Best French Press Brewers (Top 6 Coffee Presses 2018)
In my opinion, coffee brewed in a French Press is some of the best tasting coffee you can drink at home. It’s super easy to brew, there’s hardly any cleanup, and if you like your coffee strong like I do nothing beats it. However, not everyone is a fan and shares my enthusiasm for the French Press and say that even when using the best French Press method, the end results can produce “dirty” coffee because the porous coffee filter allows for much more sediment to enter into the cup that would otherwise remain behind.
I say what nonsense, sure you might get a bit more sediment passing through into your cup, but the end brew is a much fuller bodied cup of coffee. Plus, you aren't using paper filters which means that there is no paper waste. Not only that, because of the more porous metal filter found in the French Press much more of the coffee bean's essential (healthy) oils go directly into your coffee cup delivering much more flavor which is often lost when using paper coffee filters found on other coffee makers.
The French Press is a classic method of brewing coffee, and if done it right, it can produce a great cup. Like I said above if you love strong coffee, you'll love using the French Press coffee maker.
I’m guessing that if you are reading this, you either own a French Press and you're looking for a new replacement, or you have never owned a French Press coffee maker before and you're seeking to buy one (you’re a French Press virgin).
Well in this article I have handpicked some of the best French Press coffee pots that I have used in the past, or I own now. These coffee presses are suitable for both newbies and those that are seasoned pros. So sit back, grab a large cup of coffee and let’s take a look at my handpicked favorites.
Top Rated French Press Coffee Makers (BEST Picks 2018)
The French Press has many names depending on which part of the globe you're drinking your coffee. Some call it a cafetière others call it a coffee plunger, coffee press, or simply a press pot. Whatever you want to call it the French Press will almost all look the same and operate in the same fashion.
Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker
This exact Bodum French Press coffee maker was the first brewer I got my hands on when I discovered this full immersion brewing method. For a newbie venturing into making coffee using a French Press for the first time, the Bodum Chambord 8-cup is a great option. Why? Let’s take a closer look.
The Bodum Chambord Press coffee maker can brew up to 8-cups (roughly 34-ounces) of coffee in one session; this makes it the best option for 2 to 3 people. However, keep in mind that these cup sizes are estimates which are based on smaller European size cups, so if you drink coffee by the mugful you could probably get three full mugs out of this coffee press.
The main glass carafe body has been made from heat-resistant Borosilicate glass which is durable and can handle some high temperatures (just don’t place it on your stovetop). The carafe itself is also dishwasher proof; however, I tend to only put the glass carafe section inside the dishwasher and not the entire metal coffee press and filter.
SterlingPro French Coffee Press
SterlingPro French Coffee Press also makes up to 8-cups of coffee in one sitting and uses a durable, heat-resistant Borosilicate glass carafe, just like the above Bodum. However, there is one standout feature that I like about the SterlingPro which most other French Presses don't have, and that's the “double screen system.”
This double screen helps to reduce the amount of coffee grounds slipping through the mesh plunger and into your cup of coffee. This unique double mesh filter does make a difference compared to a regular single mesh filter screen and almost eliminates the coffee sludge which is often found in the bottom of your mug.
The SterlingPro and the Bodum have similar price tags, so I guess it boils down to your personal preference which you prefer, you won’t go wrong with either of them. The SterlingPro also seems to be a fan-favorite on almost all the French Press reviews I have read elsewhere. SterlingPro also makes a stainless steel coffee press more details can be found here.
KONA French Press Coffee
The KONA French Press coffee maker is available in two colors (black and a dark red). The design is a little different than the above two offerings (the Bodum and SterlingPro) the outer frame has been crafted from a durable insulating plastic material rather than stainless steel.
However, having plastic vs. stainless steel doesn't affect how the coffee is brewed, it simply means that the whole coffee pot and glass carafe can be safely placed in the dishwasher.
Apart from that small difference in design, the KONA French Press coffee maker is basically the same. It has a strong heat resistant, extra thick clear Borosilicate glass carafe, and a stainless steel mesh filter that fits snugly inside and the Kona can apparently also brew loose tea.
Stoneware Press from Le Creuset
This French Press a great alternative to those plastic and stainless steel coffee pots above. To be honest, I haven’t used this one, but I spotted it at my local store and thought it deserved a mention on this list.
