Written by AliceReading time 4 min
If you’re a coffee-lover, you are likely already familiar with French Presses. If you’re less of a coffee aficionado, you have probably at least already seen them about. These iconic coffee makers have been around since the 19th century and are favourites for coffee enthusiasts worldwide. Also known as a plunger coffee maker, the timeless French press has maintained its relevance in an era dominated by high-tech coffee gadgets.
Whether you’re a seasoned coffee connoisseur or a budding enthusiast, we’ve prepped a guide to French Presses. From their origins to their benefits and why they might be right for you, we’ll be going over everything you need to know — including the best French presses out there. Let’s plunge into the world of French presses!
Origins and History of the French Press
Cafetière, also commonly known as French presses, trace their origins back to 19th-century France. Although a first patent was developed in 1852 by Henri-Otto Mayer and Jacques-Victor Delforge, a patent that more closely resembles what we use today was patented by the Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929. The modern version of the cafetière features a cylindrical glass or plastic container with a plunger and a mesh filter.
The cafetière gained popularity due to its simplicity and ability to brew a rich, full-bodied coffee. Its design allows for the immersion of coffee grounds in hot water, followed by the pressing of the plunger to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee. Over time, it has become a beloved method for coffee enthusiasts seeking a hands-on and flavoursome brewing experience, contributing to its enduring presence in kitchens and coffee shops around the world.
Why We Recommend Using A French Press
The French press is a timeless classic for a reason. It’s a simple, affordable, and environmentally friendly way to brew delicious, flavourful coffee. Here are just a few reasons why we recommend using a French press:
Affordability: French presses are incredibly cost-effective, making them a great option for budget-conscious coffee lovers. A basic French press can be purchased for under $20/£15, while higher-end options with stainless steel or glass components can be found for around $50/£40 or more.
Eco-Friendly: Unlike paper filter-based brewers or pod-based machines, the French press does not require the use of disposable filters or single-use pods. This means you can enjoy your coffee without contributing to waste.
Ease of Use: The French press is incredibly simple to operate. Simply add coarsely ground coffee to the carafe, pour hot water over it, let it steep for a few minutes, and then plunge the filter screen down to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee. That’s it!
Easy to Repair or Change Parts: Unlike espresso machines or other complex brewing equipment, the French press has very few moving parts. This means that if any part breaks, it’s easy and affordable to replace. The carafe, plunger, and filter screen are all sold separately, readily available and typically quite inexpensive.
If you’re looking for an easy, affordable, and environmentally friendly way to brew delicious coffee, the French Press is the perfect choice. With its rich flavour, versatility, and ease of use, it’s no wonder the French Press remains a favourite among coffee lovers worldwide.
What A French Press Is Made Of
In its most classic and recognisable form, the French press is traditionally made from two main materials: glass and stainless steel. The French Press consists of a narrow cylindrical beaker that is usually made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass. It is also equipped with a metal lid and plunger that fits tightly in the cylinder and has a fine stainless steel wire or nylon mesh filter. This all typically fits into a stainless steel frame.
There are also other alternatives to this classic model. Some look identical but are made of BPA-free plastic instead of a glass cylinder or stainless steel frame. You might also come across some more original options like primarily stainless steel presses, ceramic French Presses, or even presses with wood handles and lids.
Why Choose a French Press
The French Press is an excellent coffee maker for those who want to explore Pour-over methods. This method involves preparing a gentle extraction inspired by that of coffee through a filter. It results in a cup of coffee that is less acidic than espresso, but just as rich in flavour.
Compared to a Moka Pot, the French Press allows for a longer steeping time and full immersion of the coffee grounds in water, resulting in a full-bodied and rich flavour profile. It also allows more coffee oils to remain in the final cup, resulting in a more aromatic and complex coffee. The French Press can be used to brew a variety of coffee types, including light, medium, and dark roasts, making it a versatile option.
What is more, the French Press coffee maker offers more flexibility in terms of brewing methods, allowing users to experiment with the coffee ground size, coffee-to-water ratio, and steeping time to find their preferred flavour profile. It can also be used to brew tea or cold-brew coffee, adding to its adaptability.
On top of that, the aforementioned affordability and eco-friendliness of the French Press definitely make it stand out over other options.
So, are you convinced that a French Press could be right for you? At Maxicoffee we love them. If you haven’t quite found the perfect French press to meet your needs, check out our full selection here.
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