I haven’t bought a new coffee brewing device in a long time, frankly because I just don’t need anymore. The coffee gods showed favour on me recently however, and I got an unexpected new brewer in the mail after winning a contest put on by the First Bloom App (more on that app in another post!). The thing about this particular brewer is, I likely wouldn’t have ever bought it for myself but I’m so glad it’s mine now.
At first glance, you might not assume that the American Press is anything more than another iteration of the common French Press, but you’d be wrong. Boasting an innovative brewing chamber coupled with a sleek design, this thing is anything but common.
I love full immersion brewing for a few reasons. Immersing every particle of coffee with every molecule of water eliminates pulse pouring and agitation variables, often resulting in a more dependable brew. It’s easy to replicate your entire process every time, and that consistency will reward you every time. Immersion brewers are also ideal for travel. Whenever I’m on the go, I never leave the house without my Aeropress. Maybe that’s a French Press for you! The American Press fits right in amongst your favourite immersion brewers.
The brew chamber is made of double walled BPA-free Tritan with level indicators printed on the outside to make brewing without a scale possible (perfect if you’re on the go, right?). The American Press is a single dose brewer, so the max fill line tops out right above 12oz or 355ml. The rest of the brewer is made of polished chrome and silicon, rounding out that sleek countertop design.
The truly innovative part of this device, and what sets it apart from other full immersion brewers, is the brewing pod. Snugly fit in the brewing chamber you’ll find a pod that comfortably fits 20g of freshly ground coffee. Locked and loaded inside the pod, your coffee is completely contained throughout the brewing process. This has two advantages. First, instead of the coffee grinds being sifted out like a French Press, the water is pressed through the coffee when it’s being extracted. Similar to how espresso is brewed! This also makes cleanup straight up simple. Remove the plunger from the chamber, twist, and dump.
The filtration system is also quite unique. There’s both an inlet filter and outlet filter on each side of the coffee containing pod. Boasting a stainless steel inlet filter and an ultra-fine 100 micron outlet filter, these metal filters do a great job of eliminating any unwanted sediment or “sludge” while still allowing full bodied flavours and oils through.
The brew process
When it comes down to brewing a cup with the American Press, it’s simply easy. And sometimes, that’s just what you need! Even obsessive brewers like myself that tinker with variables unnecessarily need to chill out sometimes and just take it easy. If you’re thinking about exploring the world of specialty coffee, I can’t think of an easier place to start.
I heated my water to 205° and ground 20g of an Ethiopian from Hatch Coffee Roasters at a medium-fine grind (16 on my Baratza Encore, to be exact). I filled the chamber with water to the 355ml line, loaded my coffee in the pod, screwed it tight, and plunged. There are different plunging and immersion techniques to be explored with the American Press, but I plunged my pod just enough so that water spilled over the top and then I stopped. I started my timer and brewed for 1:30. At the 90 second mark I plunged for 30 seconds, passing all of the water through the coffee. At this point all you need is to find your favourite mug and pour. No need to remove the plunger or pod, as it stays put at the bottom of the chamber and allows you to pour your freshly brewed coffee right away.
Do we need another brew device?
As the American Press is a relatively new brewer to the scene without a lot of brew guides online, I was surprised at the success of my first attempt. The whole brew kind of felt like a shot in the dark, but I was thoroughly impressed with the results. This first attempt resulted in a clean and balanced cup without too many fines and residual oils.
After spending a few weeks with this thing, the claims of the American Press have proved to be true - this is not a French Press. Of course it’s similar, but the creativity and innovation of the American Press team has brought a brewer to the market that is truly unique.
Does this look better to you than a French Press? Let me know in the comments!