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February 24, 2011 / erostositko

Get Pressed

True coffee lovers know the virtues of French press café. I started using a French press pot at work on the recommendation of a co-worker. I was hooked, and soon bought another pot for home. If you love coffee, but haven’t tasted French press yet, I urge you to try it for several reasons.

It’s inexpensive. The classic Bodum French Press retails for $29.99, but there are many more models available in all sizes and price ranges. There are no paper filters to buy and nothing to plug in.

It’s easy to make. All you need are coffee grinds and very hot water. At home, I use a teapot to boil water on the stove or in a pinch, microwave it. At the office, the hot water dispenser works. I no longer own a traditional coffeemaker, so that means more counterspace.

It’s delicious. No paper filters not only means less waste, more importantly it means the coffee has a far richer flavor. You can taste the beans’ essential oils, which are otherwise lost in traditional paper filters.


So, how does it work? Place 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee per desired cup in the pot. Fill the pot with very hot water (most pots have measurements lines on them), and stir. Place the lid/plunger on top of the pot, but don’t press it down yet. Let the coffee brew for about 4 minutes, then slowly press the plunger down to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the pot. Pour and enjoy. You can find more detailed instructions with photos here.

Currently, this is the model I have at home, and a smaller version at work. But, there are so many styles out there ranging from $10 to almost $100. They even sell them at TJMaxx and Target, so try an inexpensive pot and it won’t cost you more than three lattes from Starbucks.

As an added special touch, I sometimes use frothed milk in my coffee. You can buy a milk frother like the one on the right at IKEA for $2.99.

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