As the name implies, the French Press originated in France and was ultimately patented by a Milanese designer named Attilio Calimani in 1929. While many design iterations occurred over the years the functionality remained more or less the same - to press or plunge coffee grounds with a fine metal sieve through hot water to create coffee. It's arguably one of the most convenient methods available to produce a great cup of coffee, and... our first reason why every household needs a french press.
While we don't advocate coffee consumption among children, the French Press is so easy a child could use it. The French Press comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but most commonly hold 34 ounces of liquid. The coffee itself does need to be ground to a slightly larger texture than say your classic Mr. Coffee maker. The larger texture helps minimize goffee particles escaping through the mesh.
Simply figure out how many cups of coffee you wish to make and add the corresponding number of scoops. As a general rule you want to add about 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water. If you're making 4 cups of coffee, you want 12 tablespoons of ground coffee.
Once you have the coffee in the bottom of the press you slowly add boiled water. For the sake of simplicity we won't cover proper temperatures for making coffee. We'll update you on that some other time.
After you add the water, stir gently with a wooden utensil or chop stick (our favorite). Let it sit for about 4 minutes and plunge the press handle slowly to the bottom of the press.
You're done. It's a good idea to consume your freshly made batch of coffee within the hour. Don't forget you coffee grounds are sitting at the bottom of the press and could start to taste bitter after a while.
A French Press is not just for coffee. The fine metal mesh at the bottom of the plunger is great for brewing loose leaf tea. Follow the exact same method outlined above only substitute coffee with your favorite loose leaf tea.
In fact we have a great recipe that uses Sage, Thyme and Yerba Mate create a wonderful, energizing tea.
Be sure to clean your French Press thoroughly before switching to tea or back to coffee for that matter. You don't want to contaminate the taste of your next brew.
The one thing we love about the French Press is that it's not automatic. Like you, most of us rush through the morning routine guzzling down coffee along the way. When you slow down and take the time to consciously brew a fresh cup of coffee, your world slows down. You begin to appreciate the aroma and texture of coffee. You hear the birds sing, feel the sun on your skin and begin to dance... ok, we're getting a little carried away now.
Morning's are hectic especially if you have kids or only one bathroom, which is even more reason to slow down the pace when you can. Take the time to grind a fresh batch of beans, measure carefully, boil water, stir gently and press slowly. You'll soon grow accustomed to the new routine and high five us for it.
Our favorite French Press is the glass JavaPresse French Press for coffee and tea. There are some fancier models with bamboo, stainless and copper accents. The wonderful thing about a French Press is it's probably the most affordable coffee maker on the market. It's also one of the best methods to make a fresh cup of coffee.
After one use you may just ditch that automatic drip machine for good. No, you can't set it to go off in the morning before your feet hit the floor, but you might just get some enjoyment out of the quiet and comforting French Press routine. Give it a try and let us know what you think. As always, thanks for reading!
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