What in the heck is a French press?

Does it print French books?  Is it a special way to iron clothes? Is it a bench press with a French twist?

I’m not ashamed to admit that prior to Blufloyd commenting about someone using a “French press”, I had never heard of one.  Now, tell the truth, have you?

Thanks to Scott of Community Coffee and last week’s coffee post, this is what a French press looks like. I couldn’t wait to use it.  And then I couldn’t wait to share the experience with y’all.

So, let’s make some French press coffee, shall we?

French press coffee1

First, remove the plunger assembly–it’s all in one piece making it easy.

Rwanda beans

I tried Rwanda beans for the first time . . .

French press coffee2

and ground them coarse because the fine grind will clog the filter and create high pressure.

French press coffee3

Then put 1 tablespoon of the coarse grounds per 4 oz. of water.

French press coffee4

Then pour in hot (not boiling) water.  My only complaint is that the cups are not marked on the pot (I will mark it later), so I used a measuring cup.  Stir the grounds gently with a plastic spoon–metal will scratch the glass pot.

French press coffee5

Replace the plunger unit, lowering it almost to the top of the liquid.  Rotate the top so the spout is in the closed position. Now, let the coffee steep for about four minutes.

French press coffee6

After four minutes, hold the pot securely with one hand while slowly and gently pressing the plunger with the other.  Caution:  Do not press hard and fast as hot liquid may shoot out of the pot!

French press coffee7Turn the pour spout around to the front of the pot like so and e breathe in the fresh coffee aroma that comes wafting up.

French press coffee8

The time has arrived to pour my very first flavorful and aromatic cup of French press coffee.  It feels like a ritual I’m sure coffee connoisseurs around the world have been enjoying for centuries, while little old Bayou Woman has been living her sheltered life in the marshes of South Louisiana drinking cups of less-than-perfect-electric-brewed Columbian.

French press coffee9

First, I taste it black, just to see if I can appreciate the purity of this brew.  Yes, there is a noticeable difference.  There is a missing taste of “pencil lead”.  (Don’t ask!)  Then I add a little raw sugar, which is the sweetener I prefer.

French press coffee10And then I add the finishing touch of a little powdered creamer.

While writing this post, I sat here and thoroughly enjoyed both cups of fresh-ground, fresh-brewed, Rwandan bean, French press coffee and I feel like I have arrived in the world of coffee aficionados.

Now, I invite you to comment below about your favorite coffee, your favorite way to brew coffee, your favorite coffee bean, your favorite coffee pot, and to even make fun of me and my coffee-brewing deficits!

Because if you do, your name will be entered in a random drawing to receive a very special gift from Community Coffee of Louisiana!

Bottoms up!

BW

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Comments

What in the heck is a French press? — 64 Comments

  1. We (Deb &I) have a Quisinart that grinds & brews or brews ground coffee. It has a timer, so we get up to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. But my favorite is my one cup fench press!! But I do use boiling water to brew my cup. I enjoy trying other coffees; Seattle’s Best is a good alterative if you go north and have to survive without the real coffee from down south. But without a doubt, there’s only one real coffee, Community! Coffee brewing is just as fun as cooking because so many ways to do it!

  2. I am a coffee oaf. I have tried grinding those lovely beans myself but I find I always go back to Folgers. I am happy as can be with my pot of simple, most likely to make coffee gourmets shiver and faint, plain black nothing added, cup of Folgers. I am a sorry but sipping my cup as we speak simple girl 🙂

  3. Since moving to Louisiana, I have definitely become a Community girl. Love the Medium Roast. But, I gotta say that I am looking forward to heading up North next month for a little visit with the family in Michigan and partaking in as many steaming cups of Tim Horton’s as I can. Wishing I had time to trek on over to my last stomping grounds in upstate NY for a good bagel and a slice, but it’s a little too far for a side trip.

    • Hey Diane, glad you came out of the woodwork. Sorry to say, but it looks like some your Yankee friends don’t care too much for Tim Horton’s. But that’s just because they have tasted the rich flavor of a real dark roast coffee! Come one down and we’ll make a pot of Fr. press, okay?

