The French press coffee maker is a wonderful thing — it’s affordable, fairly easy to use, and it turns out fantastic coffee. The French press history goes back many years, but there is some dispute surrounding exactly who invented the design that most models are based on today with a carafe and plunger mechanism.
Technically, the first patent issued for a coffee making device that resembles the modern french press was to a man named Attilio Callimani in 1929. The catch is, Callimani wasn’t even French, he was an Italian from Milan.
So Why the Name “French Press”?
That’s where the dispute surrounding the brewer’s origin comes in. Many say that the person who really come up with the French press was a man from France who attached a fine screen to his coffee pot so he wouldn’t get grounds in his cup when he poured.
This man’s device started being used around France in the 1800s, and word eventually got around to other countries about his idea.
Once it came to Italy the device, which the Italians call a cafetiere, was fine tuned by Callimani and he came up with the idea to patent it.
The French press was just one of eight patents that Callimani secured related to making drinks.
Fast forward to 1958, and another man named Faleiro Bondanini came up with an improved version of the French press that had a better filter and was more effective at keeping grounds out of the poured coffee.
When searching for a company that he could use to distribute his invention, he chose the Danish corporation Bodum. Yes, the Bodum that so many people now know and trust when buying French presses.
No matter who actually come up with the idea first, what can be agreed upon is that the French press has changed very little from when it was last patented.
Some companies make them in stainless steel or stoneware instead of glass, many make press pots available in a variety of colors, and the handle shapes often vary.
However, the basic configuration is this: a pot or carafe, plunger with a top attached that facilitates pouring, and a mesh screen filter on the bottom to keep out grounds.
The French Press Today
Today many say that the best French press coffee maker is the type that’s comprised of borosilicate glass because it’s highly durable, affordable, and reliable.
Especially since it’s best to pour any remaining coffee out of the pot once it’s done brewing, sturdy glass models get the job done well.
It has a long-running reputation because this type of press is the one that was first put out by Bodum back in the 1950s.
There’s plenty of good things to be said about stainless steel models, but they tend to cost much more than the ones with glass carafes.
No matter which type you prefer, using a French press is superior to using electric coffee makers and other methods because of the incredible quality of coffee that it produces.
It’s simple, easy, and for such remarkable taste, you don’t have to put in much effort at all. This is why millions around the world still prefer to use the French press over all other methods.