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.
The classic Bodum Chambord makes a balanced cup of coffee, retaining most of the tasting notes of the coffee and little of the grit of the grounds. Designed in the 1950s, the Chambord looks like the quintessential French press, and its steel frame is more durable than the Bodum Brazil’s plastic body. The Chambord didn’t make the brightest coffee of the bunch, but the flavors of its brew held their own against those of presses three times its price.
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 Stelton EM French Press has a cool, Scandi-modern look for a semi-moderate price. We were intrigued by the possibility of combining the functionality of a press pot with the heat-retaining capabilities of a vacuum thermos, but the Stelton didn't live up to its promise and lost the most heat of all the insulated presses we tested. Though the Stelton is made from BPA-free plastic, if you're concerned about drinking hot liquids from plastic, or are just interested in reducing your use of plastics in general, our top-pick stainless steel press, the SterlingPro, brewed coffee that stayed warmer longer, at a lesser price.
We spent two weeks brewing and plunging and sipping our way through a slew of well-regarded presses in an array of materials, shapes, and sizes. The goal: to find the best French press—one that produces a superior brew and can withstand intensive everyday use. Keep reading to see how the results shook out; for the specifics of how we tested and other models we considered, scroll to the bottom of the page.
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.
While the brewer is beautiful and hefty, the filter assembly on the inside of the press — a key component in the performance of the brewer — is of no greater quality than offered by substantially cheaper products. The metals are thin and the design is standard; the mesh of its filter is no finer than average and allows a typical amount of silt to pass through it and remain in the cup. Though it’s not remarkably worse than many of its competitors, it’s also not better, betraying the stature of the brand.
If you always run out of time in the morning, you can make your coffee on the go with the Bodum Stainless-Steel Travel French Press Mug. Just spoon some coarsely ground coffee in the bottom, pour hot water on top, pop the lid on, and rush out the door. Plunge it down a few minutes later when you're in your car, on the subway, or at work, and voila! Fresh French Press coffee is yours.
Bodum Insulated Stainless-Steel Travel French Press (Best French Press for Travel)– Stainless Steel construction ensures that it is able to handle the occasional drop and keeps your coffee warm even after two hours. Prevents the grounds from mixing with the brewed coffee post plunging. (Hence the coffee tastes the same from the first sip to the last)
Coffee brewing methods are many and varied — You have pourover, cold brew, classic espresso, and more. One of the most popular methods is the French Press, which lets your coffee grounds swirl around in boiling water to brew before you push the plunger down and pour the coffee right into your mug. There are dozens of great French Press coffee makers out there, but they're not all created equal.
When you picture a French press, you’re probably picturing something with metal scaffolding and a glass carafe. That’s the standard style of French press, and as such, is often the least expensive and most readily available. This is why a glass French press is a solid choice for beginners, or anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much money on a coffee maker.
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.
Le Creuset has made a name for itself over decades of producing high-quality kitchenware for cooking, baking and serving. This reputation for quality stems particularly from Le Creuset’s long lasting, brightly colored, enameled cast-iron and ceramic pots and pans. Le Creuset product lines are extensive, providing brand loyalists the opportunity to outfit entire kitchens with matching Le Creuset wares, down to mugs, trivets, food thermometers and over a dozen different Le Creuset-branded wine-openers. Le Creuset’s Stoneware French Press fits right into this line-up.
With this ingenious French press from Coffee Gator, you get a machine capable of not only brewing a few cups of delicious coffee but also keeping it at a drinkable temperature throughout the day. Made of military-grade stainless steel, this coffee maker features double walls that are thicker and heavier than almost any other French press out there. Unlike glass coffee makers, this press keeps coffee hot for at least one hour more.
Yet, all this tidiness comes at a rather high price. Shoppers could easily find another insulated steel press pot complete with a rubber filter gasket, then buy a decent (if not higher-precision) scale and a timer separately, and still come away with enough leftover cash for a couple of bags of fresh, locally roasted beans. Furthermore, users predisposed to this level of precision will probably already have a scale and timer on hand. But as an icebreaker for the clutter-averse newcomer to coffee geekery who’s more inclined to make the most of onboard features than to fiddle with multiple different devices in concert, the Precision Press is an excellent way to go.