It may not have the set-it-and-forget-it convenience of a drip coffee maker or the cachet of a pour-over kit, but if you're looking for a quick and uncomplicated way to make a great cup of coffee, the French press (also known as a press pot) is hard to beat. The best French presses have a simple design, but the marketplace is littered with all sorts of subtle variations on the form, each one claiming innovation and vying for supremacy: glass versions, plastic versions, stainless steel versions; press pots that are insulated or double-filtered or oversized.
Material When you think of French press coffee makers, you might think of a glass carafe with a metal plunger — but as French-pressed coffee has become more popular, presses are being made from a wider variety of materials. Glass has the advantage of being clear so you can see the coffee, but it’s breakable. Metal is more durable but might not be as pleasing to the eye. Materials also affect the insulating ability of the carafe, and thus the length of time the coffee will stay hot.
The plunger and filter assemblies are made of stainless steel, but the actual grade of that steel may be variable. We do like the fact that the Primula's fragile carafe is protected by a plastic framework with a full-sized handle for easy pouring. Our conclusion is that the Primula Tempo is ideal for the casual coffee drinker who may only require one or two full cups at one sitting. The Primula Tempo's advertised capacity is six cups, but that is closer to three American-sized mugs.
But, while this press may be sort of fragile, and the warranty may not be terribly encouraging, it's fairly inexpensive and does its job well. Just treat it carefully, and be sure to let it cool down before cleaning. Although it is heat-resistant, borosilicate becomes much less stable when heated up. Otherwise, consider investing a little more in a stainless steel model. Glass is still glass, for now. — Owen Burke
Stainless Steel French Presses: A double-walled design is key for stainless steel French Presses. Two walls will help keep the heat in and make for a better brew. You should also check for the quality of the stainless steel — 18/8 and 18/10 ratios of chromium to nickel are best. Stainless steel carafes are more durable, but you miss out on the fun visual element of glass French Presses.
Capacity: How much coffee do you want to make? French Presses come in different sizes, as do coffee mugs. It's best to look for a French Press with a capacity of one liter or more, depending on your needs. You can always fill a big carafe with less water, but you can't fill a smaller one with more, so bigger might be better. Take into consideration that many coffee mugs range is capacity from 8 to 16 ounces, so "cups of coffee" is a tricky metric to follow.
The three buttons at the top of the handle, which control power on/off, timer start/stop/clear, and taring the scale to zero, are also somewhat sensitive and positioned close together. It requires care to avoid accidentally turning something on while handling the press, particularly during cleaning. This is about as minor as nuisances come, though it can cause undue battery drain.
If you want to make the best French press coffee at a reasonable price, get the Bodum Chambord. The kit is classic for a reason: it's simple, has timeless good looks, feels nice in the hand, and makes a terrific, clean- and complex-tasting brew at a fraction of the cost of many of its competitors. The only downsides are its fragility (the carafe is made of glass) and lack of insulation (though that can be addressed by pouring your coffee into a thermos once brewed). If you prefer the durability or look of stainless steel over glass, we recommend the SterlingPro, which outperformed similar models that were three times the price.
In addition to this, customers have complained about corrosion issues in the filter assembly. Yes, this model needs a few durability upgrades. But, such upgrades will increase the cost of the unit. So, all things considered, what you get right now is good for the money. However, if you’re looking for a French press that would last for years, this is not the product for you.
Another classic from Bodum, you have a choice of configurations. Firstly, opt for double-walled stainless steel or BPA-free acrylic then decide whether you’d like the accompanying flashes of color to be black, white, red or green. These bright silicone grips are designed to have plenty of traction so you won’t end up with the carafe slipping from your hand while on the move.
Reviews of the Bodum Chambord on Amazon are largely positive (about 3,000, rounding out to 4.2/5 stars), but a good number of them complain about the same thing: The stainless steel frame that holds the carafe in place is wont to warp over time, especially if you're not careful when you remove the carafe. That would be more or less fine if the plastic handle weren't supported by it on one side with no fastener.
If not elegant, the Brazil’s simple design is inoffensive, belying the fact that its shell is plastic. Some testers even preferred the look of the no-frills Brazil to the fussier-looking Chambord. The Brazil’s triangular handle puts a welcome amount of space between your fingers and the hot glass of the beaker. And if you dislike the handle’s modern look, an older version of the Brazil comes in a more traditional design with a symmetrical handle, though this shape will bring your knuckles closer to the hot glass.
