coffee, grind less. Also brew time will give you lighter or darker coffee. You can make light automatic drip type coffee. All the way to super, dark, rich coffee. Just depends on amount of coffee, grind and how long you let it brew.

3) If you just pour the hot water in from a normal height. Your going to have some coffee clumped up in the bottom. So either pour from a higher height. So that the hot water stirs up all the grounds. Or use a long spoon or ladle handle. Or just a stick. To stir it up. But pouring from a bit higher will do the trick.

4) After the hot water and coffee are mixed. Put the top on the french press. (Without pushing it down yet. This keeps it hotter.)

Then let the coffee brew to your desired taste. The longer it brews the stronger it will be. I usually give it 5 minutes. But you can press the grounds down right away. And you'll still get an excellent pot of coffee.

Just remember - amount of coffee, how much you grind it, and length of brew time all effect how light or dark your coffee will come out. It doesn't take long to get your "recipe" down for "your" perfect cup of coffee.

5) This is a little cowboy trick I recently learned. That makes pressing the grounds to the bottom a lot easier:

Once the coffee has brewed. And before you're ready to press the grounds to the bottom. Take the filter/lid off. Then take about a third of a glass of cold water and carefully pour it over all the grounds that have floated to the top.

This forces the grounds to the bottom or lower in the cannister. Its what cowboys do when they boil coffee and water in a pot to make cowboy coffee. To get the grounds to sink. So they aren't in their cups of coffee.

The reason we do this, with the french press though, is to ease the pressing of the grounds to the bottom of the cannister.

6) Pressing the grounds to the bottom:

You need to push firmly. But SLOWLY. It might take 20 to 30 seconds to push it to the bottom. Just don't force it.

*If you just dump the hot water into the coffee grounds. And immediately start pressing the filter down into the cannister. It will quickly clog, build up pressure, stop moving downward, and can possibly explode hot coffee out of the pour spout. If you just keep forcing it down.

To avoid this. At least let the coffee brew. The longer it brews the more the grounds separate and fall to the bottom. And use cold water on the top to force some of the grounds to sink down. Which causes less grounds to clog up the filter. And makes it way easier to press downward.

Just DO NOT keep pressing harder and harder if you meet resistance. The pressure will eventually bypass the filter, send hot coffee pushing to the top of the cannister, and out the pour spout.

But this rarely happens. It's just a word of caution. The press will push the grounds to the bottom of the cannister slowly. But it shouldn't take a herculean effort. If you're having to force it. Lift the filter out, pour some more cold water over it, or let it brew some more. Allowing the grounds to sink more to the bottom.

So to recap:

Grind your coffee and dump it in the bottom of the cannister.

Pour boiling water in, up to an inch or so from the top. Either mixing it with a high pour or some instrument.

Place the filter/lid on. And let it brew. 5 minutes is a sweet spot for me.

After its brewed. Take the filter/top off. And pour some cold water onto the floating grounds.

Replace the filter/lid. And slowly begin to push the plunger/filter down. Stop once it hits bottom. Usually when the plunger is about an inch from the lid. Just depends how much coffee you've put in.

And you've got the best tasting coffee you'll ever brew! In a break proof device. That you can take anywhere
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

MacWa77ace

#3  :smiley_clap:

Do you have any suggestions for cleaning out the grounds after brewing?

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Moab

Quote from: MacWa77ace on January 31, 2023, 09:03:18 AM#3  :smiley_clap:

Do you have any suggestions for cleaning out the grounds after brewing?


Water. You rinse it out. 
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

MacWa77ace

BTDT, and grinds everywhere. Hoping there might've be a better way.


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majorhavoc

Agree a finer grind brews a darker coffee, but I've also found that results in more grounds ending up in my mug. The mesh in the plunger does a better job straining the grounds if they're ground more coarsely.  But I only use my french press when camping or there's a power outage, so I consider it camp joe, and grounds in your java go with the territory.

I also read somewhere recently the water should be hot, but not boiling. But I'm with you on that point Moab. I want that water boiling hot when I pour it into the press.
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Moab

Quote from: MacWa77ace on January 31, 2023, 09:39:03 AMBTDT, and grinds everywhere. Hoping there might've be a better way.



BTDT?

It's a pot. The grounds simply left in the bottom of the pot. How else are you going to get grounds out? I can't think of another portable coffee maker that you don't have to rinse out. Rinsing out anything that had a beverage in it is only slightly less time consuming than rinsing out a french press. The grounds are simply pushed to the bottom. Add water, slosh it around and pour them out.

