A coffee plunger, or French press, is a simple device for making coffee at home or, with a small, portable model, even on the go. A coffee plunger consists of a cylindrical glass pot and a plunger with a filter screen.
Brewing a cup of coffee is very convenient with this small kitchen appliance, because it requires only water and some ground coffee. By knowing some simple facts about making coffee, it is possible to prepare a delicious hot drink in no time.
1 Start with delicious freshly roasted coffee.
2 Preheat your cup and plunger with hot boiled water.
3 Add to the plunger, one rounded tablespoon of correctly ground coffee per cup (ie ground coarser than for espresso).
4 Add the required number of cups of freshly boiled water. Gently stir to mix the grounds, then replace the lid. Be careful not to chip the glass when stirring.
Good fresh coffee will create a slightly creamy look, as carbon dioxide is released.
5 Wait no more than a few minutes, then depress the plunger slowly to avoid spillage, and to keep all the coffee below the mesh. It is safest to place the plunger on a non-slip surface.
As with filter coffee, plunger coffee brewing reveals the delicate taste nuances that espresso brewing may overpower. Serve immediately – as the coffee will grow bitter if left too long in the plunger. For the perfect water temperature, bring the water to a boil, and let it cool a few seconds.
A coffee plunger requires coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew coffee filter, as finer grounds will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, stirring it and leaving to brew for a few minutes, then pressing the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker.
Because the coffee grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee’s flavour and essential oils, which would become trapped in a traditional drip brew machine’s paper filters. As with drip-brewed coffee, French pressed coffee can be brewed to any strength by adjusting the amount of ground coffee which is brewed. If the used grounds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee left to stand can become “bitter”, though this is an effect that many users of French press consider beneficial. For a 1⁄2-litre (0.11 imp gal; 0.13 US gal) French press, the contents are considered spoiled, by some reports, after around 20 minutes. Other approaches consider a brew period that may extend to hours as a method of superior production.
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