You can buy this type of coffee maker in the USA too, but I only know of a few people that have one. I believe these units can be used for tea and coffee.
Arriving at the appointed breakfast time we find juice, cereal and a container of brewing coffee containing a plunger. Usually, with in 5-10 minutes, the proprietor appears, presses the plunger down and announce the coffee is ready. A few times though the busy proprietor seemed to forget about the brewing coffee. Eventually, overtaken by my caffeine cravings, I would take the vessel in hand and slowly press the plunger down and pour the coffee in to the awaiting cups.
I have no idea how long one should allow the coffee to brew before pressing the grounds down through the container.