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French Press Infusion

Have you ever tried making tea or botanical infusions in a French Press? I love the look and feel of the French Press, and many people use it for coffee, but I decided to try it for tea!

The first design for this style of brewer was patented in 1852 by the Frenchmen Mayer and Delforge. It did not create a seal inside the carafe so it was essentially not like the one you know today. The first patent of a French press that resembles what we use today was patented by the Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929. It underwent several design modifications through Faliero Bondanini, who patented his own version in 1958 and began manufacturing it in a French clarinet factory called Martin SA under the brand name "Melior".

Now let's talk a bit about the various types of tea:

Black tea is what most Americans consider to be “normal” tea. It’s not actually the “normal” tea, but it is the most common tea type in the western world, so I usually let it slide.

Black tea leaves are fully-oxidized during the processing stage. This causes them to have more caffeine, and less antioxidants than other types, though they’re still a great source of antioxidants.

Black teas tend to feature deeper, darker flavors, such as dark chocolate, spice, earthiness, citrus, and malt.

Water: 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit

Steep: 3-5 Minutes

Caffeine: 20-80 mg

This tea type is a very large category, comprising of teas oxidized 8-90%. Yeah, lots of room in this category for flavor diversity!

Teas on the lighter end of oxidation are called “light oolongs”. These teas feature flavors closer to green tea with floral, citrus, and nutty notes. They can be very sweet and pleasant.

Teas on the upper end, called “dark oolongs”, tend to feature flavors closer to black tea with earthy, fruity, and woody notes. They’re also complex and pleasant, but often not as sweet.

Water: 180-195 degrees Fahrenheit

Steep: 2-4 Minutes

Caffeine: 15-60 mg

Green tea is growing in popularity in the Western world, but it’s the #1 type in the East. In China, green tea is the “normal” tea.

These leaves are less oxidized, between 2-8%, and are more delicate. They need a lower water temperature and shorter steeping time to bring out best flavors without over extracting. Those flavors include herbs, flowers, nuts, earth, and citrus

Water: 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit

Steep: 2-3 Minutes

Caffeine: 15-40 mg

White tea leaves are only 0-2% oxidized. They’re as close to freshly picked leaves as we get in America (unless you live on a tea farm in Hawaii or Florida). They’re even more delicate, requiring very low water temperatures and short steeping times.

The flavor profile is also delicate, featuring gentle notes of flowers, herbs, and some light fruits such as peach.

Water: 160-175 degrees Fahrenheit

Steep: 2-3 Minutes

Caffeine: 10-30 mg

Herbal teas aren’t really teas since they don’t come from the camellia sinensis plant, but you can still brew them in your french press. This could literally be anything - herbs, barks, flowers, leaves.

Most steep well with something like this:

Water: 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit

Steep: 5-10 Minutes

Caffeine: Depends on the ingredient steeped

Find the tea type that best suits your flavor and caffeine preferences. You’ll find there’s a lot of diversity within the categories, so try out several teas of each type to get a good idea of the flavor possibilities.

Here I brewed a "Tisane Infusion" of Roses + Mint in the French Press:

I hope you decide to try brewing teas + tisanes in a French Press! It's a nice, easy + classy way to brew! Let us know in the comments if you already have a French Press or if you decide to try it out! Stay Inspired!


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