I'm trying to think of a coffee maker thats easier to clean grounds out of. I guess you could take your electric automatic drip machine. That uses paper or reusable filters. And plug it into a large battery bank or invertor on your vehicle.  But you still have to rinse those out after you empty the filter. Grounds are organic and will dissolve into soil.

There are tiny plastic paper filter holders you can set on top of a cup. And slowly pour water into to make a cup of coffee. Those are free of the hassle of rinsing out grounds. But you still have to rinse your cup out.

Rinsing the grounds out of a french press is little more trouble than rinsing out any container that just had a beverage in it. You slosh it around. Might take two rinses instead of one.

I'm not advocating this for ultralight backpacking.

Maybe that pic above is confusing as to how it works. Its simply a flat, wire mesh, round filter that you push down thru the coffee to get the grounds out. The grounds aren't trapped anywhere. Once you pull the filter/plunger out. The grounds are just sitting in the bottom of the pot.

Unless I'm totally missing your point. Which is highly likely. Lol. :)
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Moab

Quote from: majorhavoc on January 31, 2023, 09:54:27 AMAgree a finer grind brews a darker coffee, but I've also found that results in more grounds ending up in my mug. The mesh in the plunger does a better job straining the grounds if they're ground more coarsely.  But I only use my french press when camping or there's a power outage, so I consider it camp joe, and grounds in your java go with the territory.

I also read somewhere recently the water should be hot, but not boiling. But I'm with you on that point Moab. I want that water boiling hot when I pour it into the press.

Even if you use a very fine grind. Like I do. You don't end up with any "grounds" in your coffee. But it is more like an espresso. I would use the word "thick" or dark.

Meaning there is a very fine amount of microscopic grounds in the coffee. Like espresso. Which I love. But it falls to the bottom after drinking your first cup. And then remains clear. But this is when you stand there and grind the hell out of the grounds. For like a full minute.

I'm a crackhead with coffee. Lol. I like espresso grade. But I also mix it almost 50/50 with milk too.

If you grind your grounds to a normal size. You will not get grounds in your coffee. The filter is so fine that in order to get grounds thru it. You'd have grind the grounds to an almost microscopic powder. And if those get thru its literally just like an espresso. Your not catching any in your teeth or spitting any out. Its to fine. 

The wire mesh filter is similar to a reusable drip machine filter. The metal ones?  That normally takes paper. Thats almost how fine it is. 

All but the finest grind will give clear coffee of whatever darkness you want. And like I said, in my espresso weirdness of fine coffee grind, whatever miniscule powdered grounds there are they sink to the bottom within a few minutes. I regularly swirl the cannister to get them back up in the coffee. On my super fine grind. Just to make the coffee darker. Like an espresso.

The only time you'd get grounds in your coffee is if you had pressed to hard. And the coffee broke the seal on the filter. And pushed to the top. At that point I'd pull the filter out. Rinse it off and start over pushing the grounds down. 
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Moab

#7
This gives you a clearer picture of how it works. You can see the plunger and filter. It simply pushes the grounds to the bottom. The pic in the original post just shows all the extra filters it comes with. Although I've had mine for at least 5 years. And never needed a new one.

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"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Moab

I guess you could add a second filter screen. If it would fit. But I have not found that necessary. But you could try it. It might be double insurance against grounds. But even with one. I've never gotten grounds in my coffee.

I had always used glass models before. And always took one traveling. But when these metal versions came out. I realized how bug out or camping friendly this method of coffee making is.

I think they confuse people tho. When they see them for the first time. They are almost to simple. When my cousin used one for the first time. He kept waiting for the filter to push down by itself. Lol.

Its simply a "push the grounds to the bottom" device. Rather than a "sift the water down thru the grounds" device. 

And I think thats why it makes such good coffee. The boiling water and the grounds are "mixed", left to brew, and then the grounds are sifted out. Like Cowboy Coffee made in a pot. But without the grounds being left in the coffee. 

"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Moab

I added this quick video tutorial to the original post. This will probably make more sense than anything I've described. Lol. Its 51 seconds.


https://youtu.be/MHZl1imHyOA
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

MacWa77ace

Quote from: Moab on January 31, 2023, 10:01:07 AMI'm trying to think of a coffee maker thats easier to clean grounds out of. I guess you could take your electric automatic drip machine. That uses paper or reusable filters. And plug it into a large battery bank or invertor on your vehicle.  But you still have to rinse those out after you empty the filter. Grounds are organic and will dissolve into soil.


