A French Press is one of these really simple tools that allow you to brew a delicious cup of coffee in quick way, anytime and anywhere. When using a french press, you’re keeping all the oils from the beans in your cup, which gives you a really bold and flavorful cup of coffee. But what’s the best way to make a great cup of coffee using a french press? We’ve posted some graphics and videos before explaining how to make a french press pot, but this post is our definite guide.
Like any other brewing method, with French Press, many factors will affect the result of your coffee:
- Your coffee grind: of course, fresh is better. But also, the coffee grind has to be the right consistency.
- Amount of coffee: now you got the grind right, you have to add the correct amount of coffee.
- Water temperature: the optimal temperature for brewing coffee is about 200F to 205F. That’s water just off the boil.
What You’ll Need:
A French Press:
We’re assuming you already have a French Press. If not, then we highly recommend looking at Bodum’s french presses. They’re the most popular and a personal favorite. Bodum has a wide range of presses to choose from, in different styles to suit every taste.
How To Choose the Right French Press?
Apart from aesthetics, the first thing you’ll have to decide on is the capacity of the french press. How many cups will you be brewing? French presses are available in sizes of 2-cups, 4-cups, 6-cups and up to 12-cup (12 cups is about 51 oz).
Design wise, there are many to choose from, however, the interior remains the same (all stainless steel):
There’s the glass with plastic shell and handle. Glass with stainless steel shell or full stainless steel body.
Which one to choose is completely up to you, of course, you’ll still get the same result. We recommend the stainless steel french press over others only because it’s more durable (doesn’t break) and it keeps the temperature of your coffee longer.
Grinding your beans fresh makes a lot of difference in the quality of coffee you’re brewing. Coffee grinders can be expensive, but you don’t have to invest in a large grinder if you’re only grinding to brew using French Press. There’s a number of inexpensive quality grinders that you can choose from:
A manual burr grinder is highly recommended here. With a few twists, you’ll have fresh ground coffee ready to brew. The only downside to a manual grinder is that it can get tiring after a while.
Your second option would be to get a blade grinder. This isn’t recommended over a burr grinder, but if you’re on a budget, it’ll do.
This is where you’ll measure the right amount of coffee ground. You’ll need about 7 grams of coffee for each cup you’re brewing.
You can use a simple digital scale for this, or you can use a scoop with a built-in scale. The Hario scale pictured above features a built-in timer which is quite helpful in all brewing methods or even kitchen uses in general.
How To Brew Using a French Press:
Now you have all your tools ready, here’s how to do it:
- First thing you’ll want to do is rinse your french press with hot water. This is crucial in helping to maintain the right brewing temperature once you add your coffee and hot water.
- While the press is pre-heating, measure the right amount of beans. If you’re grinding 8-cups, you’ll need about 56 grams of coffee.
- Start grinding your beans. You’ll want the coffee to be coarse for this.
- Discard the water you used to pre-heat your french press. Add the coffee and add the boiling water. At this point, you’ll want to add only have way up. This will help saturate the coffee evenly, which gives you a better flavor.
- Let the coffee sit for about a minute, after that stir the coffee and add more water all the way to the top.
- Let the coffee continue to steep for an extra 3 minutes.
- Once 4 full minutes are up, gently press down the plunger.
Now you’re all ready to enjoy your cup of coffee!
- Some people recommend refrigerating coffee beans to keep them fresh. NEVER do that. It will stale your coffee in no time, actually. Always keep your beans at room temperature.
- If you’re using a glass french press, it’s recommended that you use a wood stirrer instead of a metal spoon, just so you don’t accidentally break the glass.
- Don’t want to grind your own beans? Your best option then is to buy fresh beans that have just been roasted from a local coffee shop and have them grind it for you. The idea here is that you don’t want to use beans that have been roasted months ago, this changes the quality of coffee and will certainly result in a bitter cup.
Single-serve coffee makers have increased in popularity big time over the last few years. And we certainly can’t blame people for loving them:
- They’re convenient: pop in a coffee pod and press a button!
- They require almost no clean up.
- They’re small in size, taking less space on your precious counter-top.
On the other hand, many people still question if a single-serve coffee maker worth its price. While the points mentioned above are great, having to purchase coffee by the pod or capsule can get quite expensive.
So is a single-serve coffee maker worth the price? That’s what we’ll try to explain in this post.
Contents of The Post:
- What Is a Single-Serve Coffee Maker
- Is Single-Serve Instant Coffee?
- How To Choose a Single-Serve Coffee Maker
- How To Cut Your Coffee Pod Costs
- Is Single-Serve Worth It?
What Is a Single-Serve Coffee Maker and Who Needs It?
Like the name suggests, a single-serve is a coffee maker that makes one cup at a time. Usually, a single serve coffee maker uses a pre-measured coffee pod that has the exact amount of coffee needed to make the perfect cup of coffee. All you have to do is insert the pod, choose your cup size and let the machine do the rest.
