When thinking of our daily routines, we always find one thing in common between most of us: coffee!
It’s one of the top high-demand beverages worldwide. However, it’s almost a dream that all coffee lovers would agree on one coffee type and call it the best.
What’s even more impressive is that the controversy is not only about the coffee types but also the method they use to make the coffee.
In this article, we will discuss 2 of the most common coffee brews of all time.
What Is The French Press?
The French press is a coffee brewing device, also known as a coffee press, that was invented in the late 1920s by Paolini Ugo and designed by Italian designers Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta.
This device mainly uses pressure to do its job. It contains a piston that is used to brew the coffee grounds and a beaker under the piston to hold the grounds after being brewed by the piston.
Placing the coffee grounds and hot water in the beaker until it is done steeping is the first step of this procedure. The second step is that we press the piston (the metal mesh filter on top of the beaker) to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid coffee that you are going to actually pour in your mug.
This procedure usually takes up to 4 minutes if we are doing the usual hot brew coffee.
By doing this previous procedure, you will be getting rid of all the unwanted coffee particles that could make your coffee taste bitter – What is Coffee Bloom? – Does it Affect Taste and Aroma?.
“Bitter” is an unwanted coffee flavor for most people, although some coffee lovers consider it a desirable one and enjoy it! So if you are one of those people, then using finely ground coffee is the right way to make your French pressed coffee.
Do You Get Crema With a French Press?
Do you ever get annoyed when you have to clean a full mixer to just get a very small amount of crema for your coffee break? Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore because you could actually use the same French Press to prepare that!
The steps are pretty easy. All you have to do is:
- Fill the French Press with heavy cream halfway through.
- Close the lid well.
- Start pulling and pushing the filter quickly for 5 minutes straight.
And your crema is ready!
Should You Use The Same Type Of Roast?
The espresso coffee comes in different grains from all over the world. The beans are strongly roasted until they start looking a bit oily. They often appear darker than the ones used for French Press.
Espresso uses more caffeinated, darker, and stronger coffee than the ones used for French Press.
However, baristas don’t use this dark roast 100% in making espressos. There’s always a mixture between the highly roasted beans and the medium roasted ones. That is to avoid the bitterness of dark and highly roasted beans.
If you’re looking for a light beverage to start your day with then you should surely get a French Pressed coffee instead of an espresso.
Can you reuse Coffee Grounds when brewing with a French Press?
Arabica or Robusta Beans for French Press?
Comparing Arabica and Robusta beans is a frequent debate for coffee lovers.
Arabica coffee is usually sweeter than Robusta, while Robusta is stronger and more caffeinated. As a matter of personal preference, if you like sweeter coffee, then Arabica is the perfect type for you. of beans to use in your French Press!
Acidic and bitter coffee types are less pronounced when brewed in a French Press. This means that the flavors and undertones of the Arabica coffee would take the backstage a bit. It also implies that the harder taste of the Robusta beans would become a bit more mellow.
The French Press also uses a higher coffee-to-water ratio for brewing coffee. The added caffeine in Robusta beans could be more pronounced. Just watch out for the added jolt of that brew!
Is The Grind The Same For Espresso Vs. French Press?
The French Press passes the brewed coffee through a stainless steel mesh. As fine as it is, it inevitably lets some of the grinds through into your cup. To avoid a “muddy coffee”, it’s always recommended to use a coarse grind for the French Press.
This keeps the slate in the press, and lets you enjoy the unique brew of the French press. Which becomes the perfect blend of taste and texture.
Unlike the French Press coffee, we prefer using finely-grained coffee for espresso. By finely-grained, We mean powder-like coffee.
Can You Make A French Press Coffee As Fast As An Espresso?
You could already tell from the name that nothing beats an espresso when it comes to speed!
It usually takes less than a minute. There’s a catch though: priming and preheating the espresso machine takes around 15 minutes.
You’d also need to grind or roast a batch of beans, measure the right amount of coffee, and maybe steam a little milk? This adds considerably to the time needed to prepare a cup of espresso.
