What is a French Press?
A French Press is a coffee brewing machine. It consists of a metal or glass cylindrical container with a handle, and a lid that is fitted with a movable plunger. The plunger contains a stainless steel or nylon mesh filter which acts as a filter for the ground coffee beans.
How Do They Work?
It is very easy to make a cup of coffee with a French Press. All you need to do is put some freshly ground coffee in the empty container and add some hot water to it.
Then, cover the container with the lid and let it brew for 2 to 4 minutes. After that, slowly press the plunger till it reaches the bottom of the beaker.
The mesh filter on the plunger will allow the coffee and water solution to rise up while keeping the coffee grounds at the bottom.
Now, you just have to pour the drink on a cup and sip it!
History of the French Press
The French Press has undergone several design modification since its invention.
It was first invented by an Italian man, Paolini Ugo.
However, designer Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta were the first to patent its design in the year 1929.
Over the years, a French Press has also been known as a coffee press, coffee plunger, cafetière, ‘Melior’ and in many more names.
Why Do French Presses Make Such Great Coffee?
Making coffee using a French Press has the following advantages –
1. It allows you to customize the way you want to make your coffee. For eg., you can control the coarseness or size of the coffee grounds you want to out and the amount of time you want to leave them in the container.
2. It allows you to retain the natural oils of the coffee beans more easily as compared to a drip filter coffee machine. Natural oils help to preserve the rich taste of Coffee.
They are also more healthy as they are full of antioxidants.
3. It doesn’t require electricity to work and it is portable.
So, you can take it on a trip and make your coffee out in the wild.
You might want to buy a plastic french press instead of using a glass one.
Of course, you do need to add hot water but you can heat water over a campfire.
The Disadvantages of Pre Ground Coffee
Many people like to use pre-ground coffee as it is a fast and convenient way to make your drink.
However, it also has some disadvantages. Let us have a look them below –
1. It loses most of its aroma. The center of a coffee bean is filled with numerous aromas and flavors.
Once it is ground, the aromas inside the bean are released into the air and go through the process of oxidation.
This can reduce the original aroma of the bean by as much as 60%.
2. It is highly susceptible to moisture degradation as coffee oils are water soluble.
Thus, if you don’t keep them in a dry and airtight container, they will start to dilute the oils.
3. It is not suitable for experimenting with different coffee brewing techniques as different brewing methods need different coarseness and sizes.
Advantages of Grinding Your Own Beans
Have you ever wondered why so many people like to grind their own coffee beans even though they can buy pre-ground coffee?
Well, let us have a look below –
1. Grinding your own beans mean that you can have a fresh cup of coffee.
The aroma of a freshly ground coffee is much more intense and alluring than that of a pre-ground coffee.
Plus, they also taste better.
2. You can control the size and coarseness of your beans.
Thus, you can do experiments with different brewing techniques and find the one you like the most.
Three Types of Coffee Grinders
Coffee grinders can be divided into 2 categories – electric grinders and manual grinders.
And there are three types of electric grinders.
Blade grinder, flat burr grinder and conical burr grinder.
Electric Blade Grinders vs Flat Burr Grinders vs Conical Burr Grinders –
Electric blade grinders contain blades that work like a propeller and cut the coffee beans by rotating at a very high RPM.
Pros – They can be inexpensive and are quick to grind the beans.
Cons – Produces a lot of heat and static which affects the taste of coffee beans and can even burn them.
They also result in the most inconsistent particle size and can be very noisy.
Flat burr grinders grind coffee beans by crushing them between 2 parallel serrated rings.
Pros – They produce very fine and consisted particle size and generate much less heat and noise than a blade grinder.
Cons – They are slow to grind and requires cleaning more regularly as compared to a conical burr grinder.
Conical burr grinders grind coffee by crushing them between 2 conical shaped burrs with sharp ridges.
Pros – They produce the finest and the most consisted particle size.
You can even control the particle size via the settings. Since they operate at such a low RPM, they produce almost no heat or static and are very easy to clean.
Cons – They can be expensive.
Important Features of a Coffee Grinder
Before you buy a coffee grinder, make sure to learn the most important features that a coffee grinder should have.
