Pros: French pressing makes the best coffee
Cons: The lid could be better (but it isn't horrible)
Nissan was the company that introduced those cool stainless steel coffee mugs and thermoses. Since these nifty little devices came to the United States a decade back or so, they have been often copied and rarely (if ever) duplicated. If there was any doubt about how good their products were, Thermos brand purchased the company and added their brand alongside the Nissan name on the packaging. But what about their French press?
What is a French Press and does it make good coffee?
Most coffee aficionados will agree that the best way to make a cup of straight coffee is a French press. There is a rule in making coffee, that four minutes is the perfect brew time. When I worked in the coffee industry we spent thousands of dollars and untold man-hours retrofitting our very expensive brewing equipment to make sure that we were consistently hitting this time when brewing.
The ability to perfectly control the brew time is what makes the French press the perfect way to make a cup of coffee. You simply put a tablespoon of coarse ground coffee in the press for each cup of hot water you are going to use. Pour your hot (200?) water in. Put on the lid with the plunger up. Set a timer for four minutes. Press the plunger when the timer goes off, and you have a great press full of coffee.
It seems like an odd way to make coffee I guess, leaving the grounds in the bottom of the pot. But once the plunger is depressed the brewing cycle stops. This was one of my worries with the Nissan, how would the coffee taste with the grinds sitting in there for a long time? It was never a problem. I found the coffee to taste as good at the end of the pot as it did at the start.
Coffee in a French press has a much better texture, and fuller flavor. Even a light roasted coffee that is normally somewhat thin in texture will have an almost buttery texture when pressed. The nuances of the bean will also be more obvious in a French press. The four minute brew time ensures that coffee is fully extracted without the burnt flavor that over-extraction can result in.
Whats special about Nissans French Press?
The Nissan French press is made in the same way as their other high quality insulating beverage devices. Unlike most French presses, which are plastic or - most commonly -glass, the Nissan French press is stainless steel.
Nissans mugs and thermoses will keep drinks hot (or cold) for four to six hours easily. The secret is in the true vacuum between two stainless steel walls. The French press is rated at three hours for keeping your coffee warm.
Let me preface my experience by saying that I was brewing coffee samples for my customers daily in the Nissan French Press. I found that an hour and a half was more realistic in this use. However, this was with the pouring notch turned open and allowing the warmth to escape through the top.
The top of the press is plastic, so it doesnt offer the same insulating properties as the double walled stainless body of the press. But I think that with the lid properly closed, there is no reason to doubt at least two hours of drinkable coffee time. My coffee loving wife never lets coffee sit that long in our personal press, so I cannot vouch from personal experience.
High and Low lights
As I mentioned the coffee from a French press is second to none. That is no exception in the Nissan French Press. It isnt without flaws though.
The lid could be a bit better. An insulated lid that fastens on for travel would have been a great feature on this item. The lid that comes with it fits tightly in place, but if you were to knock the press over, I would guess there would be a 50/50 chance that it would come off and spill. Is the lid bad? Not really, but I think it could be a lot better. An insulated lid would keep coffee hot for up to four hours as well.
The durability of the Nissan is unparalleled among French presses. The warranty on these is phenomenal. I havent worked in coffee for a few years so I might not have this detail exactly right, but I am remembering five years. I am sure that it is within two years give or take from that. Not often do you get a three-year warranty on products without wheels and an engine these days.
Nissan can offer a warranty on these because you would almost need to use something with wheels and an engine to damage one. Dropping this item wont hurt it . . . well dropping it from normal distances . . . anything over five stories I dont know. Still, remember all of the Nissans competitors are made of glass or plastic.
Cleaning the Nissan is a bit of a pain. Still I would say it is no more annoying than any other French press. An improvement over some Nissan mugs, the French press can be put in the dishwasher. I always unscrew the bottom screen when washing ours. This way I can take the screen out and get any grounds that might otherwise get trapped between. Nissan did engineer this portion nicely with no screws or nuts to get lost.
The Nissan French Press is the perfect vessel for sampling coffee beans in a store. We sold over sixty varieties in my shop and were able to brew only four a day. With hot water on demand, if someone asked about a bean and couldnt make up their mind, we could easily make them a sample in four minutes.
For home use, it is a great option as well. The one I bought for my wife gets used all the time. Our traditional coffee maker no doubt feels left out since we got the French press. If you ever want to make a few cups to sip over a couple hours this is the perfect device for that. Besides, once you French press, nothing else ever tastes quite as good.
? Scott Noble Unauthorized use prohibited
A couple of my other reviews that you might find helpful:
Capresso MT 500 Coffee Maker
Bodum Travel French Press