My first experience with a French Press pot, was at a nice restaurant at Disney World many years ago. I think I was as impressed with the presentation as I was with the coffee itself. It was served on a silver tray, surrounded by small bowls of lump brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and tiny pitchers of cream. My first sip and I was hooked on the dark, rich flavor. I do find it to be stronger than most coffee and generally top it with a bit of the cream (of course that may be simply because real cream is such a treat). I came home and bought my own press pot.
The early coffee press was probably made in France, thus the name French Press. It was made from a metal or cheesecloth screen fitted to a rod and pressed down into a pot of boiling water. Today’s pots are generally clear with a plunger like piece that fits snuggly into the pot and has a fine mesh filter. The coffee is prepared by mixing the coffee grounds and boiling water in the pot, allowing it to steep for a few minutes and then slowly pushing the press down into the pot to trap the grounds beneath it. In many ways it is similar to making coffee on the campfire, only you have a way of keeping the grounds out of your cup.
As I said earlier, the presentation is very much a part of the process. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised when you bring a French Press to the table. The aroma of the coffee beans, the time element of waiting for it to be the perfect color and the assortment of treats to add to the coffee and serve with the coffee make it an “event” at the end of the meal.
Sur La Table-$39.95
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