What Is a French Press Used For: Making the Most of the Presser
There are many ways to make coffee. One can choose to brew using a traditional coffee maker or even make a cup using instant coffees. However, there is another option for making a great cup of this beverage. Unfortunately, many coffee lovers are unfamiliar with this method and often ask what is a French press used for? For those who are new to the world of coffee pressing, here is a beginner’s guide:
French Press Coffee Makers: A Brief History
No, contrary to popular belief the French coffee press is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around since the 1920s as Attilio Calimani invented it in 1929. The term French was included in the brewer’s name because the tool was developed in France. Calimani is also the owner of the patent of this coffee maker.
More revisions came after the invention. For example, Faliero Calimani also created his version, which he also later patented. He was probably more ambitious than the original inventor since he went to produce his invention in mass quantities in a French factory. This coffee press version had so many loyalists.
There are many French pressers in the market today, and most of them have a similar design of cylindrical beaker made from either glass or metal. They also come with a lid that is either in plastic or metal. Most importantly, there is a plunger fitted tightly to the coffee presser’s cylinder.
Around the world, the French press coffee maker has many names such ass coffee plunger, press pot, cafetière, or cafetière to name a few. Moreover, coffee pressers these days come in various designs and variations to suit the different taste of coffee lovers.
What Is a French Press Used For?
There is another misconception about the coffee press as a high number of people think that this device is mostly chosen for its aesthetic purposes. This is not, however, the case as the French press coffee maker offers many benefits to coffee lovers.
- Brewing Coffee
Yes, one can also brew coffee using the traditional coffee maker. However, the one making the brew has limited options when it comes to the usual coffee maker. On the other hand, a French press gives more options to the one making the brewed drink.
For one, the user can control the temperature of the hot water with a coffee plunger. One can pour either just warm or boiling-hot water to the coffee carafe. Sadly, this cannot be done with a traditional coffee maker. If you are one of those who often complain that the usual coffee maker is not brewing hot water, then getting a French press is a great idea.
Aside from the water’s temperature, the traditional coffee brewer does not let users choose the amount of time the water and coffee ground interact. This is not the case with the coffee plunger as the one making coffee has the option to let the coffee seep into the water for either a short or long time.
The first step in making the perfect coffee with this tool is to know the right coffee bean to use to match the French press. Keep in mind that French press coffee makers vary in design. Some have double or triple filter systems while others only have one filter.
- Washing Grains
It is important to wash grains such as rice, quinoa, and couscous before cooking them. Washing grains may sound like a simple task, but it is not. After all, grains are tiny pieces that easily slip off fingers. This is where a French press comes in. The plunger becomes very useful in washing the grains efficiently, eliminating any spilling of the grains on the kitchen sink.
One must simply pour the grains inside the presser, add some water and shake the French press several times. Place the plunger back and press down. Then drain the water. The plunger can keep the grains at the bottom of the presser’s pitcher while draining the water.
- Steeping Tea
Contrary to popular belief, French coffee presses are not only intended for making coffee. In fact, many people use the item for steeping tea. Many people dislike using teabags and would rather choose loose leaf teas. If this is the case, then the French press can be convenient.
One should make tea with the presser the same way one would blend coffee with the item. Tea drinkers merely need to place the loose-leaf tea on the carafe, pour the boiling-hot water and press the plunger down. Drinkers, however, should make sure they know the needed steeping time for the particular loose tea they are using as steeping time varies from one tea to another.
- Making Infused Water
Many people like drinking infused water for health reasons. And if you have a French presser, then you can use it to make the water infusion.
Cut up the fruits or leaves you want to add to the water such as lemons, cilantro, mint, basil, and oranges, to name a few. Place them in the French coffee press and add cold water. Place the infusion inside the ref or a cooler.
The plunger becomes useful when pouring the water infusion. Arguably, many like drinking water infusion but do not want the ingredients on their glasses. The plunger becomes very important since it keeps the ingredients away from the water when being poured into a glass.
- Frothing Milk
The French Press can also be used to froth milk. Simply grab warm milk, pour it on the presser and keep sliding the plunger up and down for about 30 seconds. Stop when the milk is already frothed.
- Cooking Soup
Believe it or not, French coffee presses can create amazing soups. Simply fill the press with your favorite aromatics such as peppercorns, basil, cilantro, a tab of star anise or five-spice, minced ginger, dried mushrooms and perhaps even a slice of jalapeño to add heat. Pour some hot broth over and let it steep for a few good minutes. Once pressed, this soup will surely impress your guests as it is now left with a savory broth that is fragrant and clear.
Technology has allowed us to enjoy one tool with many variants. However, one way to fully maximize its use is to be creative and utilize that tool’s methodology to create another thing that is not expected of it. So, when you are asked what is a French press for, think outside the box and suggest what else can be made from it aside from the expected answer, which is brewed coffee.