I’m attempting to use a coffee press, a French press, in order to emulate the flavor of coffee in France. It isn’t hard really, just throw ground coffee into the pitcher, add steaming water, attach the lid, let it steep until it reaches the desired dark chocolate color, mash down on the press. The grounds will be contained beneath the sieve into the bottom and all the delicious and aromatic liquid will filter through the mesh. Voila! Perfect coffee.

I don’t know why I don’t use it more often. It doesn’t really take more time, it just involves a few more steps than the drip coffee maker most Americans use. It also doesn’t make as many cups at one time, but is that a bad thing. Doesn’t coffee start losing its flavor immediately after brewing?

I suppose it is a matter of what you become accustomed to. Americans rush around too much, at least I do. I’m always trying to get as much done as humanly possible every single hour of the day. Why sit waiting on coffee to steep when one push of the ‘on’ button takes care of it while I shower. The second cup may be less flavorful and any left in the pot after that is nearly burnt and acrid. So why not take a few moments to heat water, let each grain of coffee swim around and diffuse its total flavor, allow a little time for steeping.

The taste of my cup of coffee from the press is amazing, rich, flavorful, more aromatic. The color has tones that you don’t usually have in coffee, almost streaks of darker and lighter. I can close my eyes and I’m back in France, in the courtyard at Le Champs des Oiseaux in Troyes.

Now if only I had a French croissant and the sound of rich old bells ringing at St. Peter’s!

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