What Is a French Press?
The French press is a simple coffee maker, consisting of a brewing recipient and a filter-plunger. The brewing recipient can be made of glass, or stainless steel, or ceramic. The plunger has a screen filter attached at the bottom and is used to separate the coffee grounds from the brew. The screen is made from stainless steel, or sometimes from plastic.
The press pot was invented by Paolini Ugo and patented by Attilio Calimani in 1929. French press is the name used in the US and Canada. The machine is also known as coffee plunger, coffee press, press pot, cafetière a piston in France or cafetière in the U.K. In Italy, the press is known as a caffettiera a stantuffo. In New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa the apparatus is known as a coffee plunger, and coffee brewed in it as plunger coffee.
French press can also refer to the coffee preparation method. The French press coffee brewing method consists of immersing coarsely ground coffee in hot water, stir vigorously, and steep for 2 to 5 minutes. After steeping, the filter plunger is pressed down in order to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee. The stirring helps the grounds saturate with water for an improved extraction. The grounds are fully saturated with water when they sink at the bottom of the brewing recipient.
A new trend in the market is the introduction of the insulated French press. This improves the brewing process by slowing down the temperature dropping, very common with glass French Presses. Most commonly, the insulated French press is made of stainless steel with double walls.