French Press coffee maker

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Jan 6, 2005
North Alabama
Do any of you use a French Press coffee maker? I saw a show called "Coffee" on the history channel this past weekend. They were showing this little French Press coffee maker & the fellas were just raving over how great it made the coffee taste. I'm just wondering if anyone has any first hand experience with these contraptions. I'm thinking about buying one, but if they're not "all that", my wallet & I will pass.
I don't use mine often, but it sure beats my drip coffeemaker. The only drwback is it is not as convenient, but it makes a great cup of coffee. A bit of a pain to clean, but not all too bad.
Not as good as espresso, but a mellow rich cup of coffee every time. We don't even own a drip coffee maker anymore. Just the boudum (sp?) aka french press and the espresso machine. Easy to use and clean, quick, great coffee.
Actually coffee maker taste depends from brands to brands, I find German Krupps, Braun and Bosch giving the best taste as compared to all others in the market. The timing of drip is quite controlled as compared to a steady flow in other brands so it manages to extract good flavor from the beans.
Thanks guys. Any recommendation for the best brand of French Press coffee maker, & where to buy? Thanks in advance.
Bodum works great, costs $15 at target. you'll also find them at cost plus/world market or your local starbucks. one thing my relatives can't seem to understand is even though you have pushed the strainer down you need to pour all of the coffe out immidiately becuase it is still in contact with the grinds. they leave the coffee in, then complain that it tastes terrible. I also like the small 1 cup Italian percolators. I'm currently looking for a vacuum pot.
Joe1, In what way(s) specifically does it beat your drip coffee maker?
The flavor is better than drip. That is my opinion which is not shared by everybody. I just find the drip maker to be more convenient and less of a I use my Bodum press only on weekends.
I second Bodum's french presses. I have one at home and I use it all the time. The biggest difference between a FP vs. an auto drip is that the coffee usually has more body and character with a FP. Some might describe it as "muddy looking" if they were used to drinking late night diner coffee. This would be due to the fact that some of the very fine sediment and oils make it through the metal screen that wouldn't otherwise have made it through a paper filter. Since we're on this site, think K&N vs. AC Delco. Also, a FP allows you to tailor the temperature of the water you use with your beans. Generally, the optimum temperature for extraction is about 200 degrees (Farenheit), whereas the temperature of the water in an auto drip machine can swing all over the place depending on which brand you buy. There is one drawback (or not, depending on how you see it) to using a french press if you drink a lot of coffee at one time, however. Mine only allows me to brew about two full cups at once. I personally don't think this is a bad thing, as that's all I would drink in one sitting anyhow, or for me + one friend having coffee. They make larger french presses, but don't be fooled by their size if you are looking to make coffee for 5 or 6 people in one shot. I have to use about 12 oz. of water to get a full cup of brewed coffee. The grounds soak up a lot more water in a french press than they do in an auto drip, so be prepared. Also, if you use a FP, you MUST use a grind that is specifically for a french press. If you are at one of those coffee grinding stations in a grocery store, it is usually the coarsest grind available on the machine. If you are doing it at home, a burr grinder works better than a blade grinder, because a blade grinder tends to produce a somewhat uneven grind. Either way, don't sweat it, because your coffee will turn out a **** of a lot better than if you buy pre ground. As for beans, well, I roast my own using a popcorn popper (I don't like coffee or anything) to get exactly what I want, but even pre-bagged coffees turn out pretty well [Starbucks whole bean Columbia always turns out good in mine, and it's only about $7.00 a bag]. I generally make an honest effort to drink Fair Trade coffees as much as possible, and there are so many quality varieties available now that you almost have no excuse. Any way, 1 TBS. beans to 3 oz. of water just off the boil for 4 -5 minutes. Happy brewing.
[Roll Eyes] A quick post-mortem of my own post reveals that "The grounds soak up a lot more water in a french press than they do in an auto drip, so be prepared." in fact, came out of my ***. I don't even know what I meant. Thanks.
I have a French press, but I haven't used it in over 10 yrs! I have an old Cory vacuum pot that I picked up on eBay, and I think it makes some of the best coffee. However, it is much more time consuming than drip. I guess it is time to dig out the press and see how it compares. :OT:I've also started roasting my own beans, and have had to throw away a lot of the coffee that I used to drink as I can no longer stand the taste of it.
I have an old Bodum Freedom press teapot. Works very well with my favorites, Darjeeling and Irish Breakfast tea. I drink one liter black tea per day. Half a liter in the morning, another half liter at night. You don't want me on coffee. [Razz]
Thanks for all your help & suggestions. I'm going to pick up a Press at Target this week & try it out. I'm excited. A little [Off Topic!] , but have any of you guys ever tried REAL Kona coffee in either a press or a vacuum pot? How was it? p.s. I'm going to start a new topic about Kona coffees.
For those with Cholesterol problem I hear that coffee made from percolators and french press have much higher cholesterol. Apparently the filter catches a lot of it.
Pablo, Coffee contains no cholesterol, true. However a meta-analysis of 14 studies showed that people with normal total cholesterol levels had an increase of 6.1 mg/dl with coffee consumpion and individuals with already elevated cholesterol levels had a higher average increase 11.9 mg/dl in LDL. I wouldn't drink coffee if I had high cholesterol. However, since I don't, I'll continue to stick to my 6-10 cups a day :-) Note: The increases in LDL were most significant in heavy coffee drinks, i.e. 6 or more cups a day.
I thought there were studies that said a cup or two actually helped......maybe that was P volume. Still a far cry from:
For those with Cholesterol problem I hear that coffee made from percolators and french press have much higher cholesterol. Apparently the filter catches a lot of it.
These studies, did the brew method matter?
I got both of my french presses at Target. I've got one that does about 2 large cups and one that does less than 1 large cup. Both are the bodum brand. Coffee in a french press almost tastes "nutty" and is very smooth. Even though you can make it very stong, it's not bitter. Couple of things you will always have some sediment in the bottom of your cup, so never take the last "swig" and be sure you sip your coffee. Gulping will get you some slugde from the bottom. Second is the brewing process. It's not much longer than auto-drip, really, but you have to be more precise. What I do is put the water on. Then I'll grind my beans. About the time my beans are ground the water is boiling. After it's done boiling I let it set about 30 seconds. you want your water less than 212. Acutally about 205 is best so you don't scorch your beans. Pour hot water in your press on top of the ground coffee. Then take a non-metallic device and stur the coffee a few times. Set your timeer for 4 minutes and place the lid on the press(don't press yet) when your timer goes off. Press the coffee in a slow steady pressure. After that I'll pour a cup and if I have some extra I'll put that into a caraf to drink a a bit. Don't leave the coffee sit in the french press it will continue to brew even after pressing. Lastly the quality of the grind makes a big difference. Don't try to use one of those whirl grinders. Only a quality conical grinder will work. I use a hand grind so I don't heat the beans too much. If you have any questions just ask. So far I've made press coffee with a columbian and a french roast. I like french roast best (stong and dark.) but smooth.
This is all my wife and I use at home for our morning cup. I even use a single cup version at work for a late morning cup. If you have an instant hot water dispenser (ie. in-sink-erator) than brewing time (4 minutes) is faster than an autodrip. When we entertain, I break out the large capacity perculator since the press is just too small and looses heat rapidly.
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