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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

French Press Coffee

One of the very first things my wife ever bought me for my kitchen (and this was like 12 years ago) was a French Press coffee carafe.  

Colloquially known as a Bodum (the brand name), we used this all the time, as we were super into TEA back then.  Do you remember how big loose tea was around the turn of the millennium?  I do.  We used to have a pantry full of Steeps Tea tins.

Anyway, about a week after I got it, the carafe cracked all the way down one side.

Even though this crack occurred by simply boiling water (I'd imagine what would be considered "normal wear and tear" for such a device), and we probably could have complained and gotten a new one, we just dealt with it.

It actually does NOT affect the structural stability of the carafe, nor does it have any loose pieces which could end up in the carafe.

Eventually - months or years later, we did buy a new carafe for this press... but it is still in the box and never opened.  The idea was that we'd bring it out when this baby finally gives out.  So, for the past 12 years I've been half expecting the glass to shatter when I pour in some boiling water.  I even do it in over the sink, every time, just in case.  But it never does.


Anyway, it's great for loose tea, but also for a very rich cup of coffee now and then.

I usually go really heavy on these preparations, and will opt for a strong ratio of coffee to water, and then I'll let it steep FAR longer than necessary, often up to a half hour.

Then it's press-down the plunger, and pour.  Sometimes I'll strain what does come out, just because the plunger-strainer thing isn't always 100% perfect.  Sometimes it doesn't bother me to have some coffee grounds at the bottom of my cup.  Sometimes you use coarsely ground beans too... which are easily strained by the press.

Of course, we have a really nice drip coffee maker, which I use more often, but the richness and flavour of coffee brewed in a French Press is very much unparalleled.  Just look at this:


I read somewhere that coffee brewed this way leaves more oils in than when using a coffee filter.  This can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol levels.  When you look closely at the fine rainbow effects on these bubbles, I can believe it.

But once in a while, this is a truly delicious cup of coffee.