A French Press is What Type of Coffee Brewer: A Better Understanding

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If you are a real coffee lover, then you might have heard of the French press coffee maker. Its operations are a lot different than that of the coffee maker that most of us have become accustomed to. You may have used it in the past, seen one or own one and asked: “A French press is what type of coffee brewer?” Well, it is a simple brewer that may be a bit complex to use for some who want to get the perfect cup of coffee. However, once you get the hang of it, you might always want to have a French pressed cup of coffee.

With that said, this article seeks to answer the question, “A French press is what type of coffee brewer?” by giving information about what a French press is, the advantages and disadvantages of using it, and how it works.

A French Press is What Type of Coffee Brewer: A Closer Look

Several types of brewers are used to extract coffee and get it into a form that we can drink. Those that are available to coffee lovers include automatic drip brewers, cold water brewers, espresso machines, French presses, ibrik, Moka pot, percolator, pour-over filter brewers, vacuum brewers and Vietnamese brewers. So, what exactly is a French press and how is it different?

  • What is a French press?

The French press is a simple coffee brewing device that was patented by an Italian designer. It has a different name in several countries, and its process of brewing has given it the description of being a coffee plunger. The brewer works by filtering coffee grounds that have been placed into a beaker-shaped pot and mixed with water. It may consist of metal, glass or plastic and has a lid that can accommodate a filter screen and a plunger. Thus, it is also often labeled as a plunger pot, and it is always usually compared to drip coffee makers.

Americans may be more familiar with drip coffee makers, and some might have never seen a French press as it is more common in Europe. If you are not familiar with a French press, because of its simplistic design, you may take it for a tea or coffee pot or even creamer!

  • How is it used?

To use a French press, place the coffee grounds into the canister and pour boiling water. Some people choose to stir the mixture, but others do not. The lid should be put in place and the plunger should be pulled up. When the coffee has reached its optimum extraction time, usually four minutes, the plunger is pressed, and the filter should move to the bottom of the canister. The liquid coffee can then be poured directly into a cup as the mesh screen is designed to filter the coffee grounds.

However, when using a French press, coffee beans should not be ground too fine to avoid having a bitter-tasting cup of coffee. Fine grounds also make it difficult to lower the plunger, and they are likely to escape the filter and make their way into your cup, leaving a residue. Thus, coffee beans that were coarsely ground are recommended. To give you an idea, the grounded coffee should look like kosher salt.

  • What are the advantages of the French press method?

The most notable difference between a French press and a coffee machine is the price. So, if you were hoping to get someone close to you a coffee maker, but you are working with a limited budget, then the French press coffee maker may be the better choice. Another advantage of a French press over the other types of brewers is that it is very portable and lightweight.

Also, anyone who loves coffee will claim that you get the best cup of coffee from a French press. In fact, the CEO of Starbucks, one of the largest coffee store chains in the world, claimed that the best cup of coffee is the one made from a French press! He is literally the coffee connoisseur, so his word should be gospel and not be taken for granted.

Further, according to some experts, the better and richer taste is owed to the fact that when using a French press, it retains the oils from the coffee grounds. Also, since its filter is different from the drip coffee makers, it does not filter out the natural flavor of the grounds. In addition, making coffee using a French press offers the advantage of customization as the owner can dictate the time it takes to brew the coffee, the temperature of the water and the types of grounds that they use.

  • What are the disadvantages of using a French press?

One of the major disadvantages of using a French press over the drip coffee maker is that it has to be controlled manually. There are automatic drip coffee makers wherein you can set a timer so that you can have your coffee brewed for you when you wake up. The French press though requires a bit of effort, time and thought into getting the best coffee-to-water ratio. It is also only suitable for immediate servings of coffee because leaving coffee in the beaker can lead to it overdrawing the oils and flavor; thus, having a bitter taste.


There are several types of brewers available to make a great cup of coffee. They range from automatic brewers to manual brewers and brewers that use drip technology or the plunger pot. The French press is a plunger pot brewer that has to be operated manually. Despite the manual labor and thought process involved, you will probably have one of the best cups of coffee using a French press. However, you first have to know how to use it and the right ratios.

Nonetheless, despite its technology and age, the French press will probably continue to be a popular coffee maker for years to come, especially in Europe, until some better technology comes out. Europeans do tea and coffee the best, so if the French press is something they use regularly, then you ought to consider getting one as soon as possible.


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