French Press, Press Pot, Coffee Press, Coffee Plunger, Cafetière, Bodum

How to Make French Press Coffee: Water

There are those who have made water preparation into a science for coffee. That is, perhaps, not surprising, since water is one of the two primary ingredients. A restaurant or cafe will use a Countertop Hot Water Dispenser or the dispenser from an espresso machine. Most of us will begin with tap water.

Tap water should ideally be fresh from the faucet, cold, and filtered. Fill a stove top teakettle or even better, an electric teakettle. I use the latter, and am quite happy with the results. It is stainless steel, and turns off automatically once it reaches a boil. We don’t use eletric kettles as much in the United States, but if you like hot tea and French press coffee, they are quite convenient.

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Some recommend boiling your water before grinding the beans, so as to give the water about 30 seconds to cool down to a more optimal temperature. If you want to be precise, use a thermometer and make sure your water is between 195 and 205 degress Fahrenheit (90 to 96 degrees Celsius).

While the water is boiling, remove the lid and plunger from the French press. Optionally, you can fill the pot with hot tap water, and then pour out once your kettle is boiling. Why? The glass is at room temperature, and will slightly cool your coffee once it is put into the pot. It is for the same reason that many espresso shops will keep their mugs on top of the espresso machine, so that they are warm when the coffee is poured into them. On that note, once your coffee is brewing, you can pour boiling water into your mug, swirl around, and pour out, thus keeping your coffee hot a bit longer. Many people, myself including, don’t take the time to warm the press pot or mug very often, but if you want your coffee to be perfect, it’s a step you can take.

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