Unsung Hero – The Cafetière/French Press


Out of all the ways we can brew coffee, a piece of kit that I will always cherish is and always will be the cafetiere/french press. It may not be the best for quality in cup but ‘s the first brewer that introduced me to coffee at home (regardless of being speciality) and I associate it with sentimental family gatherings growing up. Even to this day it still plays a regular role in my coffee drinking routine, which is why I want to pay homage to this classic kitchen brewer staple.

The French Press story

The cafetière is known by a number of names including french press, coffee plunger, plunge pot and coffee press and its creation dates back to the 1920’s in France, where it was made by attaching a metal or cheesecloth screen to a rod which was then plunged into boiling water to filter the coffee. The first patent of these designs was made by Milanese born designer Attilio Calimani, but its design would be perfected over time with a number of upgrades by Faliero Bondanini who would later patent his own version in 1958. Its current design now consists of a cylindrical beaker with lid attachment that holds a rod with metal mesh filter on the end. The rod and filter fit tightly within the beaker and are used to filter coffee grounds from the water by pulling then pushing the filter up then down.


How the Cafetiere became the unsung hero

  • It’s super easy to use and requires minimal effort and processes to actually brew coffee. Brewing involves adding coarse coffee grounds similar to a breadcrumb consistency to the beaker. We recommend 12g per 250ml of water for 1 cup, but as always, the grind should be tweaked to taste. Next add boiling water and the lid and plunge the ground just below the water surface. Wait an easy 4 minutes to brew and then plunge the filter down to separate the coffee grounds before pouring. Bish, bash, bosh!
  • The cafetière is still one of the cheapest brew methods for fresh coffee. Easily accessible and convenient you can pick up for as little as £6. So no excuses!
  • It may not be as fancy or as efficient as other paper filter brew coffee methods. However its completely reusable meaning no need for stocking up on single use paper filters – how green!
  • Multiple sizes means it caters for groups and individuals alike. Ranging from 1 to 12 cup versions make it perfect for social gatherings or lone ranger use.
  • Its design means it produces a distinctive tasting cup of coffee that’s fuller-bodied than those that use a paper filter.  

So now you know why the cafetière is probably the most widely used home brew method for fresh coffee. So for those seeking a fuller body and bold cup of coffee look no further. All hail the cafetière as the ultimate all round brewer!

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