How to make great Cafetiere – French press coffee

Cafetiere & French Press coffee in 6 easy steps

1. Boil fresh water in a kettle (water that has been boiled several times becomes deoxygenated which can spoil the taste)

  • Leave to cool for  30 seconds1 minute to just below boiling point (96ºC to be precise) as hot water gives a better result than boiling water.
  • Add some of the boiled water to the cafetiere to warm it up, then discard

2. Add medium coarse ground coffee to taste – try the following amounts and adjust up or down to taste

  • Try 2 level scoops in a 2 or 3 cup / 350ml cafetiere
  • Try 4 heaped 7g scoops in an 8 cup / 1 litre cafetiere
  • Try 6 heaped 7g scoops in a 12 cup /1500ml cafetiere
adding ground coffee to a cafetiere

3. Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds, using the pour to help wet and mix in all the grounds.

4. Stir the coffee and hot water – stirring ensures that all the grounds are wetted and more flavour is infused

  • We recommend using Scoof – as it’s a perfect stirrer
  •  It works as a easy clean-up tool too

Shop for Scoof and Cortona cafetiere

Stirring cafetiere coffee with Scoof

5. Wait up to 4 minutes for the coffee to infuse

  • Stirring helps speed up infusion and this time can be reduced,  its up to you, how long you leave it to brew
  • However, leaving the coffee to steep for much longer can result in an over extracted bitter taste

6. Push down on the plunger and serve

  • Depressing the plunger separates the coffee grounds from the hot coffee and halts the infusion process.
  • Remember to check that the spout of the cafetiere is not obstructed (some lids need lining up)
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Thats’s the method … nice and simple. 

… if you are interested in finding out a little more about coffee making, cafetieres and French presses, read on:

Coffee, not just an enjoyable habit, but has some positive benefits too

Coffee drinking is one of life’s pleasures for many – not just an enjoyable taste but can give you a lift as a ‘get me up’ in the morning and stimulates concentration at work and socially. Opinion on the healthiness of coffee flipflops: until recently a mildly bad caffeine habit, after all, can anything enjoyable be healthy?! Now, the latest orthodoxy is that coffee drinking can be a positive good – recent studies even suggest that drinking coffee regularly can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. But times and opinion change – so enjoy this moment of guilt-free coffee drinking whilst we still can!

There are many ways to enjoy coffee – which one is for me?

Coffee has been enjoyed since the first simply brewed coffee in a jebena pot in Ethiopia 1000 years ago. Many of the coffee making refinements through the ages have focussed on separating the gritty coffee grounds from the delicious coffee liquid. Coffee making methods broadly come under 4 (very simplified) categories

  • Brewing methods where ground coffee and water are mixed and heated together (e.g. Turkish coffee), whilst all the flavours of the coffee reach the final cup, so the the coffee grounds
  • Filtering methods pass the coffee through a paper filter, which removes all the coffee grounds, and in so doing, filter out a little of the flavour, resulting in a more delicately flavoured coffee
  • Vapour methods pass steam through the coffee before the condensate collects as coffee, resulting in a clean, delicately flavoured coffee
  • The espresso is vapour under pressure and for most the pinnacle of coffee making, producing an intensely flavoured coffee,  only perfectly achieved with complex espresso equipment  developed at the beginning of the twentieth century

Where does cafetiere coffee fit in?

The cafetiere or French press (originally cafetière à piston filtrant) first came into being in the middle of the 19th century – with similar devices developed in France and England. It was first patented in France (1852), with improvements patented in Italy (1930 – the spring around the mesh to keep more of the coffee grounds out) and Switzerland (1959, rolling the mesh over the spring, to keep even more of the grounds out).

Coffee which is brewed in a cafetiere is infused, much like tea (which is why you can make tea in a cafetiere too), resulting in all the flavour of the coffee being mixed in before being removed via the mesh plunger which removes most of the sediment without absorbing flavour (unlike filter paper). To reduce sediment entering the final cup, the beans should be more coarsely ground. Cafetieres make a full flavoured coffee, less intense than espresso coffee.

Why choose cafetiere coffee?

Rene Porter Unsplash

In a word, simplicity. The method is the easiest way to achieve a great tasting, full-bodied cup of fresh coffee quickly and with the minimum of equipment.

  • High quality/ full of flavour
  • Simple and inexpensive equipment
  • Portable (home, office, boat, camper, car)
  • Easy to prepare
  • Use your own coffee/ grind your own beans (unlike capsules) – you control the key flavour ingredient
  • Sustainable – recycle the coffee grounds/ recycle the cafetiere!

Where’s the rub then? Cleaning up is messy!

Scoof is especially designed to stir the coffee in the cafetiere and clean your cafetiere easily.

Shop for Scoof and Cortona cafetiere

After enjoying your cafetiere coffee, you are left with a cylindrical glass beaker with a thick layer of sludge at the bottom. Cafetieres always seem to be the last thing to be washed up, or left on the side for someone else to deal with!

This is where Scoof comes in handy as the ideal cafetiere utensil. Scoof is a cross between a scoop and a propeller

  • Turn it in the infusing coffee and its an efficient stirrer
  • Twist it in the wet coffee residue and its a convenient cleaning tool

Scoof prevents large amounts of coffee waste being tipped down the sink or drains with the risk of blockages

The waste coffee is simply collected for compost or recycling

Scoof puts an end to the age old problem of what to do with the mess and the sometimes strange behaviour that encouraged

  • No more worries about blocking up the sink
  • No need to to tip it out on the flower beds or window box
  • No need to flush it down the loo!

Scoof  Makes Cafetiere Coffee Better!

And finally, here’s the video

brewing, Cleaning, Coffee, Scoof, Stirring
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