Are you looking for a simpler way to brew coffee? Maybe you love a flavorful cup of coffee but hate the complicated cleaning processes required for a drip coffee maker.
Or perhaps you’re simply looking for that perfect cup of coffee at home.
Regardless of why you’re exploring different brewing methods, it’s time to seriously consider the French press.
Today’s post dives into the world of the French press, giving coffee lovers everywhere a compelling reason to switch.
Let’s get to it!
What is a French press?
A French press is a simple and popular method of brewing coffee. It’s a manual coffee maker that allows you to steep coffee grounds in hot water and then separate the grounds from the brewed coffee using a plunger-like mechanism.
Here’s how it works:
Basic Components: A typical French press consists of three main parts:
- Carafe: A glass, plastic, or metal container with a handle where the coffee is brewed and served.
- Lid: Usually made of plastic or metal, it fits snugly on the carafe.
- Plunger Assembly: Comprising a metal or nylon mesh filter and a rod with a flat circular base that fits inside the carafe.
Adding Coffee Grounds:
- Start by coarsely grinding coffee beans (you can also buy pre-ground coffee, but coarse grinds are essential for the French press).
- Remove the lid and the plunger assembly from the carafe.
- Add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the carafe.
- Heat water to just below boiling (around 200-205°F or 93-96°C). Freshly boiled water is too hot and can scorch the coffee, resulting in a bitter taste.
- Pour the hot water into the carafe over the coffee grounds. Make sure to saturate all the grounds.
- Place the lid on the carafe, but do not press down the plunger.
- Let the coffee steep for about 4 to 5 minutes. The steeping time can be adjusted based on your desired strength.
Pressing the Plunger:
- After the coffee has steeped, it’s time to separate the grounds from the coffee.
- Hold the carafe handle firmly and slowly press down the plunger. The mesh filter will push the coffee grounds to the bottom, leaving the brewed coffee on top.
Pouring and Serving:
- The coffee is ready to be served once the plunger is fully pressed down.
- Pour the brewed coffee into your cup or mug and enjoy!
The French press is loved for its simplicity and ability to retain the coffee’s natural oils and flavors, producing a robust and full-bodied cup of coffee.
Benefits of French Press Coffee
Hailed by coffee enthusiasts everywhere as the ultimate aromatic cup of coffee, I discovered this brewing method about a year ago.
At the time, I was frustrated with the bitter taste of the coffee coming from my regular coffee maker.
And to be clear, I was using a very cheap coffee maker that was approximately 4 years old.
It was, by no means, a top-of-the-line machine.
But still, I wanted a way to make great coffee at home without spending extra time cleaning the machine, only to have the coffee come out bitter.
On a whim, I purchased a French press and haven’t looked back since!
I absolutely adore my French press and will never switch back.
Here are a few reasons why I love this brewing method and why you should also consider switching.
One of the best features of using a French press coffee maker is that it’s eco-friendly. There are no K-cup pods to dispose of. Nor do you need a paper filter.
It’s just water and coffee.
And once you’re done brewing, your morning coffee grounds make exceptional composting material.
2. Budget Friendly
Another appealing aspect of using the French press method is that no recurring equipment costs are associated with it. You don’t need to buy pods or even paper filters.
All you need is a supply of your favorite grind to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee!
French presses often also have a cheaper upfront cost than other types of coffee machines, so it’s a win-win!
3. Pure Taste
When I used a standard drip machine, I loved the taste of coffee from a brand-new machine. But as the device aged, the flavor of the coffee changed.
This was especially true after the first time cleaning the machine with vinegar.
After that, the coffee tasted slightly bitter, even after thorough rinses.
With the French press, you can easily pop it in the dishwasher after each use. There’s no need to soak it in vinegar or rinse it multiple times to remove the residue.
Every brew is as fresh as the first!
4. Ease of Use
The French press has no complicated buttons or mechanical parts that can break.
It’s simply a container with a fine strainer to separate the coffee grounds from your brew.
And all you need to do is heat the water, combine it with the raw grounds in the French press, wait a few minutes, and strain the grounds.
