Coffee makers and French press pots are both popular coffee brewing tools in homes, offices, and hotels. So it is very common to see many friends comparing them.
Which one makes the better coffee? First of all, it's not fair to compare a smart coffee maker with a manual French press coffee maker.
Because of this, it is even more desirable to have more friends to know well about French press pots. In today's article, we will share the features, benefits, and, whether it is worth buying a French press.
Keep reading you will benefit a lot.
Do You know French Press?
First, the design is simple.
It consists of a cylindrical container and a lid with a filter that can be pulled up and down in the middle of the lid. The filter is used to filter the coffee powder. The container is usually made of glass, but now there is also a stainless steel and ceramic material, while the filter is commonly made of stainless steel, but there are also edible grade silicone filters.
Is the French press pot from France?
Its origin was once controversial.
The French press is a coffee pot created and patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani. The original prototype of the French press was invented in 1852 by two Frenchmen, Mayer and Delforge also called la cafetiere.
But these two Frenchmen did not register a patent. Later Attilio Calimani discovered and further improved the function of the French press pot, which is what we see now as the original French press pot.
The Italian designer applied for a patent for his design in 1958. The patent was classified as "a container for steeping ground coffee or tea leaves in hot water, with a rotating filter attached to the container which is immersed in hot water", and the first French press pots to become popular in the European market were produced and sold by the French company Martin S.A. under the name Chambord.
The Chambord is a classic model of its time. Although it was acquired by Martin S.A. in the 19th century, we can still see various designs of French press pots in homes across Europe, and some people still call them: Cafetière, coffee press, or Coffee plunger.
How Does a French Press Work
French press is a simple and unique brewing method, it is a method of separating the coffee powder from the coffee liquid by passing the coffee liquid steeped in hot water for a long time through a filter.
The most important feature of this method is the coffee powder is soaked in hot water for a long time and extracted, the oil of the coffee beans is well integrated into the coffee, and the brewed coffee can present its original flavor in full.
Since it is directly influenced by the quality of the coffee beans, the flavor of coffee brewed from different beans will be very obviously revealed. The freshness, region, soil, climate and other characteristics (the natural environment in which the coffee is grown) are also very thoroughly revealed while enjoying the charm of fine coffee ingredients.
The ability to enjoy the original flavor of the coffee beans is one of the great features of the French press.
The specific operation process is as follows:
- the coffee beans are ground into sea salt coarseness. Powder to water ratio can be referred to as 1:15
- pour the coffee powder into the pot. (Preheat the pot in advance, the extraction process will be more stable)
- Pour 197.6 °F hot water evenly into the pot. Let the coffee powder fully soak.
- cover the pot to maintain the temperature, but also to avoid excessive evaporation of water vapor.
- wait 3-4 minutes, the filter pressure gently down to a quarter of the so far
- pour the coffee into the coffee cup. Because there will be a little bit of residual micronized powder at the bottom, so you do not need to pour out all the coffee liquid
Why French Press Makes Better Coffee
There are two basic types of manual coffee extraction: steeping and filtering. French press pots belong to the steeping type.
The biggest advantage of steeping coffee is the quality of the coffee is stable.
By grasping the coffee powder coarseness, water temperature and volume, and a certain extraction time, you can get a stable cup of coffee. Moreover, the extraction rate of the French press is higher, which can retain more coffee grease, and the flavor is fuller and thicker, which can reflect the original taste of coffee. Because of this, French press pots are especially suitable for novice users.
PS: Extraction rate = weight of "coffee substance" dissolved in coffee/weight of coffee powder involved in the extraction, we are aiming for an extraction rate of 18~22%.
Filter coffee requires more delicate steps to feel the layers of aroma. Filter coffee requires proper mastery of the hand-brewing method and a lot of practice.
The refinement of infused coffee lies in a certain process with some fine-tuning of the extraction level to ensure that the extraction is complete and "just right".
Why a French press makes better coffee is closely related to the simple yet unique way it is made.
The French press is exceptionally forgiving.
For example, you should use 4 minutes of steeping time, but you finish in 3 minutes and the coffee will not taste much different as a result.
