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Brief History

The most popular design of this style of brewer was patented by the Swiss man Faliero Bondannii in 1958 and this brewer was known in France as a 'Chambord', where it was also manufactured. Its rise in popularity is what gave the cafetière its French identify.

However, the first patent of a cafetière or 'French Press' was actually patented by the Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929. 

So is it essentially French or Italian? We'll leave that up to you to decide.

A Good Starting Point

Grind Size

Generally speaking the correct grind for a cafetière should be fairly coarse. Think granules rather than a sand like appearance/texture. Of course, small adjustments can be made to fine-tune for optimal extraction. 

Coffee Dose/Brew Ratio

A good starting point for a medium sized or 2 cup cafetière would be to dose 30 grams of coffee per 450 grams (ml) of fresh water. This equals a brew ratio of 1:15, i.e. for every 30 grams of ground coffee, use 450ml of water. 

Water Temperature

The temperature of the water is another variable that can be experimented with in order to suit different types of coffees. To start though, let the water in the kettle rest after boiling for 30 seconds, so that the approx temperature is 92 degree Celsius.

Brew Time 

I like to aim for a brew time of around 4 minutes. Again depending on the coffee this can be adjusted e.g. lighter roasts might need slightly longer and darker roast slightly less.

Brew Process

Remove the lid/plunger and add your ground coffee (30g) to a preheated carafe.

Next, add double the amount of hot water (60g) slowly and ensure all coffee grounds are cover/saturated. This helps bloom or pre-infuse the coffee. Gently stir with a spoon or swirl the mix together and let it rest for 30 seconds.

Pour the remaining hot water (390g) into the carafe and position the lid/plunger, but do not plunge yet! Let it steep for 4 minutes. 

After 4 minutes, plunge the filter into the carafe with a slow motion right down to the bottom. Pour the brew into your cup carefully.

Serve it up and enjoy! 


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