After our successful post “Bialetti Moka Pot, the real Italian coffee“, which explains our favourite coffee maker, we present a much easier way of brewing coffee, the French press.
What is a French press?
A French press (also known as a cafetière, cafetière à piston, caffettiera a stantuffo, press pot, coffee press, or coffee plunger), is a coffee brewing device invented by two French in 1852.
Its mechanism is simply based on a press action and a filter, and the taste is similar to filter coffee, although it depends on many factors such as grind, roast, water temperature, infusion time and more.
There has been some research indicating that it an unhealthy way to brew coffee because it doesn’t filter out the cafestol, which is a substance that causes the body’s LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, levels to rise. However; there are presses with many levels of filtering.
How to make great coffee with the French press?
This can be done is 3 super easy steps.
Prepare and add your coffee
If you are going to use beans, grind around 20-25 grams (3 full spoons). This should be enough for an 8 cups French press (you will need to adjust the quantity according to the size, and also your taste). If you need a grinder, I can recommend the Duronic Electric or any of these ones.
A coarsely ground coffee is recommended, so not as fine as the one used for a Moka Pot. As an additional tip, some people pre-heats the press with warm water, so to make sure it stays warm during the whole process.
Heat and pour water
Pour hot water into the pot, and gently stir with a spoon. Some people use boiling water, and others use “almost boiling” water. I would say you can try both and choose your preferred option, if you notice any difference at all.
If you like to get technical and follow detailed instructions, some people recommend pouring the water a spiralling motion so the coffee gets submerged evenly. What is essential is that you let it stand for at least 3 minutes. Some people suggest to carefully reinsert the plunger into the pot, stopping just above the water before letting it stand.
Insert and press the plunger down
Once your coffee rested for at least 3 minutes, it’s time to press the plunger down slowly and gently, exerting steady pressure all the way down, until the coffee grounds are packed on the bottom.
This is all! You coffee is ready to serve and drink.
There are many different presses, from glass to plastic to stainless steel, with one or many levels of filtration. Some of them are the following.
- Cafe de Chateau, with 4 levels filtration system
- Bodum, simple filtration and good value for money
- Stanley, high-quality stainless steel
There are both manual (with batteries) or electric. The latter are better and they also heat up the milk, so it’s ready to pour on top of your coffee.
There are also manual and electric grinders, and I also recommend the latter. The main advantage of the Moka Pot over a machine with capsules is that you can buy your own beans and grind them.
These are some of the best coffee grinders you can easily buy online.