Shopping List: Bodum Universal Timer


Five elements are key to the preparation of proper french press coffee writes coffee connoisseur Fortune Elkins on her Web site, Bread, Coffee, Chocolate, Yoga (BCCY): Measuring the correct amount of coffee, getting the temperature of the water just right, paying attention to stirring, steeping not too briefly or for too long, and, finally, decanting the brewed coffee into another container.

Achieving mastery of just one of these variables, the amount of time during which the coffee steeps, is virtually guaranteed with Bodum's Universal Timer (which I was also tipped off to in a BCCY post). The little gadget, custom designed for the french press, clips directly onto the stem of the plunger. Add coffee and heated water to the pot, set the timer to your preferred length of steeping (four minutes, for me), and you will be assured of steeping the coffee for the appropriate amount of time.

The Bodum Universal Timer is $9.95 at the Bodum Café and Home Store, 413-415 W. 14th Street (212.367.9125). The timer is not available for purchase on Bodum's Web site, but may be ordered by phone at 1-800-23-BODUM.



I'm not usually one to turn down a kitchen gadget, but wouldn't a watch with a second hand do the job just as well?


French Press! The only way to drink coffee! I hate to admit it, but I am guilty on all counts, especially the water temperature thingy! But I looovvvve my coffee piping hot, and it just cools off too quicky for me any other way. I have to boil it!

Side note: (slightly off topic) After drinking french press, I find that coffee made any other way is just plain weak. And heaven forbide you try to drink instant. Years ago, I drank Folger's instant all the time, now the difference is so very marked.


Jeremy, You could do just as well with your watch (the timer adds absolutely no other technological value), but the beeping alarm reminds you when time is up. In addition, when I get up and make coffee in the a.m., my watch is not yet on my wrist, yet this timer handily clips right onto the press.

Teresa, I also think french press is the best, though we often drink drip with our machine that has a self-timer (maybe I am just obsessed with timers!). In addition to flavor, I think the french press also gives the coffee a more complex "texture" than drip.


thanks for the link. the bodum timer is a handy little thing, no doubt.

the great thing about the cafetiere, aka french press, is how it mazimizes coffee body and mouthfeel. because the method maintains all the fabulous brew colloids and bean fibers, the full richness of the coffee is readily apparent.



Thank you for the tip and the cafetiere lesson. Maximizing "mouthfeel" is the perfect word to describe it. Much better than "texture."


FYI - this timer also comes with a suction cup so you can put it anywhere you need a timer. The fact that it's easy to use and can be placed where you need it most make this timer indispensable for me. Don't know about coffee, but this little clock is perfect for tea timing as well. It remembers your time settings, so it will always be ready to time the next cup of tea.

I've had three of these in daily use in my kitchen for 4 years and they still run on the first battery. dell xd187 battery ,


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