You can call it by many names – press pot, coffee plunger, cafetiere a piston, coffee press – however you choose to refer to it, the French press is decidedly one of the best methods of brewing coffee in its truest form.
The brewing device was invented by Italian Attilio Calimani in 1929, and has been a home-brewing and cafe staple ever since. However, it has seen several design modifications since its inception. The first press, most likely designed in France, resembled the press we know today, however it used a cheesecloth screen that was fitted to a rod that was then pressed into a pot of boiling water. Faliero Bondanini then made his own version and patented it in 1958, where he then began manufacturing it in a French clarinet factory, Martin S.A. It’s popularity grew even more from there. Once Household Articles, Ltd. and Bodum got their hands on it and started manufacturing, it truly took Europe by storm.
The great thing about the French press is the simplicity, yet effectiveness, of the design. The modern press pot consists of a cylindrical beaker made of glass or plastic, a metal or plastic lid and plunger, and a nylon or wire mesh filter. That’s it! And, the brewing is simple and marvelous. Grind your coffee into a coarse grind, place in bottom of French press, pour hot water over coffee, wait a few minutes, plunge down, and pour. The brew even is even highly and simply adjustable just by varying the steep time
Brewing coffee with the press method is one of the best ways to truly taste a coffee, as well. This is because the water is better saturated by the coffee grounds and stays in contact with the grounds longer. This leads to a truer and fuller taste.
The French press can also accommodate loose-leaf tea enthusiasts.