Author Topic: French Press  (Read 558 times)

Offline Ascholten

  • Distributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6322
  • Artisian 6 and Behmor
French Press
« on: December 29, 2016, 12:58:26 PM »
So I busted the glass on my bodum french press today.  Bodum doesn't make this model anymore, and a new press from them is like 32 dollars plus shipping.    I went to the Restaurant Depot where I get my stuff wholesale and they had a brand new french press for 11 dollars.  It looks very close to the bodum minus the wording of course.   Let's be honest, a FP is not a fancy machine, it's a glass jar that you shove a screen down into to smush the grounds down before pouring out of it.

Lets see how it works, though I think it will work just great for about a third of the price.

Aaron

« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 09:50:00 AM by Joe »
As I have grown older, I have learned that pleasing everybody is impossible, but pissing everybody off is a piece of cake!

Offline peter

  • The Warden
  • Distributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 12982
  • Monkey Club Cupper
Re: French Press
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 01:20:52 PM »
You're right, Aaron.  I think the only real difference might be in the plunger part - the construction and the quality of the screen.

I use glass beakers for a different project, and you can find the exact same size beakers that work for most press pots at sites that sell scientific or classroom stuff.
Quote of the Day; \"...yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have Life. \"                Jesus, from Jn.5:40

Offline Ascholten

  • Distributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6322
  • Artisian 6 and Behmor
Re: French Press
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 02:28:55 PM »
You are correct Peter, the plunger seems a bit lighter gauge but not to the point of being a Dollar store POS.  the screen seemed to be the same gauge as the Bodum, and yes, the screen / pot etc was pretty much interchangeable size wise.  I have 3 glass pots for the bodum so had one to compare to.  The real test will be when I put a finer grind in this one and see how it presses out.  Sometimes I find that yes, even on a french press, a finer grind works a LOT better on some coffee's for the flavor, yet they can put a back pressure on the plunger.  I think this is where most people bust their presses, fine grind, clogging screen, press harder... crunch, coffee and class all over the counter.   The critical part I am thinking is going to be the outer edge that it doesn't cave in with the pressure and let the grounds sneak by.

One trick I have done is to put coffee in, stir until tornado brings grounds to bottom of pot, say 10 seconds, then put the plunger assembly in and press down to about half in inch below the water line to keep all grounds submerged.  When you are ready, press away, If it is stiff to push down, back it off about to the surface, that back flushes the screen, then slowly push down and you should have no further problems bottoming out.

We shall soon see.
Aaron
As I have grown older, I have learned that pleasing everybody is impossible, but pissing everybody off is a piece of cake!

Offline Kimbalabala

  • Standard User
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: French Press
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 08:41:32 AM »
I know I'm late to post on this, but I broke my last beaker in August and wanted something that would last (it appears I'm more clumsy than I would have thought - I went through 3 beakers in 6 months!). I found a stainless steel french press on amazon and I really like it. It's 34 ounces and comes with an extra screen. I bought it for $26.95 and it's now $21.99 I'll attach the link. Is this where I find out that glass is superior to stainless? ;)

« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 09:47:38 AM by Joe »

Offline Ascholten

  • Distributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6322
  • Artisian 6 and Behmor
Re: French Press
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 01:06:10 PM »
Kim yes SS does a better job of holding up, but some say can 'taint' the taste of the coffee, making it bright etc.
Also I like the glass as you can see thru and how your steep is doing etc.

If you are busting glass that much, sounds like you are pressing WAY too hard.  If you need that much pressure to extract, then you may be grinding your coffee a bit too fine.  Try a bit coarser grind and see how that works. 

Another tip:  Add coffee to water, stir vigorously for a little, then put the plunger in and gently press down to about half an inch to an inch under the water line so it is holding the grounds below the water line.  When you do press to extract if it's a hard press, pull up on the plunger about quarter inch or so, just a little to back flush then press down again.  A lot of times this will clear out the screen a tad and let you extract easier w/o breaking glass due to too much pressure.

Aaron
As I have grown older, I have learned that pleasing everybody is impossible, but pissing everybody off is a piece of cake!

