A French press coffee maker is a coffee brewing device popularized by the French. It is also also known as a press pot, coffee press, or coffee plunger. Its operation is simple and it produces a stronger coffee and better tasting coffee than other devices. A French press can also be used in place of a tea infuser to brew loose tea.
A French press consists of a narrow cylindrical jug usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a lid and a "plunger", made of metal or plastic, which fits tightly in the cylinder and which has a fine wire or nylon mesh acting as a filter. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, leaving to brew for a few minutes, then depressing the plunger to trap the coffee grinds at the bottom of the jug.
Because the coffee grounds are in direct contact with the brewing water, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee's flavor and essential oils, which would become trapped in a traditional drip brew machine's paper filters.
A French press is also more portable and self contained than other coffee makers. Travel mug versions also exist, and are made of tough plastic instead of the more common glass. Many of these feature a sealed lid with a closable drinking hole. These presses are popular with hikers and backpackers not wishing to carry a heavy metal percolator.
Click here for instructions on how to use a french press pot.