Thoughts on French Press Brewing
Is French Press brewing really better?
The thing about French Press coffee brewers and brewing that intrigues me are the fundamental differences between drip brewed coffee (extraction) vs. press brewed coffee (infusion) processes. Thinking about this I realized that most drip brewing processes are attempts to standardize and control the brewing for consistency whereas the infusion process gives the operator virtually unlimited control over the brewing process.
French Press brewing provides the opportunity to produce a highly variable product. If one has a good idea about how to use this tool to create the taste wanted it is the best tool to use. It reinforces my idea that the best coffee is the one you like the most. By the way, since we mentioned that French Press brewing is an infusion process, these brewers also make great tea. The process is very much like brewing tea in a teapot!
You may want to refer to the points covered in our guide to Brewing Great Coffee. Here we comment on some of the many effects of the variations that cause different outcomes and coffee tastes. Water brewing temperature, amount and grind of coffee, water quality, filtration, etc.
Now, speaking of filtration, French Presses generally have a wire or screen filter. This fact changes the taste in significant ways. One, more oils can end up in the brew and this may or may not have have an impact on the flavor for you. Depending on the grind tool used there may be more solids in the brew. These are a few of the things that need to be considered when using a French Press brewer. Remember, you have almost full control of the brewing process, and therefore the final taste of your coffee is largely your work. Enjoy!