Break and clean method for French press - Page 2

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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#11: Post by cannonfodder »

Interesting. I still make a pot of French press now and then. I usually grind a bit finer and shoot for a three min steep then press. I have never tried skimming the cup before the press. I need to give this a try, slick idea.
Dave Stephens

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#12: Post by HB »

Nick Cho and James Hoffman pointed out this technique was originally suggested by Tim Wendelboe and discussed in blogs / coffeed (search). James also made a video: Videocast #2 - French Press Technique.
Dan Kehn

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#13: Post by Fullsack »

I've been doing a modified version of the break and clean and prefer the results to the original technique.

After the 4 minute steep, do not break the crust, but instead take a large spoon and remove as many grounds as can easily be removed, then do the press. To me, the coffee tastes smoother with this method.
LMWDP #017
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#14: Post by coffeefrog »

I usually just swirl the press to wet coarsely ground grounds (possibly a couple of times over a few minutes). For me, steeping is finished when the grounds have almost all sunk to the bottom. The press just takes the last few chunks and holds them down out of the way.

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#15: Post by SlowRain »

coffeefrog, that's pretty much how I do it, except I sift off the fines before brewing. I do a 4 min steep; stir after the first minute; ever so gently swirl the press pot with one minute remaining. The fines are already at the bottom of the press pot, then the coarser grinds and the screen hold them down there when I pour. I don't really have a huge sludge problem, but I still some. Sifting takes less than a minute, and I usually do it while I'm waiting for the water to boil anyway. Also, doing it this way you don't have as many fines contributing to the bitterness.

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#16: Post by kahvedelisi »

apart from "break and clean method" I'm using a gasket mod with my french press which prevents particles escaping from filter's sides where it touches to beaker's walls (that's a serious problem with bodum's previous kenya model and with many cheaper no-name french press)

I have several various sized french presses including bodum chambord and kenya models and I grind a little bit finer than usual french press grind size. I've had problems with kenya model even using break and clean method due to filter not fitting into beaker as tight as chambord's so I came up with this mod --> placed one of my extra gaskets of bialetti moka express between mesh filter and filter holder. later I decided to try it on a cheaper press with lower quality mesh filter, results with that one also dramatically changed.

here are some photos showing the mod with a cheap knock off french press which has lower quality mesh filter (without break and clean method, if you use both you get much better results but I wanted to show how it is when brewing conditions not the best :mrgreen: )

there's another additional mod which includes hario's cloth filter. just untie hario cloth filter's string, using your gasket inserted filter cover it with filter cloth, pull the cloth filter's string to tighten, then press. you get "filter coffee like" very clean results, zero residues (and surprisingly the taste is much much closer to french press);

the only down part is, you'll get difficulties when you try pulling off the filter for cleaning.. but that's only if you let it cool down. so.. pour your coffee, pull off the filter while your press is still hot, you're good to go!

maybe I should sell this to bodum :P
Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!

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#17: Post by SlowRain »

Good idea. I'll have to give it a try sometime.

What grinder are you using for French press?

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#18: Post by kahvedelisi »

sorry I should have mentioned about the grinder :)

I have cimbali junior but it's a torture to dial for french press so I'm mainly using junior for espresso and for french press I use either rancilio md50 or sözen turkish mill. above pictures taken with a sozen grinder cos it grinds a little bit more dusty compared to md50, as I said previously I wanted to show how it is when brewing conditions not the best :) ah and beans --> el salvador astro pacamara 4 days old roast, roasted to full city
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#19: Post by SlowRain »

I originally thought I would use my Sözen for French press, but I like a coarser grind than what it produces. I'm now considering one of those Japanese ceramic-bladed hand grinders.

Does the moka gasket get oily and smelly? Or can it be washed and kept clean and odor-free?

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#20: Post by kahvedelisi »

yes it can be cleaned and it's odor-free (eh if you consider it's build for coffee brewing purposes already. as I said previously I'm using a bialetti moka express' gasket) but the color changes in time, which also happens when you use it with moka pot too. and I didn't detect any plastic or rubber taste (keep in mind that I can easily detect paper or cloth filter tastes in a cup no matter how higher quality they are)

btw once in a while I'm reversing the sides so that it doesn't get concave in time (or convex, however you see it)

btw it's easy to apply a mod to your hand grinder for coarser grinds but later you won't be able to grind as fine as turkish.
Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!