The French Press, also called a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger, or сafetière à piston, has been around since the late 19th century. It’s believed that a French gentleman came up with the concept.
At the time, the most common method of brewing coffee was to boil ground beans in water and allow the grounds to settle. According to legend, the gentleman forgot to add coffee when boiling the water. He then put the ground coffee in a jar and poured the boiling water over it. When the grounds floated to the top, he used a piece of screen to press them to the bottom of the jar. The resulting drink was more flavorful and less bitter than that produced by boiling coffee and water together. Thus, the French Press was born. It underwent several improvements until 1929, when an Italian designer named Calimani created the modern version using a glass jar with a pouring spout, a plunger with a filter on the end and a handle.
Once eclipsed by the technology of the percolator pot and, later, the drip coffee brewer, the French Press has made a comeback in recent years. You can buy French Presses made of glass, plastic, ceramic and steel in single-cup and multiple-cup sizes. This simple, convenient and portable coffee brewer produces rich-bodied, highly caffeinated Java. And, according to an article by Livestrong, the additional caffeine could help stave off Parkinson’s, Heart and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Here’s what you’ll need to brew an amazing cup of coffee using the French press:
- A French Press Coffee Brewer
- Fresh roasted coffee
- Burr Grinder. The French Press uses a coarse grind. The grind must be large enough so that the mesh filter works and does not get clogged.
- Filtered water that’s just under boiling
- A goose-neck hot water kettle with a thin spout
Follow these steps for an 8-ounce cup of coffee:
- Preheat the French Press for 15 seconds using really hot water (about 195 – 205 degrees)
- Dump the preheated water and set aside the plunger and lid.
- Add two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee per 8 ounces of water.
- Pour a small amount of water over the coffee and stir to completely saturate all the grounds
- Let sit for 30 seconds as the coffee “blooms” – swelling and releasing carbon dioxide.
- After the grounds finish blooming, fill the press with the desired amount of water.
- Place the lid on top without plunging and let it steep for 3 minutes.
- Plunge slowly.
- Serve immediately.
Because it brings out more of the coffee’s body, the French press offers one of the best ways to taste the subtle differences in roast profiles in coffees from around the world. Some of our favorites are dark roast Fair Trade Organic Jungle Love® and Dark Reign®, with a little bit of cream – perfect for wintertime enjoyment by the fire. Also, try medium roasted Armando’s Blend.