French Press Cherry

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It’s been hyped more than Apple’s new iPad.  Well maybe that’s not true, but among coffee snobs aficionados, the pressure is palpable: if you want to enjoy real flavor from gourmet coffee, you must use a French Press.  I was a little defensive about my old skool classic drip coffee maker – it’s no-fuss, all-American, working class.  Don’t hate, people.  You can hand-pick, wood roast, grind and French Press your own organic, Fair Trade, shade-grown coffea Arabica all you want.  Just let me drip brew my Joe, and we’ll be cool.


If I kept an open mind, though, the experts really did make sense.  Drip coffee makers don’t heat the water enough to release the flavor from the beans, and the water only comes in contact with the grinds for the few seconds it passes through.  Plus, if you’re using a paper filter, the beans’ natural oils (and all that flavor) get siphoned away and never make it into your cup.  A French press, on the other hand, allows water you heat yourself to be in direct contact with the coffee grinds for a full four minutes (longer if you prefer).  The logic is clear and simple.  Worth a try.


To be über-scientificky-like, I used the same Kenyan dark roast coffee that I wrote about last week.  Having already tasted that coffee, I had something to compare with the cup I poured from my new French press.  The verdict was delivered instantaneously.  Yummers McYum!  Mmmm..., bold, buttery, full-bodied, lively, clean.  Was this really the same coffee as last week?  Wow.  The experts are 100% right, guys.  French press kicks drip coffee maker’s ass!


It wasn’t perfect, though.  Because the coffee I used was ground for a drip machine, it was slightly too fine for my French press.  I wasn’t drinking grinds – which was always my biggest fear about using a French press – but I had to pour out each cup’s final sip, because the body became just a little too sludgey intense.  Also, some people recommend pouring any coffee not immediately consumed into a separate glass carafe, because the flavor of water that stays in contact with the beans more than five minutes could get too overbearing.  A little high-maintenance for my taste, that is.


Baby steps, biscotti.  These were only my first ever cups brewed with this method – my French press cherry, if you will.  There’s time still to experiment and improve upon the experience, fur shur.

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