I have two French Presses that we use mostly during power outages, and sometimes when guests are staying over. Also have a keureg and a drip, and a camp percolator. Probably won't be using the electric ones during the apocalypse. I know how to use them, It's just not easy/convenient to clean them.

Comparing to a drip or perculator during non apocalyptic coffeemaking, you clean out the filter section witch is removable, yes. And with a paper filter you just toss it.

My technique for those is to bang them on the inside side of the trash can so most of the grinds are out. Then rinsing in the sink. Yes there are grinds in the sink then, but not a lot, and they go down the drain, not enough to bother picking up with a paper towel and throw in the yard.

When I use the same technique with my 'poly' plastic French press there are probably one to two tablespoons that still  have to get rinsed out in the sink cause they won't 'bang' out. I don't like putting too much of that stuff down my sewer pipes. And I can't/wont 'bang out' my glass one. So that's a lot of grinds that didn't make it into the trash can but end up in the sink.

I guess if I take it outside and hose it out into the garden that would work, but then I'd have to take it outside and hose it out. Weather permitting.

Sort of reminds me back in the day when my Dad wanted to get my mom this 'great' Kirby vacuum cleaner [the Dyson of the 90's?] and I listened to the sales guy saying 'none of those messy disposable collection bags to deal with'. Well those collection bags weren't messy, you pulled them out and popped in a new one. We found out that the Kirby, without a disposable collection bag, you had to open up the zipper bag and basically put your hand in it and scrape out the dirt getting dirt and dust everywhere.  :eek1:

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Moab

Quote from: MacWa77ace on January 31, 2023, 11:49:34 AM
Quote from: Moab on January 31, 2023, 10:01:07 AMI'm trying to think of a coffee maker thats easier to clean grounds out of. I guess you could take your electric automatic drip machine. That uses paper or reusable filters. And plug it into a large battery bank or invertor on your vehicle.  But you still have to rinse those out after you empty the filter. Grounds are organic and will dissolve into soil.


I have two French Presses that we use mostly during power outages, and sometimes when guests are staying over. Also have a keureg and a drip, and a camp percolator. Probably won't be using the electric ones during the apocalypse. I know how to use them, It's just not easy/convenient to clean them.

Comparing to a drip or perculator during non apocalyptic coffeemaking, you clean out the filter section witch is removable, yes. And with a paper filter you just toss it.

My technique for those is to bang them on the inside side of the trash can so most of the grinds are out. Then rinsing in the sink. Yes there are grinds in the sink then, but not a lot, and they go down the drain, not enough to bother picking up with a paper towel and throw in the yard.

When I use the same technique with my 'poly' plastic French press there are probably one to two tablespoons that still  have to get rinsed out in the sink cause they won't 'bang' out. I don't like putting too much of that stuff down my sewer pipes. And I can't/wont 'bang out' my glass one. So that's a lot of grinds that didn't make it into the trash can but end up in the sink.

I guess if I take it outside and hose it out into the garden that would work, but then I'd have to take it outside and hose it out. Weather permitting.

Sort of reminds me back in the day when my Dad wanted to get my mom this 'great' Kirby vacuum cleaner [the Dyson of the 90's?] and I listened to the sales guy saying 'none of those messy disposable collection bags to deal with'. Well those collection bags weren't messy, you pulled them out and popped in a new one. We found out that the Kirby, without a disposable collection bag, you had to open up the zipper bag and basically put your hand in it and scrape out the dirt getting dirt and dust everywhere.  :eek1:


I rinse mine out in the garbage disposal side of the sink. Never had a problem. But I was referring to rinsing it out in the field. I assumed a streem or just rinsing it onto the ground. It is additioanl water tho. If you live in the dry. 

Which coffee maker are you taking to the PAW or camping or? The percolator? I like those too. But I can't get a dark cup of coffee out of them without alot of my finely ground grounds getting in the coffee. So that might be a preference there too.

"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

MacWa77ace

Both, in case we have company out there.  :greenguy: And someone wants decaf.

My IRL PAW is the aftermath of hurricanes where I bug in without electricity, but I can still heat up water.

Your right about the percolators, you have to use more coffee I think to get the same strength. I don't understand it but you're also 'reusing' the grounds technically as the water keeps running over the same grounds over and over.

