The omnipresent pot of the press. It’s all around. Apparently it’s simple to use, right? Yes, but you will have a little knowledge of how the device works and perhaps a little about the history of the product.
A press pot could be provided if you want some of the richest coffee to get. What may come as a surprise is that, if you have the right tools and prepare everything correctly, you can also get a relatively clean brief. But of course, you still have to use the best coffee to get the best result.
The Press Pot History
First, my own background. Some time ago, I wrote an article about why I like Bodum on this website. You see my introduction into the world of quality coffee, in North America at least, was press pots. I have a lot of loyalty and delightful memories and the coffee (and circumstances) that it gave me.
But what about the Press Pot’s real history? How about this question – first the vacpot or press pot? What about this question? You might be surprised, but later came the press pot. It’s a much easier design, of course, than a vacuum brayer, but problems arose. In the 1840s the concept of press or plunger brewing system was introduced first, but there was not the technology to make a fitting filter sufficiently tight. Even Mayer and Delforge’s first models in France were only slightly successful.
By the early 1900s, the “Cafeolette” press pot became more and more popular and appeared on food stores. In the 1930s, Melior presented the first model with a metal body and a stainless steel filter, and then introduced soon a model that recalls today’s “Chambord” line of Bodum. Why does that remind you? Because that design was purchased by Bodum!
In fact, Bodum is likely to be more responsible than any other company for the common occurrence of the press pot. In their plastic, metal and glass press pots, they started to introduce their whacked colors. They bought lines like Chambord and produced more classical press pots in the 1980s, driven by their profits. The remainder is history, as they say.
Factors of Good Press Pot Coffee
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If you need to take something out of this how to, it is. Don’t skimp on your grinder, don’t skimp on your grinder.
Even in our consumer reviews section I get really upset at the comments I see online, that say things like, “It’s good enough for French media.”..these are people who speak about a blade griner or even of cheaper burr grinders such as the PA Pavoni or the KM30, a Braun KM30. I say: bull shite, I say that.
The particle size of the ground with a press pot is as important as espresso. The difference is, instead of uniform small, large particles. Cheap grinding machines can’t give you a mixed bag of big and small pieces – they’re giving you. Boulders and dust. That’s what makes press pot coffee – the sludge – disliked the most.
I don’t really mind a bit of sludge and grit in my cup, personally, as someone who is cuping coffee. Well, it’s up. It disturbs me when I find it in my filter drip coffee. But I can deal with it in a Press Pot braw. What I cannot do is extract a funky (bad) grinder, because the grinder wasn’t up to snuffing. There’s a good grinder, even grinding. Bad grinders and products pretending to be grinders – dust and chunks – give grinders throughout the map.
In which grinding level you should have, the type of filter you use also plays a big part. Nylon filters are generally more thin (still coarser than drip coffee) whereas metal filters require a real gross grind, where the coffee particles are the same size as a coarsest setting of a potato mill.
The fineness of the melt also determines how easy or difficult the plunger to press – the more fine the melt is, the more difficult it is to press. The pressure difficulty also grew with the pot’s size. I once scalded pretty badly, although the grind was very gross, with a 12 cup press. Be careful.
Press Pot Coffee Step by Step
- Grinder is Important: I can’t stress enough how important the grinder is.
- Ready to Go: We’ve got enough coffee to start – 1 rounded tablespoon per “cup” (about 4oz or 120ml).
- Add Right After Grinding: It’s important to add your coffee quickly after grinding – if you’re smelling aromas, it’s going stale.
- Rounded Tablespoons: I add roughly 8.5 grams of coarse ground coffee per 4oz of water used. This is a 12oz press pot.
- Add Pre-boiled Water: Your water should be boiled before you grind; by the time you add it, it should be near perfect temperatures to start.
- Steady and Covered: Add the water steadily, saturating all the grounds by changing where the water falls.
- Bloom Starts: We’ve covered most of the grounds, and already, a small bloom is starting.
- Know Your Level: Know how much water you need to pour in to fill the press pot, and still let the filter do its job.
- Optional – Stirring: Use a chopstick to quickly stir the slurry; this is optional, but aids in complete extraction.
- It Doesn’t Take Much: It doesn’t take much to mix things up and make the bloom really come out. This is the result of maybe 6 stirs.
- Steeping Time: Add the filter assembly, and start counting. For a small press pot like this one, a two or three minute steep time would suit. For a larger model, stick with the four minute steep.
- Ready to Plunge: After our steep time is done, it’s time to plunge down the filter. Grasp the handle firmly, get a solid grip on the plunger stick.
- Even, Steven: And start pressing down in an even, controlled manner, always keeping the plunger rod absolutely straight. If it goes crooked, grounds will escape into the upper portion.
- Steady Pours: When pouring with a press pot, it’s always a good idea to hold on to the lid so things don’t slide around or accidentally pop out.
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