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French Press 101

You've probably seen the French press popping up in more and more places lately, ranging from coffee shops like Starbucks to stores like Williams Sonoma. The French press has become a popular way of making coffee due to its new modern, minimalist designs along with its extreme usefulness in producing a full flavored cup of coffee.

In my opinion, coffee tastes way better coming from a French press than an automatic coffee maker — also way more economical than the Keurig my parents use. However, getting the hang of using one can be a bit tricky at first.

Which one should I buy?


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I highly recommend either the KONA or the SterlingPro — they are both made with shatterproof and heat shock resistant glass. The transparency of the glass allows you to watch your coffee brew unlike metal presses. This comes in handy when you're judging how dark and strong you want your cup.

However, the metal makers such as this LINKYO press will be more resistance to shattering from hot water.

Which coffee beans should I use?

I usually buy whole coffee beans at Whole Foods or my farmers market to ensure freshness, but you can really order any that you want online too. I also try to buy different beans each time to broaden my palate, but Kona beans are a favorite of mine.

Preparing the coffee beans

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Whatever bean you choose, be sure to grind them to a coarse consistency — or buy them coarse ground. If you're using a grinder, make sure you switch the machine on at quick pulses at a time as to not overgrind. Some good grinders include KRUPS and Kawany.

I like to use four heaping spoons for 32 ounces of coffee, but you can adjust to your particular taste. Add more if you like a stronger flavor and less if it's too much. Pour the grinds into your French press and boil the water.

Add the water

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I like to use an electric kettle, but a stovetop pot or kettle works just as well. When the water boils, be sure to wait a couple minutes before you pour.

Some coffee experts — sticklers as I like to call them — will tell you to pour half the water in first. This is called the "bloom" and will give you a burst of your coffee's natural scents. But if you're in a hurry to get your caffeine fix like me, you typically ignore this step.

Let it sit

Stir the grounds in the hot water and let it brew for about four to five minutes. Put the lid on and push the plunger down until it pushes all the grounds to the bottom. It doesn't bother me too much if I leave the coffee in the press for a little bit, but too much time will ruin your coffee.

Last but not least, pour and enjoy! I recommend drinking it black to get the full flavors, but if you're a milk and sugar kind of person, I won't judge.