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French press coffee makers- any hints?

Hey folks- long time lurker, first time poster. Not sure if this is appropriate for the comm, mods, but I figured where better to ask about a gadget (and COFFEE) than a comm ostensibly peopled entirely with geeks? ;D

Just curious what folks think about French press- what make do you use, what size is enough to fulfill your coffee-craving, and if you own a press if you have any tips on brands or use.

Thanks!

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
farawaypoints
May. 9th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
mod note
I have a French press coffeemaker and, admittedly, have absolutely no idea how to use it despite the directions provided; all coffeemaking attempts with it have been complete and utter fail. So I'm curious to see what others have to say about them, myself :)
magaidhbhan
May. 9th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
I love my french press; it makes really flavorful, rich coffee. I've always been very happy with Bodum as a brand.

When I used my french press daily (I've switched to espresso now), I'd usually make a 4-cup sized pot, which makes about 2 big mugfulls. French press coffee has more caffeine than drip coffee or espresso, if I'm remembering rightly, because of the length of time the water has to leach the caffeine out of the grounds. Anecdotal evidence: at this point in my life, I can't function without my 4-shots latte every morning, but two mugs of french press coffee will make me jittery.

One note: the filter in a french press will get clogged up by finely-ground coffee. If you grind your own coffee (either at home or in the grocery store or whatever) you should chose a coarse grind -- many machines will have a french press setting. Normal ready-ground coffee is OK, but it's a pain in the butt to clean the filter and you have to be careful when pushing the plunger that the grounds don't build up, clog the filter, because then you're going to end up with a mini-explosion of ground-filled coffee up the sides of the pot and out across your hands and counter. Um, not that I'd know anything about that.
lillbet
May. 10th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I've been looking at Bodum and reading the reviews on Macy's site ($50 HOUSEWARMING GIFT CARD FTW!) for Bodum, so I'm really glad to hear you say that. At Sur la Table they were selling something called an "Aero" but I'm SO not a first adopter, so Bodum it is.

Most folks on the site mentioned the size of the 4-cup being more like a one and a shot- do Europeans really only need that little? Just one small shot of... that can't be right. They must make up the difference with all those chocolate croissants and... stuff.

And thanks for the coarse grind info. That must have been one HALE of an exciting morning! *lol*
magaidhbhan
May. 10th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Aero presses are a little bit different -- they use vacuum pressure to force the water through the coffee. So it’s like a combination of espresso, French press and filter techniques (and I think it uses espresso grounds?). Anyway, it's supposed to make super-smooth coffee, since you don't leave it to steep at all. But for plain ol' french press, you can't go wrong with Bodum. :)

I just double-checked on amazon, and I was totally wrong about the size of my own french press -- I have an 8-cup. Sorry! So yeah, probably a cup + a bit is about right for a 4-cup one. An advantage to a smaller one, though, is that when you want a second cup you make it fresh -- the coffee that sits in the press is still only divided from the grounds by a metal filter, so it can get a little bitter if you leave it sitting too long. If you drink coffee at the rate I do, though, it won't be a problem :)

That must have been one HALE of an exciting morning!

Um, yes. Exciting is definitely one word for it ... *shudder*
nnoi
Jul. 14th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
I LOVE my french press!! I have a LaCafetiere 8 cup which we have no problem finishing off but there are multiple people in my house. It is stronger then normal coffee but super super smooth. And if it is too strong it is easy to adjust the amount of coffee to your own preferences

It needs to be fresh ground coffee because the ground needs to be bigger then say folgers (not that this is a problem if you love coffee enough to own a french press I doubt you are buying folgers anyway)

They are super easy to use and I have never had any problems making a half or forth of a pot when I am the only one in the mornings or I just need an afternoon boost. The cleaning is a little annoying because much like a tea sieve you tend to get coffee grounds stuck in the metal filter but it is well worth it! And the best part for me was recently going on camping and not having to worry about how I was going to get my coffee

Edited at 2010-07-14 06:49 pm (UTC)
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