Effortlessly Make Super Flavorful Broth With Your French Press

The ticket to making the best morning coffee is the French press. But this brewer is no unitasker; it can help you in other areas of the kitchen, specifically as a surprising way to make low-effort, high-flavor broths, as well as boosting the flavor of any stock or broth you've had bubbling away for hours.

The most basic way to use a French press to make super flavorful broth is to start from scratch. Choose the flavor profile you're after, and chop your primary aromatics — be they alliums like onion or shallot, or punchy flavors like garlic, ginger, or turmeric — smaller than you would the chunky cuts of a traditional stock. Cutting pieces smaller increases the ingredients' surface area, promoting faster absorption of their flavor into your broth. Then, add them along with boiling water to the French press and steep, just as if you were making your morning coffee. Wait up to 15 minutes, then press into a jug or bowl. Voila: A simple, high-flavor broth without turning on the stove.

How to get the most out of your French press broth

These quick, intensely flavorful soups aren't the only way to turn your French press into a broth powerhouse. The technique of intensifying flavor via steeping and pressing can also be used on stocks that have already been simmering for hours by adding huge hits of flavor from ingredients best suited to the briefest cooking times.

To put this into practice, follow the principles of using fresh herbs over dried herbs. Where fresh herbs shine with minimal or even no cooking, dried herbs benefit from long, slow cooking to reconstitute them and give up all of their flavor potential. If you've got a stock or broth cooked like this that you want to zhuzh up with zesty brightness, pour it into a French press, add the fresh herbs of your choice, steep for a minute, and pour into serving bowls or over other ingredients. Like brewing herbal tea, they'll give up their aroma quickly without stewing and contrast well with your slow-cooked stock's deep, developed flavors.

When to consider buying a French press just for broth

If your French press is mostly dedicated to brewing the best cup of coffee possible and you just want to make an occasional foray into using it for flavorful broth, then a quick clean, either in the dishwasher or using the plunger of the cafetière itself, should get rid of any stock flavor in your next cup.

But if you plan to make a lot of broths with particularly intense flavors, you might want to consider investing in a second French press dedicated to your new technique. Intense flavors like garlic or ginger will stick around when used repeatedly. If you add fresh herbs or aromatics to a really strong broth — like a soupe de poisson — it will be tough to entirely rid the aromas of anise, tomato, and fish bones from your next morning joe.

Bear in mind the reverse, too. Coffee oils will hang around a cafetière, particularly in the mesh filter, so cleaning your French press before making your first broth is essential, or you might end up with some unwanted bitterness in the final result.