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The best French press is a premium coffee maker that allows the water to make prolonged contact with your coffee grounds. They can extract more flavor from the grounds than a traditional coffee maker, they’re easy to use, and they don’t take up a lot of space. With a very simple design, anyone can learn to use a French press and enjoy better-tasting coffee. This combination of factors is what makes these devices one of the best coffee makers you will ever use.
While a French press offers an elevated coffee experience and will likely last a very long time, it can also be quite pricey if you want a model made with quality. However, it’s worth the investment for a coffee lover who wants the best that their coffee beans have to offer.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about how a French press works and why you should try it.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The design of this French Press makes it highly durable, especially with the high-quality materials used. There are four types of filters to ensure that bits of coffee doesn’t end up in your cup. It’s also fine in dishwashing machines.
This model has a triple-layered filter that ensures grounds don’t get through. This allows oils to pass through, ensuring you receive a delicious, full-bodied cup without coffee grounds floating in it. It also comes with a bonus matching travel canister you can hold your coffee beans or grounds in. Unfortunately, you’ll have to disassemble it. Some consumers report that they have a hard time disassembling this model, which might be a turn-off for some people.
The design is thick and heavy to ensure durability and is made with 304 18/10 double-layered stainless steel. This is crucial for those using this model to travel or camp. The double-layered design also keeps your coffee hot for an extra hour compared to competing models. It’s also drop-proof and rust-proof to further lengthen the longevity that it offers. You can also use it to make tea, cold brew, frothed milk, hot chocolate, and more.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll enjoy the high-capacity nature of this model when you’re entertaining guests or looking to make multiple beverages at once. It has superior heat retention when compared to competing models, as well.
Superior heat retention is a fantastic feature built into this French press. It has a double-walled construction that ensures you won’t lose any flavor as your coffee slowly steeps. This is extremely important since the heat source comes from the water poured in, and the French press doesn’t supply any on its own. You’ll want to be cautious while brewing, however. The outside of this French Press is known for getting a little hotter than what might be safe to handle.
This design is made with 18/10 stainless steel, including the interior and the exterior. This will ensure the durability of the design and will allow you to keep brewing with it for a long time to come. There is a bonus set of stainless steel screens included. This traps even the tiniest bits of coffee grounds, so you have a pure cup of perfectly filtered coffee ready to drink immediately.
Award: BEST FOR RUST RESISTANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: The rust-resistant material is a massive bonus for this model. This will keep your French Press working like new for a long time to come. There is also a handy brewing manual that will be helpful for beginners and pros alike.
There are two stainless steel screens and a four-level filtration system built into this model. This ensures that every cup will be just as good as the last, and you won’t have to worry about stray grounds getting into your cup. There is also a lid strainer and a spring-loaded base, which also help filter the grounds out. Be careful when picking this French Press up, however. The glass carafe can be a little loose in the holder and slip out if you don’t support it.
It’s made with high-quality borosilicate glass. This means that you won’t have to worry about cracking, shattering, or warping when you pour boiling water over your coffee grounds. The design is rust- and corrosion-resistant. This means that you don’t have to question longevity or whether your appliance will be able to withstand your daily usage habits. The stainless steel is 304-grade, one of the best types to use for a French press.
Award: BEST FOR QUICK CLEAN-UP
WHY WE LIKE IT: This user-friendly design will be great for beginners who are just learning how to brew correctly. There are no toxic materials used in the manufacturing of the invention, as well, and it cleans up super easily.
This elegant design looks great on any countertop and will elevate any brewing experience. It has an entirely transparent glass beaker. This means you can monitor the brew while it takes place and stops it if anything starts to go wrong. This also ensures that you’ll know immediately if any grounds get through the filtration system. Unfortunately, this is a relatively lightweight design that might feel flimsy to you. If you want a French Press with some weight behind it, this isn’t an excellent option for you.