On a related note, you also want to consider whether you want a portable coffee press or not. Now, there are many advantages to using a portable French press, even though they usually come at the expense of a large capacity and strong construction. Furthermore, you might want to invest in a compact press if you do not have a fully equipped kitchen or if you plan on using the press at work where you might have issues accommodating a coffee maker if it’s too large.
After putting in over 16 hours of research and testing, speaking with several baristas, testing six top contenders in a blind-tasting panel, and making more than 40 cups of coffee, we think the Bodum Chambord is the best French press for most casual coffee drinkers. In our tests, the elegant-looking press brewed coffee that was as grit-free as brews from models that cost up to three times as much. The Chambord is easy to clean and use, and we found that it made balanced, rich coffee with little muddiness.
Scott Carey of Sump Coffee told us he recommended a French press for anyone who loved dark-roast coffee. While lighter roasts shine in their clarified fruity tasting notes, dark roasts have less palate complexity and are perfect candidates for a French press, according to Carey. “When you muddle the cup and add body, you get that great mouthfeel and you can get a little more sweetness,” he said, adding that it produced a brew that had “more bass than treble.”
On the other hand, an argument could be made that, because the French press method is classic, and because glass is the classic material for the carafe, then a traditional cup prepared by this method ought to be brewed with a steeply declining temperature profile. Staunch traditionalists may therefore prefer the Chambord cup as it is, while contemporary perfectionists can always choose to spend more on a brewer with a better-insulated carafe to meet today’s more exacting standards for brewing consistency and control.
BREWINGCOFFEE BEANSRegion GuidesCoffee ReviewsGEAREspresso machinesCoffee MakersAccessoriesGrindersRECIPES Home →Gear →The 9 Best French Press Coffee Makers of 2019 0 Best French Press Coffee Makers of 2019ContentsWhat To Look For In Your French PressMaterial - Stainless Steel vs GlassDesign & ComfortSize - Is Bigger Really Better?FilterThe Best French Presses of 20191. The Francois et Mimi Double Walled French Press2. The Bodum Chambord French Press3. The KONA French Press4. The Frieling Stainless Steel French Press5. The Bodum Brazil French Press6. The Kuissential 8-Cup Stainless Steel French Press7. The Bodum Columbia French Press8. The Sterling Pro French Press9. The Coffee Gator French PressTHE VERDICTWalking up to just about any coffee shop, and ogling all the impressive and (sometimes) bizarre coffee gear (I'm talking about Mr. Syphon!), you could get the impression that brewing coffee is quite complicated.And you'd be wrong. Because nowhere in the Coffee Bible does it say that brewing can't also be simple. And perhaps the easiest of manual brewers is the French Press - a.k.a. the plunger, a.k.a. the 'press pot'. It's way, way easier than some drip coffee makers.Using the French Press is easy, and delicious: Grind freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans in the right coarseness, put the ground coffee in the French press, pour hot water over it, and simply press down when your timer says 'Ding!' Done. So easy, even the French can do it. No precision pouring, stirring, or gooseneck kettles required. No paper filters needed. Many aficionados of coffee say the French press produces the best coffee. It certainly captures the full essence of the bean.Which is why, today - for all you devout caffeinistas - we’ll be taking a look at the most efficient, highest quality, and all-around best French press currently on the market.TOP PICK: Frieling Double Wall French PressThis press pot is beautiful and distinctive, but there's actually more to that! Its stainless-steel construction makes it long lasting and lets it keep your coffee hot 4 times as long as glass. Plus it has a double-screen filter of fine Italian mesh to reduce the grainy texture of some French press coffee. This is why it's our top pick. CLICK TO CHECK PRICE What To Look For In Your French PressDespite how simple the mechanism is, French Press coffee makers come in all sorts of variations, and it can be difficult to separate the functional from the flashy.To help you navigate the flurry of dinky knock-offs and overpriced frustration traps, here is a list of what to look for the perfect press:Material - Stainless Steel vs GlassThese coffee makers are almost exclusively made from one of two materials: borosilicate glass or stainless steel. Although some may think the choice between one or the other comes down to visual appeal, it’s really more of a practical matter.A glass carafe is pretty, but it won’t keep your coffee warm as well as a double-wall stainless steel French press.However, if you feel particularly driven towards glass, breathe easy, because unless you plan to let your coffee sit for more than ten minutes, the amount of heat lost in a glass coffee press isn’t too significant. If you pour it into an insulated travel mug the moment you push down the plunger, choosing a glass or stainless steel press makes no difference.Between these two choices, stainless steel offers you more control over temperature for a