I love to get coffee here and don’t consider any trip to the Keys complete without a stop at Baby’s. And now that my friend Joanna has given me a french press coffeepot, I can brew my favorite coffee my favorite way.
Here’s my secret:
Start with Baby’s Key West Old Town Roast or Wrecker’s Roast or Hemingway’s Hair of the Dog. Most people say you should grind your beans coarser than normal when you’re using a french press, but I like to grind it a little finer.
I use about a tablespoon of coffee for each cup. It really depends on what kind of coffee you’re using and your own preference for the strength of your coffee. Like it strong? Use more. Like it meek and mild? Use less. Whatever you prefer, grind your beans and then put the coffee in the french press.
Bring your water to a boil. When it boils, remove it from the heat and let it sit for about half a minute. Then pour just enough water over the coffee to cover it. Give it a gentle stir (I use a plastic swizzle stick so the glass doesn’t break). A beautiful foam will begin to form. Then pour in as much water as you need for the coffee you plan to drink.
Insert the plunger assembly, but don’t press the plunger until about three minutes have passed. Again, the timing is variable, depending on the coffee, the grind and your taste. I brew for a shorter time because I use a finer grind. If you’re using coarsely ground coffee, you’ll want to steep your coffee for about four minutes. Don’t let it sit much longer than that because it will get bitter, and noone in their right mind likes bitter coffee (unless you do).
When the time is up, gently push down on the plunger. Too much enthusiasm at this point can result in painful burns. The plunger will push most of the grounds to the bottom of the pot and leave the best coffee ever available to pour into your cup. You can’t rush this coffee…let it sit a minute before you pour, and after you pour give it a minute before you drink it. This way, the sediments will settle — they add great taste but not-so-nice mouthfeel to your coffee. While you’re waiting, put any extra coffee in a carafe because you don’t want to leave it steeping, right?
This is coffee that grabs you by the shirt and slaps you first on the right cheek and then the left. You will know you have been drinking coffee when you’re done. And it’s a good thing, too, because you’ll need that energy when you see the mess that’s left in the press.