French Press

Using a French Press



The History Of The French Press




Who Invented The French Press?

I was surprised to find there is a bit of mystery and controversy over the exact origin of the French Press. Its invention is claimed by both the French and the Italians.

The first devices using the principles of the French Press can be found in the mid 1800’s. French cafetieres used metal coffee pots that would force coffee grounds to the base of the pot using a screen attached to a rod.


The French Press Coffee Brewer

The French press coffee brewer is designed to make great tasting coffee quickly and easily. In relation to other coffee brewers, the  design is one of the most versatile. From elaborate models to simplistic portable mugs, the French press literally is the “every man’s” coffee pot.

Whether your French press is artistic or utilitarian, it will follow common design and brewing principles: boil water, pour over your beans, wait, press and enjoy!

The circular beaker, usually of glass or plastic, will have a lid and a tight fitting plunger. Under the plunger will be a screen, used in pushing the coffee grounds to the bottom of the press when brewing is completed.

If you’ve never tried using a French press, here are basic steps you can follow:

  1. Grind your coffee beans to a medium or coarse grind. Finer grounds tend to pass through the press filter and into your brew.

  2. Place the ground coffee into the empty press beaker. Usually 2 tbs per 8 oz. of water.

  3. Slowly add hot water (195-205° F) to your press, stirring the coffee grounds.

  4. Place the lid on the press, making sure the screen is pulled up against the bottom of the lid.

  5. After 3 – 5 minutes, carefully press the plunger down. The screen will push the coffee grinds to the base of your press.

  6. Your coffee is ready to pour and drink. What you do not use may continue to brew, so consider pouring the remaining unused coffee into another container.

The French press is a great way to brew coffee for lots of flavor.  The steeping process (water and coffee stay in contact during brewing), requires little monitoring. Since the oils from the coffee are not trapped in a paper filter, they form a tasty rich, thick brew that floats to the top of the press.