The French press coffee maker is one of the most popular coffee-making devices in the world. It’s been around since the 1800s and can be found in homes and restaurants all over the planet.
Pushing boiling water through finely-ground coffee beans creates a rich, full-bodied brew that more closely resembles espresso than drip or percolator coffee. In addition to brewing an excellent pot of java, there are many other reasons why this machine has held its place as one of the most popular brands throughout modern history.
What Is a French Press?
A French press, also known as a press pot, coffee press or coffee plunger, is a device used to brew coffee. It’s also known as a press because it uses pressure to extract the flavor from the ground coffee beans. The word ‘plunger’ refers to one part of the device that plunges downward to force the ground beans and water through a fine filter in the bottom of the brewing vessel.
The French press has two parts which include the beaker and the lid. Each piece is made of untreated beveled glass. The beaker has a lid held in place with a spring at the top of it which holds the plunger rod that you use to push down. The coffee and water are added to the bottom of the beaker and put on top of a coffee grinder before being placed onto heat.
The French press coffee maker forces hot water, semi-automatic pressure and grind pressure into the ground beans to extract flavor from them. It is a slow infusion method of brewing coffee. Unlike other coffee pots, they are not heated with hot water. French press coffee makers use double-walled vacuum glass or stainless steel to help create a strong layer of pressure that keeps the coffee fresh and hot for several hours.
The French press coffee maker is also called a cafe au lait (French for coffee with milk). The French press is a device used to brew coffee by using the principle of pressure. Pressure brewing is a phenomenon that uses the low pressure from the steam inside the vessel to force water through the grounds into the container.
The French press coffee maker is suitable for making single servings. It is a practical, efficient alternative to traditional coffee makers that require electricity. While some French press machines are electric, you can also get a manual one.
2. Easy To Use and Clean
Using the French press coffee maker is very simple. You need to add ground coffee and hot water, wait for a few minutes and push down the plunger. After using it, you can clean the device easily by hand or run it in a dishwasher.
The French press is the ideal choice for coffee users who travel often. It doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase or backpack. Plus, you can use it with coffee grounds and water right out of your hotel room’s small-sized refrigerator. They don’t take much counter space and save lots of money.
Steps to Use the French Press Coffee Dispenser
1. Two tablespoons of semi-automatic ground coffee beans are recommended (if you’re making a pour-over, you will need one tablespoon). Grind the beans in a grinder or with a mortar and pestle until they feel like sand.
2. Boil the water or you can use fresh or filtered water which is the most optimum.
3. Once the water is boiled and ready, pour it into your French press. Add ground coffee and stir it to ensure all grounds are mixed well with the coffee.
4. Place the lid on your coffee pot and press down firmly to create a vacuum seal around it. This will help prevent any remaining gas from escaping during the brewing process. Place your pot on a sturdy heatproof surface that will not get too hot or move during the brewing process.
5. Fill a kettle with 3 cups of water and bring it to a rolling boil. You can use cold tap water, but it will take longer to brew, and the coffee may not taste as good.
6. Push the plunger down and wait until you see the grounds at the bottom of your coffee pot being forced through the filter. You can hear when that happens. Continue to plunge until you see just a few drips coming out of the filter. This will ensure that you remove all traces of coffee from your French press, leaving you with a tasty cup of coffee.
7. You want to keep the liquid in the French press hot. Turn off the heat source and let your pot sit for another 5 minutes. Then pour your coffee from the French press into a mug and stir in sugar (if you like) before drinking it.
8- If a coffee maker is not made of glass, it is recommended to use a nylon mesh called a filter device or coffee filter, keeping all residue of the grinds and paper inside it. This will ensure all taste is concentrated and provides a strong cup of coffee.
Uses of French Press Coffee Machine
You can use a French press as a one-pot alternative to making espresso or tea. The slow infusion technique and double-walled construction allow the coffee grounds to stay fresh and caffeine-free for hours at a time.
How Does the French Press Work?
French presses are used to brew coffee using the vacuum principle. When you make your coffee in a French press, you are forcing hot water, semi-automatic pressure and grind pressure into the ground beans to extract flavor from them. It is a slow infusion method of brewing coffee unlike other coffee pots heated with hot water.
French press coffee makers use double-walled vacuum glass or stainless steel to help create a strong layer of pressure that keeps the coffee fresh and hot for several hours. When you use a French press, the press makes a seal over the grounds which helps infuse the beans’ flavor into the water.
When coffee brews in contact with air, it tends to lose its natural oils and flavors quickly. The purpose of this device is to eliminate or at least minimize exposure of grounds to air by using a sealed container to retain oil. This helps to maintain the natural flavor of coffee and oils for days to come.
Now, if you want your fresh coffee to stay hot, then put your French press in a refrigerator. The vacuum pressure will pull the heat out quickly. This brewing method is popular in Europe because of cold weather.
What Are the Benefits of the French Press?
The major benefits of this type of brewer include
Higher quality coffee.
A significant amount of flavor.
Cheaper than other methods.
Convenient to prepare
The coffee is full-bodied without bitterness or sediment.
A French press does not get damaged easily.
What Are the Cons of the French Press?
The only downside to this type of device is its uncleanliness that is displayed due to foam formation during the process. It can be minimized by practicing to ensure the right amount of water and coffee grounds are needed for your taste preferences.
Some of the cons include:
The temperature of the water and coffee will be affected. Some residue will be left in the carafe and this could affect the taste of your coffee.
Traditional French presses are made of glass, which means they can break. With that said, these could be replaced by manufacturers if they were smashed. However, some newer models are made of plastic.
French presses are not recommended for camping or hiking due to the fragile glass. They are relatively large, so they will not fit well in a backpack.
