Unlocking the Perfect Brew: Exploring the Art of French Press Steeping with the Best Coffee Beans
Looking to elevate your morning coffee experience? Look no further! Discover the secret to a perfectly brewed cup of joe with the best coffee beans for French press. Whether you're a coffee aficionado seeking a rich, robust flavor or simply looking to switch up your daily routine, this article will guide you on a flavorful journey. From the finest coffee press steeping techniques to exploring other tried-and-tested French presses, we've got everything you need to make your mornings extra special. Get ready to savor every sip!
Choosing the Best Coffee Beans for French Press
Yes, beans. While you can use ground coffee for the French press brewing method, it's best to start with whole bean coffee and grind it right before brewing. According to Tupper, oxygen is the enemy of coffee. Just like an apple, coffee beans begin to go stale and lose flavor once they are exposed to oxygen. This is due to oxidation, which causes molecules to become unstable and react with other molecules, leading to a loss of aroma and flavor. That's why it's recommended to choose whole bean coffee instead of pre-ground when buying coffee.
When shopping for coffee, look for farm-grown whole beans that were recently roasted. Oxidation begins after the roasting process, so choosing beans that have been roasted within the past week ensures freshness. Additionally, pay attention to the type of bean being used. There are two main types: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are commonly traceable to specific farms, while Robusta beans are pollinated by animals and nature. Although Robusta beans are more affordable, Arabica beans generally yield a higher-quality cup of coffee. However, the best coffee bean for French press ultimately depends on the drinker's preference.
French press is different from other brewing methods in two ways: the type of filter used and the brew time. Unlike drip coffee machines, Chemex, and aeropress, which use paper filters that remove compounds from the coffee, French press uses a metal filter that allows more compounds to pass through, leading to a fuller-bodied coffee with sweeter flavor profiles. This is because metal filters allow the tasting of notes that may be dulled down by paper filters. Understanding these differences can help determine the best coffee for French press based on personal preference.
French Press Brew Guide
Once you have chosen the best coffee for French press, it's important to know how to brew it properly for the perfect cup of coffee. Here is a step-by-step guide recommended by Tupper:
1. Measure a 1:16 ratio of beans to water. This means for every ounce of coffee, use 16 ounces of water. Adjust the ratio to suit your preferred strength.
2. Bring your water to a boil.
3. Coarsely grind your coffee to the size of coarse kosher salt.
4. Rinse your French press with hot water to keep the temperature stable.
5. Add the coffee grounds to the French press.
6. Create a bloom by pouring hot water slowly in a circular motion until all the grounds are wet. Allow the bloom to form for about 30 seconds.
7. Fill the rest of the French press with hot water and steep for 3-4 minutes.
8. Gently stir the crust at the top to help settle the grounds.
9. Continue steeping for another 4-5 minutes.
10. Plunge the French press slowly and evenly to separate the grounds from the liquid.
11. Pour the coffee into cups and enjoy. If desired, add milk to the bottom of the cup before pouring for a well-stirred coffee.
Course Correct Next Time
If the coffee doesn't turn out to your liking, here are some tips for improvement:
- If the coffee is too acidic or weak, it was under-extracted. Increase the steeping time next time.
- If the coffee is bitter, it was over-extracted. Check the grind size, water temperature, and steeping time, and make adjustments accordingly.
Other French presses we tested
Oxo Brew Stainless Steel French Press
The Oxo press brewed a delicious cup of coffee, surpassing other affordable models like the classic Bodum Chambord and the Secura. However, it didn't quite measure up to the Espro P3, our top choice. What set the Oxo apart was its innovative grounds lifter—a silicone disc with a handle that sits at the bottom of the press. French press coffee can be quite messy to clean up, with grounds often sticking to the carafe even after scooping them out. Oxo's grounds lifter easily removes most of the spent grounds from the carafe, making it the easiest French press to clean.
OXO BREW Venture Shatter-Resistant-Travel French Press
Bodum Chambord French Press
Chances are, if you've ever ordered French press coffee at a café, it came in a Chambord. Designed in the 1950s, the steel frame and glass carafe of the Chambord are what most people imagine when they think of a classic French press. Despite being inexpensive, the Chambord performs on par with the Oxo in terms of brewing and filtering. However, the Oxo edges it out with its convenient grounds lifter. Bodum also offers an even more affordable press called the Bodum Brazil, which is similar to the Chambord but with a plastic cage instead of stainless steel.
