French Press 101

If you’re a coffee fanatic you probably use a French press coffee pot. It’s a simple design that makes great coffee quickly and easily.

Many consider coffee from a French press to be divine. It’s a rich creamy and full of coffee flavor. The reason? The coffee oils aren’t trapped in a paper filter or burned in a percolator. The coffee floats up lazily from the press and forms a rich, thick brew that tastes like a heavy cream in the mouth.

A French press requires coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew coffee filter, as finer grounds will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, stirring it and leaving to brew for a few minutes, then pressing the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker.

It all started…
The French press underwent several design modifications over the years. The first coffee press, which may have been made in France, was the modern coffee press in its most rudimentary form: a metal or cheesecloth screen fitted to a rod, and pressed down into a pot of boiling water. The coffee press was patented by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. It underwent several design modifications through Faliero Bondanini, who patented his own version in 1958 and began manufacturing it in a French clarinet factory called Martin S.A., where its popularity grew. It was further popularized across Europe by a British company by the name of Household Articles Ltd., and most notably, the Danish tableware and kitchenware company, Bodum.
The modern French press consists of a narrow cylindrical beaker usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a lid and a plunger, which is made of metal or plastic that fits tightly in the cylinder and has a fine wire or nylon mesh filter. The simplicity of the mechanism and its potential for attractive after-dinner presentation have led to a variety of more-or-less aesthetic designs.

The French press is also more portable than other coffee makers. Special versions for travellers also exist. They also have a sealed lid with a closable drinking hole. Some versions are marketed to hikers and backpackers. These people often do not want to carry a heavy metal percolator or a filter using drip brew.

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