There are many kinds of single-serve machines:
- Single-serve espresso makers like Nespresso, which makes espresso and espresso based drinks (Cappuccino, Latte… etc.)
- Single Serve coffee maker which makes a regular cup of coffee (much like drip coffee), like a Keurig, which is also able to make other drinks like tea, hot chocolate and more and some coffee drinks like a Cappuccino.
- A single-serve coffee maker which makes only coffee, and doesn’t necessarily require coffee pods (you can use coffee ground).
Why would you choose to use a single-serve coffee maker?
If you’re always in a hurry, or even if you like convenience, a single-serve coffee maker is perfect. Using one:
- You don’t have to make more coffee than you need like some drip coffee makers require you to make a full pot of 10 or 12 cups.
- No need for filters, no need to clean any mess.
- Single-serves are QUICK. Most will make you a cup of coffee in under a minute.
Is Single-serve Coffee Instant Coffee?
This is a question that gets asked quite often. Because a single serve will make you coffee almost instantly, people question if they coffee inside the pods is instant. No, single-serve is NOT instant coffee. It is ground coffee sealed inside patented coffee capsules that keeps it fresh until you use it. The machine forces hot water through the capsule or pod to brew the coffee as quickly as possible. Click here to have a look inside a K-Cup coffee pod and how it works.
How To Choose the Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker For You?
Before you choose what single-serve coffee maker to go for, here’s what you need to know:
All single-serve coffee makers use their own type of coffee pod. So before deciding on a machine brand, make sure the coffee pods for the coffee maker are accessible to you. Although thanks to the magic of internet shopping, you can get any pod you want easily.
Now you’ve got the most important thing covered (capsules/pods), decide what beverage do you enjoy the most: coffee or espresso?
- If you enjoy a nice cup of traditional coffee, then your best bet is a Keurig coffee maker which has the largest variety of coffee pods from famous brands like Green Mountain, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Tully’s and more.
- If you’re an espresso, Cappuccino or Latte fan, then you’ll love having a Nespresso machine, which is by far the most popular of single-serve espresso. Nespresso make their own coffee capsules and they have a wide range of blends to choose from. And there’s also a rising number of Nespresso-compatible capsules from other brands that add to the capsule range.
Reviews and Comparisons to Read:
- Which Nespresso Machine To Choose.
- Top Questions About Nespresso
- Nespresso Vertuoline Espresso and Coffee maker.
- Keurig vs. Keurig 2.0: The Difference Between Them
- Keurig Vue Comparisons
How To Cut Your Costs on Coffee Capsules and Pods:
If there’s one downside to single serve coffee makers, it’s the fact that you’ll have to spend a lot on coffee capsules. This isn’t a big issue for a single user or a small family, but for a large family or an office, it could add to the expenses tab.
There is a number of ways you can cut down on your coffee costs:
- You can try an alternative brand which costs less.
- You can use a refillable/reusable pod and fill it up with your favorite coffee ground.
It is important to note that although buying capsules could get expensive, it is still way less that usual visits to a coffee shop. You’ll be making coffee shop quality drinks for WAY less than what you pay in your local cafe.
Is It Worth the Price?
Back to our original question, is a single serve coffee maker worth the price?
- If you spend a lot of money in your local coffee shop to get your dose of caffeine, a single-serve coffee maker will make you the same quality of coffee at a friction of the price.
- If you’re a fan of specialty coffee drinks (cappuccino, latte, Macchiato), you’ll be able to make these drinks in a minute or two and it won’t cost you more than a dollar.
- If you enjoy the convenience of automatic coffee preparation with little to no clean up to take care of, you’ll love a single-serve machine.
So if you ask us (and if the points above apply to you), yes, a single serve coffee maker is absolutely worth it.
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In an effort to bring down the amount of paper cups used for takeout coffee, many companies have started designing eco-friendly reusable coffee cups to match the look and feel of a paper cup. On top of these are two Australian brands, JOCO and KeepCup. In this post, we’ll be discussing these two brands and which one to go for.
What Is a Reusable Coffee Cup? Why Can’t I Just Use a Travel Mug?
There’s a big difference between using a reusable coffee cup and a travel mug, especially if you happened to be a fan of gourmet coffee drinks. Reusable coffee mugs such as a JOCO or Keepcup are designed to feel like your usual paper cup, only better and more stylish. They’re made to be barista friendly, made in sizes that allow your barista to make you the perfect Cappuccino or Latte, even with special latte art. [photo source]
A reusable coffee cup should come with a silicone sleeve (to replace the brown paper one), and a spill-proof top lid.
Features of the JOCO Cup:
- Reusable glass coffee cup.
- Available in 8oz, 12oz and 16 oz.
- Protective silicone sleeve.
