How to use a French Press?

Guide to: French Coffee Maker


Modified: 2020-04-26

Lifestyle & Recipes

Walking up to the coffee shop bar and seeing all the impressive gadgets, you would get the impression that brewing coffee is complicated. And probably it is when you’re using a manual coffeemaker. However, single pod and automatic drip coffeemakers have taken the guesswork out of the coffee brewing process making things a tad easier for you. But, if you’re like most coffee enthusiasts who like to go for a more primal brewing method, then you’ll love the French press coffee maker. And the best part? You can buy one for just about any budget.

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HOW TO USE A FRENCH PRESS

What is a French press? What is a coffee press? It’s the plunger style coffee maker you see all over the place these days. You know what it is! But how to use one is more of a mystery – there are many brewing methods. You’ll probably hear a lot of philosophies about how to brew French press coffee. Some which could obviously use some improvements. Here we are going to discuss a few instructions you should follow to come up with a great cup of coffee.

Step 1: Boil enough water in a kettle for the carafe.

Step 2: As the water heats up, grind your freshly roasted coffee beans to a medium consistency.

Step 3: Measure the amount of dry coffee grounds you need and pour them into the carafe.

Tip:

Be mindful of the coffee to water ratio. If you are not sure about the measurements you can put two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water.

Step 4: Add water to your coffee grounds and stir the mixture vigorously and then once fully saturated allow the grounds to bloom for about 30 seconds.

Step 5: Once the coffee beans have bloomed, add the remaining hot water to the carafe and steep the coffee for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 6: Attach the filter assembly to the top of the carafe and then plunge the filter slowly to the bottom of the carafe using steady pressure to separate the grounds from the coffee.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy your great coffee while hot.

Tip

If you are not going to drink the coffee right away, do not leave it in the French press as it will continue to sit on the grounds and become bitter. There’s a secret to the cold brew method, but that’s a story for another time.

WHY BUY A PRESS?

Still skeptical about making a purchase? Here are a few reasons why it is a worthwhile investment.

  • French press coffee is the best coffee because it retains most of its natural oils and flavors
  • These coffeemakers have paperless filtering to help lock in the subtle flavors that give coffee its unique taste and aroma
  • The press method requires you to steep coffee grinds in hot water to allow for maximum extraction
  • The coffee grounds get totally immersed in water so nothing goes to waste

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A PRESS STYLE COFFEEMAKER

Finding the perfect press to quench your coffee needs is easier said than done. Sure these coffeemakers have just one job- to brew the perfect coffee. However, despite how simple it sounds on paper, French presses come in all sorts of variations and separating the functional from the knockoffs can be a bit difficult. To help you steer clear of the knockoffs, here’s a list of what you should consider before making a purchase.

CAPACITY

Think about how many cups you need to produce in one round. If you’re only going to make coffee for yourself, then a single cup of coffee French press or a larger press that produces just a few cups of coffee will be ideal. However, if you have a large family of coffee drinkers, look for a model that can produce more cups of coffee at a go.

MATERIAL

French presses come in a range of materials. Let’s take a look at some of the most common construction materials.

STAINLESS STEEL

Experts say that stainless steel French press coffee makers are some of the best on the market (and we have to agree). Stainless steel, though notoriously expensive, has a number of perks that make it the perfect candidate when you’re looking for a press construction material. It is non-reactive. Which means it won’t leach metals into your coffee and it also retains heat quite well which is a fairly important feature especially if you intend to have your coffee while it’s still hot. However, on the flip side, unlike with glass, stainless steel is opaque and so you can’t monitor your coffee as it brews.

GLASS

Glass is excellent at retaining heat and is transparent enough to allow you the freedom to monitor your coffee as it brews. Not to mention it is one of the most common materials used in the construction of French coffeemakers. On the downside, however, glass in its very nature is highly susceptible to shattering from time to time so you’re not off the hook in as far as an accident-free experience is concerned.

POLYCARBONATE

Polycarbonate might not be the fanciest material out there but it offers plenty of good qualities that make it the perfect candidate for press construction. Plus polycarbonate doesn’t shatter easily which makes it a more durable option than glass. In addition, it allows you to monitor the coffee brewing process from start to finish. However, polycarbonate scratches quite easily and contains a chemical called BPA which could leach into your coffee. If you have to go for a polycarbonate press, then look for a BPA free polycarbonate model.

STONEWARE

Stoneware might not be as common as glass and stainless steel, but it is just as functional as the other materials. However, it has an opaque nature that makes it hard to monitor the brewing process and like glass, it can shatter quite easily.

HYBRID

A hybrid model is a coffeemaker made of stainless steel, glass, and plastic.

PRICE

After the capacity and material used in the construction of the French press, the next most important consideration to make is the price of the model in question. Luckily, you can find a press to suit just about any budget.

Basic French presses range from $30 whereas higher priced French presses cost up to $500. However, unless you’re looking for a luxury model, a mid-range price of $50 to $100 works just as fine.

DURABILITY

A good press-style coffeemaker should be durable enough to last you years. It should have a solid construction that isn’t prone to shattering and be strong enough so as not to succumb to wear and tear.

PORTABILITY

Fortunately, French presses are generally small in size which makes them particularly easy to take with you when you are going for an adventure. However, some are no doubt better than others and so you have to pay attention to the weight and overall durability to avoid a disaster.

TIMER

If you like walking up to a freshly brewed coffee pot that is ready to drink, a press with a timer is perfect for you.

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