Beverages, CK Cooks

CK Cooks: French Press Coffee

A freshly pressed cup of coffeeGuess who’s back, back again!

Erin and I have a weekend morning tradition of starting off nice and slow with some sort of breakfast and a freshly pressed cup of coffee. As much as we’d like to take credit for starting this trend in our home, it really was something I “borrowed” from elsewhere.

I have a lot of family in Connecticut, and one of the places I love to visit while there is Uncle Bob and Aunt Leslie’s house near the shore. Occasionally I would stay over, and in the mornings, they would have a big pot of French press coffee off to the side in their kitchen all ready to go. I was always impressed by the flavor of the coffee, and this was just about the time that I became more interested in coffee and coffee drinks, thanks to the Starbucks near my work. It wouldn’t be long before I decided to start brewing my own.

When it came time to start really making coffee at home for Erin and myself, there was really no other choice but to get a French press.

The Press

In deciding to go the French press route, I was already partial to Bodum’s Chambord line, specifically the Chambord 8-Cup model. The 8-Cup model is 32 ounces, and makes 4 US Cups, or 2 CK and Erin “Weekend” Cups of coffee. While I haven’t tried too many other French Press variants, I am a huge fan of the glass models, as opposed to something like the all-metal variety, which I feel cools the coffee down too quickly for my tastes.

The Coffee

Beans ready to be ground

Once you’ve decided on a press, the next logical portion of the coffee brewing experience is, of course, the beans. Rule number one when it comes to coffee is to make sure your coffee is fresh. This can mean as little as buying freshly ground coffee beans from a shop like Starbucks or Peet’s to as much as roasting and grinding your own beans. I like to take the middle ground and buy freshly roasted beans from Peet’s (we’re currently enjoying their Anniversary Blend) and grind them up right before brewing.

The Grinder

Ground beans in the press

I’ll admit I haven’t spent as much time in picking out a grinder as I probably should have – This will undoubtedly change once I start inevitably dabbling in espresso and espresso drinks. For now I am content with the Braun KSM2 grinder, which definitely gets the job done, and was even capable of doing a fine grind of espresso beans for Erin’s infamous Flourless Chocolate Cake.

The Process

Mmm mmm coffee

After many rounds of trial and error, my basic process for making coffee in the 8-cup press is as follows:

  1. Bring a kettle of cold water to a whistle, and then let it sit while preparing the rest.
  2. Put 5 Bodum Scoops of coffee beans (translates roughly to 8 Tablespoons) into the grinder.
  3. Grind for approximately 8 seconds, or a medium-coarse ground.
  4. Take the grounds out and pour them into the press.
  5. Pour the hot water from the kettle over the grounds, filling to the top (in the Chambord, you can pour to the metal ring near the top), Then stir in the grounds so they mix with the water.
  6. Let sit for 4 minutes (I usually last about 2, so 2-4 minutes will definitely suffice).
  7. Plunge the top in and pour into mugs.

Let us know what you think of the recipe and be sure to share your own coffee secrets!