There’s a complicated way of making coffee, and then there’s the easy way. Believe it or not, opting for a French Press can get you a nice, hot beverage with just a bit of time, and a nice, downward motion.
French Presses in general provide a unique coffee experience. The oils and flavors in the ground are enhanced as the user brews coffee with it. They wait for the water to become hot, then stir it into the carafe. Coffee percolates in the hot water and the result is an effective infusion of coarse grounds combined with water. Blooming takes about half a minute; the user covers and allows the flavor to really come out for another 3 minutes or so.
The pressing part is carried out by the plunger as it serves to “squeeze” all that coffee from the wet coffee grounds. The filter and the screen take away the grit and sediments that could result from the process, which ends in a smooth, drinkable coffee you can enjoy. The effort is much more than brewing the standard K-cup, but it rewards you with better-tasting coffee. That, and knowing you made the coffee yourself makes it more rewarding than using an automatic coffee machine.
The Main Components of a French Press
Look for these 3 factors when choosing the right French press- the lid, the plunger and the carafe.
The lid might be the most overlooked part of a French Press, but it’s one of the most important elements. It should be made from a material that blocks the heat from coming out of the spout during the brewing process and after. Most lids on our list have a guard which does trap in essential heat.
The plunger itself is made of several smaller parts- the filter, plunger and handle. When one pushes down with the handle, the filter invariably presses down and puts the grounds towards the carafe’s bottom. Inspect the edges of the filter- if they’re plastic, they won’t last long after all that applied pressure. After some years and some usage, the grounds start to slip in through the space and lower the brew quality. Metal parts may be better since they won’t degrade unless they’re bent.
Carafes are the ones that hold the water and coffee. Usually, they have a designated spout for pouring your beverage into a cup or a mug. French Press can either come in a stainless steel carafe, ceramic, plastic or tempered glass material, with each one having their own advantages and disadvantages.
Stainless Steel. This material won’t easily break or interfere as your coffee brews, but the opaque attribute means you won’t be able to see the coffee within. Stainless steel brushed and shiny finishes may be marred by fingerprints and scratches as the user handles them for day to day use. Some coffee drinkers say that this type of carafe material may leave a metallic taste on the coffee. Stainless steel carafes are known to last a virtual lifetime.
Plastic. A hardy material, but it’s porous attribute might not produce the best-tasting coffee. Those who think that chemicals could seep into their coffee as they brew should consider other carafe material. The aesthetic design is similar to glass carafes.
Tempered Glass. Looks stylish and is good for brewing, but tempered glass can break quite easily. Glass carafes are the most common type of carafe. Coffee enthusiasts swear by glass as the best material to make or store coffee in. They do not have built-in handles, and must be slotted in holders. Cleaning might prove to be a hassle as you will need to take them out of the designated holder to clean them.
Ceramic. Ceramic carafes can be made with built-in handles and they come in many stylish designs. A ceramic container works effectively in keeping its contents warm. While ceramic is more durable than glass, they can still break if dropped at considerably tall heights.
Best French Press Coffee Makers Reviews
(Updated January 2017)
9Bodum Stainless Steel Columbia Thermal Press Pot
A seamless stainless steel polished brush finish surrounds the exterior of the Bodum Columbia Thermal Pot. Like most other french press coffee makers, this one has a double wall construction that keeps its contents piping hot for up to a couple of hours. On the inside, you get a mesh and silicon filter for minimizing sediment and producing a fuller filtration process.
Construction is top-notch with a few parts made of plastic. It’s a non-factor though, as the Columbia Thermal Press Pot is very hardy, easy to clean and overall a good buy.
– Double-walled stainless steel construction
– Brew 8 cups in one go
– Keeps coffee warm for up to two hours
– Finely netted press screen
– Large handle
– Dishwasher safe
– Comes with a measuring spoon and twist-shut lid
– More expensive than other models
8SterlingPro Stainless Steel Double Wall French Press
There are currently two kinds of SterlingPro French Presses- one that’s made of glass and the other is a stainless steel type. The stainless steel version holds the title of being the most favored item on Amazon under the Gourmet Coffee Gifts section. The features that comprise this product make up for a stellar coffee maker.
You get the Double Screen system and a double wall construction that preserves the temperature of the coffee inside for an ample time. The coffee that comes out will have little to no sedimentation at all. The overall form boasts the best of both form and function. An oft-overlooked function is how the SterlingPro French Press can be used to make hot tea if you prefer it.
– Makes smooth and tasty cups of coffee
– Unique design
– Heat resistant glass carafe
– Second filter prevents unwanted grounds
– Great value for the price
– Plunger and filter don’t detach easily
Best Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
7Frieling French Press 18/10 Polished Stainless Steel
Stainless steel construction is favored than glass when it comes to French Press products because the element typically retains four times more heat than glass. Incidentally, it could hold the cool for far longer as well, making for a great container for your summer concoction. As you’d know, a French Press can brew either coffee grounds or loose tea leaves to create a delicious drink. The Frieling brand isn’t the least expensive option, but it holds a definite advantage over glass carafes.
