There’s something blissfully satisfying in doing things the old school way and watching the bubbles form over coffee in my French press is one such pleasure. Despite the modern-day coffee makers that take the guesswork out of making coffee, I still prefer a French press for my perfect cup of morning Joe.
However, there are a few things you need to take care of such as ‘how often should you change French Press filter’ and this greatly depends on the quality of equipment and how often you use it. If you use the French Press frequently, I would recommend changing the filter one or two times a year, depending on its condition.
With good care and maintenance, you can extend the life of a French Press filter but it will fall apart inevitably and you will need to buy a replacement filter. How long that may take depends on the quality of the product you use. A cheap quality filter may not last for more than 6 months but if you invest good money and take regular care of the filter, it may last for a few years.
Signs That Tell It’s Time To Change French Press Filter
Deciding whether or not you should change the French Press filter depends on a few things. Look for the signs to determine when you should buy a replacement filter for your French Press. As a rule of the thumb, you should consider a replacement if any of these things occur:
- If there is a prominent tear in one of the currently used filters, resulting in gritty coffee grinds in the cup.
- If you have the lost the primary or secondary filter, or the filter brace (either medium or large size).
- If the plastic structure of one of the filters used has been damaged due to exposure to excess heat.
In general, you don’t need to worry about replacing the filter unless it teats or frays from regular use and cleaning. Those who use a good quality French press such as the Bodum French Press, Frieling French Press, or Espro Press, the filter screen can last for a year or more without any issues.
Please bear in mind that not all French Presses are manufactured equally and the filters in some models have the habit of creasing at the edges. This results in the coffee grounds coming up on the sides, hence there are some filters that deteriorate more quickly.
When you must replace, make sure you buy a good quality 18/8 stainless steel filter that can last for long. Below I have explained the steps for changing the filter in a French Press. You will need a good quality screwdriver to get the job done.
Steps To Replace French Press Filter
Now that you know the answer to how often should you change the French press filter, follow these steps if you need to change your existing filter with a replacement one.
First, disintegrate the French Press and keep the carafe away carefully until you need it. Take the plunger out of the device gently. Remove the screw in a clockwise direction from the bottom section of the plunger until it is separated.
The plunger can be divided into three different sections – first comes the filter cross plate, secondly the filter spiral plate, and then the mesh filter. If you forget the order in which they were installed inside the French Press, refer to this article for easy re-installation.
Keep the other parts aside and carefully inspect the mesh filter. Check to see whether or not there are any damages around the sides, which makes extra coffee grounds pass with the brewed beverage. Look for signs of fraying around the edges.
If the filter appears to be in good condition, check the filter spiral plate for any signs of damage. This part does not get damaged so often, but it may happen at any time so it’s better to check.
If the filter needs to be changed, call the retailer or manufacturer for a replacement filter suitable for the specific model. It is easy to find replacement filters online or at any store selling coffee makers. The filter is also easily interchangeable with other brands.
Clean the replacement filter with clean water and mild soap. Dry completely with a soft towel and then assemble all the parts together along with the replacement filter.
Important Things To Note
If you follow the above instructions well, you will be able to replace the French Press filter for your specific model successfully. There are certain tips and warnings that you must take care of in order to avoid any possible accidents. Here are some of the important things to note:
When you discover that the French Press filter needs to be changed, contact the manufacturer or the store where you bought the product to find out whether or not the part is covered under warranty.
Take great care while removing the damaged mesh filter as the edges may be frayed and become sharp due to damage. Also, make sure you inspect the mesh filter only when there is adequate light to prevent any injury.
Experts recommend buying the fine metal filter because they last longer when compared to the ones made from nylon material. So, remember to invest in finely made stainless steel mesh filter for extended durability.
Avoid buying a local made cheap quality filter to save a few dollars because this will impact the performance of the French Press and not give you good quality coffee. I recommend buying a medium-priced Bodum press like this on Amazon as their replacement parts are affordable and easily available.
No matter how much money you invest in buying a French Press or its replacement parts, they will die down eventually. However, their life span and your ROI (return on investment) will greatly depend on how much you care for your device. Below, I have mentioned a few tips to clean the coffee press after each use.
Keeping Your French Press Clean
A clean and well maintained French Press is essential for great tasting coffee and I can’t stress this enough. If you leave the filter dirty with the chunk of used coffee grounds, this may influence the taste of your cuppa when you brew next time.
Thankfully, it does not take a lot of time to clean your French Press and ensure that it performs optimally every time. Just take of note of the items when you take it apart the first time, so that you don’t have any trouble assembling it again.
Many people believe that using detergent to clean the carafe will give a nasty citrus flavor to the subsequent brews, but this is not true. Coffee leaves behind a lot of oily residue in the pot, filter and plunger screen that can become rancid and affect the flavor of your beverage.
The good news is that cleaning the different parts of a French Press is not as tough as it seems. Most of the carafe pots are dishwasher safe so you just need to unscrew the plunger screen and keep all the parts in the dishwasher.
If you use a French Press in the office then taking it home every day to clean may not sound like a practical solution. You may take it home on Fridays for a thorough clean up. Other days, take the parts apart and give them a quick hot water rinse.
Put a few drops of mild detergent soap or a teaspoon of baking soda. Fill the carafe with hot water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with hot water to remove any soapy residue. Air dry all the parts and clean using paper towels.
Cleaning the Filter
To clean the filter and plunger, dispose of the used coffee grounds and wash in hot water until the water runs clear. Rub a few drops of mild soap on the plunger rod and filter. Be gentle so that you don’t distort the shape of the filer.
Take a soft cloth and gently clean the filter, plunger, and the top of the French Press (also remember to clean the pour spout). Now, rinse with clear hot water to get rid of all the soapy residue.
Some Tips To Keep Your French Press In Good Shape
I have mentioned above how often should you change French press filter and ways to keep your coffee press clean. Now, here are a few tips that can help in keeping your investment in good shape and you may not need to change the filter so often.
#1. For French Press coffee, remember to use coarse coffee grounds while brewing. Using fine to medium grounds will not only give you a gritty cup of Joe but also clog and deteriorate the filter quickly.
#2. Regularly clean the equipment after every use with a soft cloth, nylon brush, and sponge. Never use harsh metallic or scouring pads as they can damage the delicate parts.
#3. Never use any hard chemical cleaners, polishing powder, or steel brushes for cleaning as they can scratch the surface made of glass, plastic or even stainless steel.
#4. When not using the French Press for a long time, dry it thoroughly and store it in a kitchen cupboard or plastic bag to avoid any damage.
#5. It is better to discard the coffee grounds in the compost bin instead of putting them in the sink because they can clog the pipes. By putting in the compost, you will save yourself from plumbing issues and also save the environment.
Why does my French press coffee does not taste good like before?
If you have noticed a sudden change in the taste of coffee brewed by your machine, this could be due to the tiny grounds and coffee oils clinging to the brewer walls. They get stuck in the filter and turn rancid over time, leaving behind nasty flavors that turn your later brews bitter in taste.
What to do when you don’t have enough time to clean up?
A super-quick way to clean is to dispose of the coffee grounds and rinse the carafe with hot water. Also, rinse the plunger and filter without unscrewing them apart. Add a few drops of mild soap in the carafe, fill it halfway with hot water, gently plunge a few times to remove oils and grounds. Pour out the soapy solution, rinse with clean water and let it air dry.