French Press or Cafetiere

Known as the French Press, the Memoir in the United States, and the Cafetiere in Europe, the plunger pot system is an excellent way to make coffee. Many people prefer coffee to be made this way as it extracts the full flavour from the ground beans while other methods tend to remove some of  the taste, and paper filters can even add a taste of their own. An Italian named Caliman invented the plunger pot back in 1933. Later, he sold the design and patent to a Swiss national in order to escape from Italy during the war.

The method could not be simpler. And here are the steps:

  • Warm the pot
  • Put in the coarsely ground coffee (approximately 1/6 oz) for each cup
  • Add the hot water
  • Stir, and allow to steep for 4-5 minutes.
  • Then push down the plunger - a stainless steel mesh - to separate the grounds from the liquid before serving the coffee direct from the press.

This is one of the most convenient methods because the grounds are so easily disposed of, and it is possible to enjoy the full flavour of the coffee. There is also the advantage that you can buy different sizes of pot, so you don’t have to use the eight-cup size when you are making your breakfast-time coffee. The only drawback is that if you make a brew for, say after dinner, it will get cold quickly when it is left standing on the table. You can buy ceramic or even thermos-type presses  (although this may be going a bit far), or you could use one of the “tea cozies” that are coming on the market. Alternatively, make a pot of fresh coffee. 

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