Stewart's French Press Tips
steps to making the most flavourful coffee
with your French press.
Martha Stewart's New York Times syndicated
column Jan. 14, 1999)
the best way to make coffee using a french press? - N.Hong, San Francisco,
coffee lovers swear by the french press, an infusion-style coffee
pot with a metal plunge filter.
It has some distinct advantages over other brewing methods: The slow
brewing process yields a rich, full-bodied coffee which is not left
on a warming plate (as with automatic -drip machines) or boiled (as
with percolators). This means that there is no risk of the burned
bitter tastes that these methods sometimes produce.
And a press is inexpensive and easy to use, as long as some basic
guidelines are followed...
Most important, the coffee beans should be very coarsely ground; too
fine a grind can result in a muddy brew - or worse, a clogged plunger,
which can cause the hot liquid to shoot out of the pot as you plunge.
If you buy
ground coffee, specify that you will be using a press; if you buy
whole beans, grind them for a few seconds fewer than you would for
automatic drip. Everyone's tastes are different, so you will want
to experiment with measurements and brewing times to find the strength
here are the basics:
1. First remove the plunger unit from
the glass pot.
2. For each four-ounce cup of coffee, measure one tablespoon
ground coffee into the glass pot and four ounces of cold water
into a saucepan or teakettle.
3. Moisten the coffee with a tiny bit of cold water and stir.
the rest of the cold water to a boil, then remove from the heat
a few seconds, and pour the water over the grounds, stopping
least one inch from the top of the pot.
get the best flavour by stirring the brewing coffee continuously
with a long handled spoon (preferably plastic, since metal can
damage the glass), for about four minutes.
Then fit the plunger into the top of the pot, and slowly plunge
to filter the coffee.
the plunger is all the way at the bottom, pour and serve the
The one drawback of using a French press is that the coffee
cools off quickly. You can keep it warm by transferring it
to a thermal carafe, or by making a quilted "coffee
cosy" to fit around the pot.
All photos photographer, Gudrun Kost. Location: Out
To Lunch Catering.