  4. My husbasnd loved Community coffee. He passed away in Dec. Since then I have used up all the Community he had bought and have been using the Folgers coffee that friends brought to the house when he died. I have never heard of French Press either. I may have to get one and also some more Community coffee. I have never tried coffee beans either. I don’t have a coffee grinder either. May have to get one of those too!

    • Doris, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Don’t worry about grinding beans. Like someone else said–it’s just an extra step! By the way, if you keep coming back here, we’ll be giving away more Community Coffe in the near future! Thanks for chiming in!

  5. Sweet. Gonna pm Rob this thread.

    A Tim Horton addict on this blog? Wowsers. Sorry but it tasted very flat like leached by sun and rain. Most of it still in can. I’ll smell it again. Yep doesn’t make my nose happy at all. Hmmm.

    I love my Dunkin out of the Mr Coffee but truth is we got artesian aquifer water here and it makes everything yummy.

    Press on.

    • I may not have much to contribute to this blog post about coffee but Blu, I will say that I am green with envy about your artesian aquifer water! Is that coming straight out of the tap??? My dream is to live someplace someday that has amazing tasting water straight from the sink. That’s my favorite memory from a trip I once took to North Carolina — the water tasted like our Louisiana Kentwood coming right out of the faucet! And cold too! I love water…

  6. Yeah I didn’t care for the Timmy Horton’s at all.

    Rob introduced me to French Pressed coffee out at Waukegan Harbor on a chilly Fall morning about 2 years ago.
    Ground the beans on the spot in the parking lot.

    Amazing.

    I keep telling myself I’m going to pick one up…It’d be great for camping or a cup out on the water while fishing.

    Use the best water and fresh beans you can get your hands on…simple as that.

    Oh but don’t ever try Kona Private Reserve because you’ll never look at other coffee’s the same way again…at $125 a 5lb bag..it’s not an addiction you want=)

    • Darth – I had my hand on a bag of Kona at T.J. Max yesterday. I wonder why they had it marked down? LOL! I doubt it was the pricey one you mentioned, though! I did have some Kona in Hawaii and it was AMAZING!

  7. I’ve never had coffee made in a “Press”. You saw PART of my coffee pot collection, I believe that’s the only kind of coffee pot I don’t own. As stated earlier, my favorite blend is Community’s Dark Roast! I’m serious about my coffee and my pots…I even have 4 coffee pots in the camper. I must admit though, 2 of them are percolators (1 from the 70’s). My favorite though are my 40’s Drip pots. My favorite bean is a toss up between Blue Lake Bush and Contenders. Sorry, my mind wandered to vegetable gardening. Favorite coffee bean…already ground Dark Roast. After all, It takes more time to boil the water then let it drip, than it does to flip a switch on a Mr. Coffee. I JUST CAN”T take that extra time to grind beans. I NEED my coffee asap in the mornings.

  8. I’ve heard of French press, but i’ve never tried it. My favorite coffee is Community French Roast. Not having ready access to that, I use Maxwell House French roast. I get fancy sometimes and add a spoon of cocoa to the coffee grounds before brewing. It makes for a very rich cup of coffee and it smells fantastic!

    • Ann, without looking, is this the same Ann who taught me about tomato aspic and deviled ham and Duke’s? Well, come back soon and win yourself a bag of Community, honey!!!

      • Hi, Wendy – I just had time to look at your “comments” today–after being at the mountain cabin all weekend. The Maxwell House comment is not from me, but the “aspic, deviled ham and Dukes” you refer to surely could not have been someone else! Took deviled ham to the mountains and been eating it all weekend — with Dukes of course! By the way, ask Rives about the French Press. We spent a lot of time with Rives (in Franklin) one year looking for a French Press at some of the stores there. I think he bought one.

      • P.S. I really don’t drink coffee–well, unless it is really doctored up–with lots of sugar and cream : ) Vanilla ice cream scoop helps, also.

  9. Lyle, I can remember buying a box of Tar Babies from the candy machine in the 2nd grade, I think they were a nickle a box. Mmmmmmmmmmm!

    • Choup, just what does Tar Babies have to do with coffee? Hm? You’re gonna have to do better than that! LOL! Besides, I think they were called “sugar babies”!!!