They are listed below –
1] Coarseness Control – This feature allows you to control the coarseness of the coffee beans you want to grind.
Having this feature is really important because it allows you to make coffee with different coffee makers and experiment with your drink.
2] Capacity – Having a grinder with a large capacity is useful when you want to make coffee for many people at once or just want to store your grounds.
This is a useful feature to have but not a deal breaker.
3] Power – The power consumption of a coffee grinder doesn’t inherently make it good or bad. You can have premium quality grinders that consume less power, affordable grinders that consume more power and vice versa.
Just know that having a more powerful grinder will consume more electricity.
4] Ease of Cleaning – Keeping a grinder clean is really important to maintain their quality and longevity.
Now, some grinders can be cleaned in seconds while others can be very hard to clean.
So, make sure to learn how easy it is to clean the grinder that you want to buy.
5] Noise – Noise is generally not an indicator of good or bad quality in a grinder. However, it is preferable to buy a grinder that produces less noise.
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill “Skerton”
Hario; translating to “The King of Glass”, is a Japanese company that makes quality products.
This grinder’s main feature is its compact design and portability.
Combined with ergonomic rubber grips and heat resistance glass, this manual burr-style mill grinder is the ultimate travel companion to your French Press!
The burr style of grinder allows you to choose your grind size and delivers great consistency.
Like any manual grinder, large quantities of grinds can be time consuming to make, but the ergonomic and intuitive design of the crank-handle really cuts down on the vigor involved.
You can opt for the ‘Plus’ or ‘Pro’ versions for increased stabilization as well.
So, for your next trip, pack your bags with confidence knowing you’ll be able to brew a great cup of coffee with your French Press wherever you go!
Gourmia GCG9310 Manual Coffee Grinder
This artisanal, hand-crank machine is one you will want to show off!
ts antique style with pine wood and iron accents gives off a vintage and rugged aesthetic (the words smoky and bold come to mind).
Imagine having guests over, asking them if they would like some coffee and then turning over to this vintage beauty to prepare freshly ground coffee grinds for them!
It’s the perfect aesthetic in the first step of the brewing process.
The great thing about adjustable, manual, hand-crank grinders is that you develop a feel for the grind – much like driving a manual transmission car.
You’ll know your grinder better than anyone, and can create grinds based on your experience with your own French Press.
Wow your guests with perfectly extracted coffee and bring them on a journey with you starting at the artisanal style ‘Gourmia Manual Coffee Grinder’!
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
This little beauty is the ultimate grinder for single servings!
You often think of grinding coffee as a chore; an unnecessary, loud and avoidable step.
Because of this, it is easy to have your barista grind your coffee for you or decide to buy pre-ground coffee.
But any coffee enthusiast knows that freshly ground coffee beans are key and it is actually a very necessary step!
Never grind too much coffee again and be in the dilemma of storing – and likely forgetting about – extra grinds.
This mini, Japanese made device, takes all the fuss out of grinding coffee. No cords or batteries needed!
Just click the device to adjust your ground setting and crank away. Plus it’s removeable hand crank is not only handy – no pun intended – but reduces noise by 90% compared to conventional grinders.
Grind away, early in the morning or late at night without disturbing the peace and never waste coffee again!
Quiseen One-Touch Electric Coffee Grinder
When you want a cup of a coffee quickly, this is what you turn to.
We all love the idea grinding our own coffee, then calmly setting aside our French Press to brew while we have some ‘tea-time talk’ with a companion as we wait for our coffee to brew, but the reality is sometimes life isn’t this beautiful and cushy.
Sometimes you want to grind coffee effectively, efficiently and for not a lot of money.
This “One-Touch” grinder by ‘Quiseen’ does just that. It grinds coffee with the touch of a button.
You cannot set a grind size, instead it is dependent on the amount of time in the grinder.
More time equals more finely ground coffee.
Less time for coarser.
It takes a little experimenting to get it just right, but if you want coffee ground without having to crank the grinds out yourself, this will definitely do the trick.
