French press coffee makers are some of the best coffee makers out there. What is even more impressive about French press coffee makers is that they are easy to use. In this guide, we would see what they are, and why you have to get them. Read through this guide keenly as we show you.
What is a French coffee maker?
A French press coffee maker is a device that is used to extract the best flavor possible from coffee. It is made up of a round, carafe with a lid and a plunger. The carafe is made out of plastic, stainless steel, or glass. The plunger fits perfectly inside the carafe.
How does a French press work?
French press coffee makers work through a process of immersion brewing or steeping, which means that all of the brewing water and all of the coffee grounds are in contact with each other for most or all of the brew time. This is a very forgiving way to make coffee because it doesn’t require much action on your end, but it helps to understand how and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Water loves to dissolve things, and coffee has plenty to dissolve: There are thousands of flavor compounds, organic acids, and other dissolvable solids in coffee that are what make it so flavorful. The coffee brewing container is designed to maximize that process by allowing the water and coffee to simply do what they do best: Mix, mingle and make delicious things happen before your eyes.
What Makes A French Press Coffee Maker Different?
Clearly, the process of making coffee using a French press coffee maker is different. With a French press, your coffee grounds are going to mix directly with the brewing water. This leads to greater retention of the essential oils, aroma, and flavor of the coffee.
Traditional coffee makers use a mesh filter and or paper filters to remove grounds and powder before the coffee is brewed and poured into the cup. Because of the French press process, the liquid is usually thicker with a stronger flavor than traditional coffee.
In addition, you might also notice more sediment in a cup of coffee made with a French press coffee maker. This sediment is made up of coffee grounds that might have remained in the liquid after the French press process.
One important thing to note is that you should try to drink your coffee quickly after it is made with a French press machine. Because there are small coffee grounds that tend to sit at the bottom of the cup, your drink may develop a bitter taste.
The coffee grounds at the bottom of your cup continue to release oils, making the liquid more bitter as time goes by. If you like a bitter flavor in your coffee, you may want to let the cup sit for a few minutes so the coffee grounds release oils into your cup.
Making Coffee Using A French Press in detail
As with any regular cup of coffee, you will need three key ingredients: coffee beans, water, and the press itself. You can also add sugar if you would like, but doing so is not necessary.
To get the purest coffee experience, do not add sugar. You can use a regular kettle or a stove as your heat source, and there are no specific requirements for that.
Add a suitable amount of water to your kettle or pot. Experts recommend that, for the best flavor and richness, one should use about 8 ounces of water for every 2 tablespoons of coffee used.
Next, heat the water using a kettle or on a stovetop. This is obviously an essential step, as if the water is not heated correctly, the final product will not be nearly as enjoyable.
The optimal brewing temperature is somewhere between 190°F and 205°F. To be absolutely sure, you could always use a regular thermometer, or a variable temperature kettle if you have one available.
Place some freshly ground coffee beans into your French press. You can decide how many to use. Stir them for a few seconds to ensure that all the coffee grounds have been completely dissolved in hot water.
Next, remove the plunger and place it inside of the carafe, then place the lid onto the coffee maker. This will make sure that no heat escapes the French press.
Let the coffee grinds and hot water sit as they are for about 5 or 6 minutes. Then gently press the plunger, so that the coffee grinds become trapped in the stainless-steel mesh filter located at the bottom of the plunger.
Keep the plunger like this for approximately 20 seconds before removing it from the French press. All that’s left to do is to pour the freshly brewed coffee into a mug and add cream and sugar to taste.
Benefits of Using a French Press to Make Coffee
As far as flavor goes, most coffee experts agree that beverages made with a French press are the tastiest when compared with other types of makers. That’s because none of the taste is being filtered out.
Much of the flavor of coffee resides in the oils and this isn’t lost in the French press process. Smaller grounds also get into the coffee and percolate to provide additional taste. Lastly, the steeping process is simply more effective when it comes to providing flavor.
You can buy ready-ground coffee to use with your maker, although care should be taken that it is of a sufficiently coarse consistency. The finer coffee that’s used in drip makers doesn’t work properly if you try to use it with a French press.
French presses are one of the least expensive coffee maker types available.
Typically, you can pick them up for somewhere between $15 and $30, although there are both cheaper and more expensive options available.
