The French Press is a good entry point into the world of gourmet coffee. It costs only around $20, it is very simple to use, it gives consistently good results, and it doubles up as a milk frother as well. Can it get any better??
The French Press can also give better results than most cheap drip coffee (a.k.a. filter coffee) makers since the coffee is brewed for a longer period of time and its oils are not absorbed in the filter paper.
The first French Press, which is also known as a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger or cafetièreas, was patented in 1929 by the Milanese Attilio Calimani. In the 1930s the French Melior and Chambord introduced the first models with stainless steel filters and metal bodies. These brands where later bought by Bodum that still produces them today with the same brilliant original designs.
The most important step in achieving a good French Press gourmet coffee is to have uniform coarse ground coffee that is fresh – meaning it was roasted up to two weeks ago, and it was ground less than an hour ago. If you have a good conical burr grinder then you are all set. But chances are you don’t, so just make sure you buy your coffee as fresh as possible.
1. Boil water to fit your cap(s).
2. Grind your coffee (unless you bought it pre-ground).
3. Pour the water into the French Press carafe.
4. Add 1 rounded tablespoon per “cup” (about 4oz).
5. Stir lightly, cover, without pressing, and rest for 2-4 minutes (the more cups you make, the longer the wait).
6. After the steep time is over, slowly plunge down the filter.
7. Pour your gourmet coffee into the cup(s).
• Let the boiling water rest for 30 seconds before adding the ground coffee, so they are a bit below boiling temperature.
• Optionally, after you brew your coffee, you can use the French Press for milk frothing too.