Just got a Bodum french press from Starbucks. This seems to be a really neat way to brew tea. The lid holds the heat in pretty well. Leaves have plenty of room to do their thing. The mesh on the plunger does an excellent job of keeping the leaves out of the cup. Clean up is a breeze. Let dry, pour out leaves, and wipe with a paper towel. For fun I opened a tea bag and poured the finely cut pieces into press. I did not notice any particles in the cup. The mesh is intended for coffee and is far finer than anything else I have tried. Two thumbs way up.
The mere thought of pressing leaves just makes me want to cry lol. The pot I use most of the time; however, is a ??reverse French Press. Most awesome thing ever.:)
Doesn’t actually seem to press the leaves just holds them down at the bottom while you pour. What is a reverse press?
A reverse French Press is like Adagio’s IngenuiTEA (the one I have) or Teavana’s Perfect Tea Maker… some other companies have their own version as well. There’s the pot (unfortunately I’ve only found plastic- yet to find a glass version, but searching hard) and the leaves swim around and infuse freely uninhibited by a filter because the filter is located at the very bottom. When steeping is done you set the pot on top of your cup and the spring loaded bottom is pushed up by the top of the mug releasing the tea into the mug. If you pick the pot up half way through the decanting, the decanting will stop and the rest of the tea will remain in the pot and the pot will not drip. Another similar steeping method would be a regular shaped teapot w/ the filter in the spout.
I use a French Press as well. I do not press down on the leaves, but put the plunger half way down when I pour. Also, sometimes during the steeping process I push the plunger half-way down and pull it up again which makes the tea leaves stir up again (without touching them).
Since I couldn’t tell if you were serious, I thought I would follow up. The plunger on a Bodum press does not extend all the way to the bottom. There is a good 3/8" between screen and the bottom. No pressing actually occurs. And as boomerfss said you don’t have to plunge all the way if you are concerned. I know a lot of folks love the IngenuiTEA. My concern, unfounded as it may be, is that anything that pours out the bottom will eventually leak. I almost got a full cup sized filter basket but decided the dripping mess couldn’t be avoided. So I am sold, for now, on the press.
Of course I was serious. I don’t say something if I’m not serious about it. So then if you don’t press down all the way, how are the leaves fully decanted? I want full decantation w/ no leaves escaping.
I put a few knife scratches around the edge of the filter, so as long as you put it together properly after cleaning, no leakage.:)
The leaves stay safe and unpressed under the screen and you pour all the liquid out the top into the mug. I do press down all the way because it does not smash the leaves. Read Leaftea reply about clean up. That’s what sold me on the idea.
I use this method when I brew up batches of iced tea. Or if I want to cold brew tea, it is awesome. The filter is very fine on these, and I love them, I just like my smaller finum basket or teapot more often than using my french press. My press is 36oz.
Do you leave the leaves in and drink from it or just pour them into a mug? I have seen the bodum press travelers mugs and wonder how that would work with tea as the leaves would continue to steep. I like the idea and size of the traveler though.
I pour the tea into a mug. It probably would become bitter in a hurry. Then again I sometimes get busy and forget to remove a bag from the mug and most of my teas don’t seem to mind but Darjeeling especially hates over steeping. YMMV.
This press, by High Wave, has a silicone filter that sucessfully walls off the leaves and the brew. the double wall makes it a mug you can drink from and the lid tilts out of the way to drink. It is also called a Brew Fish. When you tilt it closed you can carry your tea around without spilling.
I have used a Bodum Press sucessfully as well, I just like to decant the whole amount rather than leaving any brew on the pressed leaves.
Of the different presses I have tried I like the Brew Fish best for preformance, however they only make the mug style and not one that pours, with spout or handle.
I would upgrade the coffee presses I serve in if they would make them.
I like the stainless presses, as I have broken two glass one’s. Their more expensive but last way longer.
I also cold steep by adding the tea & water and leaving it in the fridge for a time, press and pour on ice.
I have two French presses for tea, a smaller one I use for making tea for one (it fills my mug perfectly) and a larger on I use for making a pot of tea.
Neither one of my presses actually pushes the tea into the bottom. The gap between the sieve and the bottom of the glass is quite large. I’ve found that brewing tea in a French press is perhaps the single most ideal method available. I think it is so perfect a method that I’ve been planning of writing an article about it for my website. I find it refined, sophisticated and useful. I have yet to find any disadvantage of using one.
