A type of coffee maker. The main components of a french press are a glass carafe, a mesh screen and a handle. Coffee is brewed in a french press by soaking the grounds in hot water in the carafe. The screen is used to strain the brew before drinking.

Other names for a french press include plunger and coffee press.

A Simple Way to Make the Best Coffee You've Ever Had.


The Real Point of this Writeup

What You Need

1. French Press

The german firm Bodum makes a variety of inexpensive models that are relativly easy to find. Check Crate & Barrell, Willams Sonoma, Starbucks or even Barnes & Noble for them. Better yet, try a local coffee or cookware shop that hasn't managed to take over every mall in the United States of America (yet). You'll want to be sure you get one with a glass carafe. (Plastic and coffee do not mix.) French presses come in a variety of sizes, choose one that is closest to the dose of coffee you (or your klatch) require for your fix(es).

2. Coffee Grounds

Conventional wisdom states that you should buy whole beans by the pound, store them in your fridge, then grind-as-you-go with an electric grinder. Conventional wisdom will server you bland coffee. Fresh grounds from stale beans do not make fresh coffee. Your fridge and freezer will leach moisture and flavor out of your coffee. Home grinders produce irregurlar-sized grounds, with plenty of little shavings that add an unpleasant bitterness to your coffee. If you have the time, buy your coffee often (at least once a week) and have it ground at the store (Those big Italian grinders produce very regular grounds.) and keep it out of your fridge (A shelf or a cupboard will do just fine.).

3. Boiling Water

There are many ways to get this. What's most important is that you begin with cold water, then bring it to a boil.

4. Spoon

Sure, you can make coffee without one, but if you use the same spoon to measure your coffee each time you make it, fine tuning the grounds-to-water ratio to your taste will be a simple task.

What You Do

First, make sure your french press is clean and dry. If you leave traces of yesterday's coffee in the coffee maker, expect today's coffee to taste a day old.

Spoon the grounds into the empty french press. Try a heaped tablespoon of grounds for each ten ounces of water.

Pour boiling water onto the grounds and place the lid on the french press.

Let the coffee brew for about five minutes, then force the mesh screen down the carafe.

Pour. Add milk and sugar as desired. Drink.

Some Considerations for Those New to Drinking French Press Coffee

Before you take a big old swig of that aromatic brew sitting in your cup take a moment to note you just made coffee without a paper filter. Yup, that's right, there are a few grounds kicking around in your cup, but they're easy enough to avoid. Just let that fresh cup sit ten to fifteen seconds while the finer grounds that made it through the screen settle before you toss it down the hatch. Don't swish your coffee around in your cup and don't drink the last eighth-inch or so of coffee.

Pay attention to your grounds. See how they smell before you brew your coffee. That smell is what your coffee will taste like. You'll find as your grounds go stale, you'll get weaker, thinner-tasting coffee.