longer period of time, and this may be good for someone brewing for more than themselves.If you’re the one responsible for the morning coffee for you and your special someone, ensuring that their coffee will stay hot - no matter how long they take doing God knows what in the bathroom - can be the key to a happy morning.Also, stainless steel is orders of magnitude more accident-proof than a glass carafe (...yes, we're speaking from personal experience here).Although the glass often used in French presses - borosilicate glass - isn’t as fragile as momma’s fancy wine glasses, it’s still glass, which, as science still maintains, is more prone to breaking than steel.Design & ComfortDesign may seem superficial - and it often is - but it can also be practical. Comfort, for example, is one of those unappreciated-until-you-try-it advantages.Considering the times we crave coffee the most are also the times when our fine motor skills are at their lowest (AKA mornings), a comfortable handle may reduce the rate of morning rage-attacks.Whether you’re pouring for just yourself, or for a plus-one, a good handle keeps that delicate coffee maker from careening off the counter to an untimely, messy death.While on the topic of design, it’d be evasive to not at least mention aesthetics, so I’ll say this: a handsome French press isn’t always a well functioning one. Showing off your pretty new coffee brewer is fun and all, but delicious coffee doesn’t always come from the prettiest instruments (e.g. the AeroPress).Size - Is Bigger Really Better?When you make a cup of coffee, are you really just making a cup, or is it more like two cups? If your morning “cup” consists of one to wake and one to go, then you probably need something that can keep up.There are a few standard sizes to choose from, but 12 oz. and 34 oz. are the most popular. If you're alone or with someone else, I'd recommend going with the 12 oz. To give you some perspective, 12 oz. gives you one large cup of coffee, or two small cups. Needless to say, the 12 oz. model is also by far the more travel-friendly coffee press, for all you road brewers out there. If you often find yourself brewing for your family, colleagues or groups of friends, opt for the 34 oz. version. This would also be our recommendation if you're dealing with two coffee guzzlers, as you won't get two cups of coffee out of the 12oz. But bigger isn't always better. A French Press coffee maker is all about proportions. If you're going to use the 34oz., you'll need to put more coffee grounds and water in the carafe to make the ratio work with the depth of the plunger.FilterThe final consideration before purchasing your press is its filter. The filter in a typical French press, composed of a sandwich of steel mesh held in place by stamped steel, is not nearly as fine as those in a drip or pour over coffee maker, and therefore not as good at keeping out bits of sediment.However, a French press filter will not filter out the tasty and aromatic coffee oils as other filters will.Although some people like, or don’t mind, some extra grit floating around in their coffee, it’s not for everybody. That said, there are some unique ways to get around brew debris. One of these, the “pull” method of brewing, has you place coffee grounds on top of the filter, and pull them out after steeping.The Best French Presses of 2019Now that you know how to spot a good French press coffee maker, let’s take a look at the finalists:IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURESFrancois et Mimi Double Walled French PressGood for packing and travelingEffective at keeping your coffee hotter for longerCHECK PRICE →Bodum Chambord French PressMore reliable than other modelsGlass carafe in a stainless steel frameCHECK PRICE →KONA French PressLeast expensive on this listBetter at straining out the sedimentEasy and comfortable to handleDishwasher safeCHECK PRICE →Frieling Stainless Steel French PressUtilitarian and eye-catchingBetter at screening out sedimentMore durable than glassCHECK PRICE →Bodum Brazil French PressEye-catching colors make this a standout on your kitchen counterMetal filter comes apart for easy cleaningLow priceCHECK PRICE →Kuissential 8-Cup Stainless Steel French PressDouble-wall construction gives maximum heat retentionAll parts dishwasher-safe100% stainless steelCHECK PRICE →Bodum Columbia Stainless Steel French PressDesign echoes the classic teapot shape but with a modern twistAll compoments are dishwasher-safeThermal insulation helps keep coffee hot up to 2 hoursCHECK PRICE →Sterling Pro French PressSterlingPro double wall construction keeps coffee hotAvailable in 1.75L size (59 oz.), about six full-size cups100% stainless steel - no plastic partsCHECK PRICE →Coffee Gator French PressStainless steel construction plus eye-catching color makes this uniqueDouble screen filter produces a cleaner cupDouble wall construction provides superior heat retentionCHECK PRICE →1. The Francois et Mimi Double Walled French PressAt only 12 oz., the Francois et Mimi French press is the smallest on the list, making it a smart choice for the solo brewer.Additionally, the interior of this coffee press has double walls and is made entirely from stainless steel, which makes it much better at retaining heat than the single-walled glass carafe that most other French presses have.Where this coffee maker loses some points is its relatively high