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OT - French Press technique?
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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/1/18 3:55 PM

OT - French Press technique?

Not sure I'm doing it the right way. Or if one or the other piece of equipment is at fault.

Grinder is set to "coarse" (burr grinder). But if I let the coffee sits in the cup, I end up with very fine coffee "powder" at the bottom.

I can see and feel it too. The coffee got a little lighter if I let it sit. Once I stir it, it got darker! There's slight "powdery" feel if I don't let it "settle" first.

So far, I've just let it sit for a bit before drinking. Taste is what I expected and I like it. But where does that powdery coffee comes from? A bad grinder? Or a defective filter?

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16691
Location: Portland, OR

6/1/18 4:07 PM

When I use the press, I grind finer than usual for a press. Using a non fine grind it tastes like crappy weak Americana shots to me.

I put a coffee filter between the screen and lower frame and cut it round so it comes up the side a little when you press. You get non shots flavor and the added filter piece gets all the fine grinded silt.

Be warned, the pressing part is much harder due to much more resistance with the filter embellishment. I just press and it goes slowly down. Constant hard pressure, a bit of a PITA. The reward for me easy to over look the PITA. ;)

Some folks like the silty taste in their java, we do not.

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Jesus Saves
Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 1131
Location: South of Heaven

6/1/18 4:59 PM

French Press technique

First, it helps greatly if you speak French, Parisian French and not Canadian . Even with that, as President Macron learned earlier today and yesterday, despite how retrograde Trump's economic "policy" is towards trade, there is little to be gained pleading your case about such to the French press.

...oh wait, sorry, wrong thread. :sigh:

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3200
Location: Springfield

6/1/18 6:05 PM

Fine or medium grind. I leave the last tablespoon of the pour in my cup to avoid the silt.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3200
Location: Springfield

6/1/18 6:06 PM

Bialetti type recommendations?

I got a stovetop percolator a few weeks ago but I haven't started to use it yet.

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dddd
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3220
Location: NorCal

6/1/18 7:44 PM

Re: Bialetti stovetop.

Depending on the size of the tank and the type of stove, you might want to make a shield out of a pie pan to concentrate heat better into the tank for a faster build up of heat and pressure. Mine had a round cutout of a size that meant I had to install the shield as I screwed the octagonal tank on, then slide it down to meet both the tank "diameter" and the top of the stove. All probably too much trouble but was part of my ritual.
I used a 4-cup sized one and it was my morning Joe (only on ride days!) during my years riding 18 miles out of town to the start of the big regional race-training rides. Pure mania.

As for the grind, I don't remember having an espresso grinder back then, so a normal fine grind from any burr grinder will be a good start, then adjusted to your preferred flow rate (depending greatly on the beans that you are using).
I wouldn't worry about any "dust" sediment in the espresso, it's just a normal thing unless you were to add a paper filter, probably not how these machines were traditionally used.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16691
Location: Portland, OR

6/1/18 8:57 PM

"unless you were to add a paper filter, probably not how these machines were traditionally used."

I dreamed that up myself, not to say if one googles others have not or are not doing and posting about it.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6019
Location: Maine

6/2/18 7:50 AM

Alternatives

Here is a selection of "brew gear" from an excellent local roaster, including many of the options discussed here.

https://www.coffeebydesign.com/shop/brew-gear.html

Of these, I have tried the Aeropress, Clever dripper and Hario dripper. They all work fine, my choice is the aero. Also have a Baratza Virtuoso grinder. Have tried French presses, again fine but I prefer the aero.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/2/18 8:26 AM

Paper filter

According to https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/aeropress/aeropress-vs-french-press paper filter changes the characters of the coffee?

I found I donít care for the silty texture. But I do like the character of coffee out of the French Press (sans silt) so far.

Might have to give Aeropress a try to compare. Being able to bring it on camping trips is very tempting.

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Craig
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 548

6/2/18 2:47 PM

I have never had a French press coffee that didn't have a bit of silt at the bottom of the cup. Methinks it's a side effect of the brewing method. A paper filter would remove most of it. If it offends you, you could look at a "pour over" method. Paper filters, yes, but they are compostable. Or a super fine reusable filter is an option, though I think paper makes a better cup.

I saw these recently. No idea how good it is, but it looks decent, and is relatively affordable on the old Amazon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfPhlY9gVsU

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/2/18 7:55 PM


quote:
I have never had a French press coffee that didn't have a bit of silt at the bottom of the cup. Methinks it's a side effect of the brewing method.

