French Press: origin, history and extraction


Today we discover another incredible method of making coffee.

We have already discovered how to extract coffee with MOKA together >>

and coffee with the AEROPRESS >>

Today it's the turn of the plunger coffee maker: the French Press!

The origins of the French coffee maker

The coffee filtering system, known as French Press, was born in France in 1852, thanks to Meyer and Delforge, respectively a goldsmith and a merchant.

Although the birth of this instrument is closely linked to the transalpine territory and its traditions regarding the consumption of coffee, the Italians modified it and proposed new versions.

The first was Attilio Calimani, who patented a more advanced version of the instrument in 1929. This version was in turn modified by Bruno Cassol, who added a wire mesh filter to the device, essential for retaining the ground coffee on the bottom, in phase of pouring.

Finally Faliero Bonandini, in 1958, proposed a further review, reaching the final version, as we know it today. The same entrepreneur, began large-scale production in a French factory, which until then made clarinets.

Subsequently, the use of the plunger coffee maker spread throughout much of Europe, with several plants used in production.

Broadly speaking, the French Press is a glass container with a metal piston that slides inside. The plunger attached to the lid has a circular filter that serves to retain coffee residues and to collect only the infusion.


How is coffee extracted with the French Press?

Making coffee with the French Press is really quick and easy.

In my opinion it is the simplest extraction method of all, even more than moka pot and espresso!

All you need is the French Press, hot water and ground coffee.

But let's start with a first quick theoretical part.

The French Press extracts coffee by infusion, exactly as we are most used to extracting tea. By leaving the ground coffee to infuse in the hot liquid, we obtain our drink.

  • The Brew Ratio, that is the proportion between water and coffee, is 60 g of ground coffee per 1 liter of liquid;
  • A temperature of about 95 ° C is recommended, although I recommend that you try the extraction in a range between 92° and 96° C and experience at which temperature the result is best for your coffee;
  • We recommend a Medium Roasted coffee, in this way all the qualities of your quality coffee will be enhanced to the maximum, as well as the aromas;
  • We recommend a blend with a higher percentage of Arabica, or even better a single origin. In this way it is possible to obtain an intense drink with a wide aromatic range;
  • The grinding must be medium-coarse, therefore between 800 and 1000 microns, i.e. of a size to the touch between fine salt and coarse salt.

In this case we will use a dose of 15 grams of coffee for 250ml of water.

The steps for the extraction are as follows:

  1. Heat the water up to 95° C;
  2. Heat the equipment and the filter by pouring a little hot water inside;
  3. After that, dry everything;
  4. Pour 15 grams of ground coffee into the glass cylinder and give it a couple of taps with your hand to level it and thus obtain a uniform bed;
  5. Discharge all the water with constant turbulence, ie a circular motion, in about 30 seconds;
  6. Mix the mixture with a spoon to remove the lumps and put all the ground in contact with the hot water;
  7. Place the filter on the surface of the liquid;
  8. Wait 4 minutes to infuse;
  9. Press the plunger on the bottom, being careful not to insist on the ground, which could come out of the filter and affect our drink in the cup.

The coffee is ready!

How will the drink taste?

As a result in the cup, the drink obtained by the French Press is similar in many respects to that of the moka pot. It is in fact a fairly cloudy, full-bodied and enveloping coffee.

The difference exists in the taste: it is in fact a more delicate extraction, both for the temperature of the water, lower than that of the moka, and for the lack of pressure. Consequently in the cup it expresses a reduced bitterness and a wider aromatic range.


Having a French Press at home is useful apart from coffee it is useful for 2 other purposes:

  1. To prepare tea, leaving the loose leaves to infuse in hot water in the same way;
  2. To froth milk manually.

We all love cappuccino and its creaminess and the French Press is the easiest and fastest way to prepare it even at home!

In fact, just insert the milk into the glass container and move the plunger up and down quickly to create, after just a few seconds, the much sought-after cream.

You can use both skim, semi-skim and whole milk.

Not only that: you can use both hot milk and cold milk from the fridge.

If you still have any doubts write me at 

Martina Mazzoleni 

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