How to Clean the French Press?
You can start by first removing the plunger from your machine. Then wash the glass with warm water and a little dish soap. After that, rinse it off with cold water and dry it thoroughly before using it again. The French Press coffee maker is available in various sizes and both single and dual portion options.
Top Brands for French Press Coffee Makers
Jura Impressa Z9
This French press is a programmable, automatic machine that grinds your coffee beans to a different size, ensuring a perfect cup of coffee. It grinds beans and takes them to a brewing temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It uses a dual thermostat and automatic milk frother that automatically prepares a cup of coffee at the right temperature and texture. This model has a digital timer that allows you to set it for eight cups of coffee at a single time.
VonShef French Press Coffee Maker
It is an excellent option for those who want their coffee prepared in the traditional way. This machine keeps away unhygienic conditions and ensures there’s no mess after preparing multiple cups of coffee. A glass carafe accompanies this model for easy storage and clean-up. It uses cone filters and paper filters to give an optimum taste to your coffee beans.
Cuisinart DCC-3200 Grind & Brew Coffee Maker
This coffee dispenser is a good choice for those looking for the best coffee maker with automatic cleaning capabilities. This model features an integrated burr grinder that produces fine grounds after each scooping. This keeps the coffee pot tasting fresh and flavorful.
Moccamaster Coffee Brewer
This is the type of French press that comes with a glass carafe and a plastic filter holder. This model works like normal French presses and it is easier to use for those who have arthritis, carpal tunnel or those who drink coffee every morning. It comes with a removable carafe and includes a measuring spoon to make the process of preparing your coffee more manageable. This unit requires no electricity and features manual operation.
Chef’s Choice French Press
This is a good option to consider for those who want an affordable press. This model comes with a detachable glass carafe that makes it easier to clean. It has a stainless steel filter that allows you to choose whether you want the coffee to be black, filter or espresso cup. The stainless steel design also makes the device durable and heat resistant.
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
This unit is relatively cheaper than other units that are available in the market. It comes with a coffee scoop, measuring cup and a longer handle for practical use. The unit is designed to be bigger, so it can accommodate more coffee beans and produce more cups of coffee at a single time. This model comes with double-walled insulation that keeps your coffee hot for up to four hours without compromising the flavor or quality of your cup of coffee.
Mr. Coffee French Press
This stainless steel model also features a removable glass lid for ease of use when cleaning and filling water. It has an integrated stainless steel filter holder that allows you to choose the type of coffee you want to make. It also has a built-in burr grinder that produces grounds for your cup of coffee.
Cuisinart DCC-450BK Grind & Brew Coffee Brewer
This is a very reliable and durable model for those who are looking for a high-quality unit that can last long without breaking down at any given time. It uses cone filters and paper filters to provide you with the best flavor for your coffee beans. It also comes with a stainless steel carafe that keeps your coffee warm for up to four hours while maintaining the quality of your brew.
OXO Good Grips Wood/Plastic French Press
This is another popular option with a stainless steel carafe and a wooden handle, having non-slip rubber segments placed on it for added grip. It uses two cone filters and paper filters to give you the perfect coffee every time. It also comes with a wood-grained plunger for easy operation.
Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee Maker
This model features a coffee plunger that has been made of double-walled stainless steel. The unit is made of a durable, heat-resistant and borosilicate glass cup and a permanent mesh filter. It comes with a long handle for easy operation and a better grip when you press the plunger. There’s even a locking lid that keeps your coffee warm for up to four hours once it is brewed.
French presses are an ideal choice for those who want to make a big difference in the quality of their coffee. The French press is the cheapest and most common way of brewing coffee and has been around for centuries to brew a perfectly delicious cup of coffee every time. So if you want a great-tasting cup of coffee, it is recommended to try out a French press.
Q1: What is Specialty coffee?
A. Specialty Coffee refers to the highest grade of coffee. It is an expensive and rare product that has a unique flavor compared to standard coffees. It provides very low acidity and mild, fruity flavors. It is seen as the ultimate luxury coffee. It is prepared using different kinds of coffee beans and brewing methods like French press, Pour-over, Chemex, Wrecker, etc.
Q2: What are the latest coffees that are trending in the market today?
A. The trend of coffee brewing has changed based on the requirement of customers. There are mainly two types of trendsetters in the market at present: Proprietary coffees and Specialty Coffees. These both have many varieties and flavors to choose from, but the specialty ones have more flavors such as Almond, Cherry Berry, Mocha, Cacao etc.
Q3: What are the various types of French Presses?
A. The most common French press brewing device is made of glass and thick enough to prevent cracks. There are French press pots with stainless steel or copper. A special feature like a wooden handle or an attached lid can be used on some models. Silicone gaskets are also built between the glass carafe and stainless steel or copper base for better insulation without letting any heat enter from the device underneath your favorite cup.
Q4: Since it can hold heat for a long time, can I pour hot water into a French press?
A. French press is not heated like a regular coffee maker. It doesn’t have a heating element but will retain temperature for about 20 minutes after brewing. You can pour hot water into the carafe and the temperature will remain unchanged for more than 20 minutes.
Q5: Is it safe to put a hot liquid in a French press?
A. Not a good idea. This type of brewing device is not suitable for hot liquids. You should never brew coffee or tea with boiling water inside the French press because it will end up with burnt grounds in the cup. If you want to use the French press for other purposes such as teas, coffee, or soup, pour it into the spout at the bottom of the carafe.
Q6: What is the best size of French Press?
A. The size of the carafe matters because the bigger it is, the more coffee grounds you will be able to add and brew at once. The bigger models, in this case, are big enough to make up large servings for a crowd or even multiple people in one go!