How to Operate a French Press: Making the Perfect Drink for Everyone

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If you haven’t been using a French press to brew your coffee, then you have been missing a lot. A lot of coffee connoisseurs say that brewing coffee in this produces a richer, fuller flavor because the oils don’t pass through a paper filter. Instead, the coffee grounds are filtered through a nylon or metal mesh. Also, how to operate a French press is almost effortless, and it only takes minutes to brew coffee in this.

If you live in another country, you might not be familiar with this as it is not called the same in other parts of the world. In Australia, New Zealand, and Africa, it is called a coffee plunger. While, in the UK, Netherlands, and Ireland, it is called cafetière. Also, would you believe that the French don’t call this a French press? They actually call it cafetière à piston. Meanwhile, the French press is known as a coffee press or press pot to some people. Nonetheless, no matter how it is called, the steps on how to operate it is the same.

How to Operate a French Press: The Different Techniques

Like we have mentioned, how to operate a French press is quite easy but if you’re still unsure, read on.

Coffee Making

The French press is actually one of the most versatile kitchen appliances because you can make a myriad of drinks. Of course, the most popular one is coffee. Hence, if you are a coffee lover, here are the steps on how to make a perfect cup.

  • Materials Needed:
    • French Press
    • Water
    • A coffee spoon
    • A wooden spoon
    • Coffee beans of your choice
  • Procedure:
  1. Heat water until it reaches its boiling point. Then, let it sit in the pot for a minute. After which, rinse your French press with this hot water because this will help in keeping your coffee warm longer later on.
  2. If you already have pre-ground coffee beans, you can skip this step. If not, get some coffee beans and coarsely grind it then put the ground coffee in the French press and add the hot water. For your reference here is the ideal water to coffee ratio.
  • One cup or eight fluid ounces: two tablespoons
  • Two cups or 16 fluid ounces: 1/4 cup
  • Four cups or 32 fluid ounces: 1/2 cup
  • Eight cups or 64 fluid ounces: One cup
  1. Stir the coffee ground and water thoroughly using a spoon and make sure that all coffee grounds are wet. To prevent the carafe of your French press from breaking, use a wooden spoon for stirring. Put the lid back on with the plunger up and let your coffee brew for four minutes. You may steep longer if you want a stronger flavor.
  2. Press the plunger down and pour your coffee immediately into your cup to prevent it from turning bitter. You may add some sweetener and cream to your coffee if you like, but if you really want to experience its full-bodied flavor, we suggest that you drink it plain. If you can’t drink all of the coffee in the French press, transfer it to another container so that you can heat it later on.

Chocolate Making

Another popular drink that can be made using a French press is hot chocolate. If this is something new to you, here’s a guide to help.

  • Materials Needed:
    • Two tablespoons of your favorite powdered chocolate drink
    • Six ounces of hot milk
    • Hot water
    • French press
  • Procedure:
  1. Warm up your French press by pouring and swirling hot water into it. Then, discard the water.
  2. Put the powdered chocolate in the French press and add the hot milk. You may use hot water instead of milk but using the former will make the drink more velvety and luxurious.
  3. Put the lid back on with the plunger up and let it sit for one minute. After which, push and pull the plunger several times very quickly. This process will mix the chocolate and milk well and create a frothy drink.
  4. Press the plunger down and pour the rich, creamy and frothy chocolate into a mug or cup.

Cocktail Making

If you are not into coffee or hot chocolate, but love cocktails, the good news is that you can use your unused French press to make other drinks. Here are two easy recipes that you can start with.

For this cocktail, you will need pineapple juice, gin, a couple of handfuls of muddled grapes, mango nectar, and a sprig of rosemary leaves.

First, you need to put your cocktail glass in the refrigerator to chill it. Then, put the muddled grapes in the French press. After which, add a part of mango nectar, half a part of pineapple juice and gin, and then, the rosemary sprig. Put the lid back on with the plunger up and let the ingredients sit for 15 minutes for all the flavors to infuse. After which, push the plunger down and pour the drink into your chilled glass and enjoy.

To prepare this, you need to have lemon juice, two ounces each of gin and elderflower syrup, eight pieces of cranberries, a spoonful of juniper berries, and a handful of thyme sprigs.

The first thing that you need to do is to put the juniper berries, cranberries and thyme sprigs in the French press. In a separate glass, put the lemon juice, gin, and elderflower syrup and then, shake or stir thoroughly. With a strainer, pour the mixture into the French press and cover it with the lid with the plunger up. Let the cocktail sit in the press for about five minutes then pour into a chilled glass.

Lemonade Making

Here’s a non-alcoholic drink recipe if you are not into cocktails and if you have kids.

  • Ingredients
    • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from two lemons
    • 3 1/3 cups cold water
    • 1/3 cup simple syrup
    • Ice
  • Procedure

Pour lemon juice into the French press then, add the simple syrup and cold water. Put the lid on and let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes. Press the plunger and pour your lemonade into a glass. Now, you have a refreshing beverage to drink during the hot summer days.

Final Words

The versatility of the French press is undeniable. From hot drinks to cold drinks, it is a genuinely trusty tool to have in the kitchen. Its usefulness might be related to how easy it is to operate. So, thanks to the inventor of the French press, we have a stylish yet functional kitchen gadget that we can use today.

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