Do you love a good cup of coffee? If so, you and I share a love that tends to pop up when entertaining guests. During the time I lived in England, I discovered some ways to make it easy to share the love of good coffee at home with friends.
Before I’d moved across the Pond, I’d seen French presses, but had never used one. It didn’t take long to notice, however, that in casual restaurants and bistros in England, coffee often shows up on menus not as a cup, but as a cafetière of coffee.
English electrical voltage is higher than in the U.S., so when I moved, I didn’t bring my electric coffee maker with me. The cafetière (French press) became my solution. The cafetière let me make coffee simply by boiling water and using it in the press—no fancy voltage converter needed. French presses come in different sizes, as you can see by the picture above.
Another advantage soon became apparent—that several small presses could be used to accommodate guests’ varying tastes. So I paid a visit to my local retailer and bought several small presses.
Now, when I have guests, I use a large press for the majority’s preferred blend and small ones for “minority” preferences. For example, if most people want decaf, I use the larger press for that and the small presses to serve those who want “leaded.” Or I serve weaker coffee in one press and stronger in another, or flavored (e.g., hazelnut or mocha) in some presses and regular, unflavored coffee in others.
Too much trouble? Not at all. I merely scoop different coffees into different presses and add boiling water. Voila! Placed all together and carried to my living room on an attractive after-dinner tray, my coffee service looks elegant and festive. So much nicer than pouring from my electric coffeemaker’s glass carafe.
My guests and I enjoy a little bit of Europe whenever I serve coffee in my home. You can have the same enjoyment, and you don’t have to travel abroad to do so: small, relatively inexpensive presses are available on the internet and in retail stores.
Use the links below to get small French presses (they are often called “mini” presses, and sometimes “3-cup” presses):
They are also readily available in retail stores like the four just mentioned, and at many other stores, too. You can also find them at your local coffee seller.