It’s American Press Review: The New King of the Presses?

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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If you love the French press or AeroPress, you'll want to read my It's American Press review. 

If you love the French press or AeroPress, you’ll want to read my It’s American Press review. 

Almost a decade ago, this new player took the coffee world by storm by promising to simplify how we hand-press coffee at home. Does the It's American Press live up to the hype? Or is this yet another marketing gimmick?

Well, the only way to find out is to take an in-depth look. As I still need to give this manual coffee maker a test run (I plan to soon), let’s unpack it together in this initial review.

More than a gimmick

It’s American Press

a unique brewing method

Beautiful design

Innovative brew method

Durable construction

Easy to clean

Rather expensive

It’s American Press Design and Features

The It’s American Press occupies that curious space between a press, espresso machine and coffee pod machine. In my opinion, it’s America’s answer to pod-free manual brewing.

I know, I know, the French (and Italians for that matter) may cry foul and claim that Americans are reinventing the wheel with this beauty. But hear me out, for an It’s American Press is a whole other animal. Instead, I think of it as paying homage to Angelo Moriondo’s 1884 espresso machine and Bernard Sivrac’s 1852 “Chambord” coffee press.

And I’m going to tell you why. This coffee maker uses a near instant steep-and-brew process with minimal wait times and no mess. Both immersion and pressure brewing are embodied in this press.

The result? Clean and nuanced sediment-free coffee – far from what you’d get with a French press, moka pot or Turkish ibrik.

Size and Weight

Embodying zen-like Japanese brewing simplicity, the cylindrical It’s American Press stands at a petite 8.5 inches (21.6 centimeters). What’s more, it weighs a mere 1.4 pounds (635 grams), which is perfect for on-the-go brewing.

At its core is a double-walled carafe that doubles up as a brew chamber. This carafe brews up to 12 ounces (354 milliliters), though you can brew 14 ounces (414 milliliters) if you like living dangerously.

In addition, the It’s American Press carafe has convenient ounce and milliliter fluid markers, handy for brewing on both sides of the Atlantic.

Glass Carafe

American Press Coffee Pod

Interestingly, this coffee maker’s carafe offers a clear view of the manual steep-and-brew process. It’s truly mesmerizing to watch.

One feature I must point out in this It’s American Press review is that the glass is 100% shatter-proof and dishwasher-safe. Notably, as it’s double-walled, it’s also safe to handle when there’s hot coffee inside.

Coffee Pod

There’s also a smaller enclosed glass pod for holding coffee grounds pre- and post-brewing. The pod fits in snugly with the plunger and inner walls of the brew chamber. This innovative reusable pod is what gives this coffee maker its mess-free and eco-friendly chops.

Stainless Steel Mesh Filtration 

Another standout feature is the stainless steel mesh filters attached to the coffee pod, which in turn, attaches to the plunger. These filters use a super-fine 100-micron filtration mesh, which ensures a clean and silky cup of joe.

Durable Lid and Handle

To top it all off, the It’s American Press has a stainless steel pouring edge and solid metal handle. Crucially, its silicon lid (along with glass and seal components) is completely BPA-free for total peace of mind.

How to Use It’s American Press

If you haven’t noticed yet, the theme of this It’s American Press review is simplicity. Naturally, this theme follows through when it comes to using the coffee maker.

To begin, heat your water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius) in a gooseneck kettle. Then, measure 20-24 grams of medium-fine ground coffee (from the best beans of course) using a coffee scale.

Next, add your coffee grounds to the glass coffee pod. Twist the coffee pod and plunger mechanism together to seal the grounds within. For the best brewing results, make sure to preheat the glass chamber with some hot water. 

American Press How to Use It's American Press

Next, pour 11-12 ounces (330-360 milliliters) of water into the glass brew chamber. This SCA-approved coffee-to-water ratio of 1.17 will give you the best flavor and body for this brewing process.

Now to the actual brewing. Insert the plunger slowly until liquid just covers the top filter. Your coffee grounds should be fully immersed and ready for pre-infusion. I recommend a two-minute pre-infusion time to ensure a proper brew. Then, plunge slowly into the water taking at most one minute.

At the end of it all, you should have a percolator-style coffee, something between an espresso and an americano in taste and body.

Like with the French press, I recommend using medium to dark roasts with the It’s American Press. These guarantee a higher extraction yield, giving you a rich taste and fine acidity.

But if you’re feeling a touch adventurous, take things up a notch. Go next-level and make yourself a cold brew! To do so, simply extend the pre-infusion time from two minutes to 12-24 hours. Then, chill your set-up in the fridge. When this time’s up, plunge away, and you’ll have yourself a delicious cold extraction.

