The French Press: An Oldie But a Goodie

The French Press: An Oldie But a Goodie

For coffee lovers, the French Press is a well-known brewing method and also one of the oldest. It has been around for over 100 years, but still remains a popular choice for many coffee enthusiasts. In this article, we will dive into the history of the French Press, how to use it properly, and why it's still a favorite brewing method for many.

The History of the French Press

The French Press, also known as a press pot, plunger pot, or coffee press, was first patented by an Italian named Attilio Calimani in 1929. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that the French Press gained popularity in France and eventually around the world.

The design of the French Press is simple yet effective. It consists of a cylindrical glass or stainless steel container with a plunger and a metal or nylon mesh filter. The coffee grounds are placed in the container, hot water is added, and after a few minutes of steeping, the plunger is pressed down, separating the coffee from the grounds.

How to Use a French Press

Using a French Press is fairly simple, but there are a few important steps to follow in order to produce the best cup of coffee possible.

1. Heat water to the desired temperature, typically around 200°F (93°C).
2. Grind coffee beans to a coarse consistency, similar to breadcrumbs.
3. Add the coffee grounds to the French Press.
4. Pour hot water over the coffee grounds and let it steep for 4-5 minutes.
5. After 4-5 minutes, gently press down on the plunger, separating the coffee from the grounds.
6. Pour the coffee into your cup and enjoy.

Tips for the Perfect Cup

To get the most out of your French Press, here are some tips to keep in mind:

- Use high-quality coffee beans and grind them just before brewing for optimal freshness.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure the coffee and water for consistency.
- Use water that is just off the boil to ensure that the coffee brews evenly.
- Experiment with steeping time, but generally 4-5 minutes is ideal.

Why the French Press is Still a Favorite

One of the main reasons the French Press has stood the test of time is because of its simplicity. It doesn't require any fancy equipment or electricity, making it the perfect brewing method for camping trips or for use in the office.

Additionally, the French Press allows for full immersion of the coffee grounds, meaning that the water comes into contact with all of the coffee, resulting in a full-bodied and flavorful cup. The metal or nylon mesh filter also allows for oils and flavors to pass through, enhancing the overall taste of the coffee.

Finally, the French Press is a versatile brewing method. It can be used for cold brew, tea, and even cocktails.


The French Press may be an oldie, but it's still a goodie. Its simplicity, versatility, and ability to produce a flavorful cup of coffee have made it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts for over 100 years. So, the next time you're looking for a new brewing method, give the French Press a try and see why it has stood the test of time.