HOW TO USE A CAFETIERE
We are often asked how to use a cafetiere (which is also known as a french press). The coffee produced in this simple way is heavy, thickly flavoured and carries a strong aroma. Strictly speaking a cafetiere is a very basic bit of kit they are simple to use and fairly easy to clean afterwards. Many coffee experts swear that cafetieres are the best way to make coffee as they ofter a higher degree of control over the process and allow the user to preserve the intense flavours and delicate oils of the coffee that are sometimes lost with other methods. Coffee produced this way contains sediment and it is personal preference as to whether you like, this or not, but it does add texture to the cup. For your information, cafetieres can be bought from any good household retailer, or coffee shop (we are looking to sell them in the future) but at the moment we would refer you to Amazon who have a large range for you to choose from.
A cafetiere consists only of an open coffee pot, and a fine mesh attached to a plunger which allows the coffee and some sediment through when the plunger is pressed. Traditionally the coffee pot is made from glass and the fine mesh and plunger made from stainless steel but other varients have now entered the market. Now on to the good part, how to use a cafetiere.
Step 1 - Boil your water
Fill your kettle with enough water to fill your cafetiere. If you don't like your tap water, then you can always fill your kettle with natural spring water bought from a shop, or invest in a water filter jug. The water you use does make a difference to the taste, for example, hard water is well known for neutralising the acids that give coffee is bright colour and delicate taste.
Step 2 - Grinding your Coffee Beans
If you grind your own coffee the best time to do it is when you are waiting for the kettle to boil. We always recommend that you grind your coffee beans on a coarse to medium setting when using a cafetiere in order to get the best flavour. A course to medium grind represents something similar to the size and shape of sea salt. However, if you don't have a grinder at home and you want to buy some coffee beans then please say at the check out and we can do that for you.
Step 3 - Pre-heat your cafetiere
This is an important step, if you don't pre-heat the cafetiere it will lose temperature very quickly. Giving you an un-even extraction - leading to an average taste. If you want the best tasting coffee put the glass cylinder from the cafetiere in the microwave (if it seperates from the metal base) or rinse it out with boiling water.
Step 4 - Adding the coffee
You will need a tablespoon (roughly 5 grams of coffee) for each 100 ml of water. The average mug or cup is around 200 to 300 ml so you need about 2 tablespoons of coffee. You will need to experiment with this for a while though especially when trying out new coffees. If you are a fan of strong coffee we would recommend adding a little bit more to taste. If you have a 1 litre cafetiere and are filling it to the top, we would recommend using about 50g of ground coffee beans.
Step 5 - Adding the water
The next step is important. Once your water has boiled you need to let it rest for at least 30 seconds as pouring boiling water on your ground coffee beans will ruin the flavour. The perfect temperature to brew coffee at is between 90 degrees to 95 degrees anything over that temperature will destroy the delicate flavours and bring out the bitter and sour notes. You then need to stir the coffee around four or five times and leave it to brew for 4 minutes. Please note, that the more you stir it around, and the amount of time you leave it to brew for dramatically changes the flavour so if you are trying to make a consistent cup of coffee every morning its best to follow the same routine.
Step 6 - Press the plunger
When the 4 minutes are up, simply press down the plunger and pour your coffee. Simple, you have just made a cup of great tasting coffee!
If you find the coffee too strong, we would recommend using the same amount of coffee and water for the inital brewing process but then adding more hot water after you have poured it into the cup. This way you will end up with the same great taste.
If the coffee tastes bitter, try letting the water cool down a little bit more before adding it to the coffee beans in the cafetiere or grinding the coffee slightly less (i.e. so its more coarse).
If the coffee tastes sour, it is likely that you are not using hot enough water to the coffee in the cafetiere and the coffee is underextracted. Try pre-heating the cafetiere, and grinding the coffee slightly finer for a better taste.
Hopefully, you'll now know how to use a cafetiere. If you would prefer we have also prepared a video which is available to watch on YouTube or here explaining in a little bit more detail how to use a cafetiere. Please share and like.