When you think of a French press, your first thought is probably to think of coffee, right? It would make perfect sense as French pressed coffee seems more popular than ever. Everyone is looking to get that perfect cup of coffee without venturing out to pay someone else to do it. But have you ever considered brewing tea with a French press?
One of the reasons to opt for loose leaf tea over bagged tea is the way the leaves are processed. If you were to open a typical tea bag, you’d likely find finely chopped tea leaves. Loose tea is different. It is usually sold as large pieces of tea leaves even whole tea leaves. This can depend on the brand or even the style of tea. Because loose tea leaves are larger, when brewed they will expand. Having this extra room allows the leaves to release more flavor. In Asia it isn’t uncommon to put the tea leaves right into a pot. But this method, usually, doesn’t include any kind of mesh so leaves can get into your cup. Tea ball infusers, which is my normal brewing method, don’t give the leaves much room to unfurl. That brings us to brewing tea with a French press.
Brewing Tea with a French Press
For those unfamiliar, here’s how a French press works. You combine the leaves or ground beans with water in the pitcher of the French press. For serving, you use the plunger attached to the lid to push the contents (tea leaves or coffee grounds) to the bottom of the container. Pretty simple, right?
To make tea in a French press, you put your chosen leaves into the French press pitcher. You then add the boiling water and place the lid on with the plunger up on the pitcher. You can use the plunger to mix it a bit. Then let the tea brew as normal. When you’re ready to stop the brewing, you push the plunger all the way to the bottom of the pitcher. This captures all of the tea leaves in the bottom under the mesh of the plunger. Of course, the tea leaves are still in the pitcher so the brewing doesn’t stop completely. If you’re not planning to drink the entire pitcher of tea immediately, you’ll likely want to pour it into another container so that it doesn’t over brew.
Brewing tea with a French press is also ideal because you can control how many cups you’re brewing. You could brew a single serving or, if you have guests, you can brew several cups.
El Gato Malo Stainless Steel French Press
I recently had a chance to try out the El Gato Malo stainless steel French press (available at Amazon). In addition to an attractive design and the high-end stainless steel look, the thing makes some good tea. The plunger fits snugly inside the French press and the mesh does a great job to minimize the leaves getting into your brew when poured. Compared to using a tea ball infuser, I also found the over brewing was minimal. The double-walled French press also kept the contents steaming hot without the outside being too hot to the touch. It’s also dishwasher safe which is a huge plus in my book.
El Gato Malo stainless steel French press was generously provided for review. However, all opinions expressed are my own. Get your own El Gato Malo stainless steel French press for use with tea or coffee.