Friday, February 9, 2007

How to Make Restaurant Quality Coffee At Home

Have you ever wondered how restaurants get their coffee to taste so good?

First of all, restaurants are in the business of pampering you so they devote much more time to the perfection of a good cup of coffee. Sometimes I'll remember a restaurant just because of their excellent coffee.

So what are their secrets and how can you duplicate this recipe at home? It may surprise you to find out that the French Press brewing method could be the secret in achieving that restaurant quality taste.

Most fine restaurants use a press pot, also known as the French Press, which produces an extremely rich cup of coffee.

Press pot coffee is coffee steeped for 3-4 minutes between 195 to 205 degrees F. It produces a thicker and much richer taste than an auto-drip machine can produce.

A disadvantage of the French Press is it may leave trace amounts of coffee sediment. But the rich taste more than makes up for the small amount of sediment at the bottom of your cup.

So first, start off with a quality medium roast coffee, which is what most restaurants use. I can give you a couple of good recommendations.

Seattle's Best Breakfast Blend, Starbucks Breakfast Blend or Starbucks Sulawesi Coffee is 3 excellent choices. These are full-bodied coffees yet very smooth tasting. They are some of our best sellers at and work well for French Press brewing.

You want to grind the coffee slightly larger than you would for drip coffee. Too fine of a grind will produce a bitter cup of coffee. If your grind is too coarse, the coffee will taste weak. A quality grinder is the best thing you can do to improve the taste of French press coffee.

Remove the plunger from the press pot and put 1 rounded tablespoon of coarse ground coffee per each 6oz. of water into the pot. You can adjust this to your own taste.

Coffee is 99% water so use clean filtered or bottled water free from chlorine and other minerals that affect the taste of coffee.

Boil the water and remove it from the heat for five minutes before you pour it. This will give you the 195 to 205 degree water that is ideal to brew with. Now pour the 195 to 205 degree water over the ground coffee.

Stir the coffee to get total saturation of the grounds then place the plunger on top of the pot and let the coffee steep for 3 to 4 minutes.

Depress the plunger slowly to push the grounds to the bottom of the pot.

Serve all the coffee in the pot after the 3 to 4 minutes of steeping. Otherwise the coffee will keep getting stronger.

If you have any left, you can always transfer it to a clean, preheated air pot or a stainless steel Thermos. This will keep the coffee hot about an hour without hurting the flavor.

The French press brewing method definitely takes more time but gives us the result we are looking for. Restaurant quality coffee in the comfort of your own home.

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Gary Gresham is the webmaster for where you can purchase quality coffee, tea, cups & mugs, coffee gifts and delicious desserts online. He offers a free monthly coffee newsletter at

Written by: Gary Gresham

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