French press is a one of the best ways to make great coffee – quick and easy to use and makes a beverage that has rich and full flavor. It is a coffee maker that most often has glass carafe, filter plate and a plunger attached to the lid. Sometimes it is also called a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger or cafetiere.
What to keep in mind when buying French press? Let’s start with capacity – there are various sizes available starting with single serve and going up to 12 cups. So, if you are using it mainly for you personal use the small press will be enough, if you’re using it for making coffee for several people go for bigger and for gatherings/parties 12-cup version is often a good choice. Stronger glass version is recommended since it doesn’t break so easily.
Also it would be a good idea to get one where you can change the glass carafe, so if you happen break it, you can replace it and don’t have to buy whole new press. If you want to take your press along with you on travel pick the one with plastic body or get the travel mug version of French press which is also available. Some French presses are insulated or have double walled glass so they can keep the coffee warm for up to two hours. This is an option to go for if you need to keep coffee warm for longer time, since the coffee in regular French press cools down pretty fast.
How to use French press? For French press use bit coarser coffee than your regular grind, so it won’t be caught in the filter. If the beans are too finely ground, some of it may not be caught by the filter and will end up in your cup. Also, fine grind can block the filter, so it’s hard to press the plunger down. It’s suggested to use burr grinder for grinding the beans, because it creates equal sized boulders. Blade grinders tend to create dust and boulders are varying in size, so the taste of coffee suffers.
* Lift off the plunger and add coffee grounds to the carafe. In average you can use about one rounded tablespoon per 6 oz. of water.
* Add the water. It should be little bit below the boiling temperature. Pour it slowly and evenly, so the water can mix with the grounds. Don’t overfill the press, the water level should be below the edge so it won’t overflow when you insert filter. You have to careful with this, since the water is very hot.
* Stir with the wooden spoon or chopsticks. Don’t use metal spoon to avoid damaging or breaking the glass.
* Put the top on and don’t press down yet, leave the filter up.
* Let it steep for about 3-4 four minutes.
* Press the plunger down. Do it slowly and with equal pressure. If you press too fast the water might splash out and burn you.
* Pour the coffee into the cup. There you go!