Offline Kimbalabala

  • Standard User
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: French Press
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 09:20:05 AM »
Thanks Aaron! We haven't noticed a difference in the taste - but we do put cream and sugar in our coffee. We are coffee snobs, but not as discerning as most here. I'll put your pointers to use immediately, and if/when I get another glass press maybe it will help me reduce my breakage! :)

Offline Joe

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7029
  • splitting bags and having fun
Re: French Press
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 10:23:16 AM »
FYI you can find Bodum french presses on sale in brick and mortor stores like Ross and TJ maxx etc. i have seen them for like $10. Also not to speak blasphemy but Ikea has them as well...not Bodum but it works for me.

Offline peter

  • The Warden
  • Distributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 12982
  • Monkey Club Cupper
Re: French Press
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 11:00:48 AM »
I've been entertaining the idea of a magnetic stirrer, like home-brewers use for stirring yeast starters.  One of the drawbacks of the FP to me is the lack of agitation.  As soon as I can convince myself to justify the cost, I'll test out the theory.
Quote of the Day; \"...yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have Life. \"                Jesus, from Jn.5:40

Offline Badam

  • Standard User
  • ***
  • Posts: 315
Re: French Press
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 02:11:50 PM »
FWIW, I've had a stainless one thats been in use for two years now. Never noticed any off tastes from the stainless vs another glass one I have. The stainless also has a double screen that seems to filter fines better and have a bit more strength. Nice, slow, constant pressure seems to be the key for a good "press," that and playing with the grind to find your favorite spot.

I have a similar process to yours Aaron, I put my coffee in, add enough water to cover the grounds, swirl and let it bloom for 30-60s and then add the rest of the water and press after 4-6 more minutes.
*We want to do a lot of stuff. We are not in great shape. We did not get a good night's sleep. We are a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.*

Offline peter

  • The Warden
  • Distributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 12982
  • Monkey Club Cupper
Re: French Press
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 08:44:49 AM »
For the last few days, I've been playing with the 'bloom' technique.  And as I think it through, I've come to the conclusion that if there are any benefits, they are indistinguishable to me.  I'm not saying anyone should stop, or telling you how to use your french press; but in my mind (and palate) blooming has its place in the pour-over method because the water has much less contact time with the grounds and if there's any layer of CO2 around the particles, you want to let that come off during the bloom so that the main pour has better ability to saturate the grounds and extract well.  In full immersion methods, that would less (if any concern).
Quote of the Day; \"...yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have Life. \"                Jesus, from Jn.5:40

Offline stevea

  • Standard User
  • **
  • Posts: 171
Re: French Press
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 03:40:04 AM »
If you get any flavor off stainless you are treating it badly.

Stainless forms a very very thin passivation layer (similar to glass) that shouldn't impart any flavor.  The problem is that you can damage the passivation layer by scratching it - and then you leak iron ions, maybe some nickel & chrome too.

So you shouldn't use anything scratchy on stainless.  Even a green Dow scrubby will damage the passivation layer - and it's visible w/ a microscope.  Abrasive cleaners like 'Comet' or 'Ajax' are a huge no-no for stainless.   You should use a sponge on stainless, and if you need something stronger that dish-soap use "BarKeeper's Friend" (iirc it's oxalic acid in the powder and not abrasive).

The good news is that stainless will form a new passivation layer if you leave it dry and exposed to air/oxygen for a few days to a week.  Also from memory you can speed the re-passivation with vinegar+peroxide bath, but I'd have to look it up to be sure.
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."  Mark Twain

Offline Ascholten

  • Distributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6322
  • Artisian 6 and Behmor
Re: French Press
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2017, 12:39:23 PM »
Aluminum kind of does the same thing right?   Most people I know do scrub stainless, that word means almost indestructible to them.
I have to be honest, I never really noticed any difference in stainless containers vs others, and then there are some studies out there suggesting that the color of your coffee cup can affect your take on the flavor.  It's all suggestive, I was merely passing along some folk lore?  of what I have heard uttered.

I have stainless on the boat, I love it, because I CAN beat the crap out of it and not have to worry.

Aaron
As I have grown older, I have learned that pleasing everybody is impossible, but pissing everybody off is a piece of cake!