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Let the Coffee Catcher help you with French press cleanup

On weekends when I brew my own coffee at home, I usually use a French press.  As you may know, French presses are great for brewing a good cup of coffee, but they’re a little bit of a pain to clean up.  When you’re done with the brewing, you have a clump of grounds smashed down into the bottom of the glass cylinder, and you have to scoop them out with a spoon to get most of them out and then wash out the rest.  It’s not a horrible chore, but it’s messy in its own way.

The other day on LifeHacker, I read about a nifty new coffee accessory that’s designed to help with the mess of a French press.  The Coffee Catcher is a device that you place down in the bottom of your French press to create an artificial floor to the French press.  Once you’re done brewing the coffee and have poured out the coffee, you can remove the lid of the French press and then use the upright handle of the Coffee Catcher to remove the puck of coffee grinds from the bottom of the French press all in one movement with very little effort.  It skips the whole spoon scraping process that you usually use when cleaning a French press.

The Coffee Catcher manufacturers have a supposed side-by-side video (embedded below) to promote how quickly you can clean up your French press and get to your coffee drinking when you use the Coffee Catcher instead of remove the grinds the old fashioned way.  They also make all kinds of claims as to how it improves the taste of the coffee and such, but I’m not sure any of the other claims really hold water.  The device looks good at the one job for which it was designed — removing the bulk of the grounds in one movement versus scraping out the grounds — without making other claims.  For example, the LifeHacker post says it “acts as a secondary filter on the bottom, preventing the rougher essence of the beans from seeping out through the bottom into your otherwise perfect cup.” The product site says it will reduce the bitterness of your coffee, but I’m not sure that’s true either. I think there is some sales fluffing going on, but I haven’t tried the product itself so I’m just guessing.

The Coffee Catcher costs $15.95 for a 2-3 cup French press and $21.95 for a 12-cup model, and it’s sold online.  That’s not exactly cheap when some elbow grease and a spoon can accomplish the same feat for free (as several commenters noted on the LifeHacker post).  All in all, though, it’s a good idea, and if you’re a regular French press drinker like me, it might save you a little bit of cleaning frustration.  I might try one to see if it works.