The Espro P3’s two bucket-shaped micro-filters make every other plunger’s fine mesh look like Swiss cheese. According to Espro, the shimmery, gauze-like mesh on its filters is nine to 12 times finer than typical French press filters. The two filters lock into each other so they stay together while plunging, but you can easily detach them when you clean the press. The lock imposes an extra step that takes a few tries to get comfortable with, but it’s easy to master. In our testing, the filters kept out even the most slippery of runaway grounds.

When it comes to high-end French presses, Secura’s Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker stands out as one of the absolute best. We say this because it features a 3-layered stainless steel filter structure that traps even the smallest coffee grounds to produce an exceptional full-bodied flavor. Not only that but it also comes with a stainless steel screen that is extremely easy to disassemble and clean when needed. When stacking one or more screens together, you get the capacity to refine your espresso even further, thus giving it that extra bit of flavor many people look for.

Mr. Coffee, of course, is better known for its automatic drip coffee machines than for its manual brewing devices. Were it not for the fact that a branded French press is practically a compulsory addition to the catalog of any housewares brand that dabbles in gear for warm drinks, it would be a surprise that Mr. Coffee, the company that revolutionized the coffee industry with the original auto-drip home coffee machine in 1972, would issue a French press at all. It’s less surprising to note that Mr. Coffee also, for a time, sold an electric French press. What’s not surprising is that, as the company today seems to hang its hat on inexpensive appliances for the budget-minded shopper, the construction of its low-cost press pot is not the best.

Chicho Friends

The Kona French press has a borosilicate glass carafe with a plastic outer shell. The outer shell offers some mechanical protection to the glass, and it also boosts the unit’s aesthetic appeal. But, we think Kona added the outer shell to compensate for the shatter-prone glass carafe. Overall, the quality of the parts leans towards the cheaper side.