The Pros and Cons of French Press Coffee
A French Press is one of the more popular ways of preparing coffee, as it gives you the ability to brew the exact amount you need, and fits well within social situations. But what are the pros and cons of French Press? In this article, we will be explaining what it is, why it produces the flavours it does, and what trade-offs there are by making your coffee in this way.
What is a French Press?
You might also know of a French Press as a Cafetiere, a coffee press or a press plunger. It is a device used to brew coarse coffee that was invented in 1929. It is a carafe that you put your coffee granules in and add hot water, before leaving it for a number of minutes to let it brew. Once ready you push down the plunger which is attached to a filter, and all of the coffee granules are pushed to the base- leaving you with a rich, smooth, filtered coffee that is ready to be poured. French Presses come in a number of different sizes and come in versions that make enough for just one cup, or larger ones that make enough for 4 or 8 or even more cups of coffee.
Pros and Cons
Benefits of French Press
The main benefit of a French Press is the ease of use of the device. All you need to do is add coarsely ground coffee and hot water and then wait until it is ready. The equipment itself is relatively cheap to buy, especially when compared to the cost of a coffee machine. It also allows you to consistently produce great tasting coffee without having to learn too much about how to use it.
The use of coarsely ground coffee means that you have a little longer time to allow it to brew, so there is less of a chance of error by over-extraction. If you pour the coffee and you realise it is too weak, you can simply lift the plunger and let it brew for longer to achieve the desired taste.
French presses are usually made from glass, are very easy to clean, and don’t take up too much space and can be simply stored when not in use. They are also more economical than other ways of preparing coffee because the filter is made from a fine wire mesh and doesn’t need replacing. The fact they don’t need to be powered also means you save on the use of electricity, with the only energy needed is to heat the water in the first place. The device can also be used to brew other drinks, like tea, so it is handy for everyone in the home, no matter their preferred drink.
Negatives of a French Press
On the other hand, there are some trade-offs as a result of using a French Press. The most notable one is the time it takes until the coffee is ready. This isn’t the best method if you want a quick drink before you leave the house because it needs to be left standing for a few minutes before being poured. Of course, the size of the press that you have will affect the total time needed for this, so with a smaller version, this effect won’t be as pronounced. Still, if you’re usually in a rush you may prefer to get a coffee machine instead.
While the longer time allows you to ensure the coffee has been extracted enough, there is a risk with a French Press of over extraction, something that causes the coffee to taste horribly bitter. You must remember that the coffee is brewing and keep an eye on it because if you leave it for too long, this will start to happen.
Is French Press Coffee Better?
Coffee drinkers who use a French Press generally do so because they believe the flavours achieved are far better than any other method. This is because the brewing process isn’t forced or rushed, and the ground bean has time to float in the water and release all the oils that it contains. Personally, I much prefer the taste of my coffee when it has been brewed this way, it’s just a matter of whether you have enough time to make it.
A French Press is a low-cost way of brewing coffee that produces rich flavoured results. It gives the coffee plenty of time to steep in the water without trying to rush, and you can filter the beans out once the strength and flavour you want has been produced. When looking at the Pros and Cons of French Press, it’s clear that it’s a method that is worth trying, and as long as you’re not in a rush, you’ll soon find it your favourite way to make your coffee.