how to use a french press

If you don’t know how to use a French press or have never even heard of one, you’re missing out on a great cup of coffee. It is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a great cup at home or at work.

Designed in Italy, the French press looks like a beaker with a plunger in it. It allows you to steep coffee grounds in water. Then it separates those grounds from the water for the perfect cup of coffee.

Are you ready to try it yourself? Here’s how to use a French press and make a rich cup of joe every time.

Step 1: Heat the Water

The temperature of the water is one of the most important steps in brewing with a French press. For the best flavor, only use filtered water that is low in minerals.

how to use a french press water boilHeat the water to between 195°F – 205°F. A kettle is the best way to do this, but a stainless steel pan will do in a pinch.

Don’t have a thermometer to heat the water to the right temperature? You can boil the water, remove it from the stove and let it sit until it reaches the right temperature.

As a guideline:

  • If you’re using 24 oz of water, wait 4 minutes before pouring.
  • If using 36 oz, wait eight minutes.

Depending on the type of kettle you have and your altitude, these times can vary.

You don’t have to stick to just coffee. A French press makes a great cup of tea too! Also keep in mind, by using the filter-less system, you allow the essential oils to diffuse throughout the drink as opposed to being filtered out. This makes the coffee more flavorful with more antioxidants and nutrients in your cup too.

Step 2: Measure and Grind Your Coffee

Unless you’re using pre-ground coffee, you’ll need to measure out your beans and then grind them.

It’s best to use a scale to measure out the coffee beans, but if you don’t have one, this guide can help you find the right water to coffee ratio.

Step 3: Preheat Your French Press

This step isn’t necessary.

ground coffee beans

However, if your French press is new or you haven’t used it for a while, it will eliminate any dust or debris that might find its way into your coffee.

It will also sterilize it (although if your French press is new, you need to clean it with warm soapy water before completing this step).

Pour in enough water to cover about one-quarter full of hot water and then push the plunger down into the water.

Swish the water around for a few seconds and then dump it out.

Step 4: Add the Coffee

Add your coffee grounds to the bottom of the French press and give it a little shake so that the grounds cover the bottom evenly.

Step 5: Pour the Water

Pour the water into the press and let the steeping begin. When the coffee is done (about four minutes) there will be a “crust” on the top of the water.

how to use a french press

You can either remove the crust for a more lightly flavored coffee or break it up and stir it around into the coffee for a stronger brew.

Push the plunger slowly all the way down to the bottom of the press to remove the grounds from the water.  Then pour the coffee into your cup and enjoy the delicious flavor of handmade coffee!

Then pour the coffee into your cup and enjoy the delicious flavor of handmade coffee!

Now that you know the brewing method and how to use a French press, you will be making the most flavourful, rich, and smooth cup of joe you’ve ever had.

how to tie a bow tie male

Need to learn how to tie a bow tie? There is nothing is more dapper than a man in a bowtie. These accessories are elegant, masculine, and they certainly stand out in a crowd. However, knowing how to tie a bow tie is an art that has fallen out of most men’s daily routine.

Luckily, it’s not difficult with a bit of practice. Here are the steps for tying a bow tie:

Did you know that bow ties originated among Croatian mercenaries during the Thirty Year war of the 17th century?

Step 1: Place the Tie in the Correct Position

how to tie a bow tie step 1Lift your collar and place the bow tie so that it sits around your neck. As with a regular tie, one side of the bow tie should fall down longer than the other.

You don’t have to measure exactly, but try to have a couple of inches difference between the sides.

Step 2: Cross and Loop

Take one end of the bow tie in each hand, and cross the longer side over the shorter side. This creates a loop between your neck and where the tie crosses.

Take the longer end of the bow tie and thread it through the loop. Pull both ends tight until the tie is comfortable around your neck. Then, drape the long end over your shoulder.

Step 3: Work with the Short Side

The next step in how to tie a bow tie is to focus on the short side. Find the widest part of the short side, and then fold it over onto itself.

untied-bow-tieThen, turn the short side a full 90-degrees, so that it’s now horizontal.

This should form a loop. It should point to the longer side.

Grasp the folded material at the thinnest part of the tie. It should be right in front of the Adam’s apple.

Step 4: Grab the Long End

Next, take the long end and drape it over the skinny part of the short side.

Pinch the short side, which should look like a bow, and make sure the top of the long side is pinched between the sides of the bow.

Step 5: Create the Bow

You still should have the long piece dangling between the bow. Take this piece and send it back through the small gap that you have created when you pinched the short side together.

Fold the long side onto itself like you did with the short side. Then, pull the loop through the hole.

If you did this correctly, it has formed the back of the bow.

Step 6: Finish the Bow Tie

Now, all you have to do is finish the bow tie. Begin to tighten and straighten the tie by pulling on and adjusting the loops.

how to tie a bow tie stripedDo not pull on the flat ends, only the loops. If you pull the flat pieces, it unties the tie.

Straighten the tie by twisting the knot, and then pull your collar back down, tucking it neatly behind the bow tie.

Take a final look in the mirror, and you are all set with a fresh bow tie.

And remember, even though you may not get it perfect the first time, keep trying. Very few things can improve your look more than a perfectly tied bow tie.

how to pick a lock

There are many reasons you should learn how to pick a lock. For one, it will help you better understand how locks work.  In fact, when you understand how locks are picked, you’ll be able to choose better locks for your home.

Additionally, people get locked in their cars or out of their homes all the time. Knowing how to pick a lock can be invaluable when the time comes. Fortunately, you don’t have to be special to pick a lock. Below we provide a step-by-step guide that can help you pick just about any lock.

When you know how to pick a lock, you will also be able to judge whether or not the locks you have on your doors are secure enough.

Step 1: Understand the three key tools

A professional lock picking kit contains a tension wrench, lock pick, and raking tools. You may also need lubricating graphite. All these can be purchased at your local hardware store.

A tension wrench is also known as a torque wrench. It is an L-shaped or Z-shaped piece of metal inserted into the lock. to apply tension to the plug (the turning part of the lock).

lockpickOnce inserted, this little device is used to apply tension to the plug (the turning part of the lock).

A lockpick is another piece of metal with a handle that narrows to a thin, pointed tip, curving slightly at its end. It is used to manipulate the inner pins of the lock mechanism.

Finally, a rake is a pick with multiple bridges that is scraped across the inside of the lock mechanism to disengage it.

Step 2: Understand how a lock actually works

Most cylinder locks, like the one on your front door, use the same locking technique that has been around since 1861.

lock pick tools how to pick a lock

Basically, when you insert the right key into the keyway of the plug, the teeth of the key push-up spring loaded pins.

Each of the pins contains two pins; a key pin and a driver pin.

In order for the plug to rotate, you need to lift each of the key pins and driver pins to the correct height. When you get it just right, all the pins align with the lock turning mechanism.

When you get it just right, all the pins align with the lock turning mechanism.

Step 3: Get to the job

Insert the wrench into the bottom of the keyhole and apply slight pressure. This will push driver pins up one-by-one, with the slight tension keeping the pins from falling.

how to pick a lock manInsert a pick at the top of the lock and slide it all the way

Applying slight pressure to the wrench, scrub the pick back and forth in the keyhole. This helps to set the pins.

Repeat this back and forth motion until all the pins are set, at which point the lock will open.

If need be, consider picking the pins one at a time – a process known as single pin picking. It’s actually the easiest way to learn how to pick a lock.

Most importantly, keep in mind that practice makes perfect.