Some people might be wondering if they can use a French Press on the stove similar to how coffee is made with a Moka Pot. Instead of just using boiling water this would allow you to extract a deeper flavor of coffee by constantly providing heat while steeping. In this article, we’ll examine if that is a plausible idea. Let’s see if we can find the answer, French Press on Stove: Is It Possible?
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Withstanding High Heat
One of my main concerns with answering if a “French Press on Stove” is possible, is going to be with the temperature of the stove. Many French Presses have plastic in their frame and we absolutely won’t be able to use those models as plastic will melt very easily under any sort of sustained heating source.
Other French presses are designed to be portable and might have insulated walls, these are also out as the insulation will protect the contents of the French Press from the heat source in the same way that it traps heat inside the French Press.
If your French Press is made out of glass, like most are, the rating of the glass is going to be very important. Unless your French Press was made from Pyrex, you should have reservations about exposing it directly to a heating source. Exposing the glass directly to a heating source will also likely leave soot and other black marks directly on the glass. These should wipe off easily enough as long as there is no lasting damage inflicted on the glass.
Flavor of the Coffee
Assuming you are able to find a Pyrex French Press container another point to consider is going to be whether there is actually a tangible benefit from combining a stovetop heating source with your French Press. Typically French Press brewing is pretty simple, you just combine hot water at near boiling temperatures with the correct amount of coarsely ground coffee beans and wait.
Using a heating source has the risk of scorching part of your coffee while the coffee that is further away from the heating source is unaffected. At the very worst, this idea can ruin your coffee by making it taste scorched. At its best combining a French Press and a heating source probably won’t affect the flavor of the coffee brewed at all.
Is It Possible?
Using a French Press on stove: is it possible? The answer to this question is yes, it’s definitely possible provided you have the correct equipment that can safely be used over the stove. The longer answer, however, is that there isn’t really a point as there’s unlikely to be any benefit to making coffee this way and you will likely end up making the coffee taste worse than if you didn’t use a stove. The harsh reality is that a cylindrical column of water doesn’t lend itself well to boiling over a heating source.
A better execution for those that are dead set on making coffee on the stove would be to combine the grounds with coffee in a normal pot and boil the water that way. Although, there’s a reason why people don’t do this: it’s inconvenient, requires more cleaning, and more complicated and ultimately will come out tasting the same depending on the filtering method used after brewing.
The Moka Pot
There is, however, a way to brew coffee on the stove that does work well. That is by using a Moka Pot. Moka Pots are designed for brewing espresso coffee directly on a stove top. They’re made out of metal in order to be heat safe and feature 3 distinct compartments, one for the espresso grounds, one for the water, and the last compartment is what collects the coffee.
Moka Pots avoid the scorching cylinder issue by having a smaller amount of water to heat and making use of a high amount of pressure to combine the water with the espresso grounds. Moka Pots are also designed to conduct heat evenly throughout the metal surface which ensures a greater surface area with which to heat the water. Do note however that Moka Pots make espresso and not coffee, which is a different drinking experience entirely.
So, there you have it. We explored the question “French Press on Stove: Is It Possible?” and found that although it is likely possible, it probably was ill-advised. Even if you were able to get it to work, is it really different from heating the coffee mixture in a pot and pouring it into a French Press after? If you really must use a stove in your coffee making process, using a Moka Pot may provider more satisfaction.