French Press: What Is It? How To Make Hot Coffee or Cold Brew

By Emily Ennis — / Recipes

How to Make Coffee in a French Press Coffee Maker

A French press, also known as a cafetière or a press pot, is a coffee brewing device that can make both hot and iced coffee. A French press enables ground coffee to steep directly in the water before the grounds are separated from the brewed coffee by using a plunger. The result of making coffee with a French press? A richer and more full-bodied flavor—pair it with Death Wish Coffee to make it twice as strong with no bitterness.  

french press and glass full of coffee beans[Photo credit: Madalyn Cox via Unsplash]

History of the French Press 

The history of the French press is described as a mystery. Both the French and the Italians have claimed the origin. The first patent dates back to 1852 by two Frenchmen, Mayer and Delforge. Although this French press is a much simpler version, it is the first known machine with similar features to the modern version. The first patent that resembles what we know today as a French press came in 1929 by two Italian men, Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta. Since the 1929 patent, the French press has generally stayed the same. The only thing that has changed is the name, depending on the region of the world you may find yourself in.  

The French press is a beginner-friendly way of making “designer” coffee. True, it may be more time-consuming than pressing a button on a coffee machine in the morning, but it is much more rewarding. Plus, you can show off this new style of making coffee to all your friends.  

Things You’ll Need: 

  1. French press  
  2. Filtered water  
  3. Death Wish Coffee, whole bean 

white coffee mug and french press[Photo credit: Ian Calderon via Unsplash]

 Directions for Hot Coffee: 

  1. Heat the water until it comes to a slight boil, then let it sit for about 2 minutes so the temperature reduces slightly. If you have a thermometer, heat the water to about 195 F. 
  2. Grind your coffee. Typically for a French press, you will need a coarser grind. A fine grind could clog the holes in the French press filter.  
  3. Remove the lid and plunger from the French press. 
  4. Add your coffee grounds into the French press and pour the hot water over the coffee. Give it a quick stir with a spoon and cover with the lid. Do not press down the plunger.  
  5. Allow the coffee to brew for 5 minutes. 
  6. Press down on the plunger, pushing the coffee grounds to the bottom of the French press. 
  7. Pour your coffee into your favorite Death Wish Coffee mug and enjoy!  

Directions for Cold Brew:  

  1. Grind your coffee. Typically for a French press, you will need a coarser grind. A fine grind could clog the holes in the French press filter.  
  2. Remove the lid and plunger from the French press. 
  3. Add your coffee grounds into the French press and pour the cold water over the coffee. Give it a quick stir with a spoon and cover with the lid. Do not press down the plunger.  
  4. Place the French press in the refrigerator overnight.  
  5. In the morning, press down on the plunger and pour over ice and enjoy! 

Grim Reaper Joke of the Day: What do you call fake news in the French press? Decaf. 

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