  10. BW, I can well remember my mother’s dark roast Community Coffee. She and my aunts brewed it so strong it could dissolve a teaspoon. Mama had a tiny drip pot and used plain white cotton socks (new, not worn!) for a filter. She packed the top part of the pot with plenty of coffee, then poured boiling water over it, a bit at a time, until the pot was full. She and the aunts drank their coffee demi-tasse, in tiny cups, with sugar but no cream. Scalding hot, too! Then they settled down to discuss, in French, their children’s failings. When I was old enough, it was my duty to brew the coffee, then serve it from a tray to the tantes and oncles. It was a solemn and serious business, the brewing and serving of coffee. I wish the old folks were still around. I know they would have enjoyed a French press, although a bit new-fangled! Love that Community Coffee.

    • Love love love this post, Patricia. Love family traditions recounted and passed down. The traditions are fading, aren’t they? They say the reason they served it demitasse is because it was SO DOG GONE STRONG if you drank a mug, you’d be wired for days!!!!

      And you know, down here, “un demi tasse” means a half cup!!!

      • Yes, indeed, that coffee was so strong you could only drink a half cup. And that is the literal translation from French — demi (half) tasse (cup). I still have several of those little cups. The last of my dear old aunts died yesterday at age 90. She was one of those I served coffee to (under my mother’s eagle eye to make sure I did it properly).

        By the way, a french press is very common in Europe. The first time I encountered one was in Ireland, of all places! It makes delicious coffee.

  11. In our 40 years of marriage, we’ve never strayed from our Community Coffee. I mix a bag of Between Roast with a bag of Decaf and store it in a canister. Each morning whoever gets up first fixes the ever faithful 12 cup Mr Coffee. Hubby has his customary two cups and I finish the pot. We are creatures of habit but have been known to come out of our comfort zone to try new things now and then.

    • Kim, Community Coffee makes tea products. Have you tried any of them? If your name is drawn in a future drawing, you can request a tea product if you’d like!!!

      What say ye, Scott?

  12. I love the smell of coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But — that’s all…

    Thankfully, hubby makes his own — with whatever I buy him — we do have a grinder & sometimes I get the beans….

  13. So all this coffee brewing has me thinking about two things besides fishing which is rare.

    First anyone ever make ‘camp coffee’? Boiling the grounds and settling with egg white or egg?

    Second can Scott perhaps help out with set up of a coffee shop in some semi tropical area filled with kayaks and migrating critters????

  14. I love fresh ground coffee and the smell of it dripping and percolating. We use a lot of coffee since my husband is a trucker. He heads out each morning with a huge, traveling mug of coffee and then a stop at the next truck stop for a refill. I love the Community Coffee but, it is a bit pricey in our area and we are on a tight budget. If it is on sale, I buy it. If not, then it is Maxwell House Columbian roast.
    I, like BW, had never heard of a French Press untill reading the article. My favorite coffee pot is an old, 4 cup, aluminum percolator. It has perched on many a camp fire grate. The sounds of fish flopping in the water, crickets, frogs and of course the mosquitos droning in your ear while you sip your nightly cup of java and count the stars are memories I will always have.
    Right now, I am sipping a mocha latte. I like to put 1/2 of a piece of Dove dark choclate in it and let it melt. Yummy!

    • Well, Cammy, you just make sure you subscribe to BW’s blog and keep commenting so you can be entered to win some coffee in the coming weeks.

      LilSis says that Dove chocolate idea sounds really good!

  15. LilSis and I are sitting side by side reading all these wonderful comments! I love these tales of brands and brews!

    Let’s keep this open for a little longer.

    Bring on the comments, folks.

    Random contest open to everyone!

    BW

  16. I love my first cup of coffee in the morning with something chocolate. We try all different kinds of coffee, but it’s hard to beat Community. We use an electric coffee maker. For awhile we did the cold coffee concentrate, and I miss that, but could never get the final cup hot enough for hubby.

    Let me just say that I better win!

  17. No, really! They were little molded black babies in a box. Kind of like gummy candy. I can’t remember if they were licorice or chocolate.

