Kitchen & Gadgets

French Press vs. Automatic Drip

July 30 2012 - 12:00 PM

I got a taste of this coffee-subscription service, Storyville Coffee. In their marketing materials they focused on, among other things, the benefits of the french press coffeepot. Since I’ve been unhappy with the taste of my Mr. Coffee, I went out and dropped $30 on a Bodum. Apparantly the going rate for a large glass cylinder with a push-top and a handle is no less than $30. I did see an Ikea version (I think it was Ikea) for $15ish, but too little, too late.

The knock against the french press is that the water needs boiling first and then about four minutes of steeping. So coffee in 10 minutes, not quick and there’s no way to set a timer and wake up to it. It also gets cold quickly without a hot plate under it. It also needs a pretty coarse grind or you’re left with settled sludge at the bottom of your cup. Lucky me, I have a microwave and a good coffee grinder. And that means good coffee.

Five minutes in the microwave means water that’s hot enough for me. I put six heaping tablespoons of coarse ground coffee in the eight cup Bodum, filled 4/5ths of the way with water. My pot came with a ridiculous four minute digital timer that clips onto the push-pot’s post that let’s me know when it’s ready.

I find the coffee lighter tasting but not watery. It’s a somewhat fruity flavor that’s very even and not bang-your-head strong or barely-there weak. And the best part is that there’s absolutely no plastic taste at all. I’ve read about over-fresh coffee and the near-crema suds that you get, but my eight o’clock beans gave me a nice molten espresso-head and still tasted good. Not as good as the Storyville coffee, but better than the drip.

–Josh Brusin