- Spill-proof lid.
- Dishwasher safe and Microwave safe.
- Available in 13 colors.
Features of Keepcup:
- Available in 5 sizes: 4oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 12oz and 16oz.
- Made of BPA-free plastic.
- Lightweight and unbreakable.
- Spill-proof lid.
- Silicone sleeve.
- Available in many color combinations, with the ability to design your own.
Joco Cup or Keepcup? Which Should You Buy?
Both Joco and Keepcup make wonderful reusable coffee cups and each has its pros and cons:
Material of the Cup:
At first, we were leaning towards the JOCO cup for its stylish and timeless glass material that it’s made of. Although the plastic of Keepcup is BPA-free and very safe to consume, glass looks and feels better. However, many people would appreciate the lightweight and unbreakable plastic body of Keepcup.
Then, we found that Keepcup now makes glass cups as well, so that’s another great option to consider.
Both cups are barista certified and available in many sizes. However, the JOCO cup has one feature over the Keepcup. JOCO has a cyclonic base that pulls the sugar or any additive to your coffee to the center when you stir, this contributes to a better tasting cup of coffee or tea, without any goo at the end.
The Silicone Lid:
Although both cups have spill-proof lids, we prefer Keepcup’s as it has a seal to close the drinking hole to prevent any possible leaks.
It is worth mentioning that neither JOCO or Keepcup are insulated, so don’t expect them to keep your coffee hot longer than it should. When it comes to this, they work like your average cup in keeping the temperature.
The fact that you decided to go for a reusable coffee cup to replace the white paper takeout cup is a fantastic decision that we applaud you on. When it comes to which cup to go for, we can’t make the choice for you as it all goes down to your own use and preference. But we do hope that the information listed above will help you make an informed decision.
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Although the Keurig 2.0 brewer is a great coffee maker, many of Keurig’s users hated the update for many reasons:
- It didn’t allow them to use their old K-Cups.
- It doesn’t allow them to use a refillable K-Cup like the old Keurig machines.
You can read our full review of the Keurig 2.0 machines by clicking here.
However, people of the Internet, awesome as they often are, have found solutions to these problems which allow you to use your Keurig 2.0 as you want. Below, we’ll be sharing our favorite Keurig 2.0 hacks.
Best Keurig 2.0 Hacks:
The Difference Between Old and New K-Cups:
Before we get into the hacks, it’s useful to understand the difference between the old and new K-Cups. As you can see in the photo above, the new K-Cups have this white label at the rim of the pod, which the machine looks for when you insert them. If you interest the old K-Cup, which doesn’t have that white label, you’ll get an error message and the machine will not brew the pod.
So to fix this issue, these hacks basically require you to remove that white label from a used K-Cup and attach it to the old style K-Cup. This way, you give the machine that label its looking for and you get the coffee you want.
Watch the following videos for more clarification…
NOTE: Before implementing any of these hacks, please note that we have NOT tried any of these methods. These are NOT official tips/hacks and they’re not recommended by Keurig. We CANNOT be held responsible for any damage that could happen to your machine. TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK.
A Permanent Fix to Use ANY K-Cup or Vue Cup with your Keurig 2.0 Machine:
In this video, you’ll find a method for permanent fix that makes using any K-Cup with your 2.0 brewer very easy.
How To Unlock ALL Keurig 2.0 Menu Options and Brew ANY Cup size (use CARAFE size with a SINGLE-SERVE K-Cup!):
How To Use a Refillable K-Cup with the Keurig 2.0:
This video talks about how you can use a refillable K-Cup in the new Keurig 2.0. According to the video’s instructions, the only refillable K-Cup capsule that worked with this method is the Solofill K-Cups, which you can buy from Amazon here.
How To Use Vue Cups with Keurig 2.0 and Brew More Than 10oz:
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Here’s a fun infographic we found over at I Love Coffee which perfectly how to make the perfect coffee at home. We’ve covered many of these tips on our site, here’s the recap:
- Grinding your own coffee at home: see our picks for the best grinders for French Press coffee or best conical burr grinders.
- Storing your coffee beans: here are our recommendations for the best airtight coffee vaults to keep coffee fresh for the longest time possible.
- To get the best water temperature, using a variable temperature kettle is your best option. Here are our recommendations.
- If you’re a French Press type of person, here are some recommendations for the best insulated french press pots.
Type Of Coffee Gear
- Espresso Machines
- Single-Serve Espresso Machines
- Coffee Grinders
- Coffee Pod Organizers
- Tips and Info
- Coffee Makers
- Pour-Over Coffee Brewers
- Pour-Over Coffee Tools
- Single-Serve Coffee Makers
- French Press Brewers
- Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
- Dual Boiler Espresso Machines
- Electric Milk Frothers
- Electric Water Kettles
- Stovetop Moka Pots
- Vacuum Siphon Coffee Makers