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French Press Coffee, Or "How to Take the Plunge"

"Once you drink French Press, you'll never go back to drip coffee."  Oh yeah?  Well...yeah.  It turns out that French Press coffee drinkers are very much dedicated to their brew type.  But why?  What is it about this coarse brew that enthralls its drinkers and converts them forever? It's sort of crude, quite inexpensive, and it actually requires a relatively great amount of physical exertion!

French Press coffee has a cult following. Like crema coffee, espresso, and vacuum coffee drinkers, French Press coffee drinkers swear by their plunged brew and will drink no other.  Why?  One thought is that French Press coffee has more caffeine than other types of coffee, like drip coffee or percolator coffee. 

Another thought is that French Press coffee has less of the bitter oils other coffee. Are these assumptions true?  Yes.  Generally, coffee lovers make their coffee the following way: break out the paper filter, scoop ground coffee into the filter, press the coffee maker button, and voila.  But, French Press coffee maker users, like those who use the Bonjour, claim that the brew from a French Press is unlike that from a drip coffee maker in that the coffee grounds are in constant contact with the hottest water.  Unlike drip coffee, there is no paper filter to absorb the precious aromatics.  Also, unlike espresso, the grind is coarse, and the water stays in contact with the grounds for several minutes, rather than 20 seconds.  As it stands, French Pressing coffee produces a brew that has been in contact with the coffee grounds more than any other type of brew.

So what?  Relatively speaking (relative to drip coffee), there is not much more caffeine in French Press coffee.  But it's not that easy.  Some folks soak the coffee grounds for 10 minutes and grind the coffee beans on a drip or electric perc grinder setting.  In this case, the caffeine content will be greater.  Other folks prefer no more than two minutes of steeping per cup and a coarse grind (coarser than percolator) is a must.  In that case, caffeine content can actually be as little as or less than drip coffee.  At the end of the day, the amount of caffeine in your cup depends on grind size and amount of time the grounds steep in water.  And that's true of all types of brews. So how does French Pressing work?

  1. Grind 1-1/2-2 Tbs of coffee on coarse to percolator grind size per cup of boiling water
  2. Dump grounds into French Press Carafe
  3. Pour in boiling water
  4. Replace lid on carafe, and plunge filter disk to the bottom of the carafe, but not so far down that it compresses the grounds against the bottom
  5. Steep 2-1/2-5 minutes, depending on taste preference
  6. Pour into a preheated cup. So, that's French Pressing, in a nutshell.  Go ahead and take the plunge

Remember, JL Hufford's support staff is ready to assist you at 877-554-8336 with any of your French Press questions.