Unlike a majority of the other French Presses, the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press has been made from a durable stoneware material with a high gloss enamel glazing. It's available in various colors such as cherry, blue, gray, yellow, green, and a few more that I can’t quite remember.
Even though the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press has been crafted out of a stoneware ceramic type of material, it still operates in the same way as any other French Press coffee brewer; it has a metal plunger with mesh filter inside just like the others above.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE BEST FRENCH PRESS
Even though the French Press is pretty simple to operate there are some variations, so it can be difficult to filter out the truly functional from the flashy knock-offs.
To help you weed out the unreliable, cheap looking press pots here is a list of what to look for when buying the perfect French Press.
Stainless Steel, Glass, or Ceramic
You will find that almost all of these coffee brewers will be manufactured from either stainless steel or durable borosilicate glass; however, there are some exceptions such as the popular Le Creuset Stoneware Press. Which Press Pot you decide to choose ultimately comes down to personal preference and visual appeal. Regarding functionality both steel and glass, and even ceramic are neck and neck, but here are some pros and cons to take into consideration.
A glass Press might look nice, but it isn’t going to retain the heat as well as a stainless steel Press. With that being said, there is nothing wrong with glass, and typically you’ll finish the coffee in under 10 minutes (any longer and your coffee will taste bitter) so the loss of heat is hardly negligible.
If you do want to keep your coffee hotter for longer stainless steel is going to be the better option as most of the best stainless steel French Press Pots will have a double wall design that helps to insulate the pot which in turn will hold the temperature for a longer period.
Another benefit of stainless steel over a glass or even ceramic Press is its durability. Even though the glass used in most Press Pots is strengthened borosilicate glass, it’s not going to survive a fall onto your tiled kitchen floor. The same is true with ceramic, and if dropped there is a very good chance that your Pot will be scattered over your floor in a million different pieces.
French Press Filter
You probably think that all filters in the French Press are equal, they are all the same, or function in the same way. While this was true, back in the day, nowadays you will find slightly different filters available. The regular filter comprises of a single mesh screen filter; there is nothing wrong with this type of coffee filter, the problem only becomes apparent when you grind your coffee far too fine. You will find that finer coffee will be able to pass through the filter and ultimately find its way into your coffee cup, leaving you with a coffee sludge at the bottom of your cup and a far more bitter tasting brew. Make sure to use a good French Press grinder like one of these.
To combat this most manufacturers of the best French Press brewers incorporate a double mesh filter that will catch almost all of the coffee that manages to slip through the first filter. However, the best way to stop coffee sediment ending up in your cup is to use the correct French Press grind size in the first place.
Does Size Mater?
Let’s be honest, do you settle for just 1-cup of coffee first thing in the morning or does it take 2 or 3 cups to transform you from a stumbling bleary-eyed mess into a proper functioning human being? I know how many I need to kick start me every morning and it’s definitely more than 1-cup!
Most French Presses don’t brew for just one, in fact, you’ll find that most standard size French Press coffee brewers range from 8 oz to 44 oz. For the typical coffee drinker, I would recommend choosing a 34 oz Press. This size is going to give you enough coffee for 6 to 8 cups depending on the size of your mug. Sure you’ll have some coffee left over if you aren’t sharing, but you can always keep that in your fridge and serve a cold brew!
Francois et Mimi Vintage Double Wall Coffee Press
This is the smallest French Press on our list of recommendations, with a small 12 oz capacity, it’s going to be the best choice for the solo-brewer. Crafted entirely from high-quality stainless steel and featuring a double wall interior that will keep your coffee hotter for longer the Francois et Mimi is an excellent choice for anyone new to French Press brewing or even a coffee aficionado.
It’s the Francois et Mimi’s vintage look that sets it apart from some of the other Presses found on our list. This classic French look never goes out of fashion; combine that with the durable stainless steel, and hardy mesh screen filter and this French Press will be able to churn hot piping hot coffee for many years with very little maintenance.
Frieling French Press (Double Wall Stainless Steel)
We have saved the best (or most expensive) to last. The Frieling French Press is the crème de crème of press pots; it really doesn’t get much better than this. Just like the above Francois et Mimi Press, the Frieling Sterlingpro double wall is manufactured entirely of high-quality stainless steel, however, unlike the Mimi, the Frieling can brew up to 36 oz. instead of only 12 oz. making it the better option more than 1-cup.
