By Guest Writer
on 6.8.09

french-press-coffee

By Gear Patrol Reader Martin Levine:

Whether it’s the drag of a Monday morning or the need for a late weekend afternoon weekend pick-me-up, any man worth his salt caffeine should know how to prepare himself a good cup of coffee. This installment of the 30 Days To Be A Better Man Initiative won’t cover the variety of machines available to do so. We’re not going to discuss drip doohickeys, single serve salvos, espresso engines, or cappuccino contraptions, but rather the fine art of French Press (Pot Press) coffee – quite possibly the truest form of coffee.

To this GP reader, the way an (American) man drinks his coffee says a lot about him. Does he drink Folger’s instant? Does he drink a Starbuck’s venti-skinny-latte-no-foam-double-dip-with-a-dash-of-rum (translation: extra large skim milk latte without bubbly stuff plus alcohol)? Does he drink the reheated swill from yesterday’s office pot?

Hopefully, the answer is none of the above. We’ve all been a Starbucks drinker (the horror!), but if you read the wall menus closely, very closely, you’ll notice that even Starbucks’s preferred method isn’t one always offered over-the-counter. It’s the French Press or Pot Press method. As a matter of fact, I bet if you ask any random barrista, only 1 out of 5 will even know they even offer it on the menu. Pathetic.

Moreover, the preparation of a delicious cup of French Press coffee is far simpler than you think. As a matter of fact, with a few runs, you might find it easier than brewing a cup in your own Mr. Coffee filtered machination.

The Steps

  1. Start boiling water.
  2. Have a grinder? Good. Grind the coffee beans until you’ve got enough of this ratio: 1 tablespoon per 4oz cup. Increase the amount of grinds you make depending on how much coffee you want to make. If you don’t have a grinder, just make sure you purchase coarse grind coffee at the market. Though, nothing beats fresh ground beans. Nothing. Drop the ground beans into your press pot.
  3. Let boiling water sit still, without heat, for a few minutes – longer if you’ve brewed a full pot
  4. Pour the water into your press pot in a clockwise motion gradually moving towards the center to make sure you’re saturating all the grinds. Remember: you’re pouring 4oz of water per 1 tablespoon of coffee.
  5. As you pour, you’ll see something referred to as the “bloom”. You’ll want more of this. To get it, stir a few times with a stirring spoon (a chopstick also works). Voila, more bloom.
  6. Insert the filter/lid onto the pot. Make sure you DO NOT press. Just have it on and ready.
  7. Let the hot water steep for about 3-5 minutes. Then firmly, and ever so slowly, press down the plunger/filter until it is fully extended.
  8. Pour, prepare to taste, and enjoy.

    Martin Levine has been a loyal reader of Gear Patrol for approximately 4.5 months. He is a physical therapist residing in Norcross, a suburb of Atlanta, GA by way of Sacramento, CA. He’s happily single and enjoying every minute of it. He considers himself not so much of a coffee snob, but rather an impassioned brewed-bean consumer.

    Lets continue the conversation. Do you have a preferred method of coffee preparation or tips you want to share? Let everyone know in the comments below.

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