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A Review On: Bodum Eileen 8 Cup French Press Coffeemaker, 1.0 l, 34-Ounce

Bodum Eileen 8 Cup French Press Coffeemaker, 1.0 l, 34-Ounce

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Pros: It's Gorgeous as French Press makers go

Cons: It's a French Press

It's a Bodum French press, like any other Bodum French press but better looking.  Bodum makes very good French press brewers, none better.


I had an Eileen when they first came out, but retired it a long time ago after damaging it slightly and never getting around to repairing.  Somehow it disappeared through no fault -- I'm told -- of my wife's. 


I found this one, on sale, at Sur La Table for $35.  They're currently widely available for $10 - $20 more, but I believe the design is or will shortly be discontinued.  If you want one, don't dawdle.


The glass carafe, rod, and filter-pack are still the same.  However, I remember the metal cage has being made from heavier gauge metal and the top as being made from metal rather than chromed plastic.  The fault could be my memory.


The Eileen's top includes a collar which can be turned to pour and strain or semi-close the spout and retain heat.  The feature sort of works, but not well.  Coffee might remain acceptably hot with the collar in the closed position for extra 5 or 10 minutes, but no more than that. 


If you've never used a French press, the design allows you to get nearly all the coffee has to offer at a relatively low price and without going to too much trouble.  In exchange, you're limited to brewing relatively small quantities, and -- unless you're using one of the new double-wall "press pots" -- the coffee will quickly go cold.  


French press brewing requires a relatively coarse grind of coffee -- coarser than a pour over -- but also requires a relatively good grinder.  If the grind is too coarse, the coffee will lack flavor.  If it's a deal too fine, the press will be hard to push and may even damage the glass carafe.  If it's just a bit too fine, the coffee will be muddy. 


It also requires a good grinder.  If the grinder grinds unevenly so that fines are mixed into the coarse grind, they'll migrate through and around the screen, and -- again -- make for a muddy cup.


Indeed, muddy coffee with a little bit of grinds which must be carefully allowed to remain on the bottom of the cup is a drawback typical of the method.  Sometimes you can find nylon filter screens (at Sweet Maria's) and add them to the filter set to make a clearer cup; but not always.  If there's a drawback to the nylon screen, I don't know what it is.


In any case, the Bodum Eileen is a beautiful French press which works exactly as a French press should.


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