French press is a full immersion brew method.
That means ground coffee infuses in the same receptacle as the water. The technology of the French Press method dates back to the 1800’s in France, where a metalsmith and merchant patented a device for “filtering coffee by means of a piston.” This came to be known as the cafetière britain. In 1929, an Italian designer named Attilio Calimani patented a version with a seal around the plunger disks to keep them flush with the receptacle, and make plunging more efficient.
This design spread and introduced further iterations of the patent adopted by different brands across Europe and North America. We like this method for its rich design history, it’s simplicity, and that it leads to slightly more forgiving and balanced extractions without much thought. It’s easy. The metal filter lets heavier solubles and oils into the cup, yielding more texture and a full body, but reducing some of the nuance and flavour clarity you can yield from a paper brew method. Be careful to decant your french press when you have completed your brew - the coffee particles still in contact with water could continue to extract, causing bitterness in the cup.