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The Coffee Brewing Device.
A French press set and coffee
A French press, also known as a cafetière, сafetière à piston, Cafeteria, press pot, coffee press, or coffee plunger, is a coffee brewing device patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929.
History and Design
A French press made of stainless steel
Over the years, the French press has undergone several design modifications. The first coffee press, which may have been made in France, was the modern coffee press in its rudimentary form: a metal or cheesecloth screen fitted to a rod that users would press into a pot of boiling water. The coffee press was patented by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. It underwent several design modifications through Faliero Bondanini, who patented his own version in 1958 and began manufacturing it in a French clarinet factory called Martin SA, where its popularity grew. Its popularity may have been aided in 1965 by its use in the Michael Caine film The Ipcress File. The device was further popularized across Europe by a British company by the name of Household Articles Ltd. and the Danish tableware and kitchenware company Bodum.
The modern French press consists of a narrow cylindrical beaker, usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a metal or plastic lid and plunger that fits tightly in the cylinder and has a fine wire or nylon mesh filter.
Preparation of a cup of coffee with a French press
A French press works best with coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew coffee filter. Finer grounds, when immersed in water, have lower permeability, requiring an excessive amount of force to be applied by hand to lower the plunger and are more likely to seep through or around the perimeter of the press filter and into the coffee. Coffee is brewed by placing the ground coffee in the empty beaker and adding hot (93-96 degrees Celsius, 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit) water, in proportions of about 30 grams (1 ounce) of coffee grounds to 500 ml (15 fluid ounces) of water, more or less to taste. The brewing time is about two to four minutes. The plunger is pressed to separate the grounds and hold them at the bottom of the beaker. If the brewed coffee is allowed to remain in the beaker with the used grounds, the coffee may become astringent and bitter, though this is an effect that some users of the French press consider desirable. It is believed that the optimum time for brewing the coffee is around 4 minutes. Some consider the coffee spoiled after about 20 minutes. Other approaches, such as cold-brewing, require several hours of contact between the water and the grounds to achieve the desired extraction.