Pros:Really, REALLY good coffee.
Cons:This is no fire-and-forget coffee machine.
The Bottom Line: If you're willing to work a little bit, the end result is epiphany-provoking coffee.
That means, "The Coffee is Really Good" in French. At least, that's what an on-line translator says, and I'll trust it because...the coffee from this French press is really good.
Recommend this product?
Some background would be in order. I've been drinking coffee since I was in college. Back then I boiled it in a stovetop percolator and it was nasty. I had the bright idea to buy "good" coffee in the little bags rather than a can of Folgers, with the theory that if the raw ingredients started out better, I'd have less of a chance of ruining the finished product. And so started my journey into the coffee arts...if there is such a thing.
Journey to the present. I've developed a taste for Hawaiian Kona coffee, and can appreciate the nuances of a good cup of coffee, but -- and it should be BUT -- I've grown tired of the "coffee-maker taste" in my coffee. No matter what brand, breed or region of coffee I get, I treat it the same...I grind it up, stick it in the basket of the coffee maker, and let it gurgle through the nastied up pipes into Mr. Coffee's carafe, and it all tastes sort of plasticky and mediocre.
I remember the stone-simple drip pot my parents used, and wish I could find one. And I see the French press here and there, and read of the superlative coffee it can produce. And this Christmas my dad got me the 8-cup Bodum French Press...and a few pounds of gourmet coffee. I read through the circular instruction pamphlet, and set to work.
And make no mistake. If you want coffee from a French press, you're going to work for it. This is no "scoop and press the button" coffee maker that grinds it, brews it, froths it, stirs it, pours it into your cup and hands it to you along with your slippers and paper. This is interactive coffee at its best.
First, you need to fill a pot with water and put it on an actual stove and start it boiling. Next, the coffee has to be "coarsely ground," in order to not clog the screen on the press. I use a hand-cranked burr grinder, and I tighten it until it stops, then back it off five half-turns. (I only go two or three for the auto-coffee maker) When ground, there should be 1/8" chunks of husk in the coffee. You use what seems like way, WAY too much coffee in a French press -- I usually pour in a one-inch-thick layer of coffee in the bottom.
Once the water is boiling, you simply pour it over the coffee in the pot, pull the plunger to the top and and put the lid on the press. Then you wait for four minutes. After four minutes you press gently on the plunger until it reaches the bottom, effectively sweeping the grounds out of the drinkable coffee. Pour off the first cup and enjoy. I usually decant off the rest of the coffee into the carafe of my Mr. Coffee, and I can keep it warm on the coffeemaker's hot-plate that way.
And the coffee that comes out of this dog and pony show is nothing short of astounding. My eyes must've been the size of saucers after my first cup from the coffee press. Even with a superhuman amount of grounds, the coffee is not bitter. Actually, "not bitter" is like saying a scalpel is "not dull." The coffee is so smooth it's like drinking silk. The flavor of the bean simply bursts in your mouth, with no off-flavors of plastic or hard water grime. It is, and there's no better way to say this, really good.