2 min read

The French Press

Or more appropriately: “The US Press.”
The Coffee Diaries

North American food-nomenclature has always fascinated me, in that it often is based on geography. Instead of “crêpes,” we frequently see “Swedish pancakes,” even though the thin cake can be attributed to dozens of countries. The same goes for “Swedish meatballs,” but I suspect we got IKEA to thank for that one.

“Greek yogurt” is a mainstay in grocery aisles, though “Central Asian yogurt” is a more appropriate name. The rest of the world simply calls it “strained yogurt.”

The “Belgian waffle” may be popular in Belgium, yet the thick variety has its roots in France.

Of course, the background for these internationalized names comes down to who brought the recipes to the New Country. Some unassuming Swedes may inadvertently have been credited for a new type of pancake while preparing a French meal.

Which is a roundabout way to look at the polar opposite. If we were to get technical, “French-press coffee” should be called “US-press coffee.” The forerunner to the device does have a French patent, but an Italian immigrant patented the modern version in the US in 1929.

Pressing coffee the French-American-Italian way takes a bit more effort than drip, but it results in a very flavorful brew. Here’s a quick recipe:


  • A food scale. We’re partial to OXO’s pull-out model.

  • Preferably a water boiler. Again, we enjoy OXO’s offering.

  • Preferably a coffee grinder—Virtuoso+ is our pick—though you can obviously grind the beans at the store.1

  • A French press. We use a 34 oz Bodum. (1 liter.)


  1. Heat water to 200° F. (94° C)
  2. Place French press on the scale and zero it out.
  3. Grind 55 grams of beans coarsely. That’s setting 28 on the Virtuoso grinder.
  4. Add grounds to the French press, and pour just enough water to cover the coffee. The total should be 110 grams.
  5. Give it a quick stir and wait 30 seconds.
  6. Pour water into the press until the total reaches 880 grams.
  7. Slowly press the plunger down about halfway.
  8. Wait 3 minutes.
  9. Press gently down, just until the plunger hits the bottom grounds.

Serve and enjoy alongside a very Norwegian slice of apple cake.

Web Sources

“Strained yogurt.” Wikipedia. March 8, 2022. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strained_yogurt

“Waffles.” Wikipedia. February 21, 2022. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffle

“French press.” Wikipedia. March 9, 2022. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_press

  1. Some highfalutin readers balked at this suggestion from my drip coffee post, but as I’m a man of the people, I say grind your beans anywhere and any way you like.