French press coffee is nothing new. French press pots have been around for at least a hundred years. The design that we know was patented in 1929 by, get this, an Italian! Not a Frenchman!
In England, French press coffee makers are known as cafetieres.
French press coffee makers consist of a beaker (aka carafe), and a plunger assembly that consists of a post, a lid, and a series of screens to press the coffee grounds to the bottom of the carafe once the coffee have been brewed.
French press coffee
How to Make French Press Coffee
The steps you need to follow
- Preheat the carafe. Run your kitchen tap as hot as you can. Fill the pot with water and let it sit a few seconds. Dump out the water. Your pot is now nice and toasty warm! This prevents the pot from losing too much heat during the brewing time, and results in hotter coffee in your cup.
- Place your coffee in the bottom of the French press carafe. I use a burr grinder and set it for coarse grind. Any finer grind will overbrew the coffee and make it bitter. Finer grinds will also deliver a gritty cup of coffee, as powder-like grinds will find their way through the filter.
- It is not only important that you use good coffee, but the proportions must be right. I use two rounded tablespoons per cup (8 fl oz) of water.
- Pour a little of the water over the coffee in the carafe. Let it sit for about 30 seconds to saturate the beans.
- Fill the carafe with water and give it a stir. Some insist that a non-metal spoon must be used, but I use stainless steel and can not tell the difference…
- Place the lid on the carafe, but DO NOT PUSH THE PLUNGER DOWN.
- Let the coffee steep for 3 to 5 minutes. You will need to experiment here to find your optimal brewing time.
- Slowly, and steadily, push the plunger down half-way. Pull it up again, and this time plunge all the way down. Slowly. And steadily.
- Pour the coffee immediately. Do not wait 5 or 10 minutes. And if you aren’t serving the entire carafe at once, pour the rest into an insulated bottle. French press coffee overbrews in the blink of an eye, even after the plunger has been pushed down.