Plunger Coffee - The Definitive Guide

Plunger Coffee - The Definitive Guide



Plunger Coffee - The Definitive Guide


What is a plunger coffee?

Plunger coffee is big-bodied filter style coffee brewed with a plunger or French Press: a glass carafe with a metal filter attached to a piston in the lid. Coffee brews in the carafe and is then filtered by pushing the metal piston, forcing the grinds to the bottom of the carafe.

More about Plunger

Plunger coffee is loved worldwide, and rightly so! Plungers are easy to use, ideal for brewing coffee for groups and result in a distinctively rich, full-bodied cup.

Plunger coffee is what we call a ‘full-immersion’ brew method, meaning the coffee and water are in contact for the full brew time. This is different to pour over brew methods - such as V60 or Chemex - and it’s this extended contact time that results in the unmistakable full-bodied brew. The fine metal filter on the plunger allows the coffee oils and some of the fine coffee particles to pass through, resulting in a bolder taste and fuller mouthfeel to coffee filtered through paper.

You can brew plunger coffee with either filter roast or espresso roast coffee. For a fruitier, lighter brew to drink black, we prefer a filter roast coffee; for a richer brew with lower acidity and for those who want to add milk to the brew, we recommend using espresso roast coffee.

The recipe is scalable, so that you can brew anywhere from one to ten cups, depending on the size of your plunger. Perfect for brewing for guests at home! You can also adjust the recipe by increasing or decreasing the amount of coffee and the brew time, or play around with the water temperature, to make the brew exactly as you like it. See our easy-to-follow guide below for more hints and tips on how to brew plunger, and if you have any unanswered questions, see our FAQ.



How to make plunger coffee


How Long? About 4 minutes

How Much? Premium coffee plunger prices start at around $20

What You'll Need: Coffee plunger, Ground coffee, Boiling water

Master the art of brewing fresh coffee at the table, resulting in a richer taste and delicious aroma to delight your guests. Follow these seven simple steps to find out how to make coffee in a plunger perfectly.

Plunger Coffee - The Definitive Guide Recipe

 



Here's the step-by-step guide to Plunger Coffee


1. Preheat the coffee plunger

Remove the lid and plunger, and fill the glass jug with boiling water to preheat it.

2. Grind your coffee beans to a medium coarse consistency

While leaving the jug to warm, grind your coffee beans. Aim for a medium coarse consistency - if the grind is too fine, the coffee can become over extracted and release bitter flavours. You can also use pre-ground coffee but, for a cup bursting with freshness, you should grind the beans yourself.

3. Add the correct measure of coffee to the plunger

Pour away the hot water from the glass jug and add the required amount of ground coffee - 70g per litre or one heaped teaspoon per cup (approximately 240ml).

4. Add hot, not boiling, water

Add hot, but not boiling, water. Pouring water that is too hot risks burning your ground coffee which will add a nasty bitter taste to your brew.

5. Put the lid on and let it brew

With the plunger pulled all the way up, place the lid back on top of the glass jar. Wait four minutes to allow your coffee to infuse properly.

6. Plunge your coffee carefully

Push the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds from your brew. Make sure you don't press or crush the grounds at the bottom of the jug - this can also release a bitter taste.

7. Pour and serve

Pour and serve your delicious fresh coffee. Add milk or sweeteners if required.


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Your Plunger Coffee Questions, Answered


Here are the most common questions we receive regarding Plunger Coffee. If you have any more questions, please get in contact!

Brewing plunger coffee is one of the easiest brew methods to master. With a little care and attention to detail, you can brew outstanding plunger coffee at home. Our step-by-step brew guide above outlines everything you need to know.

How much coffee you need will depend on the size of your plunger and how much coffee you want to brew. We prefer to weigh our coffee for ultimate precision, so that you can replicate a delicious brew time and time again. A great place to begin is with a ratio of 60g of coffee to 1l of water.

