I've always only had coffee made in a drip maker though.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to try out a French Press for the first time.
If you've never made coffee with a French Press before, the name of the thing itself might make you cautious. It sounds so . . . . . . . intimidating . . . . . and fancy, right? It's actually pretty darn simple.
To use a French Press, here are the steps:
- Either heat water to almost boiling (not boiling) OR heat to boiling and allow to cool for 3 - 5 minutes. I usually set my timer for 5 minutes.
- Grind your beans coarsely right before you're going to pour the water over them.
- Place the coarsely ground coffee in the bottom of the beaker. Since the size of this French Press is a 34 ounce size, it will make 8 "regular" sized coffee cups or 4 larger mug sized portions. Therefore, you should use 8- 8 1/2 heaping tablespoons of coarse coffee grounds. I personally got 1 coffee mug and then was able to fill my 18 oz. thermos to keep the rest warm for later.
- Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds and let sit for 1 minute.
- Stir the grounds with a plastic spoon or chopstick. I used a bamboo skewer to stir mine.
- Place the lid/plunger on, with the plunger pulled all the way up. Let sit for 3 - 4 minutes longer.
- Then, slowly and evenly press the plunger down.
- Pour your coffee slowly into a coffee mug.
I am still working out some issues with my technique. Supposedly, using a French Press will inherently have some coffee grounds issues because there is no paper filter. But, having no paper filter is supposed to be one of the reasons that French Pressed coffee is supposed to taste so much better.
This glass beaker/carafe is made from heat resistant borosilicate glass. The plunger has a little spring that goes around the outside of the stainless steel press that holds the filter screen in place against the edge of the inside of the carafe.
Here's what I liked about Chef's Limited French Press:
- It's very stylish. The beaker has a stainless steel carafe holder with handle.
- As far as I can tell, all the parts that actually touch the coffee are either metal or glass. There is plastic on the plunger, but I think it's only on the part that doesn't touch the coffee.
- It's really easy to clean.
- You don't have to worry about hidden parts inside a regular drip coffee maker that can get moldy.
- It's easier to take with you than a regular drip coffee maker. I had another blogger tell me that she took hers with her on a camping trip! What a great idea.
- Figuring out how to make it a little stronger. It could be that I was using pre-ground coffee. I bought some coffee beans to grind myself so that I can make it a coarser grind, which is recommended. I also need to play with the times to see if I can get it stronger.
- Plunging the plunger without letting coffee grounds escape.
You're supposed to be able to make tea with a French Press as well, but I haven't tried that yet.
I'm going to keep working on the process. This French Press seems to work pretty well. I think all of the issues I'm having are user error on my part since I'm new to this!
You can find the Chef's Limited French Press at Amazon:
Have you ever used a French Press before?