My first French press was a small three cup model that I picked up last year. It looks nice but is really small – three very small cups might come out of this press, or one normal size 8 - 9 fl oz cup of coffee. I do not like sediment in my coffee, so this small press has not seen much use lately. Larger presses produce much less sediment if you avoid the last half cup at the bottom - this little unit does not enjoy the luxury of excess capacity though. What to do then?
Make some French press paper filters – that’s what! I first used one layer from a pod I brewed recently (letting it dry out a bit is less messy and makes for much cooler handling too). The pod separates easily and one half of the rinsed filter paper is only a little larger than the diameter of my press. I cut a small hole in the center and put the paper beneath the coil wire so that the paper now covers the outside of the wire. The filter paper is now what makes contact with the inner glass of the press. I imagine cutting a circle out from a filter paper (a #4 filter cone will yield two circular shaped small press filters) and experience similar results.
Below I include some pictures of the filter installed on my press. The bottom plate holds the filter paper pressed tightly against the wire mesh screen filter. Also note the paper filter is large enough to extend above the tension coil – this is what I think gives such good filtering results – nothing slips by on the sides when plunging. My 240 ml of water is 15 seconds off boil from my electric kettle, my grind is 16 grams of coarse ground coffee beans using my Baratza Maestro (get one here on ROASTe), and my timer is set for three minutes thirty seconds – lets roll.
For this experiment I used Klatch Coffee’s Kenya AA Plus NGUVU available right here on ROASTE. The roaster says it’s floral and slightly fruity on the nose with flavors of citrus, raspberries, and watermelon on the tongue that linger sweetly a pleasingly long time with light fruit notes. With its nice body and balance in a cup with strength and complex flavors, it delivers a true Kenya experience. I agree with this description. The berries jump out of the cup – it is a truly great cup of Kenyan coffee.
The effort required to plunge increases some what, but can be decreased by tapping on the side of the press before plunging - this causes the bloom to erode and sink to the bottom of the press. The result is a delicious cup with absolutely no sediment. If you do not mind the sediment then enjoy your cup without extra filtering, but if you prefer the last sip to look like the first and do not own a larger press this method will produce a very clean cup - enjoy!
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