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.
A thoroughly high-quality cup is further ensured by the very effective double filter-gaskets on the outer edge of the filters that segregate not only the grinds but also an ounce or two of brewed coffee at the bottom of the carafe. If you really love your coffee, you may feel you want it all, but this little pool of withheld brew is the byproduct of an intentional design focused on producing a consistently bitterness-free cup, unmixed with any coffee that has tended to over-extract by remaining in contact with coffee grounds at the bottom of the carafe after the plunge.
Most glass French presses are made of borosilicate, a type of glass made more resistant to thermal shock by the addition of boric oxide. Thermal shock is what causes glass to break when it undergoes sharp changes in temperature. So a borosilicate beaker is important if you want your French press to remain in one piece even when you fill it with boiling water.
Well, yes, one gets what one pays for. I paid only 10 dollars for my unit. Does anyone really need to drop more than a sawbuck on a French press to make a basically drinkable cup? For patient cleaners and those who don’t mind a murky cup, perhaps not. But for anyone else, given there are so many other options available at an only slightly higher price, it will pay to shop around.
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.
Clean up is a breeze. I add just a bit of water to the carafe after I remove it from the frame and pour into a strainer over the sink. Rinse with water and then dispose of the grounds in the garbage. Then wash by hand, remove and wash plunger ( screen, coil press, etc), dry all pieces except screen and put back together. Takes about 3 minutes or so. Ready for next use. And looks so pretty on the counter and while brewing.
We tested six glass French presses and two stainless steel French presses. All of the glass carafes are constructed with borosilicate. The addition of boric acid to the glass mixture increases its resilience to heat and sudden temperature change. It is the standard not just for coffee presses but for all glass cookware and scientific laboratory equipment as well.
We were skeptical at first. The SterlingPro is a clone of the more expensive metal presses, like the high-end Frieling, and is only available on Amazon. Even though it has over 2,800 five-star reviews, could the quality of the French press and the coffee it produced really measure up to models that sold for three times the price? Short answer: yes!
Which raises the question: For a method as straightforward as French-press brewing, how fancy does the equipment really need to be? A French press only needs to accomplish two things, after all: hold hot water and filter out the grounds. The Mr. Coffee Coffee Press proves that, to some degree, a workable French press can be had for a very modest investment.
However, the lid of the coffee press is loose. If you’re not careful while pouring, the coffee may spill, especially when the carafe is full. This brings us to another point. Since the carafe isn’t transparent, you can never tell how much coffee is left in the carafe or how much water to pour. But, if you make the same quantity every day, you will get a feel for it.
The base-plate of the filter system is also of noticeably low quality, constructed of thin, slightly warped metal with channels pressed into it. The threading at the bottom of the rod is imprecise, causing an occasional challenge in getting it started back into the filter base. And the cylindrical nut at the bottom of the rod that keeps the three plates of the filter assembly sandwiched tightly together and attached to the rod is especially poorly designed and constructed. Higher-quality press pots have this nut either permanently installed at end of the rod or otherwise prevented from sliding upward on the rod, yet on the Mr. Coffee assembly, the nut winds freely up or down. A user must thread the rod into the filter base, and then thread the loose nut down just so, finding exactly the right combination of tightening to secure the filter, a fussy, annoying procedure. In the course of one busy morning cleanup, I had to abandon a partially assembled filter system in frustration in order to get on with my day.
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.
Born and raised in Paris, the land of unapologetic butter, Francois has spent the last 20 years shaping the American culinary world behind the scenes. He was a buyer at Williams-Sonoma, built the Food Network online store, managed product assortments for Rachael Ray's site, started two meal delivery businesses and runs a successful baking blog. When he's not baking a cake or eating his way through Europe, Francois enjoys sharing cooking skills with cooks of all levels. Rules he lives by: "Use real butter" and "Nothing beats a sharp knife."
By allowing coffee grounds to steep before pushing them through a steel filter, the French press releases natural oils that create a robust, clean taste that’s simply not possible with drip coffee makers. We spent over 30 hours of research and testing to determine that the SterlingPro – Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press is the best French press coffee maker. It keeps coffee hotter for longer than any other French press we tested, and its sleek and durable construction contributes to a delicious cup every time. Our runner-up is the Bodum – Chambord.
The Rite Press, currently being funded on Kickstarter, claims to make coffee cleanup easier with a twist-off bottom that allows you to dump the grounds directly into the trash. Some of its features, such as an attached hourglass set for a brewing time of 3 minutes, 30 seconds, seem somewhat helpful. Others, such as a removable thermometer that you can use to measure the temperature of your hot water before adding it to the pot, seem less helpful (it’s easier to just use a variable temperature electric kettle). Still, we look forward to testing it soon.
The size of a French press determines the amount of coffee you will be able to prepare at any given time. When choosing a coffee press, you must consider just how much coffee you usually drink on a daily basis because bear in mind, these presses may take a bit of time to brew a batch of fresh coffee. Although high-end models usually come available in different sizes for you to choose from, a standard model can prepare around three to eight cups at a time.
Metal French-press coffee makers are, in many ways, the most versatile. Like ceramic or stoneware coffee makers, metal French presses are also ideal for entertaining, handsome enough to put out as part of a fancy brunch spread. Though metal isn’t known for retaining heat, these are often well-insulated with double walls, meaning your fresh coffee will stay hot for a while. A lot of metal French presses are also dishwasher-safe, and the chances of breaking one are slim to none. The trade-off is that metal French presses are often quite expensive, so you’ll be paying if you want this kind of versatility.