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How to use a cafetiere: French press your way to better coffee

Upgrade your coffee experience with some new equipment - here’s our guide on how to use a French press

Is there a French press sitting in the depths of your cupboards that you’re too afraid to use? Or maybe you’re in the market for an alternative to your dried variety? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to take you through how to correctly and effectively use your French press.

The French press goes by many names. It’s often referred to as a cafetière, piston, coffee press or a press pot. The first-ever French press appeared in France in the 1850s, and since then, the coffee brewing device has evolved into the household favourite that it is today. However, while alterations have been made, the brewing process remains the same.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best cafetieres

But before we get into the important bit you need to ensure you’ve picked the perfect plunger – that is, if you haven’t already. For a comprehensive look at the best French presses to suit every taste read our round-up here.

How to use a French press

Firstly, you’ll need to place your coarse ground coffee into the main beaker. The standard sizes on offer are normally 350ml and 650ml. The former is capable of brewing one large mug and the latter has the capacity for up to six cups. The amount of coffee you use is obviously relative to this.

The general consensus is that you should use one tablespoon of coffee per cup. This does of course depend on your taste and how strong you like it but, once you’ve experimented with a few brews, you’ll be able to find a happy medium.

READ NEXT: Best coffee accessories

Now, pour water that’s just off the boil onto the coffee. If we’re being pedantic, we’d say the optimum temperature for the water is between 90-96°C. Make sure to leave some space at the top of the beaker to avoid spillage when you plunge.

Next, take a wooden or, failing that, a rigid plastic spoon to stir the coffee. Then remove the spoon and leave it to brew for 3 to 4 minutes. The length of time you leave the coffee will determine how weak or strong your brew is, so again, it’s your call.

Lastly, gently press the plunger into the beaker until it reaches the bottom. Once you’ve completed this easy step your coffee is ready to drink!

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