The moving manual parts of the press pot intimidate many first-time French press users. Many coffee lovers are also intimidated by the fact that the coffee beans are directly exposed to the water. While the French press brewing process can seem complicated and drastically different from more modern electric methods, a great pot of French press coffee is unmatched in quality.
The French press has several parts that are usually detachable. The most important detachable part is the screw between the press (the filter) and the long push handle. Most models can be detached by gentle unscrewing the filter part from the handle. If you use your French press several times without removing this, you’ll find lots of small grinds and coffee dust caught in this small gap. Larger models will even have removable metal frames that keep the filter straight during brewing.
It’s essential to remove this and clean it with every use. Neglecting this small gap will lead to sludge in your coffee, which always taints the taste and gives your coffee a bitter aftertaste. If you use hard water during anytime in your brewing process, always rinse these parts with fresh filtered water after cleaning. Without this step, you drastically reduce the life of your French press and degrade the quality of coffee you produce in future batches.
Hard water is probably the biggest enemy of all your home appliances- especially for your French press. Since most French presses are made from metal, they are especially susceptible to hard water buildup. Hard water buildup is the white residue that’s left on kitchen and bathroom surfaces after drying. Once dried, mineral residue is very hard to clean up. Once dried on your French press pot, it’s nearly impossible to remove. Future pots of French press brewed coffee are then tainted with a salty taste and bitterness that most coffee drinkers do not enjoy.
Another important part of your French press is regular wire filter replacement. The wire filter is the most essential part of your press. It’s the thin lining that keeps full grinds away from your finished brewed coffee. It’s also the thin lining that keeps sludge and dusty grinds from the bottom of your coffee mug. Regular replacement is absolutely necessary as coffee tannins and oils are built up slowly over time. These oils can also taint the overall taste of your coffee and make for an unpleasant experience- even if you use pure fresh water.
For generations, the French press has been used as a manual coffee brewing method that produces some of the purest coffee in the world. Before paper filters and electricity, the French press was a great alternative to stovetop coffee and is one of the best ways to enjoy a cup of your favorite blend. The time and effort put into a great pot of French press coffee reaps great rewards for coffee drinkers and hobbyists everywhere. The French press truly is a social experience designed to be shared across the world of coffee drinking.