A French Press would take from 4 to 6 minutes. In theory, this is significantly longer than the swift espresso. But in practice, this might be the quick cup!
Is An Espresso Machine Cheaper?
An espresso machine is always higher in price, whether low-end or high-end ones. So if you are still a beginner and don’t want to spend a fortune on a coffee machine the French press must be your choice.
A stove-top espresso maker is about $50 or even less. These are the simplest setups, but they’re rarely used in preparing espresso. Machines are more popular, and some are quite affordable. They go from $50 for a basic model to $500 for a high-end variety.
A French Press is more money-saving, as it ranges from $15 to $60. After all, there’s no tech or high sophistication in that device.
Is French Press Coffee The Same As Espresso?
By now we could already conclude that French Press and espresso are two completely different ways of making your coffee.
Espresso is strong and intense. The high heat and quick treatment of coffee extract the highest tones and concentrate them in small shots.
The French Press tenderly warms up the beans and lets the flavors accumulate slowly. The larger cup doesn’t pack the same punch as the espresso. It’s a beverage you savor with no rush.
Why French Press Coffee Is Bad For You?
Limited studies claimed that unfiltered coffee could have unwanted effects on some individuals. The French press coffee and Turkish coffee are both under scrutiny for possibly increasing the harmful cholesterol levels.
Cafestol is a substance that raises the cholesterol level. To get rid of it, you can use a paper filter in your French press (are white coffee filters bleached?). Many users are opting for that solution, while others miss the sandy texture characteristic of French Press coffee.
Is French Press Coffee Better?
If you’re a coffee lover and cannot start your day without a strong dose of caffeine then a French Press coffee wouldn’t be the best option, instead, you could prepare an espresso shot!
On the other hand, there are other coffee enthusiasts who believe the total opposite. That French Press coffee is better.
French Press coffee extracts a multitude of flavors and tastes from the beans. Filtered coffee, on the other hand, keeps away half of the taste, and treats it as residue.
In terms of texture, French Press also has some edge over espresso. The little bit of coarse coffee that escapes the mesh of the Press, gives the cup of coffee a unique feeling and definite aftertaste.
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Can You Make Espresso With A French Press?
Why would anyone want to make an espresso using a French Press? That’s a valid question, and the answer is pretty simple. The French Press is much less expensive, easier to operate, and a breeze to clean.
Besides, if you already own one, then wouldn’t it be great to be able to use it for preparing several kinds of coffee. But can you make an espresso with a French Press?
Well, the answer is yes and no.
No, you cannot make an actual espresso using a French Press. And, Yes. You could use espresso grounds in your French Press machine which will give you a very similar taste to your normal espresso.
You just need to get a bit creative with the process. Make the French Press cater to the needs of the espresso. This starts with going for finer coffee grounds. Espresso requires the water to have a quick and intense encounter with coffee. That’s why coarse grinds are out of the question.
Next, there’s the heat. Espresso depends heavily on the effect of intense heat on the coffee grounds. So heat up the water to around 195 degrees. Pour some of it inside the French Press to prime it before adding the coffee.
Put in double the amount of coffee you’d normally use. A French Press typically uses far more coffee to give a strong brew. Pour in half the amount of water, and let the coffee steep a little. Don’t press down just yet. Close the cover to let the heat do its work.
After a few minutes, your brew would be pretty close to espresso. If you like it strong, wait a couple of minutes more. If you’re content with less intensity, then press down slowly, and enjoy your coffee.
To sum things up, the French press and espresso are both great ways to enjoy your coffee.
The French Press is the traditional way to make a brew. The simple device lets the water extract all the taste, texture, and aroma from your favorite coffee beans. Pick the roast and type that you like best. Grind a fresh batch, and let it become a magical beverage in less than 10 minutes – Is it better to use a blade grinder vs burr grinder for coffee?
Espresso is a cup that few coffee lovers can resist. It has plenty of attitude in a small-sized body. The crema is also part and parcel of the espresso experience.
Which one to choose is a matter of individual taste. Each comes with a different taste, at different budgets and every one of them is brewed differently.