Top critical review
Coffee and Tea Press, Great style, Not-so-good performance
on August 31, 2013
I've been using this press regularly and my positive impression is slipping a little.
My method to overcome the design/manufacturing short-comings:
1)Put ground coffee in and pour in boiling water to a level somewhere between the points where the handle attaches.
2)Insert the plunger so that it's level and hold the lid high enough above the press so I can pour water in to the correct volume. Slide the lid in place. (If I'm doing a half batch, obviously I don't have to do this trick because the water level never gets over the top handle dimple.)
3)Slide the plunger up and down a bit during the extraction (all the while staying away from the dimples.)
4)When pressing the coffee, I don't plunge further than just above the lower handle dimple. This leaves a bit of a gap between the screen and the coffee but insures the particles stay under the screen.
COFFEE GEEK MOMENT: Due to this shortcomings in this press, I've actually learned that I prefer to drop the plunger in DURRING the extraction period. I have to agitate the coffee by sliding the plunger up and down a little during the extraction to let the air escape as the ground coffee outgasses but I'm convinced that this is a more effective method than stirring as it insures the ground coffee stays completely submerged. I prefer coffee to be in the 2-14 days-after-roasting-period so there is a lot of outgassing and therefore floating particles...
So the final tally (original review follows):
Love the clean, elegant design. (I can't overstate this.)
Durable. After ( over a year?) of use in my kitchen, still going strong.
Love the silicon-ring base!
Taught me what I consider a better method for preparing coffee. (When/if this carafe breaks, I will go back to the [other brand] press and use this method...
Manufacturing imperfections in the glass (handle construction) causes solid leakage.
Plunger screen a little too light-weight to trap all particles.
The claim that the lid strains beverage is a fallacy: the lid does not fit tightly enough to strain.
The claim that the lid helps maintain temperature is overstated. Like any single walled press, heat loss is an issue, maybe even more so with THIS one because the lid is a little looser and shallower than other presses.
THE ORIGIONAL REVIEW:
This press has an elegant and clean design. The silicon base is a great, minimalist way to insulate the bottom of the press. I like that it appears to be very delicate though It hasn't broken in my kitchen, which is saying something about it's durability. I've used it for press coffee and tea, both hot and cold, and it functions. I've even used it to strain chicken stock and it worked. I'll continue to use it and have no plans to replace it despite:
The delicate design which makes the carafe so attractive lessens it. The points where the handle attaches create two dimples on the inside of the press so that when pressing, solids squirt past the screen. The finer the solids you filter, the greater the pressure and the greater the leak (if you unevenly or over-grind your coffee beans, for example).
The metal components are lighter weight that I'm used to in a French press but I think the designers nailed the balance between durability and production cost. They made it strong enough to last (in home use) but not so heavy as to adversely affect production and shipping costs. It occurs to me that this is part of the reason why the cost is so reasonable. The spring coil and screen though are too light weight to overcome the dimples in the carafe.