Breakfasts, Drinks


French Press Café au Lait

In honor of my 50th post (cue the confetti!!) I thought I’d share with you my way to make the greatest substance on earth: Coffee. I wasn’t always a caffeine addict, a caffiend if you will, but I can assure you I am now. Coffee doesn’t wake me up, it makes me..alive. And if you’re interested in a less intense sounding sentence, I am absolutely a full-blown coffee lover. It’s bad, guys. BUT, before you freak out, I gotta say, did anyone read this article? I’m serious, read it! It’ll take five minutes. YEAH. I bet you feel a little silly now. I bet you went back to the kitchen and had a cup.

So as a college student, the greater portion of my coffee drinking days are spent choking down watery bitter excuses for the free dining hall coffee OR spending precious “dining dollars” on shall we say, mediocre coffee in the campus cafe OR spending equally precious and significantly more real dollars on the good coffee living in the Northampton cafes. That’s a pretty sad sentence isn’t it? I know. So a solution to this problem presented itself: French Press. It’s quick, relatively simple, and doesn’t require a coffeemaker the size of a dorm closet! You have to practice a bit to figure out your preferred ratio of water to coffee, but I assure you, it’s worth it.  And just in case anyone’s still wondering, “café au lait” is the correct way to spell coffee with milk in French. As much as I wish it is, it’s not café olé, like “coffee! hooray!”

Also if you’ve ever been confused about what the difference between a latte and a cappuccino is, check this out:

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 8.41.49 AM

French Press au Lait

– Coffee, ground for a french press

– Boiling water

– about 4 oz. Milk

The first step here is to get a french press. I use this and it works great, but someday I hope to own this, because I firmly believe looks are everything.vsco_0-4

French press ground coffee needs to be thicker than normal coffee pot coffee, it should look something like this. The finer the grind, the harder it will be to press. You’ll also have many floating bits of grinds in your cup. Ew. Thick is the way to go.


Boil water in a kettle, not the microwave. Measure 1 rounded tbsp. of coffee grinds per “cup”  (4 oz. in the coffee world) of water. Unless you’re me. Then you should do like a tablespoon and a half.


Pour your preboiled water into the pot (you’re looking for 200 degrees F here, but I still don’t have a thermometer so I wing it and the sky hasn’t yet fallen), being sure to cover all the grounds.vsco_0-5

Since I was just making a small pot, you can’t see it that well, but the grinds will begin to puff up and “bloom”, that foamy looking substance in the picture.


Next, using a chopstick, stir the slurry (grinds at the bottom) around to ensure more flavor and really release the bloom (shhh, I know I sound insane. Bear with me). But see how foamy it gets??!vsco_2-3

Let the coffee steep for 2-3 minutes. Evenly and gently press down the filter to the bottom of the cup. Now heat your milk on the stove in a small saucepan. When it’s hot, simultaneously pour it and the coffee into your mug, you’re going for as close to a half and half ratio between the two liquids as you can. You’ll end up with a beautiful caramel colored coffee. vsco_0-6vsco_0-7



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s