Or, you should use sea salt coarse coffee powder, but grind it to be a little finer, at this point don't worry, the coffee powder will not be wasted. You can try steeping the coffee for 2 minutes in 194 °F water and you will get a good-tasting cup of coffee as well. Might as well give it a try!
This is the charm of French press pots. It doesn't have to be obsessed with precise proportions and clear parameters. We can try all kinds of adjustments to improve the flavor of the coffee, and there are no mega blunders that happen.
What is the Advantage of a French Press
What are the advantages of French press pots? Let me share it with you.
#1 - Friendly to the wallet
A French press pot is a very economical way to make coffee. Whether you shop on Amazon, or at my store, you can always find an affordable and great-looking French press pot, and, buy one, it will last for many years!
It's more affordable than buying a $5 cup of coffee from the coffee shop every day.
The common French press comes in four sizes, nevertheless, it doesn't take up much space in the kitchen and can be stored almost anywhere.
Even if you have four capacity French presses at the same time, your mom won't complain about you!
#3 - Portability
The smallest French press pot has 8oz, which is especially suitable for one person and can even be carried around with you. If you choose to camp outdoors, but want to drink coffee, this single-serving French press pot will satisfy your coffee needs.
Some models are designed specifically for travel and are made of non-glass for more security for use on the go.
#4- No need for filter paper
A French press pot with its filter saves the cost of buying coffee filters at the same time, because of its unique way of making coffee, it allows the original flavor of coffee and coffee grease to be better retained. It is so important to be able to enjoy the original flavor of the coffee beans easily.
#5 - Better flavored coffee
No need to worry about whether your skills are good, your equipment is great, or whether the coffee you're brewing is good or not.
With the pure steeping method, even if you're new to coffee, you'll be able to master the brewing technique easily. All you need to do is to buy a fresh bag of coffee beans that are ready to be ground and brewed.
#6 - Not just coffee
Does French press coffee only make coffee?
Of course not.
Besides coffee, you can also use it to make tea, brew flower tea, make milk froth, and so on. One pot for multiple uses, convenient and safe!
#7- Elegant design
If you search "French press" on Google, you will get many styles and sizes of the French press. There are glass, stainless steel, and ceramic. They are also available in plastic.
Classical and trendy, all of them can meet your needs and are economical.
What to Consider when Buying a French Press
French press pots are a very common coffee appliance, with 40% of North American households using them. Share the tips on purchasing a French press pot.
- The thickness of the glass of the French press pot should be even and flat
- The next most important thing is the spring on the side of the filter. The role of the spring is to hold up the edge of the filter and filter the coffee grounds clean.
- French press pots generally have 8, 12, 17, 23, 34, 44, 51 oz and other capacities, of which 12 oz and 34 oz capacities are more common, most travel models of French press pots are 12 oz, you can choose the right capacity according to your needs.
The French press pot is a particularly good one for making coffee of origin. For example, if you buy a bag of Colombian coffee beans and a bag of Brazilian coffee beans and make them separately with a French press, you'll find more charms in the French press!
Common Problems and Solutions
When you start to make it, you will certainly encounter some problems, and how do we solve them? Listed below are some common problems and methods.
1. Coffee is too light
Coffee might be ground a little coarse, next time you can grind finer, and ensure 3-4 minutes of steeping time.
2. Coffee is too bitter
The coffee powder may be ground too fine, you can try to grind it coarser. If you are using dark roast coffee, make sure the coffee is fresh enough and the water temperature is lowered to 195℉.
3. Coffee is too strong
Try to shorten the steeping time, do not leave the coffee in the pot to continue steeping, you can pour the coffee into a thermal pot for preservation. In addition, if you usually drink drip coffee, pay attention to the concentration of French press coffee, it will be higher than the concentration of drip coffee.
4. Too much residue
This may be the problem with the filter. If the filter is not clean, the residue will naturally enter the coffee. Alternatively, you can use filter paper for secondary filtration.
5. The water is boiling too slowly
This may be because you add too much water, or you can also use an electronic kettle.
6. Uneven coarseness of powder
This is related to the blade of your bean grinder. Try using a burr grinder.