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 “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 lost when using paper coffee filters found on other coffee makers.
The French Press is really 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 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 I own now. The 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
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 Presses typically all look the same and operate in the same fashion.
These are my top rated French Presses of 2017
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 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 make a stainless steel coffee press more details can be found here.
Check out my best coffee grinders for the French Press here to make sure you’re getting the right grind!
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 doesnt 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 desgin, 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; it has a metal plunger with mesh filter inside just like the others above.
If you want more details on each of these French Press Coffee makers make sure to check out my full comparison table here.
Benefits Of 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.
- 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 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, 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.
Coffee in a hurry? If you are looking for a French Press travel mug that you can take with you when you leave the house, make sure to check out my Bodum Travel French Press review here.
Why I Love My French Press
My wife and I love our French Press coffee maker and it’s our go-to coffee brewer 90% of the time unless we are feeling incredibly lazy and use the BUNN. If you've never used a French Press and love your coffee, I highly recommend that you buy one of these 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.