The best coffee—is it French press? 

Americans enjoy their coffee. In fact, according to the National Coffee Association’s 2020 study, 62 percent of Americans drink coffee every day and seven out of ten Americans drink coffee once a week. That is an increase of 5% since 2015. 

The fact that there are so many diverse tools for brewing and preparing the substance could be a contributing factor. According to a Statista 2018 survey, the top two ways are still drip coffee makers like the traditional Mr. Coffee and single-cup brewers like the Keurig.

However, there are also other time-tested brewing techniques, including as the French press, that are still in use today. In order to use this technique, you soak hot water and coarse coffee grounds in a sizable glass carafe. After the coffee has steeped for a few minutes, you use a mesh plunger to push the coffee grounds to the bottom of the carafe and separate them from the liquid. 

Frenchmen Mayer and Delforge obtained a patent for the original French press design in 1852. But because theirs failed to create a seal within the carafe, it differs from the one we know today. The French press that was patented in 1929 by Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta is comparable to the one we use today.

How come a French Press? 

Grady Laird, president and co-founder of Grady’s Cold Brew, a New Orleans-style cold brew coffee company in New York City, declares that the French press is unquestionably his preferred method of producing both hot and cold coffee. “I love my huge Bodum with all of my heart. It was the first maker I used to create Grady’s Cold Brew, and it’s the only piece of coffee equipment I own at home. My life was literally impacted by it.” 

What, therefore, distinguishes drip-brewed coffee from coffee produced with a French press? Immersion brewing, or steeping the grinds in water for a long time, is the main factor. Instead of the water “dripping through,” the grinds are “immersed” in it.

This immersion technique evenly distributes the water and coffee. The metal mesh filters out the grinds but retains the oils and smaller particles when the plunger is pushed to separate the two, giving the coffee a fuller body and deeper aroma. 

However, there is one drawback to using a French press: The coffee may have a gritty mouthfeel because the mesh only removes the grinds. 

The French press’s simplicity, adaptability, and value are all things Laird loves. The amount of grounds used, water temperature, and steeping duration may all be changed to alter the flavor and strength of your brew.

purchase of a French press 

Size, material, and even brand should all be taken into account when purchasing a French press. First of all, if you’re the only person who drinks coffee at home, a small amount can be sufficient. However, if you frequently prepare coffee for two or more people, a maker that can produce more than “one cup” would be more useful to you. Additionally, instead of using cups, check to see how many ounces it carries. Why? Due to the fact that what one firm thinks to be “one cup” may be 4 ounces (118 milliliters), while another may consider it to be 8 ounces (236 milliliters).

Spend a bit more money on a press made of glass or stainless steel. Without the use of plastic, you’ll have a high-quality brewing experience. Additionally, it will probably last longer. 

The Chambord from Bodum is one of the most known French press models when it comes to branding. Since the 1930s, when French manufacturer Melior-Martin started producing them, the Chambord has been well known for its glass container, steel top, and round handle.

French press coffee done right 

  • Coffee beans should be ground to a coarse to medium grind (think granules not sand). 
  • A tablespoon of coffee should be added for every 4 ounces (118 milliliters) of water. A person should be able to get a second cup with just two teaspoons. 
  • On the stove or in an electric kettle, bring water to a boil. After the water has fully boiled, let it rest for 30 to 45 seconds. (You can play with the water’s temperature to suit your preferences.) 
  • Coffee grounds should be added to the carafe before hot water is gradually poured over them. Gently stir. 
  • Place the French press’s lid on top, then let the grounds to steep for about four minutes. 
  • Press the plunger slowly all the way down.

Laird acknowledges that coffee is possibly the most subjective beverage in the world, making the French press a useful tool to perfect your cup of joe by giving you some much-needed control over strength and flavor. Furthermore, it is one of the few coffee makers that can easily brew both hot and cold coffee. 

There are a few extra steps involved in using a French press while brewing, but they are worthwhile for a lot more reasons than just having better control over flavor. There is less waste produced than with single-cup and drip brewers because the grounds are steeped rather than brewed through a filter, which is always a good thing.