dukas Senior Member Joined: 21 Oct 2012 Posts: 9 Location: Florida Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012, 9:13am Subject: Correct size French press
I routinely make between 8 and 12 ounces of coffee at a time. I use a 32-ounce Bodum press. The plunger barely reaches one-third of the way below the surface of the liquid. Would it be more efficient for me to use a 3-cup (12 ounce) press? I had read that they are not too good because the water cools off too much toward the end of the 4-minute cycle.
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 8:42am Subject: Re: Correct size French press
Netpilosopher, I believe what you stated about french presses producing the best coffee when used near maximum capacity and have experienced that. By the way, I've learned to believe pretty much everything you write, with out experiencing it. I've learned so much. Thanks a lot.
What I still do not understand here though, is why. I think the Bodum press being used is the standard one with the coiled wire and wire mesh gasket interface with the glass beaker. When I use that press, I find that any excess liquid below the screen drains fairly easily. This is certainly not the case with my 1 lilire Espro press and it is easier to understand how using that press near maximum capacity affects the taste. I have a stainless steel Bodum travel press as well, with a silicone gasket and probably a finer filter than the standard; it behaves more like the Espro.
Does the difference in taste, when using a standard Bodum near capacity, have have anything to do with full load of coffee changing the filtering? Does it act a little like the coffee puck filtering of the AeroPress?
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,314 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 12:40pm Subject: Re: Correct size French press
The Aeropress works backwards to the way a French press works, the Aeropress is more like a vac pot in that respect where the water flows back through the grounds where as the French press pushes the grounds down and out of the way, trapping them at the bottom of the press so they can't float up and into your cup.
Don't mash the screen down hard on the FP and don't take ALL the liquid you can get, rather just press down until the grounds are confined at the bottom and leave the last half oz or more on a larger press to prevent most of the fines finding their way into the cup.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
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Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 6:52pm Subject: Re: Correct size French press
Thank you both so much for those excellent explanations. I had never thought of the effect that gravity would have on locating the fines in the layer of filtering coffee.
Hmm, now I'm wondering how the combined filtering of 2 thinner layers of coffee on the vertical filters (5 to 12 times finer than a standard french press) operates in an Espro press. I guess I'll have to spend some time thinking about that.
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