How to Use a Coffee Plunger

A coffee plunger, also known as a French Press, a cafetière, or press pot, is a traditional coffee brewing device with probably the simplest model of all coffee makers. A glass pitcher, a stainless steel structure, a lid fitted with a filter piston, nothing more, nothing less for this object that is both simple in design and particularly effective for enjoying a good coffee. It is not by chance that professionals often use it to judge the quality of a coffee or a blend. The fact remains that it allows you to appreciate all the taste and aromas of your coffee.

Do you know how to use a coffee plunger? Are you sure you are getting the most out of it? Don’t worry! This article will answer all your questions. 

History of the Coffee Plunger

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, the one who gave birth to a coffee plunger is not an Italian but a Frenchman; hence it’s given the name French Press. Although the invention and design of this device are attributed to Attilio Climani in 1929, it turns out that a patent already existed five years earlier, filed by Marcel-Pierre Paquet.

The victors write history, and it is to the Italian who marketed it first. However, even if we speak of Italian coffee makers, the coffee plunger is still called the “French Press.” This is because, initially, most of the production was done in France.

Now coffee plungers are used worldwide, as the simplest and the most traditional coffee brewing devices. Its simplicity and efficiency make it a “must-have” machine for all coffee lovers. 

The stainless steel of its structure, the glass of its jug, and the black of its lid and plastic handle make it a classy object. Therefore, it is logical that these machines are found in the kitchens of many homes around the world.

Many models and variations of these coffee makers now exist, offering either a different aesthetic or a particular property. Anyway, the principle of operation of this aroma extraction system has remained the same since its invention.

How Do Coffee Plungers Work?

The French press or coffee plunger will allow you to infuse your ground coffee before filtering the mixture and tasting it instantly.

After pouring coffee into the bottom of the glass tank, add simmering water and then mix. You have to put the cover with the piston in a high position. This makes it possible not to let the water cool too quickly and ensures a perfect extraction of the taste and aroma. The infusion will last between 3 and 7 minutes, depending on the fineness of the grinding of your beans.

Then lower the piston. The filter is responsible for retaining the ground coffee, allowing you to enjoy it straight away.

A Useful Tip: Regarding the infusion time, you must consider the grinding of the coffee. The coarser it is, the more time it will take for the infusion to occur (between 5 and 7 minutes). Waiting between 3 and 4 minutes for a finer ground coffee will be enough; otherwise, the infusion could become loaded with bitterness. Also, be careful! Too fine coffee can pass through the filter and end up at the bottom of your coffee maker.

You must have noticed that in using a coffee plunger, you need no heating system, no electric control, a little patience, and a simple pressure are enough.

No matter what type of product you choose from this family of coffee makers, the operation will remain the same. The main differences will lie in the options available (two filters, insulated double-walled stainless steel jug, etc.).

The other major difference is the capacity. Depending on the number of coffee drinkers, you will need to adjust the size of the machine. Depending on the model, you can prepare 1 to 8 cups.

How to Choose the Right Coffee Plunger?

Your choice will largely depend on the number of drinkers at coffee time. We count about 12 cl (centiliter) for a cup. Therefore, a 70 cl coffee maker will be able to prepare around 6 cups. This is what should guide your choice, the capacity. Of course, you are free to choose a particular design or material.

A Useful Tip: An important point to consider is the coffee and the grind you consume. If you use an “espresso” type coffee, be aware that the deposit at the bottom of each cup will be systematically present (a bit like Turkish coffee, but less dense!). 

As the grind is fine, the filter cannot retain it well. So, opt for a double filter model. If you start with grinding coffee beans, choose a coarse grind. It’s the best way to enjoy your coffee until the last drop.

It is often said that fast and good do not go together. If this maxim is part of your vocabulary, you can opt for a coffee plunger! We hope the information above on how to use a coffee plunger will help you make coffee the right way.

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