The French press is arguably the oldest brewing method that required an actual device. Before the French press, people would mostly use metal mounts and a cloth filter.
So in the 19th century, early versions of the French press started popping up both in Italy and France. The name “French press” might be misleading, as we don’t really know where it first originated; what we do know is that it was an Italian man who patented it.
By the first half of the 20th century, the French press will have gone through several different transformations—and it will stay that way, unchanged, up until present day.
The problem(s) with the French press
We did not know so much about coffee as we do nowadays. Most other brewing methods that we use today are either relatively new, like the Aeropress, or have undergone enough changes to make them viable, like the espresso machine.
The French press, however, has stayed the same. And while this certainly has a certain charm, the truth is that the classic French press is far less convenient and far less effective at brewing coffee than other popular brewing methods.
There are two main issues, both involving its design and its functionality:
- It’s almost impossible to properly clean. The French press uses a metal filter, which means it is reusable and you can’t simply dispose of it after each use.
Most of us don’t have the time to thoroughly clean the French press filter after using it. And make no mistake: it needs thorough attention after each use. Because of coffee oils, French press filters usually start to smell after a while of using them, depending on how well-kept they are.
The filter is actually a number of several different filters, which will trap grounds in there that won’t move no matter how much you rinse them. The proper tool would be a hard brush. How many people do you know that brush their French press?
- It will burn your coffeeEspresso makers, Hario V60, Chemex, moka pot. What do these all have in common? Coffee grounds are always separate from the actual brewed coffee. This prevents over extraction; when your already extracted grounds are still in contact with the hot water, producing undesirable flavors.
Because the French press works by immersion, this is apparently unavoidable. The best you can do is to keep the brewing time short or adjust the water temperature to avoid burning your coffee, although you will be sacrificing flavor.
How does the Capra Press solve these problems?
By upgrading and re-imagining the filter, the Capra solves both problems at once: you have a filter that is prone to dirtiness and messiness, and it’s also because of the filter that the grounds stay in contact with water, promoting over extraction.
The Capra Press filter looks much more like an espresso filter. It is one sole slate of metal which features a large number of micro openings, large enough for water to go through, but not the actual grounds.
This filter separates grounds completely from the brewed coffee: the more you press, the less they are in contact. So you can essentially adjust the strength and flavor of your brew by simply pressing down!
And it goes a couple of steps further.
Because of this mechanism that separates grounds from water, the Capra features a removable bottom, this makes for extremely easy clean up, as you don’t have to struggle to get all the grounds out of it.
Convenience is key for a coffee maker, particularly when it comes to cleaning it. A clean coffee maker will always make better coffee because it doesn’t have that oil build up that affects the taste—and aroma—of your coffee.
Capra Press: a much-needed visionary way of re-imagining the French press. It is the French press as it should have been, a type of coffee maker that is really convenient to use, adaptable, and that brews fantastic coffee. Capra Press has been successfully funded on Indiegogo, smashing through over 570% of its funding goal. You could get one for as low as $85 during the crowdfunding stage. The planned retail price is $125.