Sunday, January 08, 2012

Don't steep the coffee

There is a widely held view that you should leave coffee in a cafetière to steep for a while before pushing the plunger. Four minutes seems to be the most widely recommended period. I am not so sure. I find that coffee prepared in this way can be bitter. Instead, I use a high concentration of coffee (2 heaped tbsp of ground coffee for each mugful of about 300ml), give it a stir, and push the plunger almost immediately.* For breakfast, I pour about 150ml of warm milk into this strong brew.

I apply the same principle to tea. Making a (smaller) mug of tea for myself, I put 2tsp of leaves into a small jug, pour in hot water (as with coffee, the water should be just below boiling point, I believe), give it a stir, and again pour it (this time through a strainer) right away.

*This idea is not mine, I admit. I got it from Victoria Moore, who explains it in a video here. I also follow her tip about warming the pot and rinsing the plunger.


Bill Pearson said...

There's a much better guide to making coffee with a cafetière here:

Nicholas Clee said...

A bit more scientific than my version! But, as I say, I now prefer to use more coffee but with a shorter brewing time.