With so many different French Press products on the market it can be difficult to know which one to purchase. Often times people will get one for it’s appearance or price. Let us help you navigate the world of the French Press.
First up is the always debated question of stainless, glass, or plastic. The reality is you can make a great cup of coffee in any, well maybe two of the three, but each has it’s nuances.
Stainless - is an all around winner and is durable which makes it great for travel or at the office. If choosing stainless, be sure it is double walled to maximize heat retention and always preheat the press.
Glass - is also an excellent choice that also offers better visibility of how your brew appears and for determining the speed of your “press”. The only real drawback is the glass itself. It will clearly require more delicate handling when traveling.
Plastic - will definitely make you a cup of coffee and be durable for travel or rattling around in your desk drawer, but it will also retain oils and flavors from previous uses which will sour over time making for a less than preferable cup of coffee. You may also find that it retains scents and flavors from your dish soap. All things considered, we would not typically recommend plastic for your freshly roasted high-end coffee.
Regardless of your choice, another key consideration is size. Smaller is better. Too much heat loss occurs if your press is larger than the amount you will be brewing. Additionally we would recommend you preheat with hot water which you’ll discard before beginning your brew. This will help to reduce conductive heat loss keeping the temperature and flavor extraction of your coffee at that sweet spot.
Next up is the coffee to water ratio. Much of this will be subjective to your palette and desired strength of coffee. A great starting point is 1oz of coffee per 16fl oz of water (see previous tip regarding the proper grind). Your water temp should be between 195-200 degrees.
Let your coffee and water sit for about 4 minutes before giving it a gentle stir to allow the grounds to fall out. Slowly press the filter down. If possible, purchase a press with a double walled filter. This will help reduce sediment in your cup.
Patience is a key for making a good cup of French Press coffee. Enjoy the process and making small adjustments to the above to best suit your preferences and the coffee you are using.