I'm pretty much new to everything and just getting my mobile business off the ground. But I have some questions about French Press coffee.


I have been sampling beans from several roasters in order to determine which I want to use for my pour over coffees. But I have also been sampling them with my French Press. What I've learned is that while I am not to keen on some of them for pour over, I really like them when I use my French Press!


The raised the question for me if it would be practical for me to offer pressed coffee in my business and if others are doing it? As I mentioned, I will be operating a mobile shop and my only real worry is the time required. I figure that anyone that asks for a press coffee will know that it takes a few minutes to brew and for everyone else I could explain when they order... So it would help to hear from others who do this or have tried it.


Another quesiton is have about it is if it might work out okay if I used a large press to brew a small airpot full as long as I don't let it sit too long? Guess I could just try it, but haven't bought a big press yet and thought I might save the money if anyone has already tried and found it doesn't work well.



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We are using Clevers which, like French Press, allow control of dwell time, but yield coffee without the suspended particles I associate with French Press coffee. They are also much easier to clean than Press pots. While some have complained of potential heat loss issues with the Clever we haven't found that to be a program dominator in actual practice and we achieve consistently good results with the Clever as long as we are sensitive to dose, particle size and dwell time with each coffee.
Our brewed coffee is only served French Press. We pre-heat a 1.5 gal. Luxus (Fetco) thermal dispenser and then add 2-4 large (Bodum 48-52 oz) presses, depending on the time of day and volume of business. We never have to worry about it sitting around too long. When we are exceptionally busy we prepare a second thermal dispenser full for quick back-up.

This process works well for us. You have to rinse and clean the thermal dispensers extremely well between fillings due to the sediment. But as long as you have the time, it's worth it.
Does anyone use Chemex?
Quite a few shops here in Portland offer french pressed coffee as their default airpot coffee. Some will use a second screen when pouring from the press into the airpot to further separate particulate, helping it last longer in the pot. It's more work, but if it works best with the coffee you're using, I say go for it.
really appreciate the comments. They've really boosted my confidence for using it. I agree with you Jennifer! I have one every morning too and my wife expects one every night after supper. It's good to know that it will keep in an airpot and I think I could still offer other coffees using a small press for customers that request it to get that "impressive" touch you mention. I can't think of a better way to set my business apart from all other businesses around.

Thanks again for the comments!
We use Chemex at Vecinos...as an alternative to our french pressed coffees. Working on getting the work flow down because it takes a lot of time compared to espresso drinks. You have to babysit it if you want to do it right. It is the begininng of a larger "slow bar" we will be offering.
The chemex coffee is more approachable to our customers than french press. Most do not take comfort in the more extracted taste and subtle grainyness that covers the palate. (personally I love that). We serve it as a sitdown type appeal as it does take time to set up the chemex. While the beautiful Chemex is the only coffee maker in the MoMA (google it), its artistic quality doesn't always translate into brewing perfection. We have tried many things over the last 12 years and the quickness of airpot coffee is something that Americans seem to value. I mean sometimes the custos get annoyed. They want the Papua New Guinea/Sumatran Love Blend that is sitting there hot and ready, yet the lady in front orders a "double decaf skinny extra hot caramel mocha." Next in line gets their brewed coffee right away and quickly the thought of a 20 second extra wait is forgotten.

Now if old cup o' joe gets to the register and we say, "oh take a seat for 5 minutes and we will brew you up a cup. $6.00 please." they might just explode.

Who knows?

The Coffee Institute said:
We use Chemex at Vecinos...as an alternative to our french pressed coffees. Working on getting the work flow down because it takes a lot of time compared to espresso drinks. You have to babysit it if you want to do it right. It is the begininng of a larger "slow bar" we will be offering.
I worked at a shop that exclusively French-pressed. In the morning rush hours, we pressed and then poured into airpots. Around 10 or so, we removed the airpots and only did French presses to order, even for to-go. You just have to make sure you have enough presses for the busiest times, and have a good bar flow worked out for brewing. Most customers get over the fact that it takes a little longer. Most people didn't mind the grittiness of presses either. We presented the French press to customers on a nice silver tray with a mug, spoon, small pitcher of cream, sugar packets, and napkin. People loved the presentation.
Hi Patrick,

The shop where I work does french press to order only (we don't even have a drip-brew machine). We're also a used bookstore, so we're not exactly a high-speed, high-volume kind of a place, but some of our customers still get confused on what's taking so long. That being said, I've never heard of a single customer being upset with their drink—the french press method produces such a superior product that they understand it's worth waiting a few minutes.

We also periodically cater events, and when we expect high volume, we'll french press 12 cups at a time (using the big Bodum presses) and pour into a airpot. So long as you're going through a pot every 30 minutes or so, there's really no noticeable difference in taste.

I worked in a shop previously that was more high volume, especially in the mornings as people swung by to grab a cup before work. We used Bunn drip-brew machines for our standard cup, and french pressed upon request, explaining to the customer that it would take a few more minutes. (French presses also use more ground coffee per ounce of liquid, so we charged more for a pressed cup). Without exception, we got positive feedback from customers ordering french pressed coffee.

My $.02? French press your coffee. Make your customers wait. They'll thank you. ;)

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