Bodum Tribute French Press (discontinued)
An upgrade to the Chambord, the Bodum Tribute is now discontinued, although it can still be found as part of a set that includes a blade coffee grinder and a travel mug. The press itself is of high quality, with a smaller carafe compared to the Espro P7, making it ideal for brewing enough coffee for two or three people. The plastic handle stays cool even after brewing, and the plunger, made of mesh and silicone, effectively separates grounds from the coffee. It's also easier to clean than other French press brewers. The stainless-steel model is dishwasher-safe, unlike the painted models.
Bodum Tribute French Press
Le Creuset French Press
The stoneware French press from Le Creuset showcases the brand's unique aesthetic. Its stainless-steel filter is similar to the coil and spring filtration system used in Bodum French presses. This French press produces a slightly stronger, darker cup of coffee compared to the Espro and Bodum models, but it is still delicious and not overly gritty. Furthermore, the heavy pitcher is excellent at keeping the coffee warm for an extended period and can also serve as an attractive pitcher for other beverages. Compared to the Espro P7, the Le Creuset is less expensive and offers a variety of colors to choose from, making it a great option for those who appreciate the country house vibe.
Le Creuset Stoneware French Press
Frieling Insulated Double-Wall Stainless Steel French Press
The Frieling French press is highly regarded by both critics and customers. Its insulated stainless-steel body and precise brewing process result in a light and nuanced cup of coffee. We were impressed by the tight seal around the filter, although it did make using the plunger a bit challenging. However, we did notice that the filter might be too effective, producing a cup of coffee that tasted more like pour-over than French press. While some may prefer a cleaner brew, a French press is typically sought after for its full-bodied coffee.
Frieling Double-Walled Stainless-Steel French Press
The SterlingPro French press resembles more expensive metal presses like the high-end Frieling, but it is only available on Amazon. The insulated 18/10 stainless-steel carafe is comfortable to hold and easy to clean. However, the flavor of the coffee produced by the SterlingPro was noticeably weaker compared to its competitors, and it allowed some larger grounds to pass through. While it is an affordable stainless-steel option, it doesn't quite match the quality of the Espro P7 or the value of the P3.
Secura French Press Coffee Maker
We tested the matte black Secura French press, although it also comes in a stainless steel variation that closely resembles the SterlingPro. It performed similarly to the SterlingPro and even included extra screens for enhanced filtration. While it is quite affordable, the overall taste of the coffee from the Secura French press didn't match up to the Espro P3 or Oxo, making it not our top pick in terms of value.
Secura French Press Coffee Maker
Fellow Clara French Press
Like all Fellow products, the matte black Klara French press is beautifully designed. It is the only French press we would proudly display on our countertop at all times, besides the Le Creuset. However, the Klara has one major flaw: it leaks. The lid design includes multiple strainers around the circumference, resulting in overflow beyond the spout. Despite this, the filter does an excellent job of keeping grounds out of the coffee.
Varia Multi Brewer
The modern-looking Varia Multi Brewer offers three brewing options: French press, pour-over coffee, and Moka pot-style. While it sounds promising, we were disappointed with its performance, especially considering its price. The carafe is quite small, making it suitable for brewing coffee for only one person at a time. Additionally, the brewer allowed a significant amount of grounds to pass through, resulting in a disappointing cup of coffee. Despite multiple attempts, we couldn't achieve the desired results, as the plunger failed to create a proper seal. Unfortunately, the opaque carafe prevented us from monitoring the brewing process.
Stanley French Press
The Stanley French press features a large vacuum-insulated carafe, making it best suited for group camping trips rather than daily household use. It brews a rich and robust cup of coffee, perfect for enjoying at dawn while cooking breakfast over a campfire.
Stanley French Press
In conclusion, finding the perfect coffee beans and following a French press brew guide are essential steps in achieving a rich and tantalizing cup of coffee. While we have explored the best coffee beans for French press and examined the brewing process, it is also worth mentioning the variety of French presses we tested. These tools can greatly enhance your coffee-steeping experience, giving you the power to create a cup customized to your taste preferences. So, whether you're a coffee aficionado or just someone looking to elevate their morning routine, investing in a high-quality French press and experimenting with different beans is sure to result in a brew worth savoring. Cheers to the perfect cup of coffee!
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