Pros: Excellent tasting coffee, easy to use, clean & maintain, inexpensive, reliable & relatively durable
Cons: Leaves grounds in coffee, doesn't keep coffee hot, requires your active participation
This morning while standing on a chair searching the top shelf of one of our kitchen cabinets for an elusive blade for my mandolin slicer, I came across our Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker. Old faithful had been sitting there since October, 2005 when it was pressed (no pun intended) into service in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma. It was badly in need of being washed so I took it down.
After washing it, it would have been an insult to merely stow it away again, so I made our morning coffee with it. Brought back memories. I've owned my Bodum Chambord for a very long time. Let's see, oh yes, I was a cosmopolitan single fellow living on Central Park West overlooking the tennis courts on W. 96th St. Life was good and I was into all things fashionable. And, what could be more fashionable back then than a Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker.
Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker
The Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a coffee-maker most often referred to as a French Press and arguably the best coffee-maker sold. It's actually exquisite in its simplicity, even though the 1928 model is an example of one of Bodum's fancier models.
But basically it consists of a cylindrical glass carafe (in this case 32oz.) with a handle attached and of course a spout. There is a cover through which a plunger is attached, that has a knob on one end and a fine wire mesh permanent filter on the other. The mesh filter is held tight against the inside of the carafe by a tension spring that rings its circumference . Construction of a coffee-maker can't get much simpler than that.
Making coffee with the Bodum Chambord French Press is simple as well. In a kettle, or these days a microwave you heat up to 32 oz of water to just before a boil. Removing the cover and plunger from the carafe you put the appropriate amount of coffee into the carafe. I generally use a tablespoon of coffee per cup and then add one more for the pot. I like my coffee on the strong bold side. Placing the cover and plunger back on top of the carafe you let the coffee steep for a few minutes (my choice is 5). Slowly pressing down on the knob the ground coffee is pressed to the bottom of the carafe leaving you with a hot pure pot of coffee. I told you it was simple. But, as simple as it is, you're involved. Sure there's that 5 minute wait time, but you're not going to take a shower while the coffee is being prepared as you might with a modern automatic drip coffee-maker. No, you're committed.
While the Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker is nominally an 8 cup pot, keep in mind that it is only an 8 cup maker if you consider 4oz of coffee a cup. I generally rate it as a 2 breakfast mug size coffee-maker.
Good question. Well, the Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker does make a superior cup of coffee. I had forgotten just how superior until my rediscovery this morning. The coffee is hotter, fresher and bolder than it is when prepared with either my Cuisinart or Gevalia Automatic Drip coffee-makers. And, while my Farberware Percolator can match the heat, it can't match the freshness of flavor.
Back during the days I used the Bodum daily I would grind the beans I regularly purchased from Zabar's over on Broadway. This morning I used our regular everyday Folger's Gourmet Supreme. A good coffee but not quite up to the Jamaican Blue Mountain from Zabar's (by a long shot).
OK, we've already discussed your involvement. You have to pay attention. Then there's the matter of finding fine grinds in your coffee. And, the finer the grind, the more likely you'll find some in your cup. Fortunately they do seem to settle to the bottom.
Unlike more conventional coffee-makers, once your coffee is brewed there is nothing in the Bodum to keep it hot. I can pour it into one of our Alfi Thermal Carafes, but as a daily ritual the use of a gold-plated carafe seems an affectation to me. No, when you use a French Press to prepare your coffee, it's pretty much for immediate consumption.
Although there's little that can go wrong with your Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker, the glass carafe is about as fragile as glass carafes tend to be. Care has to be used when cleaning it or handling it in general.
Not much has to be done here. The perfectly cylindrical carafe is easy to rinse clean. The plunger and permanent wire filter are similarly easy to clean. Every few days it can be placed in the dishwasher to thoroughly remove any accumulated coffee oils.
The Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker really does make a superior pot of coffee. It can currently be purchased for $24 - $30. More basic and smaller models can be purchased for as little as $15. For coffee quality of this caliber this is a very modest price.
Unfortunately, I'm no longer that cosmopolitan-type guy who is as committed to his coffee and all things fashionable as he once was. I like my convenience. And, so the Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker goes back into the closet. Perhaps we'll take it out before the next devastating hurricane, like when the beautiful Mrs. Xeno wants to show-off the gold-plated Alfis. We'll see. But, for the committed coffee aficionado I highly recommend the The Bodum Chambord 1928 8-Cup Coffee Maker.