Just as failing to clean the basket of an automatic drip coffee maker can result in stale tasting brew, using an unclean French press will do the same thing.
While some think that simply rinsing out their press pot with hot water will do the trick, you actually need to cleanse it well to keep stale odors and flavors at bay.
The culprit is the large amount of oils extracted from coffee grounds while using a French press, which tend to cling to the carafe and filter unless soap and a bit of scrubbing are involved.
Fortunately, cleaning out a French press doesn't take a ton of time, and you'll be glad you did it to get a clean tasting brew.
The filter of your French press will get the most gunky -- after all, it's what comes into contact with the coffee grounds. Here's the best way to clean your filter quickly and efficiently.
Cleaning the carafe of your insulated coffee press is the easiest part of maintaining it.
After you've dumped the used coffee grounds into your trash can or compost heap -- putting them down the sink can clog it -- rinse it out with hot water.
Then take a non abrasive sponge or cloth, put a bit of dish soap on it, and swipe the inside of the carafe clean.
Do a once over on the handle and outside of the French press as well to ensure you get any drips on it that you may not have noticed.
Rinse the soap off, and you'll be good to go. You can certainly let the carafe air dry, but if you're particular about fingerprints hand dry it with a lint-free dish towel.
If you're short on time, here's a quick way to clean your press pot.
As long as you thoroughly clean it using the above method at least once a week, you should be fine doing this on days when you've got to hurry.
Dispose of your coffee grounds, rinse out the carafe with hot water, rinse off the plunger and filter without unscrewing the pieces apart, and then put a few drops of soap into the carafe.
Fill it half-way with hot water, put in the plunger, and then gently plunge it up and down a few times to help get off any remaining grounds and oils.
Pour out the soapy water and rinse all pieces of the French press thoroughly before setting it aside to dry.
If you have a French press or insulated coffee press that's dishwasher safe, you can certainly pop it into your machine instead of washing the coffee maker by hand.
Here's what you need to do: