Jamie Braun is a KZN-based barista trainer and coffee consultant. She lives and breathes the world’s favourite caffeinated pick-me-up. #CountryCoffee is where she keeps us up to date with the latest and greatest in the local coffee scene.
Words Jamie Braun
A French press, also known as a plunger or сafetière, is an incredibly laid-back and classic way to make coffee at home. It has lately become my coffee-making device of choice for a lazy Sunday morning with a big family breakfast on the go. With so many great ways of brewing coffee at home, I feel like the simple plunger is often forgotten about.
The three most important elements of great cup of plunger coffee are: brew ratio (coffee to water), water temperature and the grind size.
Here are my top tips for making the best plunger coffee:
1. Ensure that your coffee grind is course enough. If it is too fine it will clog the metal filter of the plunger and could result in the grinds ending up in your cup. The coffee would also be over-extracted and therefore on the bitter side if your grind is too fine.
3. I like to use a ratio of approximately 15g of coffee per 250ml of water.
4. Use water that is around 95 degrees Celsius (slightly below boiling point). I usually leave the kettle to stand for 3-4 minutes after boiling before using the water.
5. Once your coffee grounds are in the plunger, pour the water over slowly, and then stir the coffee with a spoon (be gentle so you don’t break the glass – it happens!). This maximizes the infusion process and helps with extraction of flavour from the coffee.
6. Allow the coffee to brew for four minutes before serving. If you leave your coffee to brew for longer you will end up with a lot of bitterness.
Jamie plies her trade with her fellow coffee fundis at Mokador South Africa.
Still need more of a coffee fix? Try our piece on brews of the Sabie Valley…