It’s American Press Cleaning

Next in this initial It’s American Press review, let’s tackle the touchy subject of cleaning. As every coffee nerd knows, it is a non-negotiable for coffee maker maintenance, whether you love doing it or not.

Unlike the French press, the It’s American Press is surprisingly easy to clean. No mess here! Once you’ve brewed a single serving, and wish to brew another, simply unscrew the coffee pod from the plunger. Then, rinse the pod, filters and glass brew chamber under warm running water. Your press is now ready for a second brew session.

American Press Cleaning

For a deeper clean, wash your carafe in the dishwasher, placing it on the top rack. Yes, you read that right – this carafe is dishwasher safe. Because of its strong BPA-free material, it can withstand high temperatures and agitation and high during a wash cycle.

You may also place the stainless steel components on the top rack of your dishwasher. But for longevity, I’d recommend hand washing them.

To do so, separate the pod from the plunger and the silicon gasket from the filter mesh screen. Wash these components in warm soapy water and rinse under the tap before leaving to air dry.

However, as with all small components, take great care as you wash them to avoid losing them. And as always, if in doubt, consult your user manual.

It’s American Press vs Other Presses

How exactly does the It’s American Press differ from other presses? Well, shall we begin with the name? Despite having the term “press” in its name, this American coffee press is anything but.

I would say it falls somewhere between a percolator, press, coffee pod and espresso machine. This is because it uses a curious blend of all these brewing principles. So, how does it compare to the French press and AeroPress in particular? Let’s take a closer look.

It’s American Press vs French Press

Fellow French Press Press Down

If you’ll remember, I touched on this topic earlier in this It’s American Press review. But I’d forgive you for asking, “Just how does this new press differ from the French press again?”

Well, a French press is, in simple terms, a full-immersion brewer. When brewing with this coffee maker, place coffee grounds and hot water in the carafe to steep for 4-5 minutes. Then, press the plunger to separate your grounds from the liquid gold you’ve just brewed.

With an It’s American Press it’s the exact opposite. This coffee maker uses a simultaneous “fill, steep and press” brewing process. It allows for immersion brewing as in a French press but with a slight difference. Rather than steeping coffee grounds in water, water pushes through the coffee grounds, similar to espresso and AeroPress brewing.

This, I suppose, is its defining feature, and it’s no blind marketing claim either. Scientific tests on coffee brewed with an It’s American Press show a greater amount of total dissolved solids. Moreover, the coffee is sweeter and more balanced than French press coffee. Keep in mind that ultimately, the quality of coffee you brew may change depending on various factors, including grind settings, brewing temperatures and brewing times.

Another difference is that the It’s American Press is significantly easier to clean. When cleaning a French press, you have to empty the spent coffee grounds from the brew chamber before cleaning and rinsing. This, as you know, is a messy process. However, with this coffee process, all the grounds are within the pod. As a result, it’s easier to discard them without spilling.

You should also note that, as a whole, French presses come in various sizes, from single-serve to 8-cup models. It’s American Press, however, only has a single-serve option.

It’s American Press vs AeroPress

AeroPress Iced Coffee Recipe

Now, onto the AeroPress. How does the It’s American Press differ from this popular brewing method?

For starters, an Aeropress brews coffee by using air pressure with minimal immersion brewing. Like an It’s American Press, the AeroPress has a cylindrical brew chamber. It also has filters attached to a plunger. However, to brew using an AeroPress, you would first place ground coffee into the brew chamber before pouring in hot water. This process is the exact opposite with the It’s American Press.

Secondly, an AeroPress brews at lower temperatures than this new coffee press. With the Aeropress, water pushes through the coffee grounds at 175-185 degrees Fahrenheit (79-85 degrees Celsius). The end product is a silky coffee with low acidity that tastes much like an espresso.

Like the It’s American Press, an AeroPress is also easy to clean and store. This makes it the preferred option for on-the-go manual brewing.

Unlike the It’s American Press, however, the AeroPress comes in various sizes. So if you’re a stickler for size, you won’t get a choice with the It’s American Press.

Verdict: It’s American Press

More than a gimmick

It’s American Press

a unique brewing method

Beautiful design

Innovative brew method

Durable construction

Easy to clean

Rather expensive

So, there you have it! We’ve come to the end of this It’s American Press review. I hope you’ve learned all you need to know about this relatively new coffee maker to help you decide whether it’s worth trying out.

While it may not be a staple on your kitchen counter, it’s a good option if you camp or travel a lot. It truly is “the press without the mess” – easy to use, easy to clean and easy to carry around. Given all these bragging rights as a manual brewing enthusiast can you really resist it? I think not!

What’s your take on the It’s American Press? Would you consider adding it to your manual coffee maker collection or is it a pass? I’m looking forward to your opinions!

Your coffee expert
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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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