The Best At-Home Coffee Brewing Method: Press Pot

You are home. You're craving a perfect cup of coffee. Maybe you take cream or sugar or both. Maybe you just love it black.

How do you brew it? Do you rely on the convenience of an automatic machine? Or, do you start heating water in a kettle (mine is electric) and grab your press pot?

There's no substitute for a press pot. You have complete control--from water temperature to the ratio of water to coffee. Your perfect cup, which might differ from my definition of perfection, is always possible with the press pot.

It's easy to make, easy to clean. You can even compost your leftover grinds.

If you decide to give this method (aka French Press) a go...
Here are a few tips I've learned over the years:

  • Wait 10 seconds after the water comes to a boil and then pour over your coarsely ground coffee
  • Add more coffee to the press pot -- make it extra strong.  Why? You can always make strong coffee weaker by adding hot water. You can never make weak coffee stronger once it is made. So error on the side of super strong and then dilute to taste.
  • Stir right after adding the hot water. This ensures that all of the ground coffee comes in contact with the water -- creating optimal extraction.
  • Wait about 3-4 minutes to press the grounds down to the bottom of the carafe. If you're too quick the coffee isn't as flavorful and rich. If you wait too long the coffee gets over-extracted.
  • Buy in smaller quantities so you're always drinking freshly roasted beans. This is especially true if you grind your beans at the store.