As soon as we saw this at SCAA, we could envision it in dorm rooms everywhere! This dual purpose french press or tea maker from Bodum will heat the water and pour over your coffee grounds or tea leaves. You let them steep, then either remove the filter or press the grounds down and serve.
Watch as Gail demos making a cup of tea and a pot of coffee with the Bistro Coffee & Tea Dripper.
We posed one simple question to Gail, Rob and Allison: Using whatever tools and beans you want, how do you make the best french press coffee? Watch as they each explain their approach, feverishly compete and then stand the taste test of Jessica, Sally and Brandon.
How do you make your amazing french press coffee? Please share!
In response to a few customer requests, we performed the following tests related to french press / press pot coffee. First: Which of the insulated stainless steel press pots retain their heat the longest? Second: How does the coffee taste at different steeping intervals?
#1: Insulated Stainless Steel Temperature Testing
We took the 8 cup versions (roughly 35 oz.) of the Bodum, La Cafetiere and Frieling double-walled stainless steel presses and filled them with hot water. We then measured their start temp and checked in on them at regular intervals — 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours and 24 hours. Watch the excitement unfold:
Since you don’t actually want to keep your coffee in your press pot for hours on end (the ideal way to prepare and serve coffee this way is to pour it out right after the desired steep time has completed, either into serving cups or an insulated pitcher), arguably the most important interval in the test was the first one, right after 30 minutes. In that round, the winner was the La Cafetiere, which lost only 19.1F degrees, as opposed to the Frieling’s 21.4F and the Bodum’s 21.6F. But still, these were all pretty close so selecting any of the three models will still be a good choice.
#2: French Press Steep Test
Next, we wanted to find out how press pot coffee tasted when steeped at different durations — 4 minutes, 6 minutes or 8 minutes. We loaded up three 8 cup Bodum presses and then tasted them. Possibly a bit more scintillating than the video above — and this time with 100% more Allison!
You know us: We’re always game to take a grinder out for a test drive. Bodum’s Bistro didn’t catch our eye at first (despite its vibrant hue!) but we decided to give it it’s day in court to see if it would make a good budget option for folks not pulling traditional espresso extractions. Watch Gail as she tests it out and we determine how well it performs. And while we won’t be offering the orange color any time soon, we will be adding the black version to our site soon.
The inner workings of competitive businesses — especially those that have had closely intertwined histories, management and ownership like Bodum and La Cafetiere — often result in limiting consumer access to specific products. This isn’t because the products themselves aren’t great, functional, reliable or well-built; it’s often because of exclusivity agreements or international patent laws that prohibit selling an item in a particular country. Last year, the dust finally settled on the long-term, semi-acrimonious international tete-a-tete between Bodum USA and La Cafetiere’s parent company, and the latter is finally able to sell their wares in the U.S.
There’s a reason that the word ‘cafetiere’ is synonymous in Europe with what we Americans call a French press — it was the original inspiration for all presses to come, developed by a French clarinet factory. The presses that La Cafetiere produces are both classic and gorgeous — from the simple glass-and-stainless-steel-frame model to the sleek stainless steel thermal version — and are available in a variety of sizes, from 3 to 12 cups. We are also offering their Tea Swizzle (which we now refer to simply as the ‘Twizzle’, of course!) and will be adding more products in the future.
Gift hunting season is on! For those with caffeinated accoutrement in their sights — but who are not quite sure about their target — we’ve created a series of introductory Buyer’s Guides to give you some ideas.
Check ‘em out:
- Back to School Coffee Fix for Students: Next semester is going to be even better than the last! Right? Right. Make it so with these java preps which require very little equipment and can easily produce excellent coffee from the convenience of cramped quarters — like dorm rooms.
- Give your Student the Gift of Espresso: It will increase their focus and concentration. They will get a 4.0. There won’t be a grad school that won’t accept them. They’ll go on to be extremely successful in their field. They’ll build you a little retirement cottage on a river somewhere. You will both thank that little espresso machine for years to come. Live the dream.
- First Time Espresso Makers: 2011 is your time to shine. We’ve selected some excellent introductory espresso machines that will have you — and/or the lucky beneficiary — making your favorite espresso drinks at home with ease.
- Picking a Grinder for your Cup o’ Joe: If you know anything about us, you know we’re serious about picking a good grinder. There are several out there that work for a specific purpose or budget, and this guide is a great primer.
- Gadgets for the Espresso Enthusiast: Is buying coffee gear for someone in your life kind of like trying to buy Richard Branson something he doesn’t already have? Here are some options for items they may not have in their setup — although we make no promises here.
We have expanded our Bodum collection considerably over the past few months, so thought it was time to notify the rumpled masses (AKA you!). New additions to the line include new Canteen double wall ceramic cups, Presso double wall glass cups, gorgeous Piccolo Veneziano glass cups with stainless steel saucers, all stainless steel travel press (for coffee or tea) and traditional french press, a stovetop espresso maker and thermal carafes.
These beautiful and functional new pieces are great gift ideas this holiday season — we especially love the Piccolo glasses and the stainless steel travel press.