price, and its comparatively less-effective mesh filter.For the small size (12 oz., 375 ml), you may not be willing to pay $40 for this French press, considering you can easily make the same amount of coffee in a lower priced, 34 oz. French press.In regards to the filter, although it is by no means bad, it is not as good as some of the others on this list.PROSThe small and compact design is good for packing and traveling.It is more effective at keeping your coffee hotter for longer.CONSThe small size can only accommodate 12 oz. at a time.It's the second most expensive on the list.The filter is not as effective at keeping sediment out of your coffee. CLICK TO CHECK PRICE 2. The Bodum Chambord French PressSomewhere amongst all the confusing press pot origin stories, the Dutch company, Bodum has also staked a claim. Although Bodum does not pretend to have invented the coffee press, they certainly contend to have perfected it.I won’t support or refute this claim, but I will say that it’s no mystery why Starbucks continues to stock their shelves with these very well designed coffee makers.Bodum has a number of different glass-walled French press coffee makers available (which you can see here), but this model is the classic. I have owned and used this press, and can attest to its reliability and ease of using and cleaning. The borosilicate glass used by Bodum has proven to be very durable and heat resistant. However, like the Francois et Mimi, the Bodum Chambord will leave a little fine sediment in your coffee, because the plunger doesn't press all the way to the bottom.
If you’re willing to pay more for a press that preserves as much of your beans’ brightness and flavor as possible, we recommend the Espro Press P3. The clear front-runner among our tasting panel, this Espro model offers an unusual bucket-shaped double filter that’s much finer than most and will keep your coffee almost as grit-free as pour-over. But at around twice the price of the Chambord at this writing, the Espro P3 is a definite splurge, so we recommend it only for people who are very particular about grit in their coffee.
Once plunged, the Espro P3’s double filter also slows the grounds from brewing by locking the grounds and a small amount of coffee at the bottom of the press. This portion of the brew continues extracting as long as it sits in the beaker, but it’s too thick and sludgy to pass through the filter. Meanwhile, your coffee sits on top of the filters, relatively separate from the grounds. So if you leave your coffee in the beaker for more than four minutes, the Espro P3 won’t spoil your brew as much as a normal press would.
Chambord is a true original – the classic French press Coffee maker designed in the fifties. And we still produce it with the same painstaking craftsmanship we used way back when with the original. The frame and lid, made of steel, undergo several Chrome Plating processes to obtain a durable shiny surface that will last for many years of intense use. The only difference in the production process since the fifties is our commitment to the highest standards of environmentally correct manufacturing, which is especially important during the Chrome Plating process. The black CHAMBORD polypropylene handle comes in a matte finish that not only gives a comfortable grip while serving but adds to the classic quality of the design. The French press system has always been the simplest and ultimate way of brewing an excellent cup of Coffee. Using fresh coarse ground beans with water between 92 and 96 degrees Celsius brings out the very best in all types of Coffee.
However, the glass carafe walls are thinner compared to the walls of carafes that come with more expensive models. Although the borosilicate wall tolerates heat stress well, it can chip or crack under mechanical stress. So, you should be careful when handling the carafe. You should also be careful when pouring coffee because the plastic lid loosely fits the mouth of the carafe.
When we refer to the ‘durability’ of a French press, we mostly talk about its capacity to withstand long-term usage without showcasing signs of mechanical damage. For this reason alone, you should perhaps stay clear of glass carafes because they tend to break during the cleaning process. You also have to look for a press that doesn’t allow fine grinds to clog the filter, which may be a bit harder to do unless you educate yourself on the matter. To be on the safe side, you should look for a press with a stainless steel carafe, preferably one that is double-insulated.
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This retained bit of liquid does make for a slightly gloppier clean-up, though, unless further effort is applied to strain the grounds before scooping them out into a kitchen compost bin. Another very slight hitch comes upon rinsing the cup-shaped interlocking components comprising the double filter system. There are a lot of tiny corners in the eight rectangular windows of mesh that make up each of the two filters, and because the micromesh is so effective, a residue of fines may cling stubbornly to the corners of the inner filter. It takes a bit of focus with a sponge to get every nook fully clean, and the plastic-and-mesh filter components feel fragile enough to suggest that extra care should be taken in this process. Espro sells replacement filters for $18.95, should a corner spring a leak.