I’m not a coffee drinker, so I don’t know much about the different ways that people make coffee at home. I know what a standard drip coffee maker looks like and roughly how it works, but that’s about it! But over the past few weeks, I’ve seen “french press” coffee makers mentioned several times on different websites. And the strange thing about those mentions is that none of them had anything to do with making coffee! Of course, I was instantly intrigued and decided to do some digging on my own.
In less than an hour I had discovered 9 different ways to use a french press to do something other than make coffee. I had no idea that such a low-tech kitchen tool could do so many useful things! In fact, I was so excited about these tips that I actually bought an inexpensive french press on Amazon just so I could use it in the ways I had read about (I think my favorite is #9!) And I’ll be sharing those 9 surprising uses for french presses with you today! I think that by the end of this list, you just might be convinced to buy one for your kitchen as well! :-)
9 Surprisingly Useful Things You Can Do With A French Press
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1. Rinse Grains
It’s so quick and easy to rinse grains like rice, quinoa, and farro in a french press coffee maker! Just pour the grains into the carafe and cover them with water. Put the top in place and press the plunger down to separate the water from the grains. Pour the water out, and your grains will be rinsed and ready to cook!
2. Infuse Oils
You can use a french press to make delicious herb-infused olive oil. Toss a handful of fresh herbs into the french press (rosemary makes a great choice!) and cover them with olive oil. Put the top in place, then put the french press into your fridge for a couple of days. Then press the plunger down, and pour your deliciously infused oil over bread, fish, vegetables, and more!
3. Rehydrate Dried Foods
Whenever you need to rehydrate a dried food like cranberries, peppers, or mushrooms for a recipe, reach for the french press! Just place the dried food inside and cover with hot water. Let the food rehydrate for a few minutes, then press and discard the water. Easy!
4. Froth Milk
Did you know that you can froth warm milk using a french press? It’s true! Just fill your french press about halfway with warm milk, then slide the plunger up and down to start frothing the milk. Continue this for about 30 seconds, or until the milk is frothed to your liking! Use it in your morning coffee to make it extra special.
5. Strain Wet Foods
Frozen foods can be really convenient, but thawing them often leaves you with a lot of extra moisture that you don’t want. To get rid of all that extra water, use a french press! Place thawed spinach, thawed shredded potatoes, or any other kind of wet food in the french press. Press the plunger down firmly and pour out the excess water.
6. Make Tea
French presses aren’t only useful for coffee—you can make tea in them too! Measure out your tea leaves and place them in the bottom of the carafe. Cover with the correct amount of hot water, and let the tea steep for the recommended amount of time. Then just press the plunger down and pour yourself a lovely cup of tea!
7. Make Almond Milk
Have you ever tried making homemade almond milk? I highly recommend giving it a try! It’s delicious and not as complicated as you might expect. Check out the directions at the post below, and make it even easier by using a french press instead of cheesecloth when it’s time to strain the almonds.
Related: How To Make Homemade Almond Milk
8. Infuse Water
Use a french press to make tasty and refreshing infused waters! Just add fruit and/or herbs to the french press and cover them with cold filtered water. Put the french press into your fridge overnight, then press and enjoy the next day! (Try infusing water with strawberries and fresh mint leaves—my favorite!)
9. Keep Herbs Fresh
Many fresh herbs benefit from being stored in a little bit of water, like cilantro, mint, dill, and more. You can use your french press to make it super simple! Just pour an inch or two of water into the bottom of your french press, then insert the top piece about halfway. Place your fresh herbs upright on top of the strainer. Then press the plunger down just enough so that the bottom of the herbs are submerged. Store the whole thing in your fridge, and your herbs will stay fresh for much longer!
Do you use a french press coffee maker at home?