Coffee is a beloved beverage in all parts of the world. Coffee is actually made from the seeds of the Coffea plant and originally comes from Africa. Now coffee is produced in more than 70 equatorial countries such as South America, Asia, and India. Coffee beans are picked green (ripe) and roasted to whatever degree the desired coffee calls for, and ground to make the beverage coffee. No one is sure of the date of coffee’s introduction as a stimulant, but has it been around for centuries.
The French Coffee Press
The French Coffee Press was designed by Attillo Calmani in 1929 and has undergone several design modifications over the years. The original coffee press used cheesecloth or a metal screen to hold the ground coffee which was then pressed into a pot of boiling water.
The specialized press cannot be used with regular coffee grounds for a drip coffee maker. The grind is so fine it would be expelled into the coffee itself and larger grounds may not reach the filter properly; therefore, the French press requires more of a medium grind. The French press makes coffee much like tea bags make tea, but, instead of tea leaves in a bag to steep, the press uses loose coffee which is later strained trough fabric or mesh, which is submersed in boiling water for two to four minutes depending on how strong you would like your coffee to be.
The coffee grounds are held at the bottom of the coffee beaker, allowing the liquid to be poured into a waiting vessel. The French press can be used in the same manner to make tea using the ground tea leaves in an infuser.
How to Brew
The French press is specifically for coffee that is to be served immediately and shouldn’t be kept in the press because its sole purpose is to brew the coffee. If the coffee is to be held before drinking, it should be moved to a carafe.
Although the French press was created in Europe and is widely used there today. It has made its way to America and coffee drinkers are crazy about it, especially those who like their coffee strong.
The press brews coffee from hot, but not boiling, water poured over medium-sized coffee grounds. Set up kettle or microwave to heat water. For the best coffee, grind the beans directly before making the coffee while the water boils and is set aside to cool a bit. Depending on the taste and quality of your tap water, you can use filtered water if you prefer.
After grinding, while water is still heating, remove the plunger from the glass container, by pulling straight up. Fill the press with hot tap water to keep the coffee warm after brewing. Next, before adding the heated water, pour out the tap water and discard.
The quantity of the grounds added to the press depends on your individual preference as to the strength of the coffee produced. The rule of thumb is one heaping tablespoon per each five ounces of water. Experiment with different combinations to see what quantities yield the best results.
Once the water is ready, add the ground coffee to the French press and slowly pour nearly boiling water over the coffee to the desired level. Stir the water with a long-handled spoon and wait while the coffee steeps. Once the coffee has steeped the proper amount of time depress the plunger firmly, slowly, and as level as possible to avoid grounds from seeping into the brew.
Wait 30 seconds; then pour into a cup holding the press’s lid in place. Remember to pour the remainder of coffee into another container to avoiding more steeping making the coffee bitter. Using the French press requires a bit more work than the traditional coffee maker, but many find it worth the work.