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A French Press is a device used to brew coffee. It’s typically a glass beaker with a plunger attached to a metal screen inside. The ground coffee beans are soaked in hot water for a few minutes and then separated from the water with the screen. People who use the French Press, typically love it for better tasting, easier to brew coffee. Check out one from Bodum on Amazon.
A French press is sometimes called a press pot. A coffee plunger if you’re in Australia. It’s French name is cafetière à piston, sometimes referred to as just cafetière. It is a widely used tool for drinking delicious coffee all over the world.
How Do You Make French Press Coffee?
French Press Coffee is really easy to make. The only thing you need is a pot or kettle to heat your water, some coffee, and a french press. Check it out:
- Add a heaping tablespoon of medium grind coffee per 6 oz of water
- Add near-boiling water
- Stir gently
- Let stand for 3-4 minutes. Now’s the time to take that picture for Instagram. Go ahead, you know you want to.
- Apply firm even pressure to the plunger, pressing the grounds to the bottom
- Serve and enjoy!
It’s recommended to serve pressed coffee soon after brewing it. If the grounds are allowed to soak for too long it can make the coffee pretty bitter. Obviously, this is a desired taste for some, but for most people it’s better to move the coffee to a different vessel if it’s going to be a while before drinking. (Cold Brew coffee is a totally different beast and is usually made over a longer period of time.)
Cleanup is simple. Dump the leftover grounds in your compost pile. Wash the pot with warm water and soap and let dry.
Remember, a clean pot makes better coffee.
It’s All In The Grind.
If you’re grinding your own coffee (and you should be) you want a nice medium to medium-coarse grind. Too coarse and you’ll clog the screen. Too fine and it will pass right through and nobody wants chunks in their coffee. If you’re using a cheap grinder, it’s best to pulse it for a few seconds, and then stir up the coffee grounds and then hit it again till you get a nice even grind.
Why Use A French Press?
A french press has several advantages over standard drip coffee.
- Letting the grounds soak in the hot water allows more time for the flavor and essential oils to be extracted out of the grounds, leading to more flavorful coffee.
- A french press doesn’t use any paper filters and just needs a little warm water to clean.
- Presses are much less complex devices than any drip coffee maker or espresso machine so they are cheaper to repair and cheaper in general. (Although, there are some not so cheap options)
French Press History
The french press is a (surprisingly) French invention from the early 20th century. Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta originally patented the press in 1929, although earlier versions were probably used in France. The first French Presses used a similar idea where a cheesecloth screen would just be pressed into a pot of boiling water and coffee grounds to separate.
Modern presses are very similar to the original designs from the 1900s. Most now are made with a glass or strong plastic beaker with a secure metal or plastic lid and metal strainer.