Easy French Press Coffee

Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by

Here at the CBD office French press coffee is affectionately called “luxury coffee.” It’s always a treat when we brew a pot.  With French press brewing, the coffee grounds are in direct contact with the water for several minutes and filtered with a mesh strainer. Oils filtered by paper in other brewers remain in the liquid, resulting in a very rich, and flavorful cup.

While it does take a little more input than pushing a button, it doesn’t require a lot of fussiness and it’s so worth the extra effort you won’t mind. To get you started, here are our steps to a great pot of French press.

  1. Make sure your coffee is freshly roasted and ground on a coarse setting.
  2. Use very hot, but not boiling water (let the water sit a minute or two after boiling).
  3. We recommend a ratio of 2 heaping tablespoons per 8 ounces of water. If your coffee isn’t the freshest or you like a stronger flavor, try 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces.
  4. Add the coffee to your pot first, then fill to about halfway with water, saturating all the grounds.
  5. Allow the coffee to stand for one minute, then stir.
  6. Add the rest of your water, leaving just enough room for the French press lid.
  7. Place the lid on the top of your press, without depressing the plunger.
  8. Wait three more minutes, then plunge, pour, and enjoy! If you’re not serving the coffee right away, transferring it to a thermal carafe will keep it from over steeping, and keep it hot.

When it’s time to clean your press, an easy way to get rid of the grounds at the bottom is to swirl some hot water around in there, pouring it out through a mesh sieve. For stubborn stains, try filling the carafe with soapy water and plunging it a few times, or let soak in a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and boiling water.

Vietnamese Coffee Pops Recipe

Friday, June 19th, 2015 by


Coffee Pops


Combining rich coffee with sweetened condensed milk, Vietnamese iced coffee can quickly become a habit in the summer.  The traditional recipe uses a Vietnamese press, which brews a single serving of strong coffee into a glass containing sweetened condensed milk. Pour the mixture over ice and you’ve got something magical.

I’ve always thought this would be a fantastic ice cream flavor, but heat makes me lazy, and all that stirring sounds like hard labor. Popsicles to the rescue. Sweetened condensed milk is blended throughout the top and bottom layers of this recipe, so you get a nice mix of the coffee and sweet cream flavor at the top, finishing off with a little vanilla at the bottom.

What you’ll need

Popsicle molds for 12 pops

2 cups of cold dark coffee (we used our French Roast coffee, brewed in a French press and cooled)

1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

Non-stick cooking spray (optional)


  • Whisk the cold coffee and 2/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl and pour the mixture into your molds until each is about 3/4 full.*
  • Freeze for 2 hours or until the mixture is slushy, but frozen enough to hold a popsicle stick. The harder first layer is, the better the separation will be. A slightly softer layer will create a swirl effect, which is just as delicious.
  • In the meantime, mix together 6 tablespoons of the sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1-1/2 cups of the heavy cream.
  • Fill the remaining space in the molds with the cream mixture (you may have a little left over, depending on the size of the mold).
  • Freeze until very solid. Sweetened condensed milk takes a while to harden. Let it sit overnight or longer.

* A word about popsicle molds: 

Having a stick come out in your hand while the rest of your frozen treat remains stuck in the mold is a frustration no one should have to suffer ever. I recommend silicone molds, but managed to have success with the  old-fashioned plastic kind by spraying a little non-stick cooking spray inside before adding the coffee/milk mixture.

If that idea grosses you out, you can also dip the frozen pops in a bowl of warm water for 30 seconds or longer before pulling the sticks gently. I recommend doing that anyway, spray or no spray. While they are an awkward shape to eat, Dixie cup pops might be the simplest method of all. Simply peel the paper off, no tugging (or heartbreak) required.



How to Brew Coffee

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 by

Who doesn’t know how to make coffee? Whether you’re interested in brewing the best tasting cup or you just need a stimulant in your system as soon as possible in the morning, most of us figure out how to make drinkable coffee at home. Most of us have also wondered at some point why the same coffee we make at home tastes better when we eat out or at a friend’s house. Or we wonder why whatever we’ve been doing for the last few years suddenly doesn’t do it for us anymore.

When I first started working here, keeping the coffee brewing in our office was a task that gave me secret anxiety. Making coffee is easy, right? I’ve been doing it every morning since I was a child, but maybe I’d been doing it wrong all along. Our office coffee makers are nothing fancy, but I noticed that this coffee was different, not like the sawdust I was used to using heaps of. My first few attempts were definitely off. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.

Since then, countless customer emails and phone calls have taught me that many life-long coffee lovers are struggling with disappointment at home. Often, one variable changes and the magic ratio of coffee to water that has always worked suddenly doesn’t. Sometimes the explanation is obvious — your coffee is stale. Sometimes the source of the problem is harder to pinpoint. Maybe your grinder blade is getting dull, or your water is the wrong temperature. It’s not exactly complicated, but small changes make a big difference.

There are many ways to brew a pot of coffee, each with its virtues and devotees. Most have been around forever because they can deliver a great-tasting cup if you do it right. That means using fresh coffee (fresh-roasted and freshly brewed), the right grind and amount, good-tasting water, and a clean machine. Whether you’re trying something new or you want to get more out of your old brewer, this infographic from our graphic designer Jenn makes it easy.

How to brew coffee infographic