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Tea has been a popular drink for centuries. And, as noted from the many articles here on TeaMinded, there are variety long-standing traditions surrounding the brewing and drinking of loose leaf tea. Various cultures have different customs and tools deemed most proper for preparing and drinking tea.
And, while often overlooked (and not traditionally considered), one method of tea brewing involves the use of a special pot called a French Press.
Despite the name, this pot was first patented by an Italian designer named Attilio Calimani. Essentially, a French Press is a cylindrical pot often made of glass or stainless steel, with a plunger and attached screen inserted from above. It can be used to prepare tea or coffee.
So…if you are not near your gaiwan or kyusu (or want to try something a bit different), here are the suggested steps to make a cup of tea using a French Press:
- Thoroughly clean the pot and plunger. If the press has recently been used for coffee or is new, this is especially important. The residue of coffee flavor must be completely gone or it will impact the taste of the tea. Many households keep a separate press for each to avoid the cross-flavoring.
- Remove the plunger from the press, set aside.
- Add your loose leaf tea. Measure according to the tea brewing directions provided by the tea merchant.
- Boil water in a tea pot…only the amount that is needed to make the number of servings you are brewing.
- Pour the water into the French Press pot.
- Re-insert the plunger, but do not depress completely.
- Allow the tea to brew for the appropriate amount of time.
- Depress the plunger to separate the tea leafs from the tea brew.
- Pour tea into your favorite drinking vessel.
Have you brewed tea in a French Press? Any additional tips to share? If so, please share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.