Who Invented the French Press?

Taking a look back we’ll cover the invention of the French Press from its unexpected beginnings as an innovative military invention to its current status as an essential item in any  kitchen. There’s no need to go back in time to enjoy a great cup of coffee these days. Now if you consider the quirky origins of French Press, it does have a bit of time capsule nostalgia involved. But, would you ever expect this innovative brewing invention to have a connection to military origins? And though the French Press is a welcome addition to any home kitchen or hip café, you’ll also find out who is responsible for inventing this retro-looking coffee device.

A Brief History

Modern day French press

Every coffee device has an origin story, but nothing as unexpected as the invention of the French Press coffee maker. As most coffee-making devices are concerned, it seems that many of these devices were often a result of convenience for the rich and elite. This could not be more obvious for those who were among the wealthy class, but it took a while before common folks could enjoy these innovations too.

Since the very start, the French Press was an entertaining and lavish way to make coffee. Not only did it put a whole new twist on how coffee is brewed, but the taste is also unmistakably unique. And though there have been those who have tried to improve the French Press design, the classic look of this device is hard to beat. Perhaps this is why so many coffee lovers have one of these brewing machines in their kitchen for this very reason.

Coffee Tales from Around the World – How Each Country Uses Their French Press

Despite the obvious confusion, coffee historians will immediately know that the French Press isn’t actually a French invention! While the French people have their own coffee brewing methods, the French Press was actually devised and improved in Italy. If you have ever heard the name Attilio Calimani, this is the crafty device he tinkered away with and improved using an old blueprint from 1852.

It improved a previous blueprint that was submitted by two Frenchmen during the second French Empire when Napoleon III was busy running France in a typical militaristic manner. The original design wasn’t very effective and lacked a seal around the plunger. Even though the new design was introduced in 1929, this further created a wild patent battle that raged for years between the Italians and the French.

At this point, it might not even matter who invented French Press brewing devices when each design is simply adding to the previous concept. It’s almost the same as taking credit for building a better mousetrap.

The Art of Making Perfect Coffee with a French Press – Step-by-Step Instructions

Pouring hot water in French press

Some argue that making the perfect cup of coffee is a specialized art form. Others will further speculate that using a French Press is even trickier if you don’t know what you’re doing. To make great coffee doesn’t need the articulate skills of a barista to enjoy coffee brewed to perfection. In fact, you can make French Press coffee at home with step-by-step instructions that aren’t difficult to master. So here are some secrets you’ll love to learn about this immersion style brewing method.

While most brewing methods can include variations in water temperature, steeping times, and coffee-to-water ratios, you also need to pay attention to the grind size to get the best results. Some experts will also chime in further on the best methods of pushing the plunger down when the coffee is ready. But that’s a matter of personal taste since there are so many methods that are shared online these days.

Also See: French Press & Your Health

Famous People Who Have Used and Loved the French Press

Would it surprise you to know that famous writers including Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson were infamous coffee drinkers? That would explain a lot since they probably needed a serious jolt of coffee after all the alcohol and drugs they consumed every day… Then again, consider that there are modern-day famous singing divas like Beyoncé and Ariana Grande who help stimulate their creative senses with home-brewed coffee all the same.

But you don’t need to be among the rich and famous to become a coffee connoisseur. You just need to have the same kind of passion for learning the proper brewing methods.

The Quirky Origins of the French Press and How it Evolved Over Time

The name of the French Press has changed over the years and was originally called a Cafetiere. It had also been called a Coffee Plunger, Coffee Press, and Press Pot to mention some of the other funny names it was labeled. It further used to be called a Melior and Bodum, depending on the manufacturer and country it was produced within. The name French Press is said to have been invented exclusively in American coffee shops after the 1960s.

The design took the name literally since it used a plunger to press the coffee downwards while the French title just sounded fancy. As romantic as all these sounds, everyone knows that Italians are very passionate about brewing coffee. But as history reveals, it’s often the popular name that prevails. Take for example the battle between Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD that took place from 2006 to 2008. Obviously, Blu-Ray won the battle just because the name sounded cool…

Yet for those who love the iconic taste of French Press brewed coffee, it doesn’t take a professional opinion to taste the difference right away.

How to Clean and Care for Your French Press – Tips for Longevity

women cleaning French press

Every coffee-making device needs cleaning to keep it at its peak performance levels. The same can be said about the French Press which needs continual cleaning to get the results that make it essential for brewing excellent coffee. One aspect, in particular, is keeping the plunge filter as clean as possible since this can get tiny bits of coffee grounds stuck inside. The rest is simple washing with gentle dish soap to remove carafe residue because of coffee oils.

Much like any other method for brewing coffee, regular cleanup and care for your French Press is essential. So if you’re going to repeat the same steps each day as part of any coffee brewing ritual, preparation and cleanup is simply part of these rather mundane side tasks.

Looking for the Best French Press Maker? See more here.


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