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Date: 10 Dec 2006 20:16:32
From: Chocochef
Subject: Technique question: when to stir when using a French Press?
I've seen some conflicting info re: when to stir coffee when making it
with a French Press. Should you stir immediately after adding the hot
water, then wait the 4 minute brew time before pushing down the plunger
screen? Or wait 1 minute before stirring? Or wait until the 4 minutes
is up and stir just before push down? Wondering if it makes a
difference.

I noticed that when "cupping" coffee, you just add water and don't stir
at all. The coffee grounds form a crust on top but I guess it brews
appropriately without the stir.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments.

Thanks,

Alex

http://www.cubiclecoffee.com
"Join the quest for better office coffee"





 
Date: 12 Dec 2006 09:13:41
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Technique question: when to stir when using a French Press?
> I've seen some conflicting info re: when to stir coffee when making it
> with a French Press. Should you stir immediately after adding the hot
> water, then wait the 4 minute brew time before pushing down the plunger
> screen? Or wait 1 minute before stirring? Or wait until the 4 minutes
> is up and stir just before push down? Wondering if it makes a
> difference.

I have found the coffee is cleaner tasting if not stirred at all. What I do is
punch down the bloom or crust when if forms, but just once. I use a wooden spoon
used only for this purpose (don't want italian herb and garlic flavors in my
coffee) and I do that without stirring. I simply press the bloom down three or
four times. And let it continue steeping. Dan



 
Date: 11 Dec 2006 21:43:11
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Technique question: when to stir when using a French Press?
Matthew (mandtprice@gmail.com) advises:
> Don't over think the press; there's really not much to it.

Or to making coffee in general :-)

With so many brewing techniques, it's impossible to generalize, but the
most popular ones have a lot in common: (1) distribution and/or shape,
(2) temperature, (3) preinfusion, and (4) time. For example, when using
a paper filter, the filter determines the shape, and when blooming
threatens to change it, we rely on pouring technique to maintain it.

When pressing, I think stirring is a preinfusion technique, that it
should be done early (or not at all), and that the result is a blend of
under- and over-extracted components when we preinfuse badly.


Felix



 
Date: 11 Dec 2006 06:55:57
From:
Subject: Re: Technique question: when to stir when using a French Press?

Chocochef wrote:
> I've seen some conflicting info re: when to stir coffee when making it
> with a French Press. Should you stir immediately after adding the hot
> water, then wait the 4 minute brew time before pushing down the plunger
> screen? Or wait 1 minute before stirring? Or wait until the 4 minutes
> is up and stir just before push down? Wondering if it makes a
> difference.
>
> I noticed that when "cupping" coffee, you just add water and don't stir
> at all. The coffee grounds form a crust on top but I guess it brews
> appropriately without the stir.
>
> I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Alex

With really fresh coffee, say less than 10 days, I often get a bloom in
the press that traps a lot of grounds in the foam above the water.
Since they can't be doing much for the brew I always plunge the filter
to just below the water line at about the 30 second k to make sure
that all the grounds are in contact with all the water.

I always let the filter sit in the beaker at the top most point - not
even touching the water - to keep in heat. At about the 1:00 k I
will pull the filter off and give the crust a swill or two.

I find it helps cut down on some of the grit and fines to NOT stir
within the last two minutes. The thicker the layer of grounds in the
top of the water column the more filtering effect you will get from the
grounds themselves as you plunge. The right grind will make sure that
this puck doesn't seize up as you plunge.

You didn't ask about water temp, but I'll mention my technique for that
too. Once I have the grounds in the beaker I cut the heat to the
boiling water in the kettle. Just as soon as the bubbles stop I add
the water. You can't wait until the water /in the kettle/ has fallen
to brew temperature because the act of pouring the water through the
air into a cooler press will draw out that tiny extra amount of heat to
give you the right beginning point for your brew.

Just my $0.02. Don't over think the press; there's really not much to
it.

Matthew



 
Date: 11 Dec 2006 06:15:41
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Technique question: when to stir when using a French Press?
On 10 Dec 2006 20:16:32 -0800, "Chocochef" <chocochef@gmail.com >
wrote:

>I've seen some conflicting info re: when to stir coffee when making it
>with a French Press. Should you stir immediately after adding the hot
>water, then wait the 4 minute brew time before pushing down the plunger
>screen? Or wait 1 minute before stirring? Or wait until the 4 minutes
>is up and stir just before push down? Wondering if it makes a
>difference.
>
>I noticed that when "cupping" coffee, you just add water and don't stir
>at all. The coffee grounds form a crust on top but I guess it brews
>appropriately without the stir.
>
>I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Alex
>
>http://www.cubiclecoffee.com
>"Join the quest for better office coffee"

Grind finer than 'Coarse' I use about the size of salt grains with a
good grinder. DON'T use your espresso grinder as too many fines remain
Add water at 205F to double the volume of the grind.
Stir to wet all the grinds
Add remaining water
[Try to get the above done in under 10 seconds]
Insert filter to just above water to keep top of press closed and
retain heat
At 1:30 swirl press once or twice in each direction
Press and Pour at 3:00

More than once a sponataneous "This is the best coffee I've ever had"
has rated the brew.