January 12, 2012

Coffee Heaven in a French Press

Last week I showed you this gorgeous French Press coffee maker I got for Christmas:

This is a Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press.

I can now officially announce that I am madly and deeply in love with my French Press.

Anyway, I realized that not all of you may know what a French Press coffee maker is or how it works. After all, Matt didn't!

The process of brewing coffee in a French Press is simple enough.

First, boil your water. While it boils, add very coarse coffee grounds to the French press.

When the water is hot {but not still boiling}, pour it directly over the coffee grounds and give it a few good stirs.

After letting it sit and "brew" for just a few minutes, place the lid on the French Press and apply a slow and steady pressure as you begin to press down on the filter mechanism.

This filter has a fine mesh which traps the coffee grounds and presses them to the bottom. It's important that your coffee grounds are coarse, as too fine of grounds will escape the mesh and settle into your coffee.

Below you can see all the coffee grounds pressed and trapped at the bottom of the coffee maker.

Your coffee is now ready! Get ready for some seriously rich and smooth coffee...

I take mine with just a bit of cream and sugar, but not enough to hinder the delicious taste of the coffee!

The reason coffee from a French Press maker is supposed to be superior to standard electric coffee makers is because the coffee grounds and brewing water have direct contact. The mesh filter in a French Press allows the essential oils and flavors from the coffee itself to come through full force, whereas traditional drip brew coffee makers trap these in their paper filter. The proof is in each sip from one's coffee cup...it has made me a believer, and Matt, too!

The only downside to a French Press coffee maker is that it isn't quite as convenient as a conventional electric coffee maker; with a French Press, you must boil your water separately, plus, the cleaning of the French Press can be a bit messy. But for me, these small factors would never deter me from using my French Press--the resulting cup of coffee is just too far superior in every delicious drop.

I have to admit, all the time I've spent abroad in Europe has really turned me into a coffee snob. I still haven't been able to pinpoint the exact reasons European coffee is so much better--I believe there are several factors. All I know is that coming back to the US after I've spent any significant time abroad leaves me practically gagging on the stuff we Americans drink. Even Starbucks doesn't always cut it for me. But this new little French Press of mine produces coffee that is so much closer to what I remember from all my favorite coffee shop haunts abroad. It brings a smile to my face and with each sip, I think to myself, Ah, yes. This is what coffee is supposed to taste like.

{For anyone out there who is more of an expert French Press-er than me, I'd greatly appreciate any tips and insight you could offer!}

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