French Press Coffee and I are a thing. We’ve had a standing date every morning for ten years. French press coffee is hands down, the very best version of coffee. It is coffee living its best life. I unashamedly judge a brunch spot on whether or not they bring me my own little individual french press to the table. And brewing it at home is a cozy ritual I enjoy. It’s just me in a quiet kitchen. I pour steaming water over freshly ground beans and wait four minutes for perfection. It’s one of my little luxuries. A small way to treat myself. It feels special, feels worthy of sitting down and sipping slowly with my journal or a good book.
WAIT. (Words come to a screeching halt!!!) THAT IS NOT MY LIFE ANYMORE. It was. For a solid decade. In my last post, I mentioned baby number two threw me for a loop. I felt so overwhelmed. That from the moment my feet hit the floor, I just couldn’t catch up. One of my many survival hacks was to be intentional about getting up BEFORE Baby in the morning. Even if I only had ten minutes to myself before chaos broke loose, those few minutes helped me feel like my day didn’t start with a fire drill. Most especially if I could manage to spend five of those minutes with a cup of coffee.
So, I told French Press Coffee, “I need us to a take break. I’m so sorry. It’s not you, it’s me. Maybe we can see each other once in a while, like on Sunday mornings? Because, as much as I adore you, right now, I need to rapidly inject caffeine into my bloodstream before the baby wakes up. I need 90 second coffee.”
I tossed a Nespresso machine into my Amazon cart and didn’t look back. My poor french press sulked in the cabinet, gathering dust for six months. I am pleased to report that our relationship is now on the mend. We have even met up a few Sunday mornings now. I’ve accepted the fact that being a mama of two is not the same as being a mama of one. That it is so much harder. That any extra “me time” has evaporated.
But you know what? It is so worth it. It’s worth all the extra snuggles. Worth watching the baby’s wobbly stagger down the hallway the second he hears big brother stir in his room every morning. Worth seeing Alan’s face when he hears DADA!!! in chorus with the six year old’s squeals the second he walks through the door. It’s so completely worth it that sometimes my mama heart just might burst it’s so happy.
And my Sunday morning French press coffee is now even more the treat, even more the luxury. Occasionally, Alan will let me sleep in and I’ll wake up to the aroma of French Press Coffee waiting for me. I may or may not drink it with two little monkeys in my lap. But it’s ok, because in a lot of ways, it is even better than drinking it alone.
So, good reader- whether you are ready for a serious relationship with french press coffee, or maybe something more casual – you need to know how to make it. So here we go. You are obviously going to need a french press. You can probably find one at your local grocery store or most big box stores. Or here is a link to the Bodum one I’ve had for years.
The first commandment is starting with good beans. This is a non-negotiable. Pre-ground stuff in a can won’t cut it. If you have a local coffee shop that roasts their own-bonus points. If you are local to me- Numinous in Marble Falls is an excellent choice. They source and roast all their own beans.
Otherwise, there are a gazillion places to source good coffee beans. Trader Joe’s has some really good options at a friendly price point. And your local coffee shop probably sells something worthy of your shiny, new french press.
By “local coffee shop” I do not mean Starbucks. You can do better. You can grind your coffee beans in store or at home. At home is best, as ideally, you want the beans ground right before you brew french press coffee. This is a link to the one I own and use.
Make sure to set your grinder on the coarsest setting. The amount of grounds to use is really a personal preference on how strong you like your coffee. I set my grinder on the four serving setting, unless my father in law is visiting. He likes his spoon to stand up in the mug, so I’ll use more if he’s here. A good place to start is three tablespoons of ground coffee for every one cup water.
Your water needs to be a pretty specific temperature- around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You want the water hot, but not boiling. Boiling water will burn your beans, and your carefully crafted french press coffee will be bitter. You can bring the water to boil and then let it sit off the heat for about 2 minutes. The more often you brew french press coffee and get comfortable with it, you’ll be able to tell when to turn off the heat. I know the hum of my kettle changes octaves ever so slightly right before the water boils.
You don’t even need a kettle. For years, I used a sauce pot. Which is actually easier, because I can see when the water starts to steam. Once you pour the water, give it a very gentle stir with a WOODEN or PLASTIC spoon. Unless of course, you enjoy broken glass in your coffee. Let it brew four minutes- no more, no less and enjoy.
Now that you have that perfect cup of steaming french press coffee, you might want something to keep it company. Just so happens, I can make a few recommendations! (Click description or pic for recipes)
Happy Cooking, friend. I do hope you find a quiet minute or five to treat yourself to a french press coffee in the very near future. You deserve it.