Not only is a French press coffee pot a handy way for travelers to make coffee, it also makes a superior
tasting and more aesthetically pleasing cup of coffee then a drip coffee maker. Because the brew is not
filtered through paper, it retains more of its essential qualities. Pressed coffee has a decidedly richer
taste and thicker consistency then that which you get from a machine.
A Little History
History can not clearly give France credit for this method brewing method. While it is true that
they worked on developing a coffee maker similar to what is now known as a French press coffee pot, it
was a Danish company, Bodum, that nearly single handedly popularized this brewing method.
And while you do find quite a few homes in France equipped with a cafetière à piston as it is known,
they are certainly just as popular in other places in the world. In fact, as far as kitchen equipment goes, these days, home
espresso machines, such as Nespresso, are all the rage.
I prefer the simplicity of the press however. It makes an excellent cup of coffee, complete with that
brown foam known as bloom, that I have come to associate with a quality beverage. It is also fabulously
How to Use
Use a larger grind of coffee then for a regular machine. If you use a fine grind, you'll end up with
some sludge. Personally, I don't mind a tad of sludge, mais il faut pas exagérer.
Ideally, grind your own from fresh roasted coffee beans. Be sure to use a quality grinder however, as the grains need to be uniformly sized for good results.
Place more or less one heaping tablespoon in the bottom of the French press coffee pot for each 6 ounce
cup you wish to make.
Bring the water to a full boil and then let it cool for a couple of seconds, before adding it to the pot. An
electric teakettle works
great in tandem with a press.
Let the brew steep for just a few minutes.
Slowly and carefully press the plunger down. Messes can result for the impatient person, as
certain people in my house can attest to.
Drink your coffee as soon as it is prepared as it will cool quickly. I like to make double strength coffee and then add hot water to my mugs to get the perfect temperature. That way I can have a second cup that is hot too.
The Travel Mug
Even if you're not ready to change over to using a press for your day to day coffee, you might like to try out a French press travel mug.
These are smaller then a regular press, and the pot serves as a mug as well. Perfect size for one person.
These fit easily in a suitcase and as long as you can get some boiling hot water you'll be set for a good cup in the morning.
Never again hotel coffee for you! And some come equipped with a safety spout, so you can sip and move.
A travel mug or even a larger French press coffee pot would also be great for car campers.
Other Uses for Your Press
You can use your French press coffee pot to brew loose leaf tea as well. The method is exactly the same as for brewing coffee.