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Thermal Coffee Press - How to Use a Thermal Coffee Press

plunger grounds carafe time

In the Unites States, the drip coffeemaker reigns supreme, but as coffee has become more fashionable in the past decade, many new coffee drinkers are opening their eyes to alternative methods of brewing. One of the fastest-growing brewing methods in the U.S. is in using a thermal coffee press.

The thermal coffee press is an updated and modernized version of the classic French press, thought to have originated in that country in the mid-19th century. It consists of a smallish glass carafe with a metal press that is fitted inside the carafe. The press is snug against the inside walls of the carafe and attached is a plunger that extends upward through the lid, ending in a knob. The thermal coffee press takes this design and replaces with the glass carafe with an aluminum or stainless steel vessel that is insulated to prevent heat from escaping.

Using a thermal coffee press begins with grinding the coffee beans. The beans are ground coarsely to prevent them from escaping through the press. The coarse grind is also necessary to maintain the flavor of the brewed coffee. With the press/plunger/lid setup removed, one rounded tablespoon of coarsely ground beans is added for every 4 ounces of coffee to be brewed. If you weigh your grounds instead of measuring their volume, it should come to about 8.5 grams per 4 ounces of water.

The water is boiled in separate pot and then poured slowly and evenly over the grounds. When the correct amount of water has been added as per the amount of grounds, some people prefer to give it a stir with a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon to ensure complete saturation. The lid can now be attached with plunger pulled all the way upward. For a 12 oz thermal coffee press, allow it to steep for two to three minutes. For a thermal coffee press larger than 12 oz, four minutes is the recommended steeping time.

After steeping, it is time to depress the plunger in order for the grounds to be filtered from the coffee and pressed into the bottom. Holding the carafe in one hand, slowly but steadily push down the plunger in a forceful but deliberately smooth manner. You must take care to keep the plunger perfectly straight the entire time or grounds may escape from the sides. When the plunger cannot be depressed any further, the coffee is ready to serve. The coffee will remain fresh for the next 20 minutes, which is plenty of time for the thermal coffee press to keep it hot. After 20 minutes, the coffee becomes rather acidic and is considered spoiled.

There are many different brands and models of thermal coffee press being sold today, but one of the most popular is the 50 oz Columbia Thermal Coffee Press by Bodum. Bodum is a leading manufacturer of the thermal coffee press and this model is licensed to be sold at Starbucks coffee shops. It is made of double-walled stainless steel in either brushed or polished versions. 50 oz is enough for twelve 4 oz cups. This thermal coffee press lists for $146.99, is sold by Starbucks for $109.99, but can be found online for under $100.

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