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o picky eaters: Get the Milk Out!
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copyright ©1999-2000

the art of using a french press 
by Corey S. McFadden |
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continued from page 3

How much coffee to use:
Most sources recommend about one tablespoon of coffee per 8 oz. cup of water. However, some others (including Martha Stewart) recommend two. I personally go for a little more than one tablespoon.

Keep in mind that most auto-drip coffee pots measure cups in 4 oz. increments, (coffee professionals call this a "Tasse") so a real 8 oz. cup is actually two "coffee pot" cups. Plus, there is a "standard measure" of coffee that many books and guides seem to use for coffee beans and grounds. This is 10 grams. Luckily, (especially since I don't have a scale in the kitchen) this works out to be about a tablespoon.

The most important thing to remember when cleaning the press (or any coffee equipment for that matter) is that you want to remove all the coffee oils from the last brewing. To do this, you must use soap and water. Rinsing with water alone simply isn't sufficient.

o o o o o

Since I’ve been using my French press, I couldn’t be happier. (The "8-cup wonder" has departed my kitchen and is now — if there is any justice — brewing garbage in landfill somewhere.) It’s a fact that my coffee just tastes better now. Besides, believe it or not, brewing with a French press gives me a feeling of accomplishment that an automatic machine never could hope to inspire — sure, the process is simple, but every time I perform the "one minute stir," or press down on the plunger, I feel like an artist contemplating a masterpiece…

Anyhow, if you own a French press, have some fun with it! If you don't, try one out sometime. Good coffee can be very rewarding.


... Where to buy a French press:

You can buy a French press just about anywhere these days. From K-Mart and Target to your favorite specialty coffee store, everyone is selling them. They're available in several sizes, ranging from tiny three-cup models to larger ones that rival big drip machines. They're a little more expensive than you might expect, but still pretty manageable -- an 8-cup size seems to run about $30. (Those are the 4 oz. cups, by the way.)

pictured above: a Bonjour French press


Corey S. McFadden is actively involved in the management of rightshop.net, a small software company. He also spends several hours a day contemplating how to make his 875 sq. foot apartment look "cozy" using only patio furniture and stacks of newspaper. Corey can be reached via e-mail at corey@corania.org or on the web at www.corania.org.

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