This post is about coffee. And my vaguely scientific search for something useful to do with my French press, since I usually make drip. We'll ignore that I've been on caffeine withdrawl since Thursday and am totally not writing this to compensate.
The normal thing to do with a French Press as I understand it is to brew coffee in it using barely-not-boiling water. So I started with that.
I started out with a coarser grind (suggested by The Internet), though not the coarsest possible. This first batch had the water left in for five minutes, which seems to have been too short. It had very weak taste, and the caffeine content seemed negligible. Half an hour after drinking the entire French Press worth, I moved on.
It seemed reasonable to up the time, so I did. I aimed for ten minutes, but messed up and we got fifteen instead. This was probably too long; it ended up being markedly acidic, and very caffeinated (probably more than my usual drip). However, the taste was still much weaker than expected.
For completeness, I did the ten minutes anyway. While the odor was closer to what I had expected, the taste didn't pan out as it was still extremely weak. The acidity was lower than the fifteen as expected, though.
At this point, I messed with another variable and set the grinder as high as it would go. The resulting powder was brewed for fifteen minutes during which point it produced the most quintessential coffee aroma. It was very dark and color, and appears to have been extremely caffeinated. I think this was the first one I was happy to drink, though it was still more acidic than the drip baseline.
Weirdly enough, I didn't see any changes in the amount of sediment that remained in poured cups of (what I'm going to call) Turbo Boost despite a much finer grind. I'm not sure what to make of this.
At this point, I gave up on that route and switched to brewing with cold (by which I mean, room temperature) water, producing a kind of cold brew.
All of these are using the coarsest grind because of filter constraints (metal, not paper, due to the volume being produced). I took pictures, but they're kind of useless and don't convey much of anything.
This resulted in slightly acidic brown water. The coffee taste was very weak. I took the bulk of it and left it another eight hours.
Here we have a pleasant mellow flavor. It's darker, and bordering on drinkable, though in the name of science I need to not drink it.
I couldn't discern any difference the 8 hours wrought, but my other taster complained of a "weird front taste" in this brew. My guess is that this is acidity given that it was also observed in the French Press experiments, which makes sense because I'm more tolerant than they are. Onward.
Weirdly enough, the flavor kicked it up a notch here. It's noticeably less acidic as well, and the "front taste" is gone as well. The experiments concluded here because my other taster stole the test materials. Regardless, I think it's safe to say that in the two-day range is where the optimal brew is produced for this setup.
This is what we will be producing for the house here on out, I think.