French Coffee

Written by Sarah Provost
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To the French coffee drinking, like everything else, is an art. When you order coffee at a cafe, you aren't likely to get a cup drained from a huge vat that may have been sitting there for hours. You're more apt to have it made at your table in a French press.

If you've never had coffee made in a French press, you're missing a true taste experience. The apparatus itself consists of a glass beaker fitted tightly with a metal or mesh filter. The beaker is filled with hot water, just off the boil, and coarsely ground coffee is stirred directly into the water. The grounds steep in the water for a few minutes, then the filter is plunged, forcing the grounds to the bottom.

The result is a heavenly drink. French coffee, no surprise, is usually roasted very dark, French roast being the darkest roast next to espresso. When it is put through a French press, the product has a substantial body and heavenly aroma. The use of metal or nylon to filter out the grounds means that flavor-carrying oils and colloids are present that get left behind in a paper filter. Perhaps it isn't so much the technique that makes French coffee so appealing to all the senses as the fact that it is always fresh.

French Coffee Presses Available Online

Bodum and Bonjour are the most widely available French presses. Standard models range in size from 16-48 ounces and in price from $12-40. Not only do they produce an excellent cup of coffee, but the elegant styling adds a Continental note to your kitchen.

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