I am sure that you must have tried French Press coffee once in your life and if not, then you definitely must have heard about it at least. French Press is one of the most popular ways to brew coffee for both beginners and coffee experts since it offers the users with a clean and delicious cup of coffee and is extremely easy to use.
Yes, a French Press removes the need for a user manual or a video tutorial since it has a simple working mechanism which is both convenient to use and simple to clean.
However, a lot of people often wonder how one can make a good cup of french press coffee and why is it a favorite among beginners and coffee snobs alike. If you are a coffee addict then you understand how a great cup of coffee every day can either make or break your day.
So, in this article, we will discuss in detail about French Press, its history, the right technique to prepare and a few of the common mistakes to avoid to get the best out of your French Press machine.
Trust me, by the end of this article, you will become a pro at using French Press and will find it extremely easy to use.
Is French Press Coffee Actually Good?
French Press coffees tend to be smooth, rich, and delicious and definitely taste and feel better than any standard drip coffee brewer’s coffee. However, what makes it better than other coffee brewers? It is simple, French Press offers you more control and flavor which makes French Press coffee one of the best and most flavorsome ones.
The French Press maker allows the coffee to penetrate the hot water properly for an adequate amount of time, unlike drip coffee makers. A drip coffee maker simply passes the water through the coffee beans not allowing them to take the flavor and aroma sufficiently from the coffee beans.
A French Press coffee brewer offers coffee to users which absorb more natural oils from the coffee beans so offer a finer and more delicious tasting coffee than other coffee makers. Although the French press coffee can be slightly bitter and strong, it certainly more flavorful than other standard cups of coffee.
With French Press, you also have the ability to control the saturation level of the coffee grounds and the water temperature so you can experiment with your coffee. This allows you to try different coffee water ratios and methods for brewing coffee in order to find the best method and flavor that suits your needs.
However, keep in mind that the key to a perfect cup of French Press coffee is to use freshly ground coffee which is ground at a coarse grind setting.
History of French Press
Although there is an ongoing argument going about the origin of French Press, the first patent for a French Press coffee brewer was obtained by Attilio Calimani in 1929. He was an Italian who invented the French Press to brew coffee in a convenient and flexible manner.
The first French Press design was simplistic and only consisted of a metal or a cheesecloth screen which was attached to a rod which was then pushed into the pot of hot water.
Although since the first French Press model, there have been a lot of changes made to the design and had been now spread all over Europe, and other parts of the world like the United States as well. It has now become one of the most popular methods to brew coffee for coffee lovers and is often termed as the best coffee brewer in the market.
So How Does a French Press Work?
Although in layman terms, a French Press produces coffee when you press the water and pass it through the coffee beans but the actual mechanism includes a few more components which are responsible for producing delicious coffee. So, it is important that you understand the components of a French Press before you start looking one for yourself.
A French Press consists of three main components: a carafe, plunger, and the lid. The carafe in a French Press is responsible for holding your coffee and water and consists of a small spout which is used to dispense out the coffee. You will find different materials used in the construction of these carafes which plays a major role in its stability and durability.
The next important component is the plunger which is made up of a plunger, handle, and a filter. The user pushes down the handle to move the filter down and pushes the coffee ground to the bottom of the unit’s carafe.
So, when you pour water and coffee grounds inside your carafe and then push the handle of the plunger, the water is passed through the coffee grounds to get the desired flavor and strength and slowly the plunger gets pulled upwards to dispense coffee to the user. A French Press offers you with a delicious coffee as the water absorbs the coffee grounds for a longer period of time.
See the french press in action below
Tempted to buy a french press for yourself? Don’t worry, the next section of this article will help you in choosing the best French Press unit for yourself.
How Do I Buy the Right French Press
Now, if you are thinking to purchase a french press for yourself then you need to be really careful about it and pay attention to a few tips to get the best french press model for yourself. We understand that buying a good French Press is difficult which is why we have mentioned a few important points to consider when making the purchase.
