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As a Barista, This Is Why I Love My French Press

Straight to the Level

Our favourite French press is the Fellow Clara. It has superb warmth retention and brews glorious espresso.

I used to overlook about my French press. Most of the time, it simply sat on my shelf with different forsaken espresso instruments, accumulating mud. Sometimes, if I occurred to expire of filters for my pour-over, I’d convey it down and provides it its second. But it surely was at all times the reserve—a backup software that labored properly in a pinch.  

However one week, after I saved forgetting to purchase new espresso filters, I began taking part in round with my uncared for French press. I regarded up a couple of recipes on-line and even examined the one Nick Cho wrote about for Critical Eats. Alongside the way in which, I spotted simply how good the espresso brewed by a French press is. What’s extra, it’s extremely straightforward to make use of: Pour sizzling water over freshly floor espresso, let it sit for some minutes, press it, and…that’s it. (Okay, sure, there are a couple of totally different strategies for making it, however for essentially the most half, the idea stays the identical.) This easy course of makes a persistently good cup of espresso, and I’ve made a lot of espresso as a former barista.

Fellow Clara French Press



Simplicity Is What Makes a French Press Nice 

Critical Eats / Isaac Nunn

Because the starting of what we now name the third wave of espresso, there’s been a robust curiosity in filter strategies. An increasing number of of us are utilizing pour-over brewers just like the Kalita or the Hario Swap. There are additionally new approaches to and ratios for brewing espresso, with folks utilizing doodads like this puck display screen or a needle software referred to as a WDT to even out how the water flows into espresso grounds. The hype machine, you could possibly say, is geared towards the world of papers and strain.

Pouring slowly lets the grit settle into the nook and provides you a cleaner cup.

Critical Eats / Jesse Raub

After which there’s the French press. It’s ceaselessly devoted, even in case you’re the sort who likes to tinker together with your filter espresso recipe or dial in your at-home espresso. Simply bloom the grounds with sizzling water simply off the boil (210˚F, ideally). Let the combination sit for one minute earlier than breaking apart the crust: Stir for 30 seconds, till the crust sinks. Brew for at the least 5 minutes, and as much as 10 (an extended brew will lead to a bitter cup). Gently plunge till the filter display screen rests slightly below the brewed espresso—do not push it onto the grounds. Pour and revel in.

A French Press Lets Espresso Oils Shine

Critical Eats / Isaac Nunn

Not like a pour-over, through which the espresso’s oils are filtered out, a French press is an immersion brewer (which means the espresso “steeps” within the water), so the pure oils are left behind, giving the espresso a silky texture. Whereas the oils do take the highlight away from the beans’ specific flavors, in addition they lead to a wealthy brew you simply can’t get with a pour-over. These oils additionally easy out any sharply astringent flavors in mild roast coffees and add a buttery sweetness to darkish roast brews. 

You Can Use a French Press for Extra Than Simply Espresso

Since a French press is so easy, it may be used for extra than simply espresso. I’ll typically use it to brew a easy, flavorful cup of tea with some good natural looseleaf because it strains the leaves properly. And since I don’t have an espresso machine, if I’m craving a foamy drink, I simply make espresso in a moka pot, then warmth up some milk and provides it a couple of pumps within the French press. It’s not the silkiest froth, however I discover it makes for a nice, thick cappuccino. 


How do you brew with a French press?

Start with water that is simply off the boil: 210˚F is good. Pour the water over the grounds within the French press in a 1:15 ratio (for instance, 40 grams of espresso to 600 grams of water). Let the grounds bloom for one minute because the espresso kinds a crust on the high. Gently break up the crust, stirring for 30 seconds, till the crust sinks. Steep the espresso for at the least 5 minutes, then gently plunge. Pour and revel in.

Don’t French presses break rather a lot?

They do! However that’s typically the results of misusing the software. In case you really feel any type of resistance in any respect whilst you’re urgent the espresso down, cease, pull the pump up barely, and check out once more. I keep away from pushing the plunger all the way in which down and as an alternative, go away the press simply above the saturated grounds. In case you don’t press the plunger, you received’t disturb the grounds, giving your brew extra readability and leading to much less gunk on the backside of your cup.  

What sort of espresso ought to I exploit?

Any type! Simply be sure to know what water temperature is finest for the espresso selection you’re utilizing. In fact, the water will cool off the longer you steep the French press, however that doesn’t change the truth that the water needs to be at its preferrred temperature when it first touches the grounds. If it’s too sizzling, you could possibly find yourself burning the espresso and having bitter flavors within the closing cup, despite the fact that among the pure oils will assist even these out.

Why We’re The Consultants

  • Cole Hersey has been a full-time barista for the previous 5 years. 
  • He very a lot enjoys utilizing his French press to brew a easy, persistently good cup of espresso.  
  • Cole can be a contract author specializing in meals tradition and environmental points within the Bay Space.

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