A kitchen utensil used for brewing coffee. It consists of a cylindrical glass pot and a plunger mechanism that has a metal mesh screen at one end and a handle at the other. Between the handle and the screen is a lid with a hole in the center through which the plunger can move. Ground coffee is added to the pot followed by boiling water. The coffee is allowed to steep for approximately 4 minutes and then the plunger assembly is inserted and the lid is placed on the top of the pot. The screen end of the plunger is the same diameter as the pot, so as the plunger is slowly pushed into the pot, the screen pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot, leaving fresh filtered coffee above the screen.
Coffee prepared with a French press is rich and flavorful with no bitterness, since this process retains the coffee oils and compounds. It can also be economical because there is no need to purchase disposable coffee filters. Typically, this type of utensil is available in sizes to make 3, 8 and 12 cups of coffee.
An alternate use for this pot is to use it as a hydrator to moisten dried foods such as chiles, mushrooms or tomatoes. Fill the press with the amount of water desired, placing the dried foods into the water and keeping them below the water level with the plunger. This utensil is also known as a French press coffee maker and a plunger pot.
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