A Brazilian French Press

An extract:

“Here is the tale of Don (de Melo Palheta) Francisco, sent by the Emperor of Brazil to steal coffee seeds from French Guyana in 1727. The French were guarding their coffee jealously, but Don Francisco was equal to the task.

Suave, charming and handsome, he made a great impression on the French Governor’s wife, and upon leaving she presented him with a bouquet of flowers, in which were concealed the seedlings he desired.

As a result of this affair, the forerunners of the world’s biggest coffee plantations were founded in Brazil.”

Our splended picture shows a Brazilian coffee plantation, painted in 1935 by Brazilian neo-realist artist Candido Portinari.


The East India Company - Book of Coffee

A compilation of fun facts and anecdotes about this celebrated beverage, from its origins in Ethiopia to the present day. Very readable and beautifully illustrated.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


• The Kaldi legend of coffee-eating dancing goats

• First use of coffee as a food in Ethiopia

• Recipe for coffee eclairs

• London's first coffee houses

• Emperor of Brazil stealing coffee seeds from French Guyana

• How to: from coffee cherry to coffee cup

• Napolean's favourite coffee

• What is a macchiatto?

• And much more…
19th century coffee drinker
Author: Anthony Wild

• First Published in 1994 by HarperCollins

• ISBN: 978-0-9561221-1-7

• Dimensions: 13.34 * 0.64 * 17.15 cm

• Language: English

• Hardcover

• Pages: 64


The Story of the French Press or Cafetiere

A little like the tea bag, what came to be known as the French Press was probably invented by accident.

Legend has it that an unnamed Frenchmen was preparing a pot of coffee on an open fire in the 1850s, when he realised he forgotten to add the coffee first. Adding it later meant the coffee grounds sat on the surface and wouldn’t brew properly. So, with a metal stick, he pushed a small piece of metal screen to the bottom, carrying with it the coffee grounds. Expecting the worst, the coffee was the best he had ever had. A new way of brewing coffee was invented.

Maybe that’s what happened.
What is true is the first patent issued for a coffee making device that closely resembles the modern French Press was by Attilio Callimani in 1929, an Italian from Milan, by which time Italian’s referred to it as a Cafetiere.

Nowadays, cafetieres are generally made with Borosilicate glass, which is very strong, together with stainless steel. It’s a cost effective and easy way of making an outstanding cup of coffee.

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