Cafetiere Guide

April 5th, 2020

Cafetière Brewing: Don't be scared homie, it's easier than you think.

What's The Deal Then?

It's quite simple really. Although it's got a funny french name, the cafetière, also known as the French Press - is the preferred brewing method of many.

This is for 3 main reasons:

  • It's easy to use
  • It's brewing capacity
  • It's eco-friendly-ness

French for 'coffee pot', the cafetiere is really quite straightforward to brew with - but there are a couple of pro tips you can use to really get the most out of your coffee. So although it might have sounded super fancy-shmansy before, I can assure you, you will be french-pressing like a boss in no time.

Brewing goes in 3 main stages. Choosing your grind size, throwing in your desired amount of coffee, and then the brewing itself.

 

  1.  Grind size, as with any brewing method, is CRUCIAL. Too coarse, and you get dishwatery tasteless crap. Too fine, and your brew will taste over-extracted (really bitter and gross). The perfect grind size for the cafetiere is described as 'medium-coarse' which is on the larger side of normal. Here's a picture of what you should be aiming for if you are grinding your beans yourself, if you don't want the pressure of nailing that grind size, you can always go for the all-popular pre-ground coffee. Try our perfectly pre-ground Black Insomnia: Dark here. 
  2. Coffee Quantity much like making spaghetti, or rice, you can go very wrong if you don't have a sense of how much you should be going for. One moment you think you are making a humble bowl of spaghetti for yourself, the next you have enough pasta to feed half of Italy. You get the point, don't overdo it. Conversely. you don't want too little or you'll have that weak tasting awfulness we talked about before. So as a rule of thumb, per-person, a cafetiere brew requires 15g of coffee per 250ml cup. If you can't estimate and don't want the hassle of using scales (who does) - then use 2 heaped tablespoons per person.
  3.  The Brew is the crucial part. Boil your kettle, and take it off the heat just before it reaches its peak 'hotness'. This will make it around 96°c. This is just cool enough not to burn your grounds, but hot enough to really get as much flavour from your coffee as possible. Next pour over your coffee grounds making sure to wet them totally, with the appropriate amount of water for the amount of cups you are brewing. Then, here's the important part, leave the coffee to brew for 4-5 full minutes with the lid off. This will allow the coffee to impart all of it's goodness, and also make it the perfect temp for drinking. Then, now is the time to use that curious looking plunger you've been wondering about! This needs to be pushed down steadily, all the way to the bottom. This separates the grounds from the water to stop the brewing and make sure you don't get any of the grounds in your drink.

Pro Tip #1: Make sure you preheat your cafetiere to keep your coffee warm for longer. The beauty with this method is you will have multiple cups brewed, so you want to keep the coffee a nice temperature to drink for as long as you can! You can do this just be rinsing the cafetiere with boiling water before and let it heat through while you grind your coffee, or check your Instagram.

Pro Tip #2: Make sure the little fins on the lid are facing towards the spout, otherwise your coffee will go anywhere but the cup you are pouring into! It sounds stupid, but is a surprisingly common occurrence for first-time users.

Now go forth, and brew to your hearts content!

"The powers of a man’s mind are directly proportional to the quantity of coffee he drinks."
- Sir James MacKintosh

Written by James Lester

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