Making Coffee at Home: Cafetiere Clean-up Made Easy

My shiny metal cafetiere (I got tired of breaking the glass ones!).The very first Making Coffee at Home post I wrote, before I even knew I’d create a whole Coffee at Home section for the Coffee Spot, was a simple guide to making better coffee with the cafetiere. To this day, for all the fancy pour-over methods I have at my disposable, or other immersion methods, such as the AeroPress or Clever Dripper, not to mention my home espresso machine, the cafetiere (or French Press), is still my go-to method for making my morning coffee.

One of the complaints I regularly hear about the cafetiere is that it’s difficult to clean up after a brew. This is something that I’ve never understood, since disposing of the used grounds in a cafetiere is ridiculously easy. Okay, so it’s not quite as simple as tossing a used paper pour-over filter, grounds and all, or popping an AeroPress puck into the compost, but it’s less hassle than, say, cleaning a reusable cloth filter.

So why does the cafetiere have a reputation that it’s difficult to clean up? I suspect it’s because lots of people don’t actually know how to dispose of the used grounds, so to rectify that, I’ve written this little guide.

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Making Coffee at Home: Cafetiere

My shiny metal cafetiere (I got tired of breaking the glass ones!).With the COVID-19 crisis in full swing, most people will be making coffee at home for the foreseeable future. While I’m rather obsessive about my home coffee making (fancy scales, hand grinder, gooseneck kettle, multiple filter methods, espresso machine…) and even have my own travelling coffee kit, that’s not for this post. Rather, I’m going back to my coffee-making roots with the method I used before I got swallowed by the speciality coffee rabbit hole. Hopefully this will help anyone not used to making coffee at home.

So, rather than write about my AeroPress, V60 or Clever Dripper, this post is all about the humble cafetiere (aka French Press) which I still use to make my morning coffee every day. I find it a simple, reliable and, above all, forgiving way of making coffee. It’s also very scalable: using the same basic recipe you can make coffee for one person just as easily as you can for three or four (as long as you have a big enough cafetiere, of course). All you really need is coffee, a cafetiere, mug, kettle and a timer, although the most important thing you can add is a grinder, which will improve things immensely!

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