It’s also much quieter than a traditional stainless steel press because it’s made with borosilicate glass. This reduces the noise that might otherwise bother you during your morning brew. It’s also a highly durable material that will hold up to boiling water without fear of cracking. The powerful filtration technique involves a double-filter system made out of stainless steel. This is the ultimate system for minimizing the number of grounds that get through.
Award: BEST FOR HIGH-CAPACITY BREWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: The stainless steel plunger ensures that coffee is adequately pressed and flavor extraction is optimized. This is a high-capacity option that would be great for entertaining guests or ensuring you always have a cup ready.
Sometimes you just need a few cups of coffee to get through the day, and other times you have guests you want to entertain with a fresh cup. Either way, this high-capacity option will efficiently serve both you and any guests by whipping up a liter of coffee in just four minutes. Some consumers report that they had problems trying to clean their French press. Coffee grounds have a habit of getting stuck in tight places you can’t easily reach.
This model only takes coarse ground coffee, hot water, and a little elbow grease to get a perfect cup brewing. You’ll love the 3-part stainless steel plunger, which has a mesh filter attached so you can keep coffee grounds from getting into your cup. This is far better than a paper filter which will absorb much of the coffee oil and flavor. There is a patented safety lid that ensures contents won’t spill, which can cause burns.
Award: BEST FOR TRAVELING
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll enjoy the fact that this is a quick-brewing option that can have your cup ready within four minutes. The brand uses thick glass to ensure safety and durability for this design. It’s also highly portable.
This little French press is a safe pick whenever you need a speedy brew. It’ll get fresh, full-bodied coffee in your cup in around four minutes. This stylish model is fantastic for traveling because of how quick it is and because it has a small, lightweight design, making it highly portable. However, you should always take extra caution when handling or cleaning the glass of this French press. The glass is known for being a little on the fragile side.
The carafe is made with heat-resistant borosilicate glass. This ensures that heat is kept in the system longer, giving you a better brew with a higher extraction rate for flavor. There is a stainless steel frame to keep the glass carafe safe from breaking, with a handle so that you never have to touch the hot part while brewing. There is an ultra-fine filtration system in this 34-ounce option that ensures your coffee is bold, flavorful, and doesn’t have any grounds floating around.
A French press immerses coffee grounds in hot water, allowing them to steep. This prolonged contact with the coffee grounds increases extraction and delivers more flavor. By pressing down on the filter, you can separate the water from the grounds and then pour the liquid from the carafe.
The purpose of a French press is to hold the coffee in the water for a longer period of time while still making it easy to pour into your mug. While the configuration of the handle and the body varies, these coffee makers are generally ergonomic and simple.
Many people don’t realize that you can also use a French press for steeping loose tea, frothing milk for cappuccinos, or making a cold brew. Whether you like your coffee hot or cold, French press coffee makers are versatile tools.
French Press vs Standard Coffee Maker
A French press differs from a standard drip coffee maker in how long the water comes in contact with the coffee grounds. A traditional coffee maker will pour hot water over the grounds in a filter and then dispense the liquid into a cup or carafe. The water isn’t in contact with the grounds for very long, and it cannot extract as much flavor as a French press can.
Conversely, a French press allows the water to make prolonged contact with the coffee grounds, which extracts more flavor than a traditional coffee pot. This method will enable you to steep the coffee for as little or as much time as you’d like, resulting in a cup of coffee matching your desired strength and flavor. A French press enables a greater variety of coffee strengths and intense flavor. It also makes it easy to test your results with varying amounts of grounds and water temperatures.
Using a French press is simple. Place coffee grounds in the filter and then fill the reservoir with water, preferably at 200 degrees. This is the ideal temperature for extraction. Anything hotter, and your coffee will taste burnt.
Simply let the water and grounds steep for about four minutes. Less than four minutes will produce a weak cup of coffee, while more than eight minutes may result in something too bitter to drink. Once it’s done steeping, press down on the handle to separate the grounds from the liquid and pour your coffee into a mug.
The benefit of a French press is the increased flavor it offers. It extracts more flavor from the coffee grounds than a traditional coffee maker, resulting in a richer, delicious coffee.
