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Brewing Magic at Home Part IV: Using a French Press For Fun and Profit. Mostly Fun, though.

Noobs and snobs alike know that the French Press is a popular and very highly regarded way to brew coffee. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about why that is.

One reason the French Press is popular is its ease of use. Seriously, a five-year-old could work one of these. Please supervise your five-year-old if they’re pouring boiling water on stuff. Anyhow, here’s how to do it:

Measure coarsely-ground coffee into the press.

Pour boiling water over the grounds and stir.

Press the filter down, pushing the grounds to the bottom and retaining them there.

Pour a cup of coffee and drink it.

Coffee lover, coffee expert and expert lover Ryan Schmidt says he likes the French Press for the “Richness of the cup” “the… mmmm” and “the intimate personal experience of the preparation.”  The French Press is the antithesis of the K-cup, and that has only added to its charm as more and more people are preparing their daily glug without ever even seeing a bean or coffee particle.

The major reason French Pressed coffee tastes so rich is the entire potsworth of brewing fluid is in contact with the entire mass of ground coffee for the entire duration of the brew. With other brewing methods (drip coffee, espresso etc…)  the brew water passes through the coffee grounds and is in contact with the coffee for only a very short time. Additionally, you seem to get more of the bean in the cup- there’s oil and silt that makes it in there, you tend to feel more connected to the coffee when you drink it this way.

Now I’ll run down the pros and cons of the French press for the TL;DR crowd:

Pros:

  • Great flavor extraction
  • Fuller body from suspended coffee particulate
  • Unparalleled ceremony and gravitas
  • Oil and Silt in the Cup (If that’s what you’re into)
Cons:
  • Time consuming
  • Cleanup can be a pain
  • Oil and Silt in the Cup (If it makes you dry heave)
If you want the great flavor extraction of a french press but want to avoid the oils, silt and cleanup, check out my article on the pourover brewing method.
What do you like about the French Press? Do you remember the first time you used one? Let’s talk about it in the comments section.
Thanks for reading- see you next time!