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The French Press

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Though traditions dictate the use of a Phin Filter, we are aware of the many ways that our customers prefer to prepare their coffee. Trung Nguyen has a coffee for everyone, that doesn’t just refer to our wide range of blends but also it physical properties that allow for versatile preparation.

One of the most asked about methods is the French Press

What is a French press?

The French press is a brew tool that consists of a steeping chamber and a plunger that is almost like a strainer. Its appeal comes from it’s convenience and ease of use, the French press makes for an exceptionally smooth cup of coffee and offers a full bodied experience.

Brewing Vietnamese coffee in a French Press

The Grind

Like any French press brew, the first thing you’ll need is properly ground coffee no matter the origin of the bean. Coffee beans for French pressing should always be grinded coarsely to the size of table or cooking salt. The reasoning behind this is both scientific and practical. 

In the French press, coffee that is too fine will slip through the plunger area and find its way into your final cup, which isn’t desirable. Inevitably, there will be a bit of sediment in your cup with a French press brew, but these are generally very tiny. Additionally, given the full immersion of coffee in hot water, coffee that is grinded coarsely will extract smoothly– finely ground coffee tends to over-extract and yield a bitter cup in a French press. Trung Nguyen’s Creative Range of ground coffees are prefect for French press use as well though you could alternatively grind down our beans yourself should you so please.

The Ratio

Our golden ratio for French pressing with Vietnamese coffee beans is 4 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee for 2 cups of water. If you’re using a different sized French Press, you can adjust the ratios accordingly, or experiment with the coffee to water ratio to your liking!

The Beans

If you enjoy a sweet and smooth cup of coffee, we recommend brewing with one of our 100% arabica coffee variants, Creative 3 (grounds), Creative 5 (grounds) or Espresso Specialist Beans . The final cup when brewed in a French press is full bodied (more than a pour over) and very bright.

For those who enjoy very robust and bold cups of coffee, we recommend our 50/50 blend of arabica and robusta coffee,Creative 4, Espresso Innovator (beans), or even our 100% peaberry robusta coffee, Creative 1 (grounds)— given the double caffeine content and the full immersion method of French press, prepare for a very bold and strong brew, bound to give you a running start to your day

The Steps

Brewing Vietnamese coffee in a French press could not be easier

  1. Heat water to around 90ºC
  2. Add ground coffee into the French press
  3. Bloom the coffee (if fresh) with 120ml of water for about 30-45 seconds
  4. Pour the rest of the hot water
  5. Stir the coffee around and let steep for 4 minutes
  6. Plunge the coffee slowly (around 20-30 seconds) and enjoy!

DO NOT force your plunger down too quickly!

This will almost always cause your lid to pop off and your coffee to overflow, no one wants to start their day burnt.

It can also result in under-extracted coffee since the grounds will not be able to release their flavour compounds and oils completely if plunged too quickly. We recommend taking 20-30 seconds to do a slow plunge from top to bottom so that the grounds get a chance to release while also ensuring that no grounds will be left at the top of the French press and end up in your cup.

Additionally, if you aren’t going to immediately enjoy all of the brewed coffee in the French press, we recommend pouring it into another serving vessel. Because there is no filter and the coffee steeps in the French press, any coffee left inside will continue to steep over time which can result in over-extracted coffee. Some people enjoy the flavours that develop over time as the coffee sits and steeps, but this is a general rule of thumb to avoid over-extraction (unless, of course, that’s your preferred style)!

All in all, it is possible to brew our Vietnamese coffee beans/grounds in a French press. While you’re feeling adventurous try other methods of preparation, watch this space for more.

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