Thecafetière à piston (or French press) has been a cornerstone of coffee culture since the 19th Century. This incredibly versatile coffee press is well known worldwide for its convenience and simplicity and quickly found itself as the main component of every learned barista’s arsenal beyond the borders of France. Although French presses are primarily used for preparing coffee, many baristas who useFrench presses know the amazing versatility of this time-honored device. Here are just some of the many ways in which using a French press can expand your kitchen as more than just a coffee maker.
In the U.K. using a French press has long been a staple for quickly and easily preparing tea leaves without a seeper. The grated press of the device keeps the tea leaves contained while brewing and the pressure of the French press can even help to activate the flavor of the leaves more thoroughly. To prepare tea using a French press, start by placing tea bags or tea leaves inside the device; then, pour in the hot water, cover it with the lid, let it steep for several minutes and press the tea to the bottom.
Making Hot Chocolate
Using a French press doesn’t need to be limited to brewing. The press function can also be used to froth milk for lattes and hot chocolate. By pumping milk through the French press, you can aerate the milk and give your hot cocoa a light and fluffy texture. First, place finely ground chocolate in the bottom of the French press; then, pour hot milk over it and leave it alone for about two minutes. After that, pump it hard for about 60 seconds to froth for a silky milk chocolate experience.
Serving Apple Cider
Another time-honored beverage made simple using a French Press is apple cider. Start by cutting ten apples into four pieces each. Then, place the 40 apple slices in a pot on the stove with boiling water, add a ¾ cup of sugar along with a tablespoon of allspice and a tablespoon of cinnamon. With the pot uncovered, boil this mixture for an hour and let it simmer for two hours after that. Next, place the mixture in the French press, use its plunger to press the apples, and get the remaining liquid out of them.
Adding Herbs to Cooking Oils
The usefulness of a French press goes beyond drink preparation; this handy device can also be used for adding flavors to cooking oils and sauces. First, pour the oil, or sauce, into the french press, then, add any fresh herbs or spices that can accent the base flavor to your liking. Let the herbs and spices sit for 20 minutes and press down with the plunger to mix.
Cleaning Quinoa or Rice
While washing rice or quinoa is a must before cooking, it often uses a lot of water and often wastes rice in the process. By using a French press, you can not only wash your rice with minimal water but also help to portion out a single serving if you’re preparing a smaller meal! First, place the quinoa or rice in thecafetière,add water, and stir. Then, press the quinoa or rice down to the bottom. Pour out the water and keep repeating this process until the water becomes clear. The quinoa or rice has been adequately washed once the water runs out of the French press clear.
Mashing avocados for guacamole can be a messy undertaking and often requires you to make a large portion. For times when you only need to prepare a small amount, using a French press can help you to portion guacamole perfectly for dishes like tacos, burritos, and single-serving portions of chips. Using a French press, easily mash the avocados needed for making guacamole by cutting up the avocado and mashing it with the plunger.
Preparing Almond Milk
Almond milk has become a popular alternative to cow’s milk, especially among vegans — and one can enjoy homemade almond milk by using a French press along with a blender. First, blend the almonds and water in a blender. Then, pour the mixture into a French press and leave it alone for around 3 or 5 minutes before pressing down repeatedly with the plunger. This will create frothy almond milk.
Giving Water the Taste of Fruit
Add some low-calorie zest to any summer gathering with fruit-flavored water! This summer favorite can easily be prepared using a French press. First, chop up your desired fruit into small pieces and place them in a French press along with water. Then, let the water/fruit mixture sit there for about five minutes before pressing down with the plunger to get as much flavor as possible out of the fruit.