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Old 08-06-2019, 12:29 PM
Acsenray is offline
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Cafetiere / French press coffee maker - keeping up with constant cleaning


I've started using a cafetiere (French press) coffee maker at work, and I'm enjoying incredible coffee. I even have a little grinder.

The coffee is great. The constant cleaning required is annoying, especially because our pantries don't have running water. We have to wash our dishes in the restroom. (I have a strainer so as not to clog the plumbing.)

Does anyone else routinely make coffee this way? How do you deal with it?
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:07 PM
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I use a French press only on weekends for this very reason. It's kind of a hassle, so I save myself from it when I'm rushing to get to work.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:48 PM
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I drain off as much liquid as I can, until all that’s left in the jug are moist grounds, which I tip into the bin (I’ll scoop them out with a spoon, if they’re being awkward). Then I rinse any remaining grounds from the jug and filter bit under the tap (a few grounds aren’t going to be a problem), before washing and drying them. Every few times, I’ll dismantle the filter part and give it a good clean out – it doesn’t need doing every time.

I must say, I’ve never seen it as a particularly onerous chore – not compared to emptying out a teapot, for instance.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:57 PM
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I don't find mine hard to clean, either. Dump the grounds. Rinse with hot tap water. Once in a while I run it through the dishwasher. I specifically picked one that is dishwasher safe. If I didn't have access to a dishwasher. A quick scrub would suffice.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:01 PM
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Look into getting an AeroPress for making coffee at work. It brews a similarly-excellent cup of coffee but cleanup is a breeze. It looks kind of like a big syringe but brews coffee somewhat like a french press. You push the water through the coffee into your cup. Then for cleanup, you unscrew the filter end and push the coffee into the trash. The AeroPress has almost no grounds left behind, so cleanup is really easy. I have a FP at home and use the AP at work.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:20 AM
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When I was going through a French press phase at work, I'd put a couple ounces of water in with the grounds and dump into the toilet.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
When I was going through a French press phase at work, I'd put a couple ounces of water in with the grounds and dump into the toilet.
Is that safe for the plumbing?
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:35 PM
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Is that safe for the plumbing?
If the toilet can flush an industry-standard turd, it should be able to deal with a cup of wet coffee grounds.

They may even be good for it. Iíve repeatedly seen plumbers claiming that coffee grounds have a scouring effect, which helps keep pipes clean.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:37 PM
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I ask because I understand that coffee grounds will clog sinks
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:09 PM
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If the toilet can flush an industry-standard turd, it should be able to deal with a cup of wet coffee grounds.
The duty a toilet normally performs was indeed my rationale. Mine was a double cup press so only a few spoonfuls of grounds.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:07 PM
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I ask because I understand that coffee grounds will clog sinks
Iím not a plumber or anything, but my understanding ó from the multiple times Iíve seen this come up, on-line and elsewhere ó is that coffee grounds can clog a sink, if theyíre not washed down with enough water, but that their bad reputation in that regard is largely due to people finding coffee grounds when clearing blockages, and not realising that itís the gongealed fat that theyíre stuck in which is the real culprit.

Iím actually much more cautious with tea leaves ó they swell in water, and clump and cling to surfaces in ways that coffee grounds donít.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:12 PM
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I've heard that you shouldn't pour liquid coffee into the drinking fountain drains. This is especially true for French press coffee since there's a greater chance for grounds to make it through the press. The drinking fountain doesn't drain enough water for the grounds to be washed through and they can get caught in the trap. Kitchen sinks are probably okay. Bathroom sinks might be more iffy due to their lower water flow rate.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
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I ask because I understand that coffee grounds will clog sinks
And could be a problem if you have any low spots in your drain line. I'd run water not only until everything clears the p-trap, but also until it clears your line to the city sewer.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:42 PM
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My problem with cleaning my french press without access to a dishwasher is getting the plunger/strainer/framework disk thing clean. I take it apart every couple weeks and try to get it as clean as I can, but it's usually not a good sight. Fortunately, I only ever see it before I've had my coffee, so I don't care that much.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:24 AM
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We have two French presses (plural?). We use them only during power outages or to impress guests due to the cleaning issue.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:59 AM
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I empty the pot and rinse it - straight down the drain. Then I lightly unscrew the plunger and rinse it. At the same time I give the plate a brush with a toothbrush that I have on hand. I then insert the plunger into the pot with enough water to cover the plunger and leave it to soak until next time. At the end of the week I unscrew it all entirely and put the bits in the pot full of water with a pinch of sodium percarbonate (the cheapest brand I can find). I leave it to soak over the weekend.

Sodium percarbonate is the best cheap but effective cleaning agent that I know of.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
Look into getting an AeroPress for making coffee at work. It brews a similarly-excellent cup of coffee but cleanup is a breeze. It looks kind of like a big syringe but brews coffee somewhat like a french press. You push the water through the coffee into your cup. Then for cleanup, you unscrew the filter end and push the coffee into the trash. The AeroPress has almost no grounds left behind, so cleanup is really easy. I have a FP at home and use the AP at work.
Oh boy!!!

My wife wants a new coffee maker. Her parents use a French press, but we've never wanted to deal with one.

I'm picking up an Aeropress today, and if we like it I think I'll get a programmable electric kettle to go with it and for making tea.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:15 AM
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An easy way to clean the plunger in the French press is to fill the press about 1/2 way with soapy water and move the plunger up and down rapidly. Loosen the bottom screen just a little bit so that any grounds caught between the metal base and screen can easily wash out. Then put clean water and plunge again to get rid of any soap left behind.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:39 AM
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We have multiple French presses, big and small, some glass, some all stainless steel (great for camping or travel). They're pretty cheap. We disassemble and rinse them off daily, saving grounds for compost. I don't know how many cups of coffee you're drinking at work, but you could have more than one French press, and clean them at home.
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