Bodum Chambord Coffee PressLast year while visiting David Snyder, my business partner and a man who positively oozes class, I enjoyed for the first time a cup of coffee made with a French press. It was just about the best cup of coffee I’d ever had. I remember when I was in high school my father went through a coffee-connoisseur phase; he ground his own carefully-selected beans and was methodical and precise about the process. There was simply something beautiful about the French press, though. I had to get one.

Of course I forgot all about it within a few days of leaving Chez Snyder, but the queen of the house has the memory of an elephant. So for my 36th birthday this year I received a black Krups grinder, a pound of Starbucks Lightnote Blend coffee, and a stunning Bodum Chambord Coffee Press.

After reading Clean by Dr. Junger I’d temporarily abandoned my decades-long caffeine addiction, but the siren-song of making my own delicious cup of coffee in the morning was too wonderful to ignore. For the last two weeks I have been starting my day with an amazing cup of coffee and I now cannot imagine a better way to greet the sunrise.

Here is how to make great coffee with a French Press:

  • Microwave 16 ounces of water for four minutes. (Microwave power levels vary wildly, so yours might take a little bit more time or a little less. You want the water to be just shy of boiling.)
  • The Bodum French Press comes with a little black measuring scoop. I put three scoops of whole beans into the grinder and grind them for about 20 seconds. This yields four scoops of ground coffee which I put into the bottom of the French Press.
  • Pour the water into the French Press and stir it three or four times with the plastic scoop. (Warning: Do not use a metal spoon because it might chip the glass. Don’t worry: The plastic spoon won’t melt.)
  • Put the lid and plunger on top of the chamber but don’t press the plunger. Make sure the ‘closed’ side of the lid is over the spout and not the ‘grate’ side.
  • Wait four minutes. This is an excellent time to clean your grinder, return the coffee beans to a cool, airtight container, prepare your sugar and cream, etc. (I use Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Non-Dairy Creamer.)
  • Slowly, with only the weight of your hand, and with a constant, even pressure, press the plunger to the bottom. Take your time; if you press too quickly or too hard, the grinds may seep into the coffee or the brew will splurt from the sides.
  • Rotate the lid so that the ‘grate’ side is over the spout.
  • Pour and enjoy!

There are 4 comments on this post

  1. I recently bought a coffee press too. I had a really good cup of coffee from Intelligentsia that impressed me enough to try and duplicate it at home (as I’m quite sure I could not afford to get coffee from that place on a regular basis…seriously, I think it was 4 bucks for a CUP OF COFFEE). So I bought a pound of their decaf, ground for the french press. It make a good cup of coffee, though not as good as they made it, but don’t they say by not having the filter of a regular coffee machine, you’re getting a lot more of the oils in what you drink? Are the extra oils allowed under your shake diet plan? Are you going to have to run 7 miles a day instead of 5 to undo the effects?

  2. Very timely! I just bought a press two weeks agao and have been working through the various combinations of grind and time to get a drinkable cup o’ joe. Thanks.

  3. One last thing. You really need to add a hot water kettle to the kitchen gadget list. We have one and use it all the time for coffee, tea and general cooking.

  4. I got a stainless steel travel french press at starbucks. It’s awesome, I’ll never have to drink bad hotel coffee again.

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What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

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