Welcome to the first of our Home Coffee Series - posts explaining your options for making coffee at home.
Today's post focuses on the French Press (which also goes by the names 'Cafetiere', 'Coffee Plunger' and 'Coffee Press').
The French Press has been around since the 1800s, although confusingly the first patent was by Milanese designer Attillio Camilani in 1929 in Italy! It then underwent a few changes and was popularised by a French clarinet (yes, clarinet the instrument) factory in 1950s.
More recently, the French Press has experienced a surge in popularity with many households in the USA and Europe using it for an improvement over instant coffee to get their fix. See below for a link of Jimmy "Buckets" Butler (Miami Heat) selling French Press coffee to his team mates!
Why use a French Press at home?
Aside from instant coffee, we think this is the easiest way to to make coffee at home. It's as simple as making a tea (see steps below), and doesn't require expensive equipment, maintenance upkeep or any disposable products making it a more environmentally option too.
Using a French press also gives you access to many different coffee beans and variety's. You can choose to buy the whole beans and ground them at home, or buy pre-ground beans which are readily available online and in supermarkets.
Many cafes which sell beans will also offer pre-ground beans suitable for a French Press or even grind them for you then and there if you ask nicely. An important thing to note with ground coffee in a french press is that you need it to be a little more coarse than you would for an espresso machine, to reduce the amount of coffee that makes it through the mesh.
Aside from the cost savings from the French Press not using filter paper, another benefit is allowing the natural oils found in the coffee to still make it through to your cup. This enables a fuller and richer coffee flavour in your cup, making it especially enjoyable for those who enjoy long blacks or are trying to reduce their milk intake.
Steps to use
1) fill the French press with a heaped teaspoon (or use the included scoop) of coffee and about 200ml of hot water (ideally 92-96 degrees celsius, so let it sit for a minute or two after you've brought the kettle to the boil)
2) place the plunger into the pot and press down, stopping just as you get to the coffee/water level. Let sit for 3-4 minutes (the longer you leave it the stronger your coffee will taste)
3) press plunger all the way down to the bottom, pour into your cup and enjoy!
The beauty of the French Press is that whilst it's very simple to make a great cup of coffee, there are elements that can be fine tuned to match your personal preferences and tastes. These include the temperature of the water you use and the coffee/water ratio. You can also try different types of ground coffee and have some variety in the types of coffee you buy!
Inspired? You can buy our French Press by clicking this link