Do you like it dirty?
The timer went off. The room was sweltering, but no amount of heat would deter Cindy from her goal. She licked her lips, anticipating the eruption of flavor that would soon fill her mouth. Nearing the counter, Cindy wrapped her long fingers around the glistening knob and plunged it deep. Then even deeper.
The coffee was ready.
Coffee made in a French Press is often called “dirty coffee.” The reason is simple and, despite the opening, has nothing to do with any shade of grey. When you use a French Press, the metal, mesh filter is more porous than paper filters, and it lets through small particles. The resulting coffee often has sludge or sediment at the bottom of the mug.
Some coffee drinkers find this disgusting. Others tolerate it. Others still, like myself, prefer this type of coffee. Dirty coffee also means coffee with more body. It sometimes even means coffee with more flavor, since along with the small particles the metal filters let in coffee oils, which carry flavor.
There are of course ways to decrease the amount of sediment in your mug while using the French Press. The first thing you can do is invest in a good burr grinder, which will give you a uniform grind consistency and limit the amount of coffee dust, which is what usually makes its way through the filter. If spending a good chunk of change isn’t in the near future for you, I have good news. The second way to decrease sediment is to simply let your coffee sit for a couple minutes after you press it. This give the sediment time to settle to the bottom of the pot, and if you pour your coffee slowly and carefully, most of it will stay there.