The 18/10 variant comes in 4 different finishes and size- the 8, 16, 23 and 36 oz french presses. Each product comes with an included manufacturer warranty good for 5 years.
– Coffee stays hot longer
– Easy to use, clean and maintain
– Durable, long-lasting appliance
– Great for loose leaf tea
– Many would prefer a bigger version
6Bodum Brazil Coffeemaker French Press
Expect 3 things when you get the Bodum Brazil French Press- a great price, good design and an attractive form. The Bodum Brazil is one of the most affordable French Press options in this list. The lightweight glass beaker is made of borosilicate material; the same lightweight factor is applied to the polypropylene handle and base. The lid is domed and houses the patented Bodum aroma and safety seal, locking in the temperature for hours.
You’d be happy to know that all parts are safe for dishwashing on the top shelf. Choose from a variety of sizes and colors that match your unique personality and taste.
– Portable French press
– Coffee is as good as it gets
– Finest method of brewing at an incredible price
– Dishwasher safe
– Simple hand-operated coffee maker
– Safety lid prevents splashes and spills
– Plastic parts don’t seem durable
– Cleaning up requires a bit more effort
5Grosche Madrid Premium French Press Tea & Coffee Maker
Get a one-of-a-kind french press when you opt for the Groshe Madrid Premium. The design and construction makes it stand out in the stylish category. The presence of two stainless steel coffee filters ensure no ground sediment will be left as your drink your favorite coffee. The stunning chrome finish, plus the handmade borosilicate glass beaker looks amazing anywhere you put it.
The parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Every time you buy a Groshe product, the company provides drinking water for up to 5 days to those in need via their Groshe Safe Water program.
– Compact and sleek design
– Dual filtering system
– Suitable for coffee and tea
– Simple to use
– Guaranteed no grounds in coffee
– Lid and handle for added durability
– Components are dishwasher safe
– Coffee tends to overflow with excess force
– Could use thicker, more resilient glass
4Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker
Make taste, not waste is the company’s motto when it comes to creating great coffee, and this translates well to the Bodum Chambord 8-Cup French Press. All the parts that make up the Chambord are top-notch: a stainless steel as well as glass housing to provide the cleanest coffee ground translation into a delicious brew.
The American Culinary Institute gave the Bodum Chambord the distinction of being “The Best French Press Coffee Maker” in the year 2004. Coffee quality, ease of use and safety were some of the essential factors that made up the award. The product might cost more, but the quality of brew is unsurpassed.
– Extracts aromatic oils and flavors
– Heat resistant handle
– Dishwasher safe 3-part stainless steel mesh filter
– Easy to use
– Great look, great coffee
– Sludge tends to frequently accumulate
– Glass can easily break
3SterlingPro Espresso And Coffee Maker
SterlingPro’s Coffee and Espresso Maker shares the top Amazon French Press spot with the KONA brand for good reasons. The patented Double Screen System protects the user from getting grounds into their coffee cup. The stylish glass and metal housing looks great on any kitchen countertop.
The carafe is crafted from sturdy borosilicate glass, with hints of chrome in the lid and plunger. The plastic lining on the lid keeps your beverage hot and nice to drink. Detach the carafe and put it in the dishwasher for cleaning. The product simply works as advertised!
– Superior durability
– Heat resistant pot with comfortable handle
– Double-screen filtration
– Double-wall insulation retains heat longer
– Can be used as a mug
– Comes with spare replacement screens
– Lid has plastic liner
– Cleaning up can be tricky
2KONA French Press Espresso, Tea and Coffee Maker
Look to the KONA French Press for an evolution of how French Press coffeemaking should be done. The extra thick borosilicate glass is woven with stainless steel highlights and stylish markings. Each design structure leads to a sturdy french press coffee maker that should stand the test of time.
It’s very easy to use even for beginners. Cleaning is also an exercise in convenience. Simply detach the glass carafe and put it in the top rack. The KONA Coffee, Tea and Espresso Maker includes a replacement screen and a coffee scoop that adds immense value.
– Protective outer shell
– Stainless steel filter screen infuser
– Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
– Guaranteed full coffee or tea flavor
– Heat resistant frame
– Easy-grip handle
– Comes with only 1 set of screens
– Glass beaker can’t be detached from holder
Best Travel Mug French Press Coffee Maker
1Bodum Stainless Steel Insulated Travel French Press
Bodum’s French Press-type travel mug allows coffee lovers a single serve of fresh brew each time. The excellent double wall mug makes use of a vacuum seal that keeps your coffee hot for hours on end without becoming too hot to touch.
Coffee ground sediments are kept to a minimum, thanks to a combination of mesh and silicon filter inside the travel mug. Rounding it out are ergonomic grips and a non-skid rubber base to make sure you enjoy your coffee down to the last drop.
– Brew coffee or tea on-the-go
– Non-slip silicone grip
– Tight screw-on lid
– Keeps heat in while staying cool on the outside
– Easily comes apart for cleaning
– Dishwasher safe
– May squeeze in grinds to the coffee
– The French press mug is a bit heavy