Many coffee enthusiasts worldwide consider brewing a cup of coffee an art. For this reason, using specialty machines and brews are recommended to get the most out of a coffee experience. A French Press is just one of these “specialty” machines in America, but it is the coffee brewer of choice in Europe. it can be said that a French Press offers a coffee treat for coffee lovers In America and for many people in the country, it is.
Why About a Drip Machine?
While most Americans are used to the flavor of coffee that is quickly ground, packed and shipped to the local supermarkets, ready to be scooped into the drip machines everyone uses, they do not realize that they are probably drinking a very un-flavorful cup of coffee-despite the “guarantees” of the coffee manufacturer.
The problem is that this quick manufactured, quick brewed coffee is that it has probably been sitting on the shelves for more than a week, the optimal amount of time to use coffee before it goes stale. Once coffee is ground, whether in the manufacturing plant or at home, it must be sued within seven days for optimal taste and freshness. For the best cup of coffee, the beans should be ground within an hour of brewing and this includes beans meant for use in a French Press.
Using the French Press
Stepping out of the typical “brew a pot of mechanically brewed coffee” for a moment, a French Press not only improves on the flavor of the coffee, but it also improves on its freshness if done right. A Typical French Press is a glass or ceramic canister style pot. A metal piece with a hole in the middle for the plunger rests at the top of the press. The user adds the amount of coffee desired, then adds hot-not boiling-water and lets it sit.
The amount of time the coffee sits in the water varies with the grind of the coffee and strength of brew desired. The finer the brew, the less time it should sit in the water; however, if the coffee is ground too fine, some grinds may escape during the extraction process. It is best to use a coarse grind, slightly coarser than the coffee grind used for drip coffee makers and for a stronger brew, let the grinds sit longer or add more to the pot. The person making the coffee than pushes the metal piece with the plunger down trapping the grounds with it as it nears the bottom of the pot. What remains is the liquid coffee.
Press and Drip Flavor Distinctions
French Press coffee makers leave a distinct taste to the coffee they brew. This is because the coffee grinds sit in the liquid for some time and instead of the filter catching the oils, preventing them from mixing with the liquid, they are incorporated into the liquid upon the extraction process. These oils are what produce such a strong aroma and taste to the coffee; without the oil, the coffee might as well have been watered down.
What many people do not realize, but do once they have treated themselves to a cup of freshly ground French Press style coffee, is that drip coffee makers are fast and convenient, but they make coffee that is tasteless compared to a press. Drip coffee makers use gravity to drip the water over the coffee grounds and into the pot. However, the filters that stop the grounds from falling into the liquid also trap the oils and stop them from mixing with the water, thus leaving most of the fresh taste behind and later in the trash.
A French Press is a convenient way to make fresh coffee that tastes great. One thing is for certain, those who use a French Press and use it properly with fresh ground beans may never want to go back to drinking regular drip coffee again. While it is a treat for many to use a French Press when they have the time, doing so may become a flavorful addiction.