The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best French Press Coffee Maker
Looking for the best coffee french press that will elevate your morning routine to a whole new level of deliciousness? Look no further! In this article, we have put several French presses to the test, meticulously comparing their performance, durability, and, of course, the quality of java they produce. So, whether you're a devoted coffee connoisseur or simply seeking that perfect cuppa to kick-start your day, join us as we unravel the secrets of the best coffee french press on the market, and discover the one that will bring the aroma of freshly brewed perfection right to your kitchen countertop. Let's dive in!
French Press Coffee Maker
MATERIAL Your first significant decision is the material of the beaker. Many of us prefer our coffee hot. Glass has a classic feel and allows you to see the coffee level, but it doesn't retain heat as well as stainless steel french presses. It's definitely not as effective as double-wall stainless steel in retaining heat. We tested a few other materials for camping purposes, but none of them matched up.
FILTER CONSTRUCTION The least enjoyable part of French press coffee is often the last few sips, which can be gritty. Our tests have shown that there is no magic formula for achieving a clean cup with a French press brewer. Some manufacturers use a silicone gasket while others use a classic spring. Some employ a two-layer mesh, while others opt for a single layer. None of these components is a fail-safe solution. Check out the individual reviews to see how much grit each filter allows through.
CLEANING Basic dishwashing will remove the majority of coffee grounds from your carafe and filter. However, from time to time, you'll want to disassemble the filter mechanism and clear out any remaining residue. None of the French presses we tested had any unique ways to avoid this, so cleaning is a necessary task if you want to enjoy your coffee.
PRICE We tested a range of French presses, from $19 to $100, to see what you get for your money. The results were unsurprising — the cheapest models were not of good quality, while the most expensive ones did not justify the extra cost. The sweet spot appears to be between $30 and $40. BEST FRENCH PRESS COFFEE MAKERSTESTING
We brewed a pot of coffee using the Guatemalan Huehuetenango Medium Roast from Fresh Roasted Coffee, following the recipe provided above. We took the temperature immediately after brewing, then poured two 100 mL cups for tasting. The remaining coffee was left for 20 minutes, and we took another temperature reading to evaluate the carafe's insulation properties. Additionally, we monitored heat retention over the course of an hour to compare the performance of double-wall metal presses with glass presses.
Next, we conducted a new test that we are proud of: we filtered the remaining 550 mL of coffee through a paper filter and dried it in the Arizona sun until it was completely dry. We compared the weight of the filters to measure the amount of sediment left in the finished coffee.
The Best Values
Our top two presses performed extremely well and are priced competitively. Choose the one that suits your personal style, and you won't be disappointed.
The Secura is our favorite model in the test, featuring a great design and top marks in every aspect we evaluated. It is available in ½ liter, 1 liter, and 1½ liter sizes. Made from double-wall stainless steel, it excels in heat retention.
It retained heat exceptionally well, with a temperature drop of only 13°F after 20 minutes. The filter features a double screen, which performed the best in our comparison, allowing just 0.44 grams of sediment into the coffee. We also appreciated the handle design, which provided a sure grip and easy pouring. The coffee produced by the Secura was particularly good, likely due to the excellent heat retention that kept the water in the ideal brewing zone for longer than other presses. At just $30 for the 1-liter model, it offers outstanding value and earns a spot on our list of the "Best Coffee Gift Ideas."
The Veken performs equally well as the Secura and is a close contender for the top spot. It features a modern industrial look in grey, black, silver, or stainless silver, with options in 1 liter or 1½ liter sizes. With double-wall construction, it provides excellent heat retention, with a temperature drop of only 15°F in 20 minutes.
The double filter of the Veken is highly effective, allowing just 0.45 grams of sediment into your cup. Additionally, it comes with extra accessories, such as a cleaning brush, long spoon, and electric milk frother. We particularly liked the long spout, which facilitated a smooth and precise pour, resulting in some of the best coffee we tasted during the test. At $27, the Veken offers excellent value and is a fantastic choice.
The Expensive Ones
If you have a strong preference for these models, don't let me discourage you — they are indeed excellent coffee pots. However, in our testing, they did not outperform our top picks at a fraction of the price.
The Bodum Columbia has a familiar look that you often see in nice coffee shops, indicating its durability. It features a design of big sweeping curves, with double-wall stainless steel construction available in ½ liter, 1 liter, and 1½ liter sizes.
The double-wall construction provides excellent insulation, with a temperature drop of just 17°F in 20 minutes. We had high expectations for the single filter with a silicone gasket, but unfortunately, it allowed 0.85 grams of sediment. On a positive note, the handle and long spout were impressive, offering a secure grip and easy pouring. Overall, the Bodum Columbia is a high-quality pot (excluding the filter issue), but the high price of makes it a tough sell.
At $100, the Frieling stands as the most expensive pot in our test. The build quality certainly reflects the price, with every piece demonstrating solidity and high-quality craftsmanship. It is available in 17 ounce, 23 ounce, 36 ounce, and 44 ounce sizes, in brushed or polished finishes.
The Frieling boasts an aggressively industrial look, softened by the curve in the handle, which aids in grip. With double-wall construction, it provides exceptional heat retention, with a temperature drop of 17°F in 20 minutes. The heavy double-mesh filter fits tightly into the carafe. However, it wasn't as effective as expected, leaving 0.79 grams of sediment in the test filter. Overall, the Frieling is very good, but it does not surpass the Secura or Veken in performance, and its high cost makes it a less favorable option.
