The New York Times‘ occasional Culinary Arts animated feature recently took on British coffee genius and YouTube star James Hoffmann. It was an interesting and visually arresting look into Hoffmann’s appeal and his path to coffee stardom.
One panel caught my eye, as it included Hoffmann’s French press recipe.
The idea of not pressing and its impact on extraction and, hence, bitterness makes sense to me. Unfortunately, I don’t make French press. But my wife does. She graciously agreed to give Hoffman’s technique a try. Her report: it tasted fine, the recipe may have reduced the bitterness a bit, but she wouldn’t be willing to devote this much time to making the first coffee when getting up in the morning.
I highly recommend giving Hoffmann’s YouTube channel a look, or even subscribing. If you have any interest at all in coffee (which I hope you do, given the fact you’re here), the reviews and tutorials are chockfull of interesting information. Some may not find his presentation to their taste, but I find him highly entertaining.
If your coffee passions run deep and topics like where it’s grown and how it’s processed are of great interest to you, I would also recommend Hoffmann’s book The World Atlas of Coffee – yes, I own it, it was a Christmas gift from my daughter a while back. The book is probably not worth it for those who can only take so much talk of the extent to which the water used to brew coffee impacts tasting notes, unless you want to leave it displayed on your bookshelf behind you during Zoom calls to validate your coffee nerdiness.