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Marc Osten

I hear ya girl...right on about composting the grinds. A wonderful nutritious addition to the most leaf and grass compost in anyone's garden.

As far as keeping coffee in a flask for daytime usage...I guess that's the approach for those of us who are lazy....:)

Sarah Lord Soares

Hi Marc, you Rock!!

however, I would NEVER recommend keeping any coffee in a flask for daytime usage (al la cafezihno, brazil) yuck...), my suggestion would be to get one of the single shot insulated stainless steel beauties and make one whenever you feel like it. Obviously compost the grinds.. :)

Marc Osten

Hey Tom....I love the idea of pouring a little bit of the water in to let the coffee bloom. I guess its somewhat similar to what Dave R. does.

And finally .... must you make reference coffee and Berkeley in the same sentence.....what am I doing here in Puritan Amherst?

Thomas Battin

Love it! I didn't realize you were such a food master Marc. A few hints I learned from my favorite coffee merchants Peets in Berkeley. First, measure the coffee based on 2 Tbsp per 1 cup of water...thus for a 12 cup press pot this means 8 scoops. Second, they recommend pouring a small amount of hot water over the grounds at first and letting the grounds "bloom". Somehow this releases more of the oils and flavors to get released. Lastly, it is important to keep the pot cleaned both the glass and the metal filters. Oils can build up on these and go rancid...making for bitter tastes. Here's the link to Peets advice column: http://www.peets.com/learn/coffee_methods.asp?cm_re=learnbrewing-_-feature1-_-Text

Hope all is well.
Tom

Marc Osten

OK OK OK - I said that I fill my press 1/4 full. I know it sounds crazy but I'm a man of extremes. But seriously, according to Bodum, the largest maker of the French Press coffee maker, for each 4 oz. cup they recommend putting 1 tablespoon of coarse ground coffee into the pot. That however is what they recommend to the American coffee drinking market. I'll see if I can find out what they say when marketing to the Italians.

Marc Osten

Dave - Thanks for diving in. I'm with you on the fine grind preference. I appreciate the vision of you rattled the press around to get the brew vibrating. I never stir the coffee and have been lambasted by baristas about this since I usually ask them not to do so behind the counter. Your idea of initially pouring in only about 3/4 of the water, and then "after the grounds have risen to the top I rattle the bottom of the carafe around on the table to cause the brew to vibrate and brings the grounds down into the water where they belong. Then I pour the rest of the water on top for good measure." Leave it to you my dear friend to go even further and as you put it "I gently push down on the grounds only about half an inch, forcing them to mix even more fully and leach even more of their goodness into the brew. Finally, after another minute or so, I'm ready to push all the way down (which is much easier after you've given the grounds that initial goosing) and enjoy.

I'm almost afraid to ask what you do when you pour your beer or decante your wine.

Marc Osten

Hey Jonathan - I see no reason why you couldn't pour the excess into a thermal carafe for additional cups during the day? As far as "preferences to steeping the coffee at the top then pushing down and pouring vs pressing it and letting it steep at the bottom?," the party lime is that you stir the coffee for about a minute once you've poured the water in. I actually never do that. I just let the coffee grinds float to the top, let it steep for 3-4 minutes and then press.

Finally, as far as the "amount of caffeine leached into the brew with shorter vs longer steeping time?," the type of bean, roast, and preparation method is the major factor. There is a great discussion of this topic at: http://www.home-barista.com/knockbox/caffeine-content-of-espresso-t8240.html

Scott Dingwall

yeah, ok but where is the Peperoni???

Dave Rapaport

The only way to brew coffee, in my opinion. Been doing it every day (except for my relatively brief home-latte period in the mid-90s) for about 25 years. I have evolved a number of techniques which may matter or may just be superstition. I use a fairly fine grind, which is more difficult to push down, but which I believe releases more flavor and bitterness. When you first pour in the water, over the first minute or so the grounds rise to the top and sit above the water, thereby not sharing their full bounty of goodness. I therefor initialy pour in only about 3/4 of the water, and then after the grounds have risen to the top I rattle the bottom of the carafe around on the table to cause the brew to vibrate and brings the grounds down into the water where they belong. Then I pour the rest of the water on top for good measure. After a few more minutes, I gently push down on the grounds only about half an inch, forcing them to mix even more fully and leach even more of their goodness into the brew. Finally, after another minute or so, I'm ready to push all the way down (which is much easier after you've given the grounds that initial goosing) and enjoy.

Neighbor Jonathan

A few more comments and questions from a dedicated French press user... I make my coffee in one every day. I find that, contrary to your suggestion, a course grind makes it easier to press the plunger. I also sometimes stir with a chopstick before pressing in order to hasten the steeping. What do you think about these techniques? PLUS, 1/4 full! OMG! You are hard core! - keep 'em coming!

catalina

good blog Marc.
Did you bring the container to Rao's?..

Neighbor Jonathan

Do you recommend pouring the excess into a thermal carafe for additional cups during the day? Any problems with this?

Also, any preferences to steeping the coffee at the top then pushing down and pouring vs pressing it and letting it steep at the bottom?

FInally, do you have an opinion on the amount of caffeine leached into the brew with shorter vs longer steeping time?

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