Just like the Francois et Mimi, the Frieling features a double-walled interior for better heat retention and it's worth pointing out that this quality stainless steel French Press was recommended over at Reddit. We also found that the filter has a better design than the Mini and also had a more snug fit; it's also worth mentioning that it seemed to able to filter out much more sediment and unwanted coffee grounds than some of the others.
How We Tested Each French Press
Our testing process is pretty simple. First, we took each French Press and put them in the dishwasher to see how they would hold up. Almost all manufacturers say that their press pots are dishwasher safe but over the years we have found that isn't always the case, so this test was a must as far as we were concerned.
Secondly, we filled each French Press carafe to the brim with boiling water to make sure that they were durable enough to withstand high temperatures as promised by the manufacturer. Of course, the stainless steel pots were a pass, we were more concerned with the glass carafes beakers.
Another important test we carried out was to see if a pre-ground, store-bought coffee at a medium grind would be suitable for the mesh filters inside of the French Press pots. We always recommend that you grind your own coffee at home. A French Press grind is typically a coarse to medium-coarse grind, but we also understand that many of your buy pre-ground coffee so a medium grind is going to be the product you would commonly find on the store shelves.
So bearing that in mind it’s important to know whether your French Press is going to work well with a store bought a medium grind. We brewed batches of Folgers Classic Roast Ground Coffee (medium grind), Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend (medium grind), and Starbucks Breakfast Blend (medium grind) and noted how much of the grounds remained and how much slipped through the filter.
It’s also important to note that we did also disassemble each of the French Press in between batches to see how easy they were to clean.
Each batch of coffee brewed was poured into cups and examined for taste, clarity, and how much sediment was left in the bottom of the cup.
All of the French Press coffee makers on our list passed all of our tests with flying colors, however, almost all did let some fine coffee sediment through the mesh filter. But this is understandable when you're using store bought pre-ground coffee at a medium grind. We recommend that you grind your own whole bean at a coarse grind setting for better results.
Our BEST French Press Pick For 2018
Bodum French Press coffee maker is our top pick and came out as the clear winner in our tests. If you're looking for a new French Press we cant recommend the Bodum enough, it's a GREAT buy!
Benefits of Brewing in the French Press?
Many people including myself believe that the French Press makes some of the best coffee. Still not convinced? Below are some reasons why these French coffee brewers are a must have for any coffee lover.
French Press brewing allows for steeping. With a French Press, your ground coffee is fully submerged inside of the water or what is termed in the coffee world as “steeping.” You're in control of how long your coffee steeps, a longer steeping time would result in a stronger, more bitter tasting cup, whereas a shorter steep time would give you a weaker less bitter tasting cup – you get the idea.
No paper filter. Other coffee brewing methods typically use a paper filter, and the water then flows through that. Depending on the grind size and the type of filter used the ground coffee has very limited interaction with the water as it passes through the grounds.
Flavor and oils. These are removed when you use paper filters because the French Press doesn’t use a paper filter, and the coffee grounds are fully submerged (steeped) in the water, you will retain all of the essential oils, and flavors often lost with regular paper filters.
Fewer impurities and contamination. Other coffee makers such as auto-drip brewers typically have a lot of plastic parts, and the water has to pass through various channels and tubes before it even reaches your coffee and finally your cup. The more traveling your water has to do and extra the interaction with plastic parts as well as those paper filters the more chance you’ll have of some unwanted chemicals and impurities contaminating your brew (yuk!). When it comes to brewing coffee in a French Press, you drink your coffee how its meant to be drunk, without any impurities, trust me you’ll taste the difference!
Complete saturation of the coffee grounds. Often with auto-drip coffee brewers, you'll find that your coffee never gets fully saturated. This is often due to the poor design of the water sprinkler. When you use any of the above top French Press coffee makers, you'll never have that problem of not fully saturating the grounds.
There's no going back. When you buy a French Press coffee maker and use it for the first time, you will immediately notice the difference. You will be able to taste all of the flavors found in the coffee and to be honest; you’ll probably kick yourself as to why you haven’t tried this coffee brewing method before.
Best water temperature. Auto-drip coffee makers tend to heat up the water too quickly, and then it cools down before the coffee it even reaches your cup. Which means the right temperature only happens during the filtration process (if you’re lucky). From my experience, French Press pots hold and maintain the recommended coffee brewing temperature a lot better especially if you pre-rinse the glass carafe.
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