Word of the day: polyonymous

Any idea what it means? No, we didn’t know either, not until we learnt that it applies to our much-loved cafetière!


two cafetieres


Polyonymous is a term used to describe something with various names. The supper/tea/dinner debate might come to mind, as might your squabbles over what to call that thing on the end of a pencil – rubber or eraser? The trusty cafetière is another of these polyonymous items: you might have heard it called a French press or a press pot, a coffee plunger or a cafetière à piston. We’ve settled on cafetière because we like to sound a bit fancy (but can’t remember where all the accents go in cafetière à piston). Whatever name you go for, there’s one thing for sure; coffee lovers need this awesome device in their life!

Luckily, using a cafetière is pretty straightforward. In fact, you’ve probably seen, if not used, one before. It’s the brewing device that doesn’t look daunting (we think it looks like a teapot with a tiny pump) but always turns out one helluva coffee!

Want to find out more? We’re on it!


plunging a cafetiere of coffee


Back to the beginning

Remember when we told you that decaffeinated coffee isn’t as simple as coffee minus the caffeine? Well, the French Press/cafetière is similar. It’s not just a coffee press that comes from France. Because simple is boring, right?

The history of the cafetière involves a bit of a road trip. We start off nice and easy in 19th century France, where two Frenchmen designed a basic French press model. Separating the grounds from the water was the basic idea, but this original design was quite different to what we use today. Then we fast forward a bit to 1929, where we find ourselves in Milan, drinking coffee with Attilio Calimani. The Italians developed the initial French model into the cafetière we are familiar with today. Maybe we should call it the cafeterio?


coffee mug orange


But we’re not ending there. Switzerland is our next stop, where a man named Faliero Bondanini developed the ‘Chambord’ in 1958. This is the iconic design known and loved by millions of coffee fans today. Where does the name come from? According to coffee lore, the Chambord design was inspired by the oh-so-elaborate towers of the Château de Chambord in France.

We end our little excursion with Bodum, a Danish tea and coffee product company founded in 1944. Bodum bought the Chambord factory in the 90s and perfected their version of this timeless coffee brewing device.

A* for history, folks. Now, let’s make some coffee!


two cups of coffee


What’s included?

As you can probably guess from our escapade above, cafetière brewing has seen some wardrobe changes over the years. Today, however, the basic method is super simple and easy to perfect.

Your cafetière is an immersion brew device. This means that your coffee grounds and hot water seep together to develop a lovely, rich-bodied flavour. There are two main components to a cafetière: the jug and the plunger. Most modern-day jugs are made from shatterproof glass, but there are also some swanky metal and stoneware designs on the market. We’re all for this eco-friendly borosilicate glass model; it’s practically dripping with cool minimalist vibes!

The mesh and plunger complete your cafetière set. The circular mesh is attached to the plunger, which lifts up through the top of the jug like a jolly, coffee-scented sunrise☺. The holes in the mesh are quite large, but we’ll get to that in a bit.


two cafetieres side by side


Top coffee in a tick

For a lovely cafetière coffee, we recommend grinding your coffee beans so they are medium-coarse. The consistency should be something like sugar: still rough enough so you can see the individual grounds but not so fine that it starts to look like dust. Not grinding at home? No problem! Simply select ‘cafetière’ in our online coffee shop, and we’ll send you perfectly-ground cafetière coffee so you can jump straight in!

To brew, simply place the coffee grounds in the base of your warmed-up cafetière jug and fill with boiled water. Pop the lid on and wait two minutes (do 15 push-ups if you fancy it), then stir your coffee before waiting two more minutes. The pièce de resistance (told you we like to sound fancy) comes next – plunging! Just wait a couple more minutes after the plunge and your coffee is ready to be enjoyed!


pouring coffee from a spoon into an empty cafetiere


Flavourful and fabulous

The cafetière is used and loved by millions of coffee drinkers worldwide. Immersion gives a consistent extraction as the coffee and water steep together (rather than the water passing through the coffee as they do in a V60 or Chemex). The holey mesh is also key to great cafetière coffee. The gaps in the mesh mean that some of the natural coffee oils and a few itsy bitsy pieces of ground coffee can pass through into your cup to give your coffee a richer, more robust feel. Cafetière coffee is also ideal if you like something with a bit more texture. What do we mean by this? When we say ‘texture’ in relation to coffee, we are describing the way it feels in your mouth. This might be creamy or buttery or thin; in a cafetière, coffee will develop a thicker texture.


pouring coffee from a cafetiere to a cup


So, just why are cafetières so awesome?

Cafetières reign supreme if you want your coffee slightly heavier with bumper richness. But there are plenty of other plus points, too.

Cafetières are a great place to start if you want to migrate from the coffee shop giants (you know which ones we’re on about…) to delicious home brewing. The immersion process makes them nice and repeatable, meaning that great coffee can become as regular as clockwork. Because disappointing coffee breaks aren’t cool.

If you fancy experimenting, the cafetière is your friend. The simple method makes it really easy to control and adapt variables such as the brew time and water temperature, so you can create a brew method that’s just right for you! These devices make great gifts too, check out this Barista & Co gift set if you’re interested.

If you do fancy treating others (or just want more a bit more coffee for yourself – why not?), the cafetière is the device to choose. It’s larger than devices like an AeroPress or Moka pot and will allow you to brew up to eight cups at once. Eight lovely cups of fresh coffee…. Ohhhh, we’re going weak at the knees…


pouring into a second cup of coffee



Why not choose a 3 or 8 cup cafetière for your kitchen, and some freshly roasted Two Chimps coffee too?

Find all this – and more – in our online shop! ☕


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