French Coffee Press Review
Steep your coffee like tea
Coffee is good. I’ve been drinking it since high school. My kids tease me and say that it is the reason I am short. 🙂 It’s estimated that 83% of adults drink coffee every day in the US to the tune of 587 million cups consumed per day. Wow. Coffee is a huge business.
I am not one of those people who are a very picky about their coffee. You know the ones that have to brew at the correct temperature (which is apparently between 195 F and 205 F) and pay close attention to the coarseness of the grind and on and on. I really just buy one of three brands of coffee (folgers, kirkland, or eight o’clock) depending on what is on sale or where I am shopping.
I also don’t have a fancy high end coffee maker either. We have our ‘fancy’ programmable Black and Decker coffee maker. It’s just a drip coffee maker that can be programmed to turn on and brew your coffee just before you get out of bed. It also has the “steal a cup” feature for when you cannot wait for the brew cycle to finish.
I have seen a few coffee enthusiasts use a french coffee press at work. They claim it is the best way to enjoy coffee. It is supposed to give you the best flavor out of your coffee. To me, it is more of a novelty item, but it did get my curiosity. I started to think, this would be good for those one or two cup small batches when I didn’t want to brew a whole pot.
Amazon has a bunch of french presses for sale, I didn’t want a piece of junk or spend a bunch of money. This was something I don’t really need. I found the reviews and the price of the SterlingPro French Press to be favorable, so I ordered it.
First impressions and use
I unpacked the french press and thought that the glass body was a bit fragile, but not any more fragile than a regular coffee pot it- in fact this glass is thicker than a coffee pot. The handle is hard plastic and sufficiently bulky to hold the press. The press comes with a lid and integrated strainer, a replacement strainer screen, and the body of the press itself. It has metal feet, and the lid, strainer and screen are made well.
The first thing I did was put coffee grounds into the carafe. It takes about 2 scoops of grounds to make a full carafe of coffee. Then you put on a of water to bring the temperature up to almost boiling. Don’t put boiling water into the press! I was even afraid of shattering the glass with nearly boiling water, so I pre-heated the press under some hot tap water before pouring in the water from the kettle.
Next was to pour the hot water onto the grounds in the press and then put the lid on. This is where you steep the grounds for 2-4 minutes. I used the plunger/strainer to mix the grounds up in the water instead of having them sit on the bottom, then let the plunger sit above the water and waited out the 2-4 minutes.
After the steeping time is over, push the plunger all the way down and then pour your coffee into your cup. That’s it. I was very surprised that there were absolutely no grounds in my cup of coffee. The taste was not noticeably different that using my regular drip coffee maker. However, the second and third cups are more bitter in flavor. This is because the coffee keeps ‘brewing’ the longer it sits in the grounds.
After you I had my coffee, its time to clean the press out. What a mess this is! One cannot simply dump the coffee grounds into the garbage (never put the grounds down the sink!) can, grab a paper towel or two and wipe the grounds out into the can. Then wipe off the plunger before taking it all to the sink for hand washing.
The french press is an easy way to make coffee. If anyone needs to make small batches or out camping, this way of making coffee is for you. Coffee will taste just as good as your drip brewer, or better if you know what you are doing. There were no grounds in my cup of coffee as I had expected. This press is well made and will withstand use for a long time if you are careful when cleaning it. Cleaning out the grounds is a pain in the butt, but in the end it is more healthy and sanitary than a K-cup. (read here about K-cups) I only use my french press occasionally now when I want a cup or two and don’t want to brew a whole pot of coffee. That is fine for me. Maybe someday, someone will show me what I am missing with the french press and instruct me how to get the best tasting coffee out of it. Maybe that person is you. Leave your comments below.