A French press maker is a machine used to brew coffee differently to achieve a better tasting cup of Joe. It’s actually a simple way to make coffee with incredible results in taste.
It extracts pure, robust coffee from coffee grounds, then filters the coffee with a mesh sieve and plunger.
A French press has a round carafe, which is made of glass, metal or clear plastic.
The carafe includes a lid and a plunger. The plunger has a perfect fit inside the carafe. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water inside the carafe,
leaving to brew for a few minutes, then applying downward force on the plunger. This forces the coffee grounds to the bottom of the carafe, and that’s it! But now you get to taste the great aroma from this brew. If you try it, you may be hooked because of its simplicity, and great aroma from a very inexpensive coffee maker.
A bit of history about this coffee maker, the French Press acquired various names around the world. In Europe the French Press is called cafetière à piston(a piston inside a coffee pot). In the UK the device is also called as a cafetière (coffee pot in French).
The French press process has the coffee grounds mixed directly with the brewing water, resulting in higher retention of the coffee’s flavor, aroma, and essential oils. The other coffee maker processes traps, and filters the powder, or grounds before the coffee is brewed in the cup. French pressed coffee is usually stronger and thicker than all the other processes. It also has more sediment in the cup, and some coffee lovers likes it that way because the grounds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee requires that its served quickly, otherwise the drink will develop a bitter taste. This is because the grounds in the water continues to release oils.
Coffee needs to be ground coarsely through the use of a burr mill grinder which gives a better grind than the whirling blade type. The coffee grind must be more coarse than that used for coffee filters methods. If the coffee grounds are not coarse, they will go through the press filter and into your cup of coffee.
The French press’s portability makes it easy to take it on trips, or vacation. Special versions for travelers also exist. They are made of Plexiglas instead of glass, and have a sealed lid with a drinking lip. Some controversial research have found that drinking large amounts of coffee made by the French press process, may increases LDL cholesterol levels, while drinking coffee through other methods may have lower LDL levels. The French press process allows certain Diterpenes, such as Cafestol and Kahweol, to remain in the coffee, while other brewing methods filters or limit these chemicals.
The operating Procedure For a French Press
A French Press brews coffee by mixing ground coffee in hot water and then extracting the grounds from the coffee by applying downward force on the plunger. Water should be below than 200ºF to optimize flavor extraction, but not cooler than 180ºF, or your coffee will be under-extracted, and it will lose flavor and taste watered-down. Any hotter (water boils at 212ºF), your coffee will taste burnt( you know how popcorn taste if burnt!).
Step by step to use a French press
After some in depth research we came up with some simple steps to use French Press.
Follow these steps for a great cup of Joe using the French pressed coffee maker:
First heat the water, remove the plunger/filter assembly from the French Press carafe. The
amount of water you use determines how many cups your French press will produce. Basically, six fluid ounces should equal one cup.
While waiting for the water to heat, start grinding your coffee beans to a coarse consistency with a burr grinder. Remember as previously mentioned, the grinds should be coarse for best results. A powder grind setting form does not work well for French press brewing, as the smaller grounds can pass through the mesh filter and into your cup of coffee
Next are the measurements. Measure the dry coffee grounds based on the instructions for your specific French Press(each device will varies) and pour them into the
bottom of the carafe. The proper ratio of grounds are approximate, but our suggestion based on reviews should be two tablespoons for every
six ounces of water which is one cup.
Benefits of French Press
The main benefit of a French Press is the very easy application of use by this device. There two steps each time which includes adding coarsely ground coffee
and hot water and then wait until it is ready. The equipment itself is
relatively cheap to buy, especially when compared to the cost of other coffee machines. It also allows you to consistently produce great tasting
coffee without a lot of instructions on how to use it.
Coarsely ground coffee provides you with a little longer time to brew, so there is less of a chance of error by over-extraction. If the coffee you made with the French Press is weaker than expected, you can simply lift the plunger and let it brew for longer to achieve the desired taste.
French presses are simple coffee maker devices usually made from glass, or metal are simple to clean, and store when not in use. They are economical to use and there are no parts that need replacing such as the filter. It’s also a safe device because it works without electricity
Pros & Cons
Inexpensive — a French press can have average cost of around $35
Easy to use — just add coffee grounds and hot water then apply pressure. Done
Quantity — You can make enough coffee to share if you have the larger French Press for multiple cups
Cleaning — Slightly more rinsing required than with pour over coffee makers
Possible coffee grounds in the coffee — If the coffee grinder grinds the particles into fine powder form, it may cause some coffee grinds to pass through the filter and into the cup of coffee.
Water temperature — Over Boiling-hot water may scorch the beans, and do it again; it’s best to bring water to a boil and then let it cool for 60 seconds before using ( 180F – 200F is the ideal temperature to French Press coffee).
Over extraction — After adding coffee and water, a timer should be for max 4 minutes, apply pressure to the plunger, and then immediately pour the coffee into cups. Allowing the coffee to stay in the press (even with the plunger pressed down) will result in bitterness.
Does French Press Coffee Taste Better?
Coffee lovers who use a French Press generally do so because they
believe the natural flavors achieved are far better than any other method. They believe that the brewing method isn’t forced or rushed, and the ground
bean has time to float in the water and release all the flavor, aroma, and oils that it
contains. Personally, I tasted my coffee when it has
been French Pressed, it’s just a matter of whether you have enough time
to make it, and if you like it a little stronger. One thing is for sure, all the ingredients are in the carafe, and are extracted in the press, not filtered through paper filter, so all the aroma and flavor is in your cup of Joe.
One thing is for sure, is that French Press is a low cost coffee brewing that produces incredible flavor results. This process allows coffee, additional time to brew in the water without trying to rush, and you can filter the beans out once the strength and flavor has been achieved. When looking at the Pros and Cons of French Press, it’s clear that it’s a method that is worth trying, and as long as you’re not in a rush, you will definitely taste an incredible cup of rich tasting nectar of the gods.
The French Press provides you the coffee lover, the advantage of allowing more control of extraction for your coffee. As you will find out, the longer you seep or press, the
greater your coffee extraction will be. As I mentioned before, a minor disadvantage is that depending on
your grind size, you may end up with more particulate matter in your coffee than a higher end filtration system will let through.
Each individual brew method provides each coffee lover to make their cup of Joe exactly how they like it. Coffee lovers take their coffee very serious, and there is no right or wrong, its very subjective, and its based on preference and choice. For me, I prefer no grounds in my coffee, so, a French Press is not involved in making my perfect cup of
coffee, even though its great tasting. I have many friends that will swear by the French Press method, and has all manner of methods for reducing the grind in their cup, and or dealing with them, and loving it. As I said before, its strictly preferential for each coffee lover…. Enjoy that delicious cup of Joe.