Updated February 15th, 2020 – Have you ever brewed a fresh cup of tea, only to realize there were particles floating around in your cup? If this happens entirely too often, it might be time to invest in a French press for your tea-brewing endeavors.
For thousands of years, steeping dried tea leaves and other spices was the primary method one used to enjoy a cup of hot tea. Many ancient societies brewed tea in clay pots and would remove the leaves once the tea was finished steeping.
Since the advent of tea bags in the early 1900s, the classic style of brewing tea has been supplanted in many parts of the world, especially in the West. Recently, however, old-style cooking methods seem to have undergone a kind of renaissance. This movement aligns perfectly with using a French press for brewing tea. I’m ecstatic that more people are taking the time to slow down and savor their food and drinks.
How do you brew tea in a French press?
Brewing tea in a French press doesn’t require much more time than steeping a tea bag in a cup of boiling hot water. By filling the container with loose tea and covering it with a press (which houses a screen), you are creating a filter for keeping tea leaves out of your cup.
Although brewing tea in a French press requires you to boil water in a separate container, many people will already be boiling water for traditional tea bags anyway. Once the water is sufficiently hot, pour it atop the loose tea leaves and spices to allow the flavors to fully develop. Once your tea has finished steeping, simply press down on the plunger and pour the tea into your favorite teacup.
Since a French press has a larger area in which the tea can steep, it is the preferred method of making tea among devout tea lovers. The difference in flavor is noticeable enough that many would never consider going back to using a tea ball or tea bag.
Are there any other suggestions regarding brewing tea in a French press?
Ever been up in the air on whether you wanted one cup of tea or two? Then you’ve probably boiled enough water to make two cups with the intention of throwing out the extra fluid. However, french presses perform best when they’re used to make the exact amount of tea that you’ll be drinking. This is because the tea will continue to steep after your press it to the bottom of the carafe.
Heat your water up in style. Here are the best whistling tea kettles.
An effective French press will press the tea leaves to the bottom of the glass container. This, theoretically, halts the steeping process. However, the leaves often continue to steep beyond their recommended limit. This releases tannins (the stuff that makes tea bitter) into the water. If you are concerned about over-steeping, use only as much loose tea as you’ll anticipate needing.
Essentially, using a French press requires a little more precision than microwaving a mug of water, tossing a tea bag in, and hoping for the best. But, it’s nothing you can’t handle! Besides, spending a little extra time brewing the tea is part of the fun!
Do you also love coffee? Here’s how much coffee is needed to make just one cup.
What features should I be looking for in the best French press?
A good French press will be made from quality materials. A glass container is especially desirable in a French press, and many argue that a glass carafe produces a “cleaner” taste than stainless steel or plastic.
Glass can be incredibly fragile, however. As it breaks more easily than other materials, you might want to think about getting a French press constructed entirely of stainless steel. The downside to choosing this type of French press is mostly aesthetic.
Even if you only intend on brewing one or two cups of tea, it’s a good idea to invest in a model large enough to allow the tea to fully unfurl and develop in the hot water. By using a French press, you are already making the move away from smaller tea receptacles like tea bags and tea balls. Avoid small, confined spaces if you wish to truly enjoy some finely-brewed tea.
The screen and plunger are the two other important components of a French press. You’ll appreciate owning a press with a screen fine enough to filter out leaves as you sip a clear cup of tea. A sturdy plunger will help you halt the tea from steeping so that you aren’t left with a bitter beverage.
If you prefer brewing your loose leaf tea in a pot instead – here are my recommendations for functional and beautiful tea pots.
A Few Recommendations…
KONA French Press Coffee Tea & Espresso Maker
My first pick is highly rated online and a best selling product, so you know you’re making a good purchase. It’s the French press from KONA. Of course, it’s advertised as a coffee and espresso maker (like most french presses), but as we outlined above, you can easily use it for the perfect cup of tea as well.
It has a reusable, durable stainless steel filter, which is environmentally friendly and a better bet for the purity of your tea. It’s thick borosilicate glass container is durable and sleek, and protected by an outer black shell to ensure that there are no cracks or chips. The outer shell is also very aesthetically pleasing, even though it’s thick (unlike most other thin frames you usually see with french presses).
The handle of this French press is also very large and easy to maneuver, giving you maximum pouring control when serving your tea. The lid is BPA free, and no plastic comes into contact with your tea as it’s steeping. With a rubber plunger knob, steeping is easy and straightforward.
Kuissential 8-Cup Stainless Steel French Press
Another great option is the Kuissential French press. At 34 oz., it’s only “8 cups” if you measure a cup as 4 oz., but for tea, most people serve small cups anyway. This was the only real complaint among reviewers, so if that’s not an issue for you, check this one out.
It’s got double wall insulated 18/10 stainless steel, meaning that the temperature inside is regulated to hold an optimal brewing temperature of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it’s made out of stainless steel, it’s also much more durable than the common glass material you find in most french presses, and easy to clean. It’s all dishwasher safe.
SterlingPro French Coffee Press
One of the top-notch French presses money can buy comes from SterlingPro. It’s such a high-quality option that many other French presses compare their features to this model! It’s the best selling and top-rated product in the French press category at Amazon.
The SterlingPro brews 1 liter of tea at a time and is made from borosilicate glass with a durable frame. It also comes with 2 free replacement stainless steel screens and you can get it in sleek chrome or bold red. It’s a perfect combination of value and performance and quality.
Time for a cuppa!
Are you ready to ditch the tea bags once and for all and make the switch to a French press? Be sure to choose one that is personally tailored to your tea drinking needs! You can also use a French press to brew coffee. Or, if you prefer espressos and lattes, see this article on the best espresso makers.
If you also love coffee, your french press is perfect for making a delicious cup of joe. Check out this post on the best grinders for coarse coffee grounds or this steamy post on the Bialetti steam espresso maker!
Then find out once and for all which travel mug is better: the Yeti Rambler or the Thermos.