Yep! I did some reading. Seems that's the side effect of the filter not being very fine. And that's the way it's supposed to be.

I like the taste, but prefer it without so much of the silt. I'm sure it's a psychological thing. Clearly, many people like French Press brew, part of the appeal IS having some fine particles suspended in it.

I on the other hand, want to drink coffee, not eat coffee beans.

So far, I've been simply let it sit a bit so the fine particles settle down at the bottom. Pour the coffee into another cup.

It doesn't get rid of all the silt (there's still some at the bottom when I finish the cup, but not nearly as much as the original cup). But it makes a little bit more "clear", which I really like quite a lot. Great tasting, smooth coffee.

I'll continue to experiment some more. In the mean time, I bought a cheap Aeropress to try! Heha!

Didn't realize replacing coffee maker can become a "project"! :o)

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sanrensho
Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 810
Location: North Vancouver

6/3/18 5:39 PM

French press always has sludge, even using beans ground for French press on a commercial grinder. It's unavoidable IME.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/3/18 8:38 PM

I'm pretty sure it's a personal thing. I just like my coffee a liquid with strong flavor, not a soup.

I don't mind the sludge per se. But I'm not into the really "thick" (termed "rich") feel of the raw output from the French Press. So I let it sit and the sludge to settle. A happy balance. But it does make for a somewhat lengthy time consuming brew:
- 2-3 minute to boil water
- 4 minute to soak coffee in water
- Add an extra 1-2 minute to allow the sludge to settle.

We're talking an almost 10 minute process. Compare to the 1 minute push-button affair with a drip coffee maker.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16691
Location: Portland, OR

6/3/18 9:56 PM

Yeah, Turkish coffee sure is nice and strong and gets ya barking and chasing cars. But I dislike having to water pic bean dust or brush after drinking coffee myself.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3200
Location: Springfield

6/4/18 7:10 AM

The 10 minute thing was quite an eye opener, and not in the good cup of coffee way. Maybe I should go back my old regular drip method: pour it through a second time and stir the soup.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/4/18 8:47 AM

Bialetti etc.

The thing with all these different brewing is theyíre multi-step. You need to pay attention to: watch the water to boil or itíll burn up; let the coffee sit too long in the water changes the taste, etc.

With drip coffee maker: prepare (grind coffee, or not), pure water, push button. And you can come back to get your coffee whenever you want.

I think Iím likely go back to a 2-machine setup. One for push-and-forget on days Iím working from home. French Press (or similar) for lazy weekends when Iím staying in the kitchen making breakfast anyway and can attend to the multiple steps.

A Bialetti with a build-in electric heating element that can auto shut off will be perfect.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3200
Location: Springfield

6/4/18 12:06 PM

When my drip maker's thermostat turned off for the last time a couple of years ago I decided to stop drinking coffee. Between missing the flavor, the jolt, and a Starbucks bill that went up every month my habit was winning. Finally after reading that science has proven with absolute certainty that coffee is the best thing a human being can drink #hyperbole, I was sold. Never been happier. ;0)

Last edited by daddy-o on 6/4/18 12:06 PM; edited 1 time in total

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6019
Location: Maine

6/4/18 12:06 PM

Try your Aeropress

With Aeropress you're done (including cleanup) 30 seconds after the water boils.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3200
Location: Springfield

6/4/18 12:08 PM

A recommendation that's more than tempting Dan. Thx

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/4/18 1:52 PM

ďTry your AeropressĒ

Next weekend

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4161
Location: Nashua, NH

6/4/18 3:13 PM

All of this makes me glad I don't drink coffee; life is much simpler without it. ;-)

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/4/18 3:15 PM

"life is much simpler without it"

Like many other things (wine, liquor...), life is much richer WITH IT. :D


Last edited by April on 6/4/18 8:17 PM; edited 1 time in total

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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3606
Location: Brooklyn, NY

6/4/18 3:47 PM

Electric Bialetti??

You mean like this?

https://www.ebay.com/p/Moka-Elettrika-Bialetti-2-Cups-Electric-Espresso-Maker-220v-EU-Plug/1404532572?iid=192555813158&chn=ps

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6420
Location: Westchester/NYC

6/4/18 7:34 PM

Yep, looks like it could be it

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1578

6/5/18 8:17 AM

Aeropress Brewing

Here are a couple of videos on brewing with a aeropress
One is pretty basic and one totally geeks out.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2289826/making-coffee-aeropress

https://t.co/JhKp4uoM8a

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