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Techniques - | Written by Lewis Spencer

How to make coffee in a cafetiere

A cafetiere is a manual coffee maker that is usually designed for domestic use. Cafetieres can make two, four or eight cups of coffee usually. But how do they work?

The cafetiere comprises several parts: a heatproof glass jug, a strainer or filter that is attached to a plunger mechanism. Most cafetieres work best if they are washed before and after each use, preferably not with harsh soaps or chemicals as these can leave a residue that may adversely affect the taste of the coffee.

Place about one tablespoon of freshly ground coffee per cup (this is about 6 to 8 grams if you are weighing out the coffee) with a cup measurement of 125ml into the bottom of the jug of the cafetiere. NB: cup measurements are for tea cups, while most people have coffee in mugs which can be anywhere from 250ml to 300ml, so if you are drinking big mugs of coffee you must remember to scale up.

Boil your water, and then allow it to cool for a few moments as overly hot water can scald your coffee, and then pour a little water over the coffee grounds - enough to ensure that they are well soaked and can be stirred. Then fill the cafetiere to the desired level according to how many cups you want. Fit the plunger into place, but do not use it just yet. Instead, leave it in place as a lid for four minutes to allow the coffee to brew properly.

Once the time is up, press down the plunger with a smooth, firm motion. Do not hurry the press as this can allow grounds to escape into your coffee, allow the plunger to proceed slowly. Once the plunger is all the way down, all the coffee grounds should be trapped under the filter, leaving you with smooth, delicious cafetiere coffee to enjoy.

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