  18. does the french press come witha french maid in a frilly outfit ? id be willing to buy a couple then !!
    “grins” just kidding

    Nice place ya got here

  19. choupiquer; Only heard of sugar babies but I’d love to get my hands on some Tar Babies. You don”t know who made them? Cammie, I will try the Dove candies but it will take two; one for the cup and one for me! I am drinking a delicious, hot cup of Community dark roast made with my french press as I type. But I’d still like to win the one displayed in the photo.

    Wendy, I’m coming down on Wednesday afternoon to fish with a friend. What are you doing on Thursday?

  20. It’s gonna rain I’ll head down to the Chocolatier and see about this ‘tar baby’
    stuff. I come from a big licorice family so I knows about them and where I last saw them.

    Don’t you all miss Charlie the GoodnPlenty guy?????

    I got some licorice dominos. Not as good as dark chocolate covered expresso beans or DCCEB’s. LOL.

    • I am so laughing at y’all and your licorice babies right now!!!

      Tar Baby – I’m up in Shreveport with LilSis right now and should be traveling home Thursday. BW

  21. I used to buy expensive whole beans and carefully made my coffee. Now in my lazy old age I just use preground Folger’s Columbian in a Cuisinart coffeemaker with a timer so that it’s made before I even get up in the morning.

  22. We grind our beans! I have a cheapy Krups grinder. We use 8 o’clock Columbian brand. I don’t care for Starbucks-too expensive and not any better than what we are using to my taste. I do like Dunkin Donut but rarely buy it.

    • Welcome, Stephanie Oh! I think I remember 8 Oclock coffee from the old A&P when I was a litte girl —- or maybe not! I might have to try that Dunkin Donut stuff, but I’m sure it won’t replace our Community!

  23. Well struck out on the licorice babies. Heck shop didn’t have half the stuff they used to carry. No pipes no whips. Did score me some kookaburra though.

    Stopped in for an Americano at Barnes too.

  24. We just have a plain old coffee pot that plugs in and we use Folgers, nothing fancy. I have a friend who is British who makes the BEST coffee on the planet and lets me use the mug with her name on it so that is my indulgence in coffee. I try to make plenty of stops by her house!

  25. AND THE OFFICIAL WINNER IS . . . . . . . COMMENTER NUMBER 3 RANDOMLY GENERATED BY random.org AND THAT WOULD BE DIANE HUHN!

    Just one thing, Diane–you must promise to never ever put Tim Horton Coffee in this French Coffee Press!

    Thanks, everyone, for all the wonderul sharing, comments and input about coffee and coffee pots. Come back soon because we will be giving away some coffee next week!
    BW

    • Woohoo! I’m so excited. And yes I promise that only Community Coffee will ever grace this pot! I’m giving a virtual toast to all right now with the very real cup o’ Community that’s in my mug right now. Hmmmm…it’s a beautiful morning on the bayou! Thanks!!!

  26. I have to chime in with Teresa – I take the easy Folger’s way out! Years ago I had a 1 cup French press and never could get the coffee right in it. Just call me klutz! But then there is a Starbuck’s on nearly every corner in my town!!

  27. I love it! Sometimes it takes us country folks a little longer to find out about things, but that’s okay–we know stuff a lot of other people don’t.

    I’ve tasted it but never made it. It was delicious but I’d need to learn how to make t the strength I like, which isn’t too strong. And powdered creamer? That makes my stomach churn to think about it! Half-and-Half for me, all the way. Or milk. Other than that, I’ll drink it black.

  28. i grew up in Opelousas, LA and my mama and Maw Maw send me Community Coffee here in Portland, Oregon once every few months and I just love making it my french press! now that I know what Community tastes like in a french press, i’m never going back!!! I hope other CC drinkers jump on board, you’ll love it!

    • Oh the times I have driven through Opelousas on my way to North Louisiana. Before I 49, we had to go right through! I’m so glad to have you here as a reader, Shake! How did you find me?

  29. I thought that funny about the raw sugar, I still use it also. I was brought up behind a sugar mill on the river and getting real white sugar was almost as big a treat back then as getting a real barber shop bought haircut.

    I have always used Community Dark, even when my Mom had to send it to West Texas to me. If you can see the bottom of the cup, thats tea not coffee.

    If you get a chance try some of Community’s Columbian and mix it 1/2 in 1/2 with dark roast, and drink a small cup the first morning.

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