Also referred to as a French press, a coffee press operates by allowing coffee grounds and water to steep together in the machine’s lower portion. Afterward, a mesh filter on a plunger is used, and pressed downwards through the water to separate the coffee from the leftover grounds.
Brewing in this way creates a strong, flavorful coffee as all of the oils and some of the finer coffee grounds are able to pass through the mesh. For this reason it’s important not to use coffee grounds which are too fine, or you will end up with a cup full of residue.
How the press works
A coffee press separates into several parts, all of which have a vital role to play in generating the perfect cup of coffee, so here is a quick guide to how they work:
- The lid
The lid of the coffee press is connected to a plunger and a filter system, which is used to separate the drink from the coffee grinds. The filter is metal and doesn’t require any kind of paper filter or any additional filtering.
This process creates a strong and rich coffee. The filter is attached to a metal rod, which makes up the plunger; it pushes the filter to the bottom of the press, forcing the grounds to the bottom as it does so.
The filter is the perfect size to fit inside the press, without allowing any grounds to escape into the resulting coffee drink, containing it all at the bottom of the press, contained underneath the filter.
- The press
The main body of the press is generally a glass beaker shape, with a handle. As you press down the plunger through the coffee, you end up with the grounds captured safely at the bottom, and a glass beaker full of drinkable coffee.
The beaker usually has a spout and a handle, so you can easily pour your freshly brewed coffee straight into a mug. It’s important not to tip up too much or you might risk some of the grounds escaping.
The key advantages of a coffee press
One of the key reasons people opt for using a coffee press is because it doesn’t require any extra costly kit. There is no need for paper filters or an expensive machine, and you can use it anywhere that you have access to hot water and ground coffee.
It is also a very mobile press which can be taken anywhere so it’s a useful piece of kit for taking camping or away on holiday, giving even more reason to invest in one – you can have coffee wherever you go.
If you like to have fresh coffee at work, instead of instant or a vending machine cup, you can just have a coffee press on your desk to make a fresh brew when you need that vital afternoon caffeine injection.
You can decide how strong or weak you want your coffee by adding more, or less coffee grounds into the press. It’s entirely in your control, although it’s important to use the right type of coffee, it needs to be a medium to course grind so it doesn’t slip through the filter.
Tips for using a coffee press
When using a coffee press, you should stir the coffee gently and then let it brew for around four minutes before using the plunger to separate the grounds. That should give you the perfect brew strength.
Once the coffee has brewed, check for any kind of residue or crust which may have developed on the surface. You need to remove this from the coffee by stirring it, before pushing the plunger down through the coffee.
When pouring the coffee out, don’t tip it too far or you will risk coffee grounds escaping, and don’t pour out the very last part of the coffee as it will be full of coffee grounds so leave that in the press rather than in your mug.
When you drink the coffee from your mug you might also find residue build up in the bottom of the mug, so again, avoid drinking right to the bottom as you don’t want to end up swallowing nasty coffee dregs.
Using a coffee press is a very quick and easy way to make a fresh brew at home, without the need to buy any expensive equipment. It’s a relatively cheap coffee maker and is completely portable providing coffee on the go wherever you are.
There are a few tips to using it perfectly but if you follow the guidance outlined in this article you will have no problems creating an ideal coffee brew every single time. Whether you like strong black coffee, or a weaker coffee to add milk or cream to, you can create it with a coffee press.