If you're a real cowboy you'll leave it next to the fire all day and that will 'distill' out some of the water and make the coffee 'thicker' LOL. Thick coffee is strong coffee.


https://youtu.be/xdOPJKocMWg?t=95
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Moab

Quote from: MacWa77ace on January 31, 2023, 03:52:24 PMBoth, in case we have company out there.  :greenguy: And someone wants decaf.

My IRL PAW is the aftermath of hurricanes where I bug in without electricity, but I can still heat up water.

Your right about the percolators, you have to use more coffee I think to get the same strength. I don't understand it but you're also 'reusing' the grounds technically as the water keeps running over the same grounds over and over.

If you're a real cowboy you'll leave it next to the fire all day and that will 'distill' out some of the water and make the coffee 'thicker' LOL. Thick coffee is strong coffee.


https://youtu.be/xdOPJKocMWg?t=95

I acted with the guy in the wheel chair. The location was in Eastern Washington. An episode of Northern Exposure. We had a scene together. He was a regular and I was a doctor or violinist or something. He offered me a ride home to Seattle. As he had driven. And I'd otherwise have to ride in one of the vans.

What an interesting 2 hours or so. He was so nice. I was a young actor. And he'd been doing it for decades. I don't recall what we talked about specifically. But he was full of encouragement, great advice and stories. He was one of the reasons I moved from Seattle to Los Angeles. As my career was not going to progress without making that move.

That ride was one of the highlights of my life. He was such a cool guy. I will never forget that. :)
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

MacWa77ace

Berry Corbin, that's a cool story.

My favorite line(s) he gave is from WarGames as Beringer.

-General Beringer: Mr. McKittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.
- McKittrick: I don't have to take that, you pig-eyed sack of shit.
- General Beringer: Oh, I was hoping for something a little better than that from you, sir. A man of your education."
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Moab

Quote from: MacWa77ace on January 31, 2023, 04:24:08 PMBerry Corbin, that's a cool story.

My favorite line(s) he gave is from WarGames as Beringer.

-General Beringer: Mr. McKittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.
- McKittrick: I don't have to take that, you pig-eyed sack of shit.
- General Beringer: Oh, I was hoping for something a little better than that from you, sir. A man of your education."
Ya. He was super cool to work with too. I have worked with many famous actors. But the best ones were all down to earth. And supported their fellow actors with respect and kindness.

Bernardo Bertolucci was that way. I had my best day as an actor with him directing me. Even the audition was incredible. Adam Arkon was the same way. He directed a tv show I was in. 

Its the unknown actors and directors who are always the dicks. To much attitude and not enough talent. Insecurity basically. I have acted with many of those too. 

Gerald McRaney is a really really nice guy too. I got to work with him for two months. Remote location on the water from Seattle. So we rode the ferry everyday. I got to spend alot of time with him on the ferry. 

He loved the Marine Corps. So I gave him shit about that for awhile. Until I admitted I had been in the Corps. Everyone laughed because he was so into the Corps. 

He told me a story about how he grew weed in the courthouse flower beds when he was in high school. Lol. 

One day they wanted me to do my own stunt. Which meant jumping into the freezing Puget Sound off a boat. It wasn't far. Like ten feet maybe. But it was cold! I negotiated a $200 stunt fee in about 15 seconds. It was like a last second idea someone had. $200 was just what I blurted out. And he loved it. He really wanted me to do it. 

But I've always wished I'd have negotiated for his watch. 

He had this really cool divewatch. It wasn't super expensive. If I could remember the brand you'd recognize it. But it was really cool looking. And probably worth about $300. So in the ballpark. But I remember regretting that like 10 seconds after I said I'd do it for $200. Lol. 

It was cold as f*ck tho! And I had to keep diving down and resurfacing cause it was like I got knocked off this boat, into the water, and then they filmed me coming up out of the water. Take after take. 

$200 was alot to me then tho. Lol. 
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

MacWa77ace

LOL on the stunt
This one?

What movie was that?
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12_Gauge_Chimp

Barry Corbin was in a couple Clint Eastwood movies, wasn't he ?

The ones with Clint and an orangutan.

ETA: Just looked it up and yep, he was in "Any Which Way You Can" as Zack Tupper, a millionaire who bets on Clint Eastwood's character in a fight near the end of the film.

Moab

Quote from: MacWa77ace on January 31, 2023, 06:09:55 PMLOL on the stunt
This one?

What movie was that?
It was the last simon & simon movie of the week. Iirc. 
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Moab

I'm the first one without a photo. I don't think I've updated my photo or credits on imdb for many years.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111193/fullcredits
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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