They are perhaps the best method for keeping tea ready for a subsequent brewing. They also, IMO, offer the easiest cleanup of tea I can imagine (even easier than tea bags). When I’m done with the spent leaves, I spray some water in to loosen them up and either pour it into one of our many houseplants for composting (right on top of the soil) or just dump it down the garbage disposal. Since I’ve started using a French press, I’ve never had a mess with wet, spent tea leaves.
I have come upon the secret for successfully brewing magnificent tea in a French press. It hasn’t been expanded on in this thread yet…and I’m not going to do it either cause I’m greedily saving it for my blog article (if I ever get around to writing it); after all, I do love it when people read my blog!
Let me know when you write the article – seriously. I agree I have found no disadvantages, only pluses with the press.
I’d like to read it as well. The French Press seems like the ideal way to make a single serving of tea. I may get a bigger Press for when I have company.
I have a Bodum French Press which I only use for coffee but having read this post, I am now going to try it with tea! Thanks for the great idea!
To try it out will probably be fine, but anything that has been used for coffee often doesn’t transition over well to tea. Coffee has such a strong scent and oil residue that it will taint your tea a little. Try it out and see what you think, but in time, consider buying a press to be used just for tea (I promise, you won’t regret the expense!)
Good point! I will try to auto dish wash several times to try removing coffee oils … And if I end up liking this method, I very well may end up getting a dedicated tea press!
My Bodum Chambord French press is one of my favorite ways to brew a goodly amount of tea, and because it’s glass it gives me the added pleasure of watching the leaves unfurl. Now if I could just locate that beaker … I know it’s somewhere in one of the few remaining moving boxes!
I cringe every time I think about brewing tea in a French press. But that just reflects my current perspective. I used to use one too, and may again one day. Happy journey.
I am using a kyusu that is strikingly similar to this one:
http://www.mightyleaf.com/New-Seasonal-Mighty-Leaf-Tea/Kyusu-Tokoname-Side-handled-Teapot/ (for greens and whites).
I have been using a perfect tea maker for black and oolongs, but it broke. It looks like teavana has a new one.
I have used the brew basket from my forlife pot.
I have used a glass pyrex bowl with a plate on top.
I have used the classic tea ball, and several of its variants.
I have used some yixing….and am not impressed/pleased.
I have tried the libretea glass/poly
I have not ventured into the traditional gaiwan territory, I do not like my tea that hot as of yet. I would also like to play around with a non-lined cast iron brewing pot too, but they are a little bit out of my budget.
I keep trying things, and am open to new things. But the longest I have stayed with one method is the Kyusu, and teamaker. They both allow me to keep a tight reign on temperature and straining. I would use the kyusu for blacks, but I find it hard to keep the temp high enough in it.
Sorry for the rambling, I guess I am processing.
Thanks for sharing. I like to read about what works and doesn’t work for others. Especially in regards to different types of tea.
Are kyusus awkward to use? Maybe I should just youtube a video about them. I like the shape of them and the price range is decent, just the shape is different than the standard english teapot.
I do not find them awkward. Mine was a good deal too, I got it from Den’s tea. They had a special on them, and it came with a green tea sampler. Den’s has some great ones for 19 dollars.
As you can tell, I am a big fan of Den’s. Their Japanese greens are great.
Different opinions means we have options. Keep on rockin’ in the free world (que loud distorted guitars). Spot52 your pot is a beautiful piece of art. I notice the Den’s version is glazed. The Mighty Leaf version was not. I am ignorant of these things but is unglazed safe? It must be or they wouldn’t sell it right?
The one I have from Den’s has a similar color, and is glazed. I find it odd that the mightleaf one is not, but that is what they claim. Weird. I would have to know a lot about the pot to decide if it was safe unglazed. I would not be sure that it is safe. I know some pots are supposed to be that way, but they usually explain why it is safe. Who knows.
The french press and the ingenuitea (or perfect tea maker and all the variants) both seem good options. Both allow the leaf to move freely with no restriction. Neither squeezes the leaf – although I give a nod to the ingenuitea for appearing more civil. Both appear to decant completely. Both have removable/replaceable filters. Clean up is a breeze with both. Both can be found for under $20. Neither are tea balls or tea bags.
I made my choice because the Bodum FP is clear glass not plastic and the intermal parts are stainless. There are some reports of the bottom draining tea maker types leaking and since lime build up is a substantial problem in our area I thought it not worth the risk. I also could buy the FP locally and I got it for $11. It pays to have connections.