Review & Recipe:
OXO French Press, Irish Coffee and Douwe Egberts
The beautifully sleek cafetière that you see at the top of my post is the amazing OXO French Press, a new way to make fresh coffee with ease; I was sent one recently along with some Douwe Egberts coffee to try out. I am a bit of a coffee snob, I only like fresh coffee and am not a lover of instant coffee at all – so, I was keen to try out this new coffee maker, especially as my old cafetière broke the other week. (It had a glass insert, that cracked) I have to say that it was love at first sight, I was extremely impressed with the design and quality of the OXO French Press. It looks good and I am sure that due to its stainless steel sleeve, it keeps the coffee hot for longer. So, what else is different? Well, there are two layers of silicone around the filter ensure you enjoy pure, clean coffee with absolutely no grounds, and OXO’s unique, patented “Groundskeeper” ladle catches then removes all the used grounds in one easy step, making this the cleanest, most mess-free French press I’ve ever come across.
As well as the OXO French Press, I was sent some Douwe Egberts coffee, along with some helpful notes about how to get the best coffee from the OXO French Press. I was sent some House Blend, which I know and use often as I love the mellow taste, a packet of Milano and a packet of Fired Up, which is a rich and intense coffee. I LOVE Douwe Egberts coffee blends and often buy them; the Milano and Fired Up blends were new to me and I LOVED Milano, which was smooth and almost spicy, perfect for a lazy afternoon pick-me-up! But, it was the Fired Up that intrigued me most, a rich, intense coffee this powerful, espresso-style blend is created with dark-roasted beans to bring out the delicious, intense flavours of spice and chocolate, and this was the blend that I used to make an Irish Coffee, as a rather late nod to St Patrick’s Day last week.
The French Press costs £35 and is housed in a sturdy stainless steel and glass carafe. For optimum brewing and the perfect cup every time, simply add hot water to your ground coffee using the measurement markings for guidance; stir, steep, plunge and pour. It can serve up to 8 cups, so when your friend pops round for a coffee, no need to re-brew. It’s a WHIZZ to clean, with no banging, scooping or scrubbing; simply lift the “groundskeeper” out of the carafe, wash and drip dry…….easy peasy! As I said before, I think that it keeps the coffee hotter for longer too, and it was a BREEZE to clean, with no “escapee” coffee grounds.
The helpful notes that Douwe Egberts sent for optimum French Press coffee are as follows:
(My thoughts are in red)
Warm your OXO French Press: You wouldn’t put hot food on a cold plate, so don’t put hot coffee in a cold French Press. Pre-heating your French Press with boiling water keeps your coffee hotter for longer and improves the flavour. A cold French Press will add bitter flavours to your coffee. I always warm my teapot, so makes sense for the French Press too.
Let your coffee ‘bloom’: When you add your coffee to the French Press, add only a little hot water first, just to cover the coffee, then stir before adding the rest. This allows the coffee to ‘bloom’ releasing all the trapped aromas. I always do this, and I think the aroma is released slowly this way for a “longer” coffee taste.
Stir in a cross pattern: When stirring your French Press, stir in a cross pattern rather than round and round. This ensures all the coffee grounds are agitated and gain maximum exposure to the water. Interesting! Have not worked out if this works yet!
Never use boiling water to make coffee: This burns the coffee grounds and gives the coffee a sour, burnt taste. Once the kettle has boiled, leave it for one minute, which should allow it to cool to an optimum brewing temperature of approximately 90/95 degrees. I NEVER use boiling water for coffee, only tea!
Add lemon or salt: If you drink your coffee black, adding a slice of lemon to the French Press with a lightly roasted coffee will bring out the citrus notes in the coffee. Similarly, adding a pinch of salt to a French Press of dark roasted coffee will highlight the dark caramel and nutty flavours. This sounds intriguing, not sure about the salt though!
Wait! Once you’ve filled and stirred your French Press, leave it to brew for at least three minutes. After that, break the crust to let most of the grounds sink, scoop any remaining grounds off the top, put on the lid, plunge and enjoy! Again, I always do this with coffee.
Use the groundskeeper from your OXO French Press: Once you’ve finished your coffee, you can remove the grounds with no mess using the OXO groundskeeper, and re-use them for all sorts. Coffee grounds make great fertiliser and if you’re feeling brave, can even be added to shower gel as an exfoliant! It is easy to use and VERY few escaped; my grounds will continue to be use for my compost however!
Keep your French Press clean: Coffee is full of oils, which is why it has such a special aroma, but the oils also get everywhere, so make sure you clean your French Press after every brew otherwise the oils left behind can go stale and taint your next coffee. Sensible advice.
Don’t wait! After your first cup, don’t leave your French Press for too long before drinking the rest of your coffee. Coffee (like all hot drinks) will go stale if left brewed for too long. Any more than an hour and you’d be better off brewing fresh, to get the best cup! I HATE “old” fresh coffee and always drink mine within 20 minutes maximum.
Take the plunge: When you plunge, make sure you plunge straight down and not at an angle otherwise you will end up with coffee grounds in your coffee cup. As an experienced cafetière maker, this is good advice!
MY overall opinion of the OXO French Press is that it is sleek and well designed, with handy features not found in other French press coffee makers, such as the groundskeeper; the coffee stayed hot longer, and it was MUCH easier to clean than my old press. I give the OXO French Press a 9 out of 10. The recipe for the Irish Coffee is below, and I recommend this cafetière without hesitation. I made the Irish Coffee with some of the coffee I made in the OXO French Press, the recipe is from the famous Buena Vista Cafe, on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, and it was incredible when made with some freshly brewed Fired Up coffee from Douwe Egberts, and married beautifully with the whiskey and cream.
Disclaimer: I was sent an OXO French Press and some Douwe Egberts coffee; all views and opinions expressed in this review are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth
Freshly brewed coffee
2 sugar cubes
Double cream, lightly whipped
Fill glass with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty.
Pour freshly made hot coffee into the hot glass, (with a teaspoon in to stop the glass cracking) until it is about three-quarters full.
Drop in two white sugar cubes.
Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
Add the Irish Whiskey.
Add the cream on top of the coffee by pouring gently over a spoon.
Enjoy it while piping hot.