One of my FAVORITE THINGS EVER is our beautiful French Press. We actually have 2! And YES! They’re both from garage sales! One is like this one here that brews one perfect mug (2 cups) of coffee for me in the morning in just 4 minutes!

And our second one brews up to 4 cups, or 2 mugs, which I use lovingly with my husband on the weekends!

Now you’re probably wondering what’s our love affair with this wonderful tool?

  • It WORKS- makes the PERFECT cup EVERY TIME!
  • It’s cheap! You can get a good one for a fraction of the cost of an automatic coffee-maker!
  • It WORKS- makes the PERFECT cup EVERY TIME!
  • It’s Old-School and fun!
  • It WORKS- makes the PERFECT cup EVERY TIME!
  • It’s way cute! And it doesn’t take up any valuable space on your counter!
  • Oh, and did I mention that it WORKS without any user-error?

Now, we still have a 12-cup automatic Cuisinart coffeemaker, and diligently pull it out whenever we have people over- I’m just offering the alternative for the normal days when it’s just you and your hubby, girlfriend, etc…

OK, so you ran out and got one, now that you know what it is, so now what?

Here’s the How-To

1) Buy Decent Beans –Buying freshly roasted beans, as opposed to those packaged and stored for months at a time, is a sure way to make your coffee experience more favorable.

Try lots of different roasts and ask lots of questions. Most coffee shop employees are eager to let you in on their favorite beans and brewing methods. Soon you’ll find beans that suit your tastes whether its dark, light, complex or simple. Just make sure to buy FRESH!

Well, we still love Trader Joe’s JOE-brand coffee beans! They’re cheap (14-oz can was just $3.99 ) and soo good! We just take care to remove the beans from the original container and put them in a ceramic (so they’re not exposed to light) air-tight container to keep them fresh- plus we go through it pretty quick, too!

2) Grind the Beans Yourself – After you’ve bought some high-quality, freshly-roasted beans, the next step is to keep them fresh. One of the best ways to do this is to buy whole beans, store them in an airtight container, and grind them just before brewing. By doing so, you’ll help keep the flavors of the beans locked in until you’re ready to taste them. As Myron Joshua of ineedcoffee.com explains,
“Every time you buy fresh coffee beans and ask the checkout person at the coffee shop to grind your beans you are opening up the “flavor cells” and causing your beans to begin losing their flavor rapidly. The purpose of grinding the beans is to create a larger surface area that will release the flavor and oils to the surrounding hot water. If coffee is prematurely exposed to air, it “breathes,” leaving less and less flavor for the brew, when the water finally hits the bean.”

Very important!! Also make sure you set the coffee grinder setting to coarse! You need a coarse grind for the french press!

3) The French Press – Also known as a press pot, this simple coffee making device is said to have originated in France during the 1850′s. The press is normally a glass cylinder with a “plunger” like device that fits tightly into the circumference of the cylinder. The plunger features a handle with some sort of wire or nylon mesh that pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom, trapping them there after a few minutes of brewing. If you’re serious about coffee, ditch your fancy automatic coffee maker and try the french press.

Why you ask, would you want to take a step backwards in history and technology when your current coffee maker can brew 53 cups of coffee in 3 minutes? Quite simply, coffee brewed in a French press tastes better for 2 reasons:

• the coffee grounds are fully steeped and saturated at the beginning of brewing.

• this method retains the natural oils of the coffee that are normally absorbed by the paper filter.

And… it’s CUTE!

The French press not only helps make a great pot of coffee, there is something very meditative in the whole brewing process. The “set it and forget it” ease of most drip coffee makers definitely has its advantages: speed, less work for the user, the ability to brew larger amounts of coffee. But while you gain efficiency, you lose a connection to the coffee.

Well- I’ll show you how I regain this supposed “lost efficiency”

How to Brew Coffee with a French Press

1. Grind your beans, leaving them a bit more large and coarse than you may be used to seeing. You will want approximately 1 tablespoon of grounds per cup. Dump them into the bottom of the French press.

Note- 2 cups = 1 mug! So 2 tablespoons per mug!

2. Use a kettle to boil your water. You want to let it sit for a couple of minutes after boiling before adding it to the press. Don’t fret too much about temperature, but most coffee geeks recommend 180-20o degrees Fahrenheit.

Now go put on your makeup while waiting for the water to boil; pause to turn off the stovetop when it starts whistling. . .

3. Pour the hot water into the French press, slowly covering all of the coffee grounds as you fill it up. Immediately stir the grounds to give the mixture a nice uniformity.

4. Add the filter on top and let the coffee steep for 4 minutes.

Go check the mirror/ fix hair. . . but remember- no more than 4-5 minutes or it’ll get bitter!

After the time has passed, press the plunger down and you’re ready. A perfect cup of coffee awaits you like a loyal friend.

Ahh. . . perfection! Sit down on the sofa and curl up with a magazine to enjoy!

How-To Article adapted from: Art of Manliness  (Blog frequented by my husband, BIL & FIL hehe)

Learn more about French Presses here.

You can get a good Bodum-brand one at any Starbucks! I priced matched at several places and they offered the best deal! A lot of times they go on sale!