How to use a cafetiere

How to use a cafetiere to make delicious organic and Fairtrade coffee

A cafetiere is such a pure and wonderful way to make a cup (or three) of coffee. You chuck in some ground coffee, some hot water, plunge it out, and voila.

But if you're new to the art of the French Press, it can be intimidating. Or perhaps you've been doing it wrong all this time?

Either way, here's a quick tutorial.

What kind of coffee works best in a cafetiere?

Fairtrade coffeeWhatever you like best, really, but there are some guidelines, particularly around the roast. Generally speaking, you want a bean that's suitable for Americano, which means nothing too bitter. That means you'll want to avoid extra dark roasts or anything with too much robusta. Our El Capitan bean, for example, is better for milky drinks and is a bit dark for a cafetiere, even though it's 100% arabica.

Up & At 'Em, our lightest roast, is great for a first mug; the cafetiere really brings out its fruity nature. Firefly is good as well if you want something a bit darker without straying into bitter.

How should you grind your coffee to work best with a cafetiere?

Basically, you just want to avoid a fine espresso grind. If your grind is too fine, the coffee will over-extract and taste bitter. A bit like leaving a tea bag in too long. Any ground coffee from the shop (or indeed any of ours) should be fine as long as it's not specifically labelled with an espresso grind.

How much coffee should I use in the cafetiere?

how to measure coffeeOpinions vary pretty widely on this one, but you're most people prefer between one teaspoon and one tablespoon per mug. 8.9 grams is the technically correct answer, but like everything, it really just depends on how you like your coffee.

How hot should the water be when I put it into the cafetiere?

Not boiling hot! Unlike tea, you don't want the water going in the cafetiere to be boiling hot. Ideally, you want the water temperature to be around 96 degrees Celcius. If you let the water come off the boil, then put the grounds in the cafetiere, there's just the right amount of time to wait for it to cool down a few degrees.

How long should I leave the cafetiere before I plunge it?

Again, this can be open to interpretation, but I find that leaving it exactly four minutes is ideal. Keeping this time constant allows you to experiment with other elements of the recipe (roast type, grind coarseness, coffee volume) while keeping one aspect consistent.

Rather watch a video?

We've not produced a video on this, because there are already 17,800 search results for that. Here are a couple good ones, though.

 

 

Back to Coffee Tips