For coffee lovers, nothing is more enticing in the morning, or relaxing in the evening, than the sounds and aromas of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. There is something comforting in grabbing hold of our favorite cup or mug, and getting that first taste, warm on our lips and soothing to the soul. Coffee aficionados understand each other as they wait patiently in line for their favorite coffee at the local coffee shop. The wait is worth it. Thankfully, with the proper equipment, you can recreate that wonderful taste you love, at home.
What is a Burr Coffee Grinder?
If you are a part of the world of coffee, you may have heard of a burr coffee grinder. Burr isn’t a brand, but a method of grinding coffee beans. One of the most important steps, leading to that wonderful, rich cup of coffee, is the grinding. Coffee beans are a beautiful thing… but they won’t do anything for your cup of coffee until ground. All grinders are not created equal, and there is a reason many coffee connoisseurs feel the beans must be ground with a burr method, as opposed to the blade method.
Burr vs. Blade
A burr grinder consists of two abrasive surfaces, which rotate, grinding the coffee beans, a few at a time. These abrasive pieces can be set at different distances from each other, giving you options for the size of your grounds. A burr grinder creates uniform sized grounds for your coffee brewing. It is a great option for French Press lovers, because the burr grinder is able to create a coarser ground bean, which works well using the press method.
A blade grinder however, works much like a blender, with the blades chopping the beans until ground. It isn’t able to create as much uniformity as the burr, and the coarseness some coffee drinkers want, is also difficult to find with the blade method.
A burr grinder is well worth it, and there are many options as far as size and cost. Electric grinders are more expensive, but highly efficient. But there are also manual burr grinders which are more compact for small spaces, and less expensive.
Origins of The French Press
Ahhhh… The French press… true coffee lovers have to have one. Considered the best way to brew coffee in its purest form – if you want to know how to make an excellent cup of coffee, invest in a French press.
The French press works using an immersion method, mingling the hot water and coffee grounds together, rather than using a filter. After heated, the freshly brewed coffee is then separated from the coffee grounds, by pressing the grounds down and away from the coffee, which will soon be welcomed into your cup. This method allows for the coffee oils, which have the most flavor, to remain in your coffee. Traditional coffee filters take these oils away. With the French press you are able to drink your coffee in its purest form.
Funny enough, the French press was patented in Italy, over 90 years ago, and has seen many different forms of itself, but always the same method to create coffee in its purest form. It has long been loved for its elegant, yet simple design, and ease of use. For many who truly love coffee, using the coffee press is an enjoyable, age old art that connects them to the “coffee world.” Coffee is to be enjoyed. There is a good chance if you begin using the French Press, you will never go back to your traditional electric coffee maker.
Using Your French Press
In a few easy steps, you will be on your way to a beautiful cup of coffee.
- Start by boiling water for the press, and allow it to cool down after boiling, for about 30 seconds.
- Pour a little of the hot water into the press’s carafe and swirl it around to warm the carafe, then you can dump that water.
- Add your fresh, coarsely ground coffee to the carafe. Coarse is best to avoid too many grounds in the end result.
- Pour in the hot water, soaking the grounds
- Add the lid and be sure the coffee is submerged, about a half inch under water.
- After a few minutes of brewing, it is time to “press” your coffee. As you press the plunger down, the grounds are separated from the hot water, and you have created a hot, aromatic, pure cup of coffee!
No matter how you brew it, coffee is a hot topic in our world, and those who are passionate about it, have opinions as strong as their coffee, on the best method for grinding and brewing. Do what works best for you. That is the beauty of so many choices. As you raise your next cup of coffee to take a sip, smile knowing coffee lovers around the world, are raising theirs too.