How do you use a French press?
Why does it matter, anyway?
If you enjoy your morning coffee, here’s why you want to know about using a French press.
- A French press makes great coffee. You’ll now find French press coffee at high end coffee shops. But expect to pay a premium for it. I don’t know why it’s more expensive than regular coffee. But it sure makes strong, rich coffee.
- It’s very easy to use a French press. Once you know what you’re doing. Cleanup is very easy too.
- It’s a basic non-toxic coffee maker. I started loving the French press in our house even more once I realized our stainless steel coffee percolator contained an aluminum heating element. This little detail was sort of glossed over in the marketing materials when I bought the percolator. The sole reason I bought the percolator was to avoid aluminum heating elements, as well as plastic, coming into contact with my coffee.
- You don’t use disposable plastic cups. So better for the environment.
How To Use A French Press
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So, what is a French press?
It’s a long cylindrical coffee pot that contains a stainless steel “press,” The press is part of the lid.
You put ground coffee in the bottom of a clean French press. Pour boiling water over it and wait about 4 to 10 minutes before pressing the grounds.
How much coffee you add to the press depends upon your desired strength. I like very strong coffee. So I’d probably use more ground coffee than most people would.
In our house we usually let the water and ground bean mixture stand for 10 minutes before pressing. Surprisingly, the coffee is still pleasantly warm after this time, even though the French press doesn’t contain a heating element.
But I’ve heard that others don’t wait as long.
Recently, when I had company and was making coffee late at night, right before they left, we only let it steep for about 5 minutes.
So the full 10 minutes may not be necessary.
My advice would be to experiment and see what works for you. Both in terms of how much coffee to add to the French press. And, also, how long to steep it.
I think it would be possible to press the coffee without using disposable unbleached coffee filters.
But I do use one round unbleached coffee filter each time I use the French press.
Benefits of a French Press Coffee Maker
For me, the biggest benefit of the French press is that it’s a non-toxic way to make coffee.
It was extremely difficult to find a non toxic coffee maker that didn’t contain plastic parts or aluminum. I searched high and low for such a coffee maker and then finally gave up.
As luck would have it, we had a French press in the house. So this is what I started using instead.
I don’t miss our electric percolator a bit. Because I know it contains an aluminum heating unit, and this is unappetizing.
You might be able to find a French press in a local home goods store or a health food store. (Lots and lots of people are waking up to the fact that coffee comes with a number of health benefits.
But if not you can find a wide range of French press models online. I suggest getting one with a clear glass pitcher, if possible.
A ceramic French press would be fine as well, as long as you know the material used for glazing doesn’t contain lead.