From Percolated to French Press


My typical morning goes how most Canadian’s mornings go, with coffee.

For years the first thing I would do in the morning would be to fill and turn the percolator on for a fresh brew.

Little did I know then that the “fresh brew” wasn’t so fresh.


Chatting with a barrister at The Wisdom Tea Shop (not a sponsor) one afternoon I remember him saying, coffee tastes best when the beans are freshly ground.

This got me thinking. The beans that come in the $10-ish canister are pre-ground and that lasts my boyfriend and I for about a month. So… just how good can home-brewed coffee be? Surely nothing like cafes.

This is where Aaron (barrister and owner of said tea shop) proved me wrong.

He showed me from start to finish how to perform the pour-over method.

Using a cone filter filled with freshly ground coffee placed on top of your coffee cup. Slowly pour boiling hot (200 degrees Fahrenheit / 93 degrees Celsius) water till your cup is full with beautiful coffee gold.

Easy Peasy. And delicious.

To encourage me to make my own at home, he gave me a couple of sample packets from his coffee supplier.

I didn’t use them that night but when I went home I researched the pour-over method and stumbled upon the french press.

When I fist saw it I thought, this will be the perfect way to pitch the idea to my boyfriend; because he loves Dexter and is the habitual coffee drinker in this relationship.

My second thought was, how much is this going to cost?

At the time I was working at Loblaw, so on one of my breaks I scoped out a french press.

They come in different sizes and prices, which led me to buy the smaller of the options which makes four cups (two mug sizes) and was around $10.

Cheap so far.

The real cost… coffee beans.

I am fortunate enough to live in a part of the city where almost every shop is either a thrift store or artisanal in some way.

I happen to live beside a coffee roaster with the option of another down the street, along with multiple coffee shops selling their own roasts from some organic & fair trade business or another, all of which are no more than a five minute walk away.

As awesome as it is, the location comes with a slightly higher price tag.

A bag of coffee beans from Fireroasted Coffee Co., Patrick’s Beans and The Wisdom Tea Shop (all are not sponsors) range from $12-to-$19 per bag and they last us about three weeks; granted that we only drink one mug each, opposed to the percolator which makes us about two-to-three mugs each.

So there’s a bit of a budget difference, which can question the switch. I know it did for my man and I.

But the flavour difference is unquestionable. By far the french press (and pour-over) taste significantly better than percolated coffee. And it’s really not labour intensive, but it is more involved.

With the percolator it’s open the canister, scoop a tablespoon amount for each wanted cup into the filter, add cup(s) amount of water, close lid and turn on. Simple.

Like I wrote before, the french press is more involved but not intense;

First grind your beans coarsely (I use my food processor), pour into french press pot, add just enough hot water to saturate the beans for a minute, then fill the pot to the top and wait for four and a half minutes before pushing the filter down. 

It sounds like a lot but once you’re in the groove it becomes natural.

Plus, it literally takes just as long as percolated coffee to brew.

Other pros with this version;

-no longer need another liquid heating machine on my counter

-my fridge has more space by not having a coffee canister or two inside


-the cost is about $5-to-$10 more per month

-can only make a limited amount of coffee, unless I buy another pot or am willing to make multiple pots of coffee.

–If making multiple cups, it can become time intensive.

In the end, I love that we made the switch from percolated to french press. Because now I’m not just having a mug of coffee in the morning, I’m enjoying and savouring my it.

Did you make a switch to different coffee or coffee style? Was it an easy process? Did it take convincing? Do you find the cost difference acceptable or too much?

Let me know in the comments below 🙂



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