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Dec 12, 2006 11:24 PM

French press success, thanks to Chowhounds past.

Thanks in part to the posts I came across here, I finally got the fix on brewing a great cuppa with the ol' French Press. Thought I'd give back to the community:

1. Really, two rounded tablespoons of *coursely* ground coffee per 6 oz. of water. I'd been brewing too weak, shockingly.
2. Water needs to be just off the boil. I'd previously ignored this, to my peril.
3. Steep for four minutes. Seriously. Four minutes. Another thing I'd ignored before, to the detriment of my coffee.

Only when I got all three right did I get that nice, thick crema and a great round of coffee--from some nice bright Sumatran--from my plastic Bodum. For kicks, I've also been brewing with a teaspoon of Penzey's mulling spices (not just for wine...) or with cardamom and orange zest (Rick Bayless rip-off. All out of love, Rick, if you're reading this!).

Bottoms up, y'all.

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  1. hmm, i use a french press every day and have been for years and i never get crema at all. not that i mind, im not trying to drink espresso. im just interested that you seemed to. very interesting. jfyi, heres my method for no-fail frnech press brewing:
    -enough coursely ground french roast beans to fill about 1/4 to 1/5 of the glass jar.

    -water that has come of the boil for 20 secs (yes, i count every time...i know...:)

    -cap it off and i only wait 3 minutes for mine. a little longer would only make a stronger, more kickass cup tho so by all means, rock out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ben61820

      I set my timer @ 3:00 min also (my French Press serves 2 US cups). I also prep my Press before I pour in the hot water (in the same way you'd prep a pot for tea, by pouring in hot tap water so when I pour in the just boiled water, it isn't cooled by the cold Press).

      But yes, I too got great coffee making tips from this board. I love these Chowhounds!

    2. cheers for the 3min brewers!