What is the Best French Press?
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 a “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 bullshit nonsense, sure you might get a bit more sediment into your final brew but the end brew is a much fuller bodied cup of coffee. Because you aren’t using a paper filter means there is no paper waste, but 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 often lost when using paper coffee filters on other coffee makers.
The French Press is one of the most classic methods of brewing coffee, and if you do it right, it can produce a great cup. Like I said if you love a strong coffee using the French Press coffee maker is the only way to go.
I’m guessing that if you are reading this you either own a French Press and are looking for a new replacement or you have never owned a French Press coffee maker before and are looking to buy one (you’re a French Press virgin).
Well in this article I have handpicked some of the French Press coffee pots that I have used in the past or actually own now that are suitable for the newbies to coffee presses and those that are seasoned pros. So sit back, grab a large cup of coffee and let’s take a look.
Recommended Best French Press Coffee Makers
The French Press has many names depending on what part of the globe you are drinking your coffee. Some call it a cafetière others call it a coffee plunger, coffee press, or simply a press pot. Whatever you call it the French Presses typically all look the same and operate in the same fashion. (check out my article and amateurish video on How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker for french press coffee instructions)
These are my top rated French Presses of 2017
- Bodum Chambord French Press
- SterlingPro French Coffee Press
- KONA French Press Coffee
- Stoneware Press from Le Creuset
Keep on reading for more details on each one and make sure to check out my full comparison table here for a few more options.
Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker
This exact Bodum French Press coffee maker was the first brewer I got my hands on when I was first introduced to this brewing method whilst I was on vacation in Paris. 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 for 2 to 3 people. Keep in mind that these cup sizes are estimates and based on smaller European size cups, so if you drink coffee by the mugful you could probably get 3 out of this Coffee Press.
The glass carafe is made from heat-resistant Borosilicate glass that is durable and can handle some high temperatures (just don’t stick it on your stovetop). The carafe itself is also dishwasher proof; however, I tend to only place the glass carafe in the dishwasher and not the entire metal coffee press and filter.
SterlingPro French Coffee Press
The SterlingPro French coffee press is actually the coffee pot I owned and used before I purchased the above Bodum. If you didn’t know otherwise, you would think that they are both the same as they look identical. To be honest there is no difference between to two when to comes to brewing and the taste of your final brew.
SterlingPro French Coffee Press also makes up to 8-cups of coffee in one brew and uses a durable heat resistant Borosilicate glass carafe. However, there is one standout feature that I like about the SterlingPro and that is the “double screens system” which helps to reduce the amount of coffee grounds that try and slip through into your cup of coffee.
The SterlingPro and the Bodum are priced around the same, so I guess it boils down to your personal preference which you prefer, you won’t go wrong with either of them. The SterlingPro seems to also be a fan-favorite on many of the best French Press reviews I have read elsewhere. SterlingPro also make a stainless steel coffee press more details can be found on my French Press comparison table.
KONA French Press Coffee
The identical KONA French Press coffee maker is what I purchase for my sister, they come in two colors (black and a dark red) I opted for the red, she loves it by the way.
The design is a little different than the above two (the Bodum and SterlingPro), no major changes in how the coffee is brewed but the frame is made from a durable insulating plastic material rather than stainless steel. This means that the whole coffee pot and carafe can be placed in the dishwasher.
Apart from that small difference, 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 can apparently also allow you to brew loose tea, so my sister tells me (but don’t quote me on that as I’ve never tried).
Stoneware Press from Le Creuset
This is a great alternative to the plastic or stainless steel coffee pots above. To be honest I haven’t used this one but I saw it at my local store and thought it deserves a mention.
The Le Creuset Stoneware French Press is actually made from a durable stoneware material that has a high gloss enamel glazing. It comes in various colors such as cherry, blue, grey, yellow, green, and a few more I can’t quite remember.
Even though the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press is crafted out of a stoneware ceramic type of material it still operates in the same way and it has a metal plunger with mesh filter inside just like the others above.
Why Use a French Press?
Many people including myself believe that the French Press makes some of the best coffee. If you are 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 are 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. Other coffee brewing methods typically use a filter and the water then flows through that and depending on the grind size and the type of filter the ground coffee has very limited interaction with the water as it passes through the grounds. Check out my best coffee grinders for the French Press here to make sure you’re getting the right grind!
- Flavor and oils 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 oils and flavor often lost due to being absorbed with regular paper filters. French Presses don’t soak up any flavor and due to the tiny holes in the mesh plunger you may also get tiny bits of coffee grounds in the coffee that help to percolate flavor.
- Less 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 reaches your coffee and finally your cup. The more traveling your water has to do and extra 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 will find that your coffee never gets fully saturated. This is often done to poor design of the water sprinkler. When you use any of the above top French Press coffee makers you will never have that problem of not fully saturating the grounds. This means you are getting your moneys worth with complete saturation of the coffee which in-turn will give you a better tasting cup. Looking for the some best coffee beans here are my recommendations so far.
- You won’t lose or miss a thing. 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 of the coffee and you’ll probably kick yourself as to why you haven’t tried this coffee brewing method before.
- French press coffee is at the optimum temperature. Auto-drip coffee makers tend to heat up the water quickly, then it cools down before the coffee is filtered and 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 per-rinse the glass carafe.
Final Ramblings: Why I Love My French Press
It’s also worth pointing out that even the best French Press will have a shelf life, by that I mean they don’t last forever. The first thing that tends to wear down is the metal mesh filter used in the plunger section. Sure, you can often buy replacement filters but I have found that it is often cheaper just to buy a new French Press rather than replace the mesh filter itself.
Myself and my wife love our French Press coffee maker and it’s our go-to coffee brewer of choice for 90% of the brews we make at home, unless we are feeling extremely lazy and use the BUNN. If you have never used a French Press and love your coffee I highly recommend that you buy one of these top rated French Press coffee makers listed above and give this traditional flavorful brewing method a try. Let me know how you get on below in the comments.