I have a love affair with my french press coffee brewing device, and the art of making that perfect cup of coffee. After reading this, you may think of me as a bit of a coffee geek, but that label is okay because I enjoy it so much. I discovered this device several years ago while house-sitting for a friend, and she introduced it to me. I’ve been hooked and have abandoned my drip coffee maker since then. The act of grinding the beans to that perfect consistency, to boiling the water to that cozy temperature, then combining the grounds and water into the press is a calming ritual for me each morning and after a good meal.

beans1There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when using a press. First, be sure to buy whole coffee beans, not pre-ground. Buying them whole ensures that they are fresher and still have all the essential oils in the beans. If the coffee is sold to you in a bag (even a resealable one), I suggest that you put the remaining beans into an air-tight container (I use mason jars) to retain that freshness. Next, you’ll want to grind the beans to a course consistency, so not completely ground into powder, but still a little chunky. Some coffee grinders have a course setting that works really well. Standard guidelines suggest using two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water. Combine the coffee and the water in the press and let sit for about a minute, depending on how strong you enjoy your coffee. If you like it strong, then let it sit for several more minutes. After this time, give the grounds and water a stir, then put the lid on and allow to sit for another three minutes, or longer depending on your taste preference. Press the pot handle down, very slowly, and there you have it: a perfect cup of coffee!

Now if you’re used to using a drip pot, all of these steps may seem unnecessary or just take too much time for the final product. Trust me, after going through the steps several times, you’ll get into a rhythm and it won’t take as long to do.

What’s your favorite method of making coffee? What’s your favorite variety of coffee beans to use?