Review: KitchenAid Precision Press
French Press coffee is one of the most popular ways to brew coffee at home once you have transitioned away from an automatic drip coffee maker. However, for the uninitiated, this manual way of brewing coffee can be an intimidating challenge. The KitchenAid Precision Press Coffee Maker has been designed to help take the guesswork out of brewing coffee in the French Press making it a great option for anyone new to this brewing method.
From the outside, the KitchenAid Precision Press looks like any other French Press Pot, but hidden under its stainless steel shell is a built in coffee scale to precisely measure both hot water and ground coffee and a timer which will count down exact brew times. Does the Precision Press sound like the answer to your French coffee brewing prayers? Keep on reading this review to find out why this gadget might be a must have for any coffee lover.
KitchenAid Precision Press Standout Features
Even though the KitchenAid Precision Press contains both a scale and a timer it still can not do all of the brewing for you, which is a good thing since you still want to have some control over how your coffee is brewed. You still have to grind your fresh coffee beans (please don’t buy pre-ground) and add boiling water from your kettle.
The KitchenAid Precision Press resembles any other stainless steel press pot. The walls on the Precision are double-lined to help insulate the jug, very much like the famous Frieling (see our review here) while the insulating is beneficial at retaining heat it can not compete with a full-fledged vacuum sealed flask but it holds the heat in longer than any glass french press.
If you’ve used a regular French Press before you’re probably already accustomed to how it functions, so the components of the Precision Press will look familiar. You have a lid, which holds a plunger; by pressing down on the plunger, you’ll push the coarse coffee grounds to the bottom of the jug, separating the grounds from the water leaving you will a clean, rich and bold coffee.
Sure the process is pretty simple, but you still have to make sure you have the correct grind size, the best water temperature, and leave your coffee steeping for the right amount of time. This is where the KitchenAid Precision Press Coffee Maker shines, while it may not grind your coffee for you, it will tell you the correct amounts of both coffee and hot water without you having to use a separate coffee scale.
What I like about the KitchenAid Press is the LED screen built into the black handle where you can see the readouts for weight and time. Sitting under the screen is a cluster of tiny buttons, from here you can control the whole brew process with a simple press of your thumb; of the three buttons the biggest is the power button, just underneath to the left is the timer button, and over on the right is the scale button.
Using the scale function you can get the perfect water to coffee ratio without having to mess around with a separate coffee scale, once you've got that nailed you then press the timer button and steep the coffee to your liking.
As great as it sounds the Precision Press still requires a human touch to get things done and with a price tag of $100+ you may be better off buying a coffee scale, using your timer on your smartphone and shelling out only $20 on a basic French Press Pot. But for someone new to the French Press I can see the benefits; having various other gadgets scattered on your kitchen counter can make things confusing when you're learning the basics.
I did find that brewing with the KitchenAid Precision Press compared to a regular French Press was slightly confusing, and I had to go back to trail and error for the first couple of brews to get the coffee just the way I like it.
For example, when I followed to guidelines that come with the Precision Press (1.6 ounces/46 grams coffee to 26 ounces/739 grams water, and a 4-minute steep time) the result was extremely weak for my taste. However, when I tried to use my usual method (3.5 ounces/100 grams coffee to 26 ounces/739 grams water, with a 4-minute steep time), the brew was surprisingly to strong and bitter. So for those of you that have already perfected your ratios using a regular French Press you may have to tweak and experiment to get your French Press coffee just the way you like it using the KitchenAid precision press coffee maker.
With a hefty price tag for what is basically a French Press with a few extra bells and whistles, I would prefer to invest in a separate coffee scale with a timer built in like the BrewGlobal Brewista Smart Scale along with a good french press like a Frieling or a Bodum Chambord. But with that said for someone new to French Press coffee brewing the KitchenAid Precision Press is a handy brewer to have if you solely drink French Press coffee and don’t want to buy all of the coffee gear to brew other different types of coffee.