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Taking the Plunge - A Guide to Improving your Plunger Brew

brew method coffee coffee blog french press freshly roasted coffee perth coffee plunger specialty coffee

In recent years, the specialty coffee scene has seen a number of new alternate brew methods swing in to popularity, or swing back in to popularity. It is quite normal to see in cafes a number of alternate brew options available, from filter methods like the Chemex, to immersion cold brewing and everywhere in between. 

 

Unfortunately though, some very simple but effective brew methods have been overlooked in the process, now laying dormant in salvos shops or at the back of your grandma's pantry, along with some preground supermarket coffee from 2011. With a little bit of effort though, you can get a decent cup of coffee out of these brewers, when we apply a better understanding of coffee and brewing to the classic home brewers.

 

Step 1: Find the Plunger.

This may be the hardest part of brewing with a Plunger. It has probably been long forgotten, or is potentially now being used as some sort of hipster pot plant for succulent cultivation. I get it - your last plunger coffee probably tasted like dirt anyway.

 

Step 2: Freshly Ground, Freshly Roasted coffee!

If you're familiar with Coffeefusion, then you'll already know that in order to brew the best coffee, you need to grind the coffee just before you go to brew it. Plunger coffee calls for a coarse grind (I'm using setting 8 on an EK-43), it is a little bit coarser than your usual filter brew, and the opposite spectrum to espresso. For this recipe development I used Click Bait Seasonal Espresso Blend - with very good results!
Ratio: 6g of coffee for every 100g (mL) of water.

 

Step 3: Bloom.

Gone are the days of slamming a kettle full of boiling hot water in to the plunger. We aren't pirates. We practise three hours a day to make better coffee, and we're going to apply our knowledge of other filter brews to the plunger. Take water at approx 94°C - and add enough water to saturate the grounds. I used scales when brewing, had a 24g recipe - and added 50g of water. Give this mixture a stir to make sure the coffee is evenly saturated, and allow to [orlando] bloom for thirty seconds. Just in case you didn't get the pirates reference.

 

Step 4: Steep.

After the bloom, it's time to add the remaining water (again for my 24g recipe, after 50g of water has been used for the bloom, the additional 350g of water is added to bring the total to 400g). Give the coffee brew one last stir, add the plunger lid to the top, and sit the filter just on the top of the brew. Allow the coffee to steep for three minutes - for a total brew time of three minutes and thirty seconds.


Step 5: Plunge and enjoy.

After three minutes of steeping, push the plunger all the way down, and serve all of the coffee. You want to tip all of the coffee out of the plunger, not leave half in there for the grounds to stew whilst you enjoy your first cup, only to return for a second cup, this time full of regret instead of delicious, plunger coffee! 

 

Watch the video:



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  • Bearded Hipster on

    You shouldn’t use a plunger vessel for plants as it does not provide any drainage. You can’t put holes in it because it is glass.
    An upturned fedora does the trick

  • Lauren on

    Thanks for the refresher!


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