Consider the Buying Price
There are a lot of different French Press models available in the market, both in small and large sizes. So, you can easily find a desirable French Press in your budget range which will provide you with most of the coffee brewing features that you are looking for.
However, make sure that you don’t choose a cheap unit as they can break easily and won’t work for a long time and can end up getting damaged quite quickly.
This doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive French Press in the market, instead, try opting for a middle range French Press as they offer you an amazing coffee without creating a huge hole in your pocket.
Remember that a small sized French Press will cost you less than a large-sized French Press and a stainless steel French Press will easily cost you around $100. However, they will work for a long time too so it is a good investment. There are many factors which affect the price of your French Press so consider these all before selecting the perfect French Press for yourself.
Choose the Right Body Material
One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a French Press is the material which is used for the construction of the French Press body. You will find different French Press units made out of stainless steel, glass, polycarbonate plastic, etc. so you will need to consider both the aesthetics and usability to make the right choice.
Although a glass French Press is much easier and simpler to clean than a stainless steel French Press, there is actually no noticeable difference in the coffee flavor produced by the two French Presses. However, if you are worried about the flavor then there is a simple way to determine this.
Just borrow a glass French Press and a stainless steel French Press to make two cups of coffee and drink both of those while blindfolding yourself. This will help you in determining whether you can differentiate between the taste or not. If not, then you can choose either material.
However, if you aren’t satisfied with both the materials, then you can check out polycarbonate plastic. Thermoplastic carafes are almost unbreakable and extremely lightweight and are the perfect choice for camping and hiking.
Check the Insulation Properties
Once you have decided on the material, you need to determine the thermal properties of your carafe before you purchase the French Press. The thermal properties of a French press depend on not only the material used for construction but also depends on the thickness and the construction of the coffee brewer. If a French Press has been specially designed to keep the coffee warm, then you will find this information listed on the product.
Make sure that you choose a thickly walled carafe as it will keep your coffee warm for a longer period of time but make sure you don’t keep your coffee in the carafe for too long, or it might turn bitter.
Another important thing to consider is the quantity of coffee that can be prepared in the carafe every time. A lot of manufacturers measure the coffee quantity in terms of cups which can help you in determining your desired cup size and carafe capacity.
An average coffee capacity would be eight-cup French Press but a lot of people purchase three-cup, four-cup, etc. French Presses too.
The cup size represents the coffee amount that a user drinks in a single setting so if you are purchasing a French Press for your entire family then it might be wise to purchase a model which offers you different cup sizes.
Easy to Clean
Another important thing to consider is the cleanliness of the French Press. Glass French Presses are easier to clean as you can see the dirt and the coffee residue inside the carafe but the same cannot be said for stainless steel French Press.
If your French Press features a removable carafe then it will be easier to clean your French Press but in the case of glass carafes, you need to be careful as it can break quite easily. Another thing you can check is if the French Press can be washed in a dishwasher or not. If yes, then washing your coffee brewer will become infinitely easier and simpler for you which would make the unit even more appealing to you.
How to clean your french press the right way
Consider the Design
You will find numerous designs in French Press so it is important that you choose the right design for yourself. If you will be using your French Press to serve our guests frequently then you might want to look at a pleasant and sophisticated design. However, if you are looking a French Press for personal use then you can select any design, it doesn’t really matter.
Also, make sure that the lid of your carafe fits tightly on the carafe top and won’t cause any leakages. This is important because if the coffee ends up leaking from the carafe, then you might have a lot of mess around you to clean up.
Check for Durability
This is yet another important factor to consider when looking out for the perfect French Press for yourself. As we mentioned earlier, the material of your French Press body plays a huge rule in its thermal properties and is also responsible for the durability of the unit.
Most glass French Presses are easy to break and are not highly durable, it doesn’t matter if they have thick-walled glass construction or thin-walled glass construction. In terms of durability, stainless steel fares very well and is the perfect choice for people who tend to be a little clumsy.