The Plunger is a simple home-brewing device that is also known as a French Press. It is popular all over the world as it allows anyone to brew delicious fresh coffee with ease and is incredibly simple to use. It is relatively cheap and requires little other equipment which means many prefer it over other more complicated brewing equipment.
It is an infusion based brewer, which simply put means that the coffee and water steep together. This is different to the majority of other brew methods such as Chemex, V60, where water will pass through the coffee grounds. The other major difference is rather than using a paper filter, a Plunger has a metal mesh which is used to separate the grounds from the liquid. Due to the much larger holes in the mesh, less of the coffee oil is separated, giving a much fuller body and more intense final cup.
Now the basic recipe we recommend is 60g or five tablespoons of ground coffee per litre of water, and from there you can just adjust based on your taste preference. Here are three more tips to improve you brew:
- Use freshly ground coffee.
Coffee is complex, and one thing people forget is that like many other foods and beverages it can get old. Grinding coffee quick starts the oxidation process, releasing the amazing compounds which are responsible for the flavour and aroma of the coffee. This is great if you are going to use them straight away, but even after just one day your coffee will be less flavoursome as much of what made it delicious has been lost.
- Wet the grinds first.
Have you ever heard of a bloom when brewing coffee? The bloom is part of the coffee brewing process where trapped CO2 gas is released from the coffee. This process happens at the start of the brew when hot water first comes into contact with the coffee grounds. This is important as the water replacing the CO2 trapped in the coffee is what starts the brewing/extraction process. Pre-wetting the grinds first for 30 seconds allows this process to occur, so when you add the remaining water more of the beautiful flavour can be extracted.
- Once brewed, separate the liquid from grinds!
We would generally recommend a brew time of 4 minutes for plunger coffee, this includes a 30 second bloom. What some people may not realise is that the metal mesh used in a Plunger does not fully separate the coffee grinds from the liquid. And as long as these stay in contact the coffee will continue to brew. If you are serving the coffee straight away this is not an issue, but with a Plunger many make a bigger brew and continue to come back for more as the morning goes on. This results in a final cup that is terribly bitter and over extracted. If this is you, we recommend pre-heating a separate vessel and once brewed, transferring the coffee into it to stop over extracting your coffee.
These tips may seem like small adjustments but trust us, it makes all the difference! Enjoy and happy brewing, please get in touch and let us know if these tips helped.