Be your own Barista! The difference between French Press and V60
In these special days where we are at home there is always a moment to prepare a good coffee. Also is a good time to try different methods, as each one have their own secret and bring us different bright experiences in the cup. It is part of the marvelous adventures that a good coffee bring us. So here we are talking about brewing coffee at home using different methods, in this occasion our popular French press (also known as a cafetière) and its differences vs V60.
The French press
Making a perfect pot of coffee using a French press is pretty easy as it’s less fiddly than some other coffee brewing methods, including V60. This method is all about immersion, and as such, focuses on the brewing time - not the pour.
All you need is a commonly-found French press, which in the mainstream market are made out of metal mesh. And here comes the first difference between the French press and the V60: with a press, the metal mesh (usually between 80 and 30 microns) doesn’t trap coffee oils and sediment as effectively as the V60’s paper filters. So what does that mean? In short, your coffee may feel a little heavier, bodier on taste. What’s more, the French press also requires 15% more coffee than you’d use for a V60, because you’re leaving behind some of the coffee that can’t be extracted.
The French press does produce a bold coffee with a great body, and it works well with a coarse grind. So for many, it’s an easy way to provide a coffee that’ll knock your socks off!
Over time, the French press has got a bit of a bad reputation for how it brews a cup of coffee, but trust us: if you do it right, it can be great. To make sure you don’t fall into the bad brewing trap, make sure you decant and enjoy the coffee as soon as you’ve plunged it, otherwise you can be left with a less superior drink.
Give the French press coffee brewing method a go – we’d recommend a medium or dark roast and coffees with notes of chocolate or nutty flavours. Make sure your beans are ground coarsely (like the consistency of rock salt). *Click here to find one of our recommendation to try with French *
Named after its v-shaped cone filter and 60-degree angle, this brewing method was first introduced in ceramic and glass, then plastic and finally in metal.
The Hario V60 has become one of the most widely used brewing methods in homes, offices and speciality coffee shops around the world due its consistency and the ability of the brewer to have complete control over the strength and body of the coffee.
In simple terms, the V60 is a pour over method of coffee brewing which involves pouring hot water through the coffee grounds. The water drains through the grounds (using a disposable filter) and drips slowly into your mug below it.
By changing the grind size you can speed up or slow down the rate at which the coffee will be brewed. The larger the grind size the faster the brew time and conversely, a finer grind will take a bit longer to brew. Faster brewing with the V60 usually results in a brighter, lighter bodied cup. What sets the V60 apart from auto drip filter coffee is this control over all brewing variables from water temperature to pour rate.
The V60 is a great brewing method to explore delicate flavours, and produces a less bold product than the French press. With a V60, you’re best choosing a single origin coffee as it will allow the flavours to come through delicately.
With this method, the water is able to extract coffee oils and fragrances in its own time – and that’s exactly what the method is all about.
Sounds perfect, right? It can be, but you can run into some difficulties – which again, can be down to the user. Channelling (where a stream of hot water in the V60 manages to find its way around the coffee instead of through it) can occur; meaning some of the coffee doesn’t get extracted. To avoid this, make sure your coffee isn’t sat in clumps in the filter and that all the grounds are evenly distributed.
Give the V60 coffee brewing method a go, and explore the various single origin coffee available at Coffee Gems. We’d recommend a light roast, and the beans ground to a medium or coarse level (like the consistency of granulated sugar). *Try our recommendation with V60 by clicking here*
Remember, there are no hard rules to brewing coffee with the V60. Feel free to experiment with grind size, water ratio, and water temperature until you are satisfied with what’s in your cup. The most important thing about brewing specialty coffee is to have fun and to share it with a friend if possible. The V60 is one of our favorite brewing method because we can enjoy the ritual of going through its brewing steps. It’s an involved, sensory experience that I find relaxing and soothing. We also prefer metal or ceramic device over the plastic one, the two first retain appropriately temperature bringing you a much better extraction.