Perfecting My Bodum Chambord Brewing Technique
Coffee Geek: Bodum Chambord Reviews | How to Use a Press Pot
More than a month of testing has passed since I wrote my “Bodum Chambord – Not What I was Expecting” post. I have experimented with different grinds and techniques every day since that post.
The changes discussed below have resulted in much better coffee.I am now quite satisfied with the results I’m getting with the 16 oz (4 cup*) Bodum Chambord.
1. Slow Plunging:
When doing my original tests, I had meticulously followed Mark Prince’s “How to Use a Press Pot” instructions. His instructions emphasized plunging in an ‘even, controlled manner”. He didn’t mention anything about the plunging rate.
Having used the Aerobie Aeropress for years (which provides quite stiff resistance while plunging), during my initial Chambord tests I was applying considerable pressure resulting in fast plunges (5 seconds or less).
While searching the coffee geek forums for french press brewing tips, I came across several posts like this one emphasizing the need to plunge slowly to minimize coffee bean sediment leakage around the edges of the screen.
I use a significantly finer grind than most to bring out the boldness in my coffee. It made sense then that my finer grinds could be slipping around the edges of the screen by pushing too hard and too fast. It also made sense that Mark wouldn’t have emphasized this point given that he uses a substantially coarser grind than I.
By slowing my plunge (taking up to 30 seconds), I was able to brew noticeably smoother (less cloudy/grainy) cups of coffee with finer grinds – even without the fine sediment nylon filter discussed below. But the tinny taste was still there somewhat.
2. Using a Fine Sediment Nylon Filter
On the recommendation of my fellow coffee geek forum members (see for example here), I purchased the 3.5″ fine sediment nylon filterscreen** from sweet maria’s for use with the Bodum Chambord. I’ve been using it daily for two weeks.
The nylon filter does not come with assembly instructions. After trial and error I determined that the filter is best installed above the lower bracket and below the mesh screen, in the order depicted below (click image for larger view).
Given that the filter is designed to filter out fine sediment, I’ve upped my Kitchen Aid Proline grinder’s (KAP) (available at Amazon here – reviewed on coffee geek here) grind setting from the 1, 2 and 3 coarseness settings I used during my initial tests to as high as 6 and 7 – with good results.
It only took one test of the nylon filter with the finer grinds to taste a big difference. The resulting coffee is simultaneously bolder and smoother than was possible without the filter. Most of the finer sediment was clearly being filtered out and the tinny taste was reduced.
When combined Mark Prince’s “How to Use a Press Pot” instructions, slow plunging and using the fine sediment nylon filter have made a big difference in the resulting coffee.
I can brew with a much finer grind resulting in a much bolder cup of coffee – the way I like it. The tinny and acidic after-tastes I was experiencing during my initial tests have almost disappeared. There is much less sediment in the cup at any given grind level. The result is a terrific mug of coffee!
* Note 1: In the world of coffee merchandising a “cup” of coffee usually refers to 4 oz of coffee. Bodum follows that regrettable convention when describing their 16 oz Chambord as a 4 cup device.
** Note 2: The nylon filter designed to fit in a 3.5″ diameter Bodum Chambord is actually 3.25″ in diameter.