It couldn’t be any easier!
And did I mention that most models are dishwasher-safe?
5. Easily Customize Your Brew
Do you like a full-bodied flavor? Or maybe you prefer a lighter brew.
Regardless of how you prefer your morning cup of joe, you can easily adjust the brewing process to yield your perfect cup.
Allowing the grounds and water a longer brewing time results in a strong coffee flavor. In comparison, less time gives you a slightly lighter taste.
You can also adjust the coffee grounds to water ratio to give you greater control over the strength of your final brew.
French press coffee is celebrated for its smooth, pure flavor, but remember to avoid boiling the water before adding to the grounds, as doing so will infuse a bitter flavor into the coffee.
6. Brew Anywhere
A French press makes a great travel companion.
It requires zero electricity, and as long as you can heat water, you can enjoy your morning bliss anywhere!
Coffee has many health benefits, partially thanks to its supply of antioxidants which counteract oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals.
One of the features of French press coffee that I noticed almost immediately was the oily substances on the coffee’s surface.
And it’s in the coffee oils where those amazing health benefits can be found, most notably in French press coffee because of its basic filtering process.
Although the medical world doesn’t completely understand how this works, recent studies have shown that the antioxidants in coffee can minimize potential health risks.
Those antioxidants have been shown to protect against the cognitive decline associated with aging as well as against Parkinson’s disease.
Evidence suggests it protects against cardiovascular disease and reduces cholesterol levels; however, remember that caffeine can cause issues such as heart palpitations when consumed in excess.
Regular consumption of coffee can also reduce the risk of certain cancers, including esophageal cancers.
8. Save Counter Space
Although I adore an espresso-based drink, I don’t love how much counter space the espresso maker occupies.
Over the last few years, it does seem as if the trend is coffee machines that don’t take up the entire counter.
But competing with something as portable and light as a French press is still tricky.
You can stash the French press almost anywhere, thanks to its diminutive size. Store it in your cupboard. Or with your pots and pans.
Regardless of where you decide to keep it, rest assured that you can quickly move it should the need arise.
And you certainly won’t need to rearrange your entire kitchen around it as you would with other coffee makers on the market today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does French press coffee contain caffeine?
If you use caffeinated grounds, then coffee made in a French press will be caffeinated.
Although many factors influence caffeine content, French press coffee generally has slightly less caffeine than a standard drip machine.
Use decaffeinated grounds if you want to avoid caffeine.
Can you put a French press in the dishwasher?
Check the specific manufacturer’s instructions for your model, but most models are dishwasher-safe.
Should you use a coarse or fine grind in a French press?
Coarse is better when it comes to the French press. A coarse grind is best for maximum coffee extraction and flavor.
The optimum grind should look like coarse sea salt.
And if you don’t have a grinder at home, you can have the coffee ground for you in many different retail locations.
You can also buy pre-ground coffee that will work in a French press.
I love flavored coffee, and although I’ve tried many different brands, Starbucks continues to be my favorite for the French press.
From the budget and eco-friendly features to the cleaning convenience, the French press has much to offer coffee lovers!
Although a French press can seem mysterious and intimidating, it’s one of the most basic brewing methods.
And it’s the one that produces the most flavorful, antioxidant-rich cup of coffee you’ll ever drink!
So, if you’re ready to make the switch, here are a few of my favorite models.
And if you’re looking for more great coffee-inspired content, check out a few of my previous posts:
- Copycat Dunkin’ Iced Chai Latte Recipe
- How to Make a Copycat Raspberry Green Tea with Bubbles
- The Best Cold Brew Container for Home Brewing in 2023
- How to Make a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
- Can you Froth Oat Milk? Your Guide to Frothing at Home
- How to Make an Iced Blonde Vanilla Bean Latte
- How to Make a Raspberry Chai Tea Latte
- How to Make a Caramel Raspberry Espresso Shaker
- How to Make an Oreo Cookie-Flavored Iced Coffee
- How to Make a Copycat Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew at Home