You can use either filter roast or espresso roast coffee to brew plunger. Filter coffee is roasted lighter and retains all the delicate origin characteristics and higher acidity. We recommend using filter coffee for a brighter, fruiter brew to drink black. Espresso coffee is roasted darker than filter coffee, and will result in a fuller-bodied brew with lower acidity. We recommend using espresso coffee for a richer, bolder plunger brew, and an espresso blend coffee if you like to add milk to your plunger coffee.

A small amount of fine sediment will always make its way to the cup when brewing plunger coffee. This is because the plunger has a metal filter that allows fine particles to make it to the cup, resulting in a bolder brew with a heavy mouthfeel - one of the things people most love about plunger style coffee. If you seem to have lots of large grounds in your cup, it might mean your grind is too fine - try coarsening up the grind.

We recommend serving all of the coffee from the plunger when the brew time is up. If you have more coffee than you can serve straight up, we recommending decanting your brew into a carafe or insulated server. If you leave it in the plunger, it will continue to brew resulting in an over-extracted, bitter and astringent cup.

The size of plunger or french press you should buy really depends on how many people you regularly brew for. The beauty of plunger coffee is that you can brew so easily for a group of people, so if you’re likely to brew for 4-6 people, we recommend a 1l plunger. You don’t have to brew the full 1l every time, but it allows you to cater for a group if you’re entertaining. If you only ever brew for yourself, a 350ml plunger will be perfect, and will allow you to brew fresh for every cup. Likewise, if you brew for 2-3 people, a 600ml plunger should suffice.

The beauty of plunger or french press is that you don’t need much equipment, other than the plunger itself. You’ll also need an electric or stove-top kettle. You’ll get a more flavourful brew if you grind the coffee fresh for each brew, so we recommend having a grinder (a hand-grinder is ideal for plunger brewing). And for ultimate precision and to be able to replicate a delicious brew time and time again, we recommend a set of small digital scales, and a digital timer.

Plunger coffee requires a medium-coarse grind size. If you find your brew contains lots of fine particles, or is very hard to plunge, or tastes really bitter and over-extracted, try coarsening up your grind.

A great starting ratio for plunger - and lots of other filter brewing methods - is 60g of coffee to 1l of water. Use this ratio to scale a recipe for the size of your plunger, or desired yield.

We recommend starting with a 4 minute brew time for plunger coffee. If you want your coffee a little bolder and fuller bodied, leave it to brew for a little longer. If you want a lighter style plunger brew, reduce the brew time by 30-60s.

You could make cold brew in a french press, although we would recommend straining it through a paper filter at the end of the brew time. For cold brew, scale up the coffee to water ratio, as cold water doesn’t extract the coffee as easily as hot water. Try 80-120g coffee to 1l water. Brew plunger as you normally would, but with cold rather than hot water. Then lit it brew for 12-15 hours.

We prefer to brew plunger with water that is around 95-98°c. You can simply bring your water to a boil and then let it sit for 30-60 seconds.

We recommend starting with a 4 minute brew time for plunger coffee. If you want your coffee a little bolder and fuller bodied, leave it to brew for a little longer. If you want a lighter style plunger brew, reduce the brew time by 30-60s.

Normal dishwashing detergent should be all you need to clean your plunger if you’re cleaning it regularly. Simply empty the grinds into your compost, then fill the plunger with hot soapy water and pump the plunger up and down a few times. Be sure to rinse everything thoroughly.

Size and material are the two main things you’ll want to consider when purchasing a french press or plunger. The plunger body can be made from glass, plastic or metal. We prefer glass as it doesn’t impart any flavour on the brew, and you see the coffee brewing! It is delicate, though, so be gentle. The size of plunger or french press you should buy really depends on how many people you regularly brew for. The beauty of plunger coffee is that you can brew so easily for a group of people, so if you’re likely to brew for 4-6 people, we recommend a 1l plunger. You don’t have to brew the full 1l every time, but it allows you to cater for a group if you’re entertaining. If you only ever brew for yourself, a 350ml plunger will be perfect, and will allow you to brew fresh for every cup. Likewise, if you brew for 2-3 people, a 600ml plunger should suffice.




Explore other Brew Methods


There are so many ways to brew delicious coffee. Take a look other methods on our brew guide page

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