There are a lot of very serious coffee drinkers who prefer this method over all others. Often called press pots, they are among the easiest to use and have the added benefit of producing a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee that retains all of the bean’s flavors and oils. The potential downside is there will often be a fine sediment in the bottom of your cup, so press lovers just get used to not drinking that last sip.
The basic recipe is simple. Put two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water in the glass jug, add hot water (195°-205° F) and steep for four minutes. I usually add the water all at once, although you can vary the taste by making some simple changes which I’ll tell you about below.
With fresh roasted beans you will get some CO2 foam, so be careful not to overflow the canister. After one minute, stir the grinds to make sure they are thoroughly wetted out.
Tip: Instead of stirring with a metal spoon that could break the glass jug, use a wooden spoon or chopstick. They are a lot less likely to ruin your day.
Most of the grinds will sink after you stir, so all that’s left to do is to put the plunger on top (don’t push it down yet) and wait until the timer says it’s time to push.
Push down slowly! There should be some resistance, so don’t rush it. If you use too fine a grind it can get very tough to push it all down, so take it a little at a time. Push too fast and you’re likely to force grinds past the filter on the bottom of plunger and these will end up in your cup. You might also knock the whole thing over or force an overflow, and who wants to clean up a mess like that first thing in the morning?
For a brighter cup, add just enough hot water to thoroughly wet out the grinds, wait a minute or so and give them a hearty stir before you add the rest of the hot water. Steep for three minutes and plunge.
To make an even richer brew, pre-wet the grounds as above and then wait three minutes before stirring. Add the rest of the water and steep it all for three more minutes before plunging slowly.
I suggest you don’t let unused coffee remain in the press. Since water is still in contact with the grounds, it will continue to steep and only make your coffee stronger and probably more bitter. To avoid this, I usually make only exactly 16 ounces, the size of my insulated mug, or pour any remainder into a carafe.