French Press

Coffee Brewing Series 3 - French Press


Before all the brewing methods, coffee was simply boiled along with water. As time goes by, different brewing methods arise and one is widely used nowadays in making coffee and it is with the use of French press.

French Press

Some coffee drinkers believe that making French press coffee produces a beverage that contains stronger flavor compared to a drip coffee machine since it allows the oils from the ground coffee beans to mix with the water.



French PressThe French Coffee Press has undergone a remarkable transition. There have been major improvements on the design aspect which has improved the overall brew quality.

The first design for this style of brewer was patented in 1852 by the Frenchmen Mayer and Delforge. The style did not create a seal inside the carafe so it was not like the one today. The first patent of a French press that resembles what we use today was patented by the Italian designer maestro Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929. Calimani’s life mission is to get the perfect design so that when coffee is put into the cup, everyone should enjoy it as a beverage. He began to reconstruct the Coffee Press in a manner that would recognize the natural coffee flavour and taste.

In 1935, an upgraded mesh plunger was patented by an Italian designer Bruno Cassol. After that, a Swiss Italian Faliero Bondanini patented his own version and made his first enterprise and in 1958, another version of the coffee press was filed and approved. At that time, Faliero Bondanini had made some inroads, with improved designs on the back of the previously patented model. Bondanini became innovative in his ideas by working on new designs for the product. His initial model was already established but with his passion of redesigning, eventually Bondanini earned success. His design was the most popular and this brewer was known in France, where it was manufactured, as a ‘Chambord’. The popularity of the Chambord in France is what also gave the cafetiére its French identity. He later marketed the Chambord as ‘La Cafetiére Classic’ to the UK market. The well-known Danish company Bodum later became a distributor of the Chambord in Denmark and eventually bought the rights to the Chambord name and factory. The ‘La Cafetiére’ trademark remained in the hands of the original owners.



French PressThe French coffee press features a narrow cylindrical carafe made of glass or metal which is fitted with a metal or plastic lid and plunger that fits tightly in the cylinder. There is also a built-in filter screen (fine wire or nylon mesh filter) that presses hot water through and to prevent grounds getting into the coffee. When it’s time to pour and serve, a lever is pushed down which strains and separates the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee, leaving the grounds on the bottom and liquid coffee above the filter.

2 types of French PressWhen buying a French press, there are two main types: glass and metal. There is very little difference between the two regarding taste, but each has its own advantage. With a glass model, you can see what’s going on, and this can add to the coffee-making experience. While with a metal cafetiere, you can’t see inside and have to judge the plunger depth by feel alone.

Glass French presses tend to warm quicker but lose their heat faster. Metal French presses can be cold to the touch, so benefit from pre-warming.

And when talking about toughness, metal is far more robust. If you’re planning on using a French press in a shared office or for travel, then a metal model will be hardier and should last for longer.

With the use of French press, coffee is brewed by placing it with hot water, stirring it and leaving to brew for a few minutes, then pressing the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker. A French press requires a coarse grind because finer grounds will run through the press filter and into the coffee. The secret is all in the grind: choose coarse, with uniformity and consistency throughout. Very coarse grinds may clog the filter, while very fine grinds will pass through the filter, muddying the results. French pressed coffee can be brewed to any strength by adjusting the amount of ground coffee that is brewed. The French press maker is past the days when bitterness was considered as an acquired taste. That’s the simple beauty of the French press, a method of choice for many all over the world, creating an earthy, rich taste in the cup. French press coffee is smooth, rich, and indulgent which is best to pair with a fluffy croissant or some crêpes.

No other coffee-brewing method works quite the same way as a French press, making it a favourite among coffee lovers. A benefit of using a French press compared to a drip coffee maker is that you’re able to regulate the temperature of the water so your beans reach the maximum potential flavor possible when brewing. Also, filters aren’t needed since a pressing screen is used at the very end to separate the grounds from the liquid coffee.

How to use French Press

How to brew a French press coffee:

  1. Add fresh coarse ground coffee to the bottom of the French press carafe. You can use a ratio of 10 g ground coffee to 130 ml of water.
  2. Bring water a boil (about 195 degrees Fahrenheit/ 90 degrees Celsius) and add to the French press carafe. Stir to mix with the coffee grounds.
  3. Place the lid and filter on top of the press and steep 90 seconds to 4 minutes depending on your desired flavor. Remember, the longer you let your coffee steep, the stronger the flavor will be.
  4. Press down on the French press “plunger” with a firm, yet slow motion to strain the beans from the liquid brew.
    *Before pressing the grounds to extract every drop of delicious oil, let the coffee steep in hot water to bring out its full flavor.
  5. Serve immediately for the best flavor.
You can adjust the strength and taste of your coffee based on your personal preference and coffee roast level. Remember, freshly ground beans make the best coffee, regardless of the brewing method you are using. Enjoy your coffee!
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