Are You Supposed To Stir French Press Coffee?
We can never get our day started right without coffee. In fact, we sometimes feel that the quality of our morning cup can help us tell how our day is going to be like. It’s as if a perfect cup of joe can give us some form of superpower to take on whatever challenge that awaits.
Fortunately, quality “homemade” coffee has never been this accessible. These days, you can find more than a few pieces of coffee-making equipment scaled for home use. You can also get that rich, traditional taste using classic tools, like a ceramic dripper or a French press.
What Is a French Press?
A French press is a coffee-brewing device invented by two French investors, Mayer and Delforge, in 1852. It is made of a beaker (typically made of glass or clear, heat-resistant plastic) with a mesh plunger inside. This plunger seeks to separate and “press” the flavor out of the grounded coffee, which is where the name comes from.
Even after all these years, the French press is still being widely used for coffee because of its potential to create perfect cups—after much refining of one’s technique, of course. Apparently, the secret lies in the strainer.
Paper filters can strain out oils, where much of the flavor resides. Aside from that, it also allows the coffee to steep according to its specific brewing time, further extracting that rich flavor we all like.
How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker
As mentioned, all of these are only possible with the right technique. This can take a lot of practice, but feel free to start with this easy method below:
Step 1: Prepare your equipment beforehand.
Time is of the essence when brewing with a French press, so make sure you have everything ready before you start. You will need your French press, coarsely ground coffee beans, 275ml of water (for a three-cup French press), kettle, timer, and a mug. It is also recommended to have a thermometer and a digital scale, but they are not required.
Step 2: Heat up water.
The ideal temperature is around 205°F. Those who don’t have a thermometer can achieve this by bringing your water to a boil and letting it sit for about 30 seconds. It won’t be as accurate, though.
Step 3: Rinse the French press.
Pour hot water into the French press to about a quarter-full. Then, push the plunger down. Swirl the beaker to rinse its interiors for around 10 seconds. Pull up the plunger and then throw the rinse water away.
Step 4: Weigh the coffee grounds.
You will need 17 grams of coffee for a three-cup French press. This is roughly two to three tablespoons, but we recommend using a scale again for better accuracy.
Step 5: You’re ready to brew.
Pour the coffee grounds into the French press and then shake it gently to get the grounds even inside. Then, pour half of the water onto it, just enough to cover the grounds. This is the blooming process. It seeks to force your coffee particles to release the aroma they have within.
Step 6: Wait.
Start a 30-second timer after you are done pouring.
Step 7: Stir.
Set another timer for five seconds. Use this time to stir your coffee gently and allow the grounds to mix and dissolve in the water.
Step 8: Pour more water.
Pour the rest of the water to fill the French press and cover it. Don’t press the plunger just yet.
Step 9: Wait.
Allow the coffee to sit for about three to four minutes.
Step 10: Plunge.
You may now press the plunger down and let it sit for another 15 seconds. Then, enjoy your cup! Don’t let it sit for too long in the French press, though. It will continue to steep, which can result in an exceedingly bitter taste.
Are You Supposed To Stir French Press Coffee?
Coffee preparation using a French press seems pretty straightforward. It just relies heavily on timing and accuracy to perfect the technique. Feel free to research other tips and tricks for making better French-pressed coffee to improve your technique.
One of the discussions you’ll probably stumble upon is whether or not stirring should be done. Stirring the grounds before brewing them better extracts the flavor more evenly. Some coffee enthusiasts have experienced better results in just leaving the coffee alone, though. They say that the turbulence of stirring “disturbs” the extraction process, resulting in a more “flat” flavor.
So, are you a stirrer or not? The best way to find the answer is to try both methods yourself. In the end, it will all boil down to your personal taste and preferences.
Don’t stop there.
There are also other ways to enhance your coffee experience with a French press. For instance, did you know that you can use it to create whipped cream? You can do this by filling the beaker halfway with heavy cream and pumping the plunger up and down quickly and rhythmically for five minutes.
Those who love cold cups during hot summer days would also delight in the fact that you can use a French press to prepare a cold brew. To do this, let your coffee and cold water sit in the French press for at least 12 hours in the fridge. Do this with the plunger up. Then, once you’re ready to drink it, simply push the plunger down as slow as possible and pour your coffee over ice.
Achieving the Perfect Cup of Coffee
Every coffee lover has a go-to blend. Daily cups from your favorite coffee shop can be expensive, though. For this reason, learning how to recreate your perfect brew at home is a must.
There different coffee-making equipment you can get for home use. Some of the best ones are traditional and don’t even require electricity, like the French press.
We have shared our simple step-by-step method, which you can further refine through practice. You also have the choice of whether to stir it or not during the extraction process. Just don’t stop experimenting until you finally achieve your definition of perfection.