On top of that, you don’t need to regularly buy extras, such as paper filters.
Stainless Steel Presses Last a Lifetime
Although the same can’t be said for the glass models, a stainless steel French press is an extremely durable piece of equipment, in my experience.
The simplicity of these devices also contributes to their durability. There are no electronics or complicated parts to go wrong.
Convenient and Easy to Use
Unlike with most electrical coffee makers, you don’t need to consult a complicated instruction manual or program a French press. The process is extremely straightforward and, once you’ve got the hang of it, you can do it without thinking.
Essentially, you just add the appropriate amount of ground coffee, add some hot water, give it a stir, put the lid on, wait for five minutes, and then plunge.
Preheating the press before beginning the process can help to keep the temperature from fluctuating when you add hot water, and some people believe that this improves the taste.
It’s important never to use boiling water, as that can give the coffee a slightly bitter edge. Ideally, you should use water that’s around 195°F, which is just below boiling point. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can achieve this by allowing the boiling water to cool for around a minute once you’ve taken it off the stove.
No Paper Filters Required
One of the annoying things about drip coffee makers is that you need to keep buying and using paper filters. You can easily run out, or they get water damaged, or you just mislay them. This can be frustrating if you’re desperate for your morning cup of coffee before you dash to work.
The problem is avoided with a French press. All you really need besides the maker is some coarsely ground coffee and hot water.
Whether it’s sat on the counter, placed in the dishwasher, or stored away in a cupboard, a French press takes up very little space. This is a desirable feature for almost any device but is especially useful for those who have a smaller kitchen.
As well as my main one for general use, I also have a baby French press that I can put in my suitcase and take traveling with me. That way, as long as I’m staying somewhere where I can access hot water, I can always enjoy excellent coffee drinks.
Easy to Clean
All makers tend to become stained and sticky over time, due to the nature of coffee and the oils it contains.
Unlike other types of a coffee maker where the parts and components can be difficult to access for cleaning, everything is right there in front of you with a French press.
Usually, the components, such as the plunger, come apart and the various pieces can be cleaned separately.
Buyer’s Guide For French Coffee Makers
An overall advantage of making coffee with a French press is its size. All French presses are pretty low maintenance. Some coffee makers can take up room on your kitchen counter and become a permanent fixture, but almost all French presses are portable.
It’s relevant to know the size of your beaker or carafe because that determines how much coffee you’ll produce. It’s no use getting a French press that is little in size if you wish to brew multiple cups at once.
Most coffee lovers who use French presses either end up sharing with others or are single consumers of multiple cups. For both the beginner and the expert, we recommend anywhere from 36 to 64 ounces.
Another common question asked when choosing a French press is how durable it is. No one wants to waste their hard-earned money on a coffee maker that won’t last a week. With French presses, this question directly correlates with what the carafe is made of.
Which material is better, glass or stainless steel? It all depends on what suits your specific needs. Stainless steel is great for those who want to keep their coffee hot longer. Stainless steel French presses can also take a beating. You can drop one several times without it breaking.
Glass French presses look a lot more appealing than stainless steel ones. Stainless steel ones have a more uniform look to them.
Ease of Use
For the most part, French presses are pretty simple to use. However, some are a little more complicated than others. Do you have time for a coffee maker that’s not as intuitive as the next?
When considering ease of use with a French press, some factors to keep in mind are plunger smoothness, filter effectiveness, and ease of cleanup.
One of the advantages of having a French press coffee maker is how easy it is to use. So it’s important to keep these things in mind.
We hate to say it, but the brand is important when considering a French press. If you’re not interested in one of our top picks, start exploring a brand that you know or are familiar with. Not familiar with any coffee maker brands? Ask around. Surely someone you know has a brand they recommend.
It’s best to choose a French press from a company that specializes in making coffee brewing equipment. When you stray away from the experts, you have to deal with rookie mistakes.
As with every purchase or investment, keep the price in mind. French presses can range in price. Some cost as little as $20, while others are upwards of $100. We recommend the safe route of finding a happy medium, not going too low or too high.
To conclude, there is a kind of novelty that comes with using a French press coffee maker that cannot be achieved with today’s modern ‘smart’ coffee machines, which is why they have remained so popular. Hopefully, this guide has illuminated some things about French presses that you may not have known.