Mueller HyperGrind Precision Electric Coffee
In terms of electric coffee grinders, they generally are something you keep in your kitchen drawer and take out only when needed.
They are not the focal point of your kitchen and not something to show off to your friends.
This 220W ‘Mueller HyperGrind’ has been developed with that in mind, and breaks the mould.
Its sleek, minimalist design looks quite nice and fairs well compared to other similar options on the market.
You’ll have to check in while grinding to make sure you have the right consistency for your brewing needs, so the transparent lid is helpful for this.
Crafted with German machinery and coming in with a risk-free guarantee, this is definitely a stylish and versatile option.
You’ll have everything you need to create great grinds for your French Press, Chemex, Aeropress or really any type of coffee brewer.
KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder BCG100
‘Kitchenaid’ makes great appliances, and it is always great to buy from a reputable company as such.
Choose from four different colours and get grinding!
The mini-blade in this machine grinds coffee with minimal noise using a 160W motor.
It has etchings for brew amounts up to 12 cups. This is especially handy when using a French Press, because… we’ve all been there… grinding just a little bit too much coffee – and adding it anyways- results in not the best tasting or well-extracted coffee.
All in all, this grinder is well-made, with stainless steel blades, comes from a large, reputable brand, and is quite to use!
The colour options are very cool as well, you can choose from: Cranberry, Empire Red, Espresso or Onyx Black.
Brew your own beans in style conveniently and efficiently with this neat little grinder!
KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
Another small and efficient blade grinder.
Much like the other options listed here, ‘KRUPS’ uses stainless steel blades to grind coffee at the touch of a button.
Its 200W motor promises to grind coffee in 10-seconds.
One design difference to note is this grinder utilizes an oval-shaped compartment to promote uniform grinds.
This is of ‘coarse’ – get it? – important when using a French Press because, the grinds are completely submerged in water where consistency is a must.
The machine comes without additional colour options; black being your only choice, but the manufacturer does offer a 2-year warranty!
Epica Electric Coffee Grinder & Spice Grinder
As far as electric blade grinders go, this machine is awesome!
It’s sometimes the small details that make the biggest impact.
Two features I really enjoy on this machine are the removable grinding cup and safety-lock.
The removable cup allows you to measure and pour accurately and effectively. No mess and no need to lift up the entire machine to pour out the last of the grinds.
If you’ve ever had a mishap as a result of this action, you’ll know that is only has to happen once for you to want to make the change to a removable cup.
The other option- the safety-lock – is another helpful and preventative one (especially if you have curious children).
‘Epica’ claims they have the strongest motor on the market, and with 250W of power it is hard to argue.
Easy to clean, preventative against mess and built with a powerful motor, this machine is definitely at the top of the list for a compact at home electric blade coffee grinder.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
This is where things get fun.
Burr grinders are perfect for coffee fanatic and enthusiasts, and this machine is no different.
With straightforward, easy to use controls, you can choose from forty different grind settings…
Yes, you read that right. Forty!
This is something you can expect from a European manufacture such as ‘Baratza’.
This style of burr grinder is often used for espresso because of its powerful and slow grinding design that ensures perfectly consistent grinds long-term.
The slow grinding process keeps the burrs fresh and when combined with the right amount of power the grinds are not only consistent, but consistent to a tee.
Everyone’s French Press is a little bit different; different in size, shape, design and material.
With so many options to choose from, discover the perfect grind for your specific needs – not just medium-coarse, coarse etc.
If you are someone that invests in great coffee that needs to be treated with the utmost care, a coffee junkie or you prepare coffee in large batches, this is the right machine for you!
Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr
This commercial-grade burr grinder, boasts that it has the “slowest grinding speed in its class”.
This is a notable quality because the slower the grinding speed the less heat buildup there is, which can potentially damage the beans.
As well, by moving slowly, the burrs can create the best possible consistency of grind.
The whole system is actually controlled through a computer; ensuring this consistency. I like the 360-degree transparent lid as well, so you can monitor the grinding process from all angles!
It offers an extra wide container, with two color options and the choice of 16-total grind settings.
Again, a great professional grinder for businesses or if you just really, really love coffee and want it made just so!