A French press doesn’t contain any complex electronics and very few moving pieces. If appropriately maintained and well cared for, a French press will last for a lifetime. Be sure to clean it after every use to ensure that it doesn’t stain or grow bacteria. Ceramic and glass are breakable, but they offer a classic look and won’t show as much scratching or staining. These materials are likely to last a lifetime.
Stainless steel is more durable but prone to scratching. It’s not likely that a stainless French press will break, but it might eventually become scratched enough that you want to replace it. However, this could still take up to 15-20 years.
A plastic French press may be dishwasher safe, affordable, and effective for a time, but it won’t take long to start showing stains. It may only last a few years, even if you care for it properly.
A quality French press is a great investment and a vast improvement to your brewing process, so consider material and size first, followed by the number of filters.
The most expensive materials are going to be glass, ceramic, and stainless steel. Prices will vary depending on size, complexity, and manufacturer, but one of these materials is usually the best option for most people.
Glass is convenient because it’s clear, so you can immediately see the strength of your coffee based on its color. It’s also a great way to learn about how a French press works by using it because you can see all of the components of the machine as they operate.
Most glass French presses are made with a thicker, more durable material called borosilicate glass, reducing the risk of breakage. Some are dishwasher safe. They are also built to handle extreme temperature changes without cracking, much like the best iced coffee makers.
Ceramic is a timeless option that offers plenty of classic designs in different colors and patterns. These are fun to match with your existing dishes or decor, but they tend to be pretty heavy and breakable. They are also prone to scratching or chipping.
Stainless steel is another excellent option because it’s incredibly durable and may even be dishwasher safe. However, stainless will scratch over time, so you need to use more care when cleaning or scrubbing.
2. What size should I get?
There’s a variety of French press sizes, and each manufacturer may measure size differently. Some will measure the capacity in ounces of coffee, while others will indicate how many cups of coffee it will brew at once. A 32 or 34-ounce size is perfect for sharing, while smaller options work for just one or two people.
It’s also important to consider whether a large French press will still allow you to make smaller batches, so you have some flexibility. If not, you may need two different sizes. If you have espresso drinkers in the house, you may want to read about the best espresso machines with grinders in addition to having a French press.
3. What kind of filter should I look for?
French presses include a variety of different filters. Pay particular attention to how small the holes are because their size will impact the ground coffee you can use. Fine grinds require smaller filter holes, while you can use coarse grinds with larger holes. Some French press designs use a double filter design to ensure that nothing gets left behind.
This is largely based on your personal preferences. Some people prefer a 1:16 ratio of coffee to water while other people will like something more or less. The guidelines for balancing your ratio are based on brew time and grind size. A smaller grind produces a stronger coffee, so you don’t need as much coffee to get a strong flavor. A coarse grind extracts flavor more quickly but it won’t be as strong, so you’ll need to use more grounds to get the strength you want. Above all, you need to do what tastes good to you. Experiment with different ratios until you find the right one for you.
A French press is generally pretty easy to use, but it often depends on the design. Some models will advertise a certain capacity, but they will overflow before that due to the expansion of coffee grounds as they bloom. A quality French press won’t overflow at maximum capacity. The shape of the handle and the brewer will also have a bit impact on design and use. Tall brewers can be hard to clean but wide brewers allow the coffee to cool faster. Some models have ergonomic handles while others simply get in the way, making them hard to store. The design of the spout and the lid is also critical. A broad spout will pour more quickly and be hard to control, especially when the pot is full. However, the lid can help control the pour as long as the positioning is accurate. It also needs to fit securely so you don’t have to hold it in place while you pour.
A French press has many uses. Many people use them for cold brew coffee, but you can also use them for juice, tea, and infused water. They’re even useful for frothing milk for a cappuccino or latte.
The best grind size for a French press is a coarse grind. Fine grounds may produce a bitter coffee and slip through the filter into your cup. Coarse grounds produce a balanced flavor and won’t make their way into your coffee. It can be hard to find coarse grinds at the store, so you may have to grind your own at home, but it’s worth it for a better flavor.