I love me some French-pressed coffee. Maybe it’s because the water so gently intermingles with the grounds to create glorious coffee, maybe it’s because Alton Brown favors this method and I love all things Alton Brown, maybe it’s simply the suggestion that French things equal the height of cuisine.
In any case, French presses rock; they don’t need to be plugged in, they don’t require much skill (aside from patience), they’re inexpensive and they don’t take up much kitchen cabinet real estate. Like a percolator, a French press requires a coarse grind both because of the long exposure to water and so that fine grounds won’t sneak through the strainer.
1. Coarsely grind 1-2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water desired and place in press
2. Bring water to a boil and pour in enough to dampen all the grounds. Allow to bloom for 30 seconds.
3. Pour remaining water into press and cover with lid. Do not depress strainer.
4. After 4-6 minutes, depress the plunger slowly
Note: Just like drip coffee, this method tastes great with a pinch of cinnamon and salt as well.
Pourover cones are cool because they often don’t require filters and they usually only make a single serving, so you don’t have to share. They are also very easy to clean and great for camping trips because they are one piece of simple equipment: a glorified sieve. Here’s how to make a prime cup of pourover brew:
1. Grind 1-2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water to medium-fine coarseness and add to cone (may need to line with filter, depending on model)
2. Even out grounds and make a small divot in the middle
3. Place cone on top of mug or carafe
4. Bring water to a boil and pour enough to dampen coffee into cone; let rest 30 seconds
5. Pour the rest of the water slowly, in concentric circles, trying to maintain a constant volume in the cone
6. Allow coffee to drain out, then enjoy!
When first dampening the grounds and letting them rest, the coffee is “blooming.” This improves diffusion by keeping the coffee from clumping together immediately. The same technique is used with a French press.