Saturday, October 8, 2016

Learning the French press for coffee

We use a 4 cup pot for Lynn's decaf and a 12 cup pot for my regular coffee.  Ever since I found out that espresso and Italian roast have less caffeine than less "medium" coffees, I have been using only Colombian.  We buy and use Starbucks.

Her decaf Mr. Coffee uses cup filters and my Cuisinart uses conical filters.  I buy the ground coffee despite purists who say the best stuff is what has just been ground.  The paper filters make it easy and quick to empty the grounds and we have put them in our compost for years.  Works well.  But I have been intrigued with the French press for a while and we bought one from our local coffee shop last Sunday.

I have read that the oils and chemicals in the French press are a little different from what we get brewing through drip and paper.  By now, we have made 10 or so cups with the press and we agree that the coffee is different and in a sense, mildly better.  I thought that we would get more grounds in the coffee but the Bodum press has been removing them well.  I was pouring the grounds down the drain with plenty of water but I have stopped.  I think that is looking for trouble.  Lynn pointed out today that the grounds plus plenty of rinsing water is helpful for the composting process and that is what I will use.  

For me, the caffeine is the primary thing I am after, with good taste and aroma close behind.  I brew two separate coffees twice a day, pre-breakfast and lunch, since Lynn developed a sensitivity to caffeine.  A normal amount makes her heart race but decaf and green tea have not be affecting her.  I wouldn't be surprised if I get sensitive sometime, too.

We have experimented a little with proportions of grounds and water and right now are using about the same quantity of water as we have been drinking in coffee.  I have been using 3 more or less level tablespoons of coffee for each of us, even though my serving has a little more water, due to different mugs. We have only one French press so 4 minutes of steeping for her coffee and 4 minutes for mine.

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