Need a simple, fast, high-quality cup of coffee or tea? Get a French Press.

The French press is easy. Unlike its regional cousins the Vietnamese coffee and the Japanese-style pour over coffee you can get a great cup of coffee in six minutes or less.

French Press Coffee

  • Servings: One
  • Difficulty: zen master hard
  • Print

  • A French Press. That link is the one I have. I have two because I use one for coffee and one for tea, never the two shall mix. If you’re a tea drinker, you appreciate this–even with glass and stainless steel, it’s nearly impossible to get the essence of coffee out of coffee-contaminated cups, thermoses, and brewing equipment.
  • A kettle to boil water. No self-respecting coffee or tea drinker puts their cup in the microwave. Lucky for us, there are many affordable kettles out there today, and a number of them are cool to the touch, so as safe as it gets for schools. I linked to a “cool touch” Krups kettle. I have a similar Mr. Coffee one. I had a nice Cuisinart kettle but the exterior got hot when I boiled water–not the safest option for my school microwave-coffee-hot-chocolate-treat area.
  • 4 Tablespoons of ground coffee or one teaspoon of tea.
  • Boiling water. Never use a microwave for this.
  1. Boil the water.
  2. Meanwhile, put the coffee or tea in your French Press
  3. Pour the water in. Optimal temp: about 205 degrees for coffee, 190 or so (different tea has different tea-snob temps) for tea.
  4. Wait a few minutes– 4-6 should do it or the time it takes you to correct one solid essay.
  5. Press the plunger down.
  6. Enjoy.

COST: $  French presses and kettles used to be really expensive, but they’re very cheap these days.

PRO TIP: I get bulk good-quality coffee and I get my black tea at the Middle Eastern store by the pound. Always get good quality Ceylon tea. Mine says “akbar” on it in Arabic, which means “great.” You want your tea to be akbar, don’t you?   Also, while drinking tea, really try to leave those tea bags behind. They’re expensive, wasteful for the environment, and the tea just isn’t as good. Once you invest in a pound or two of great tea (and you can get Earl Grey, Cardamom, or green teas, too…) you’ll see what I mean.

If you want more barista options for your teaching day, visit the “Be Your Own Barista” page.

Photo credit:  Rachel Brenner on Unsplash