The Pretty Good
The following models are perfectly fine, but they fall slightly behind our top-tier picks. While they can produce a good cup of coffee, we believe that the double-walled stainless steel French press pots offer better performance at a similar price point.
The Pukomc is the best among the rest, and our preferred choice among the glass models. It features a glass beaker surrounded by a stylish stainless steel frame with markings indicating serving sizes at three different fill levels. The overall design is pleasant and attractive.
Performance-wise, the coffee produced by the Pukomc was impressive. It experienced a temperature drop of 23°F in 20 minutes, which is excellent for a glass model. The double filter allowed 0.63 grams of sediment through in our test. Priced at $30, it offers good value for a decent coffee pot.
The Bodum Chambord represents the quintessential French press in my mind. Having owned three of them in different sizes, it holds a nostalgic place for me. The metal-framed glass design is aesthetically pleasing, but as someone who has experienced two breakages, I can confirm that it isn't the most durable option.
The Bodum Chambord comes in various options, including glass or plastic, along with different sizes and frame colors. Unfortunately, the glass doesn't retain heat well, with a temperature drop of 29°F in 20 minutes. The single filter performs decently, allowing 0.59 grams of sediment in the coffee. Priced at $50, you're essentially paying for style rather than exceptional performance.
Iwoxs deserves credit for attempting something new by integrating a thermometer and timer into the push-knob on top of the lid. However, the complicated name is a drawback. Functionally, the Iwoxs features a glass carafe with black plastic or stainless steel hardware. Both options have a modernist shroud-like appearance that I find appealing.
Similar to other glass models, the Iwoxs experiences a significant temperature drop, losing 28°F in 20 minutes. The single filter ties for the worst performance in our test, allowing 0.85 grams of sediment. The included electronics are somewhat cumbersome to use, with limited controls and a clock that isn't particularly useful. At a price of $37, it offers style and additional features, but I personally prefer using my phone as a timer.
The Café du Château is an interesting amalgamation of features that ultimately falls short of greatness. The initial impression is positive, with a sturdy glass beaker enclosed in a stainless steel sleeve reminiscent of suit jacket lapels. However, the handle is questionable, as it is attached by flimsy steel strips.
Despite the decent heat retention of the beaker, with a temperature drop of 22°F over 20 minutes, its double filter allows a disappointing 0.85 grams of sediment. Two factors contribute to its placement in the lower tier: the coffee it produces is weak and underwhelming, and the subpar handle makes pouring challenging, especially considering the imbalanced heavy base. Overall, the Café du Château, priced at $25, is adequate but not worth the trouble.
These two models have enough shortcomings to place them in a lower category. While the simplicity of the French press design enables them to function adequately, there are better options available.
The Bodum Brazil is similar to the Bodum Chambord, but with a plastic frame holding the glass beaker. It can be theoretically disassembled, but it is essentially a single unit. Available in various sizes with red or black frames, there is also a three-piece set option that includes the 12-ounce French press, a blade grinder, and an electric kettle.
I would advise against choosing this model, if only for the fact that the 12-ounce version might only yield 9 ounces of coffee at a time. The plastic frame poses an issue, as a nub for the handle protrudes over the top of the beaker, requiring the filter to be maneuvered around it. While this isn't a significant problem, there are more practical options available. In terms of performance, the Brazil experiences a temperature drop of 25°F in 20 minutes and leaves 0.73 grams of sediment in the coffee. Priced at $19, it may be inexpensive, but that's its only redeeming quality.
The NicPay resembles the Bodum Chambord in appearance but falls short in performance. It is available in black, brown, or silver frame colors, featuring the classic metal frame design with a flatter lid shape.
The glass used in the NicPay feels less substantial and releases more heat, resulting in a significant temperature drop of 34°F in 20 minutes. Although the double filter performs reasonably well, allowing 0.49 grams of sediment, the coffee it produces is lackluster and unimpressive. At $22, the NicPay does not offer a significant price advantage over better alternatives.
Other French presses we tested
Oxo Brew Stainless Steel French Press
The Oxo press brewed a delicious cup of coffee, surpassing models like the classic Bodum Chambord and Secura in terms of quality. However, it still fell slightly short compared to the Espro P3. What set the Oxo apart was its innovative grounds lifter—a silicone disc with a handle—that rests at the bottom of the press. French press coffee is notoriously messy to clean up, often requiring scooping out of grounds. Oxo's grounds lifter easily slides almost all of the spent grounds out of the carafe and into the trash can, making it the only French press we consider truly easy to clean.
OXO BREW Venture Shatter-Resistant-Travel French Press
Bodum Chambord French Press
If you've ever ordered French press coffee at a café, chances are it came in some version of the Chambord. Designed in the 1950s, the steel frame and glass carafe are what most people envision when they picture a classic French press. Despite being an inexpensive press, the Chambord holds its own in terms of brewing and filtering performance. However, the Oxo edges it out with its grounds lifter. Bodum also offers a more affordable press called the Bodum Brazil, which is similar to the Chambord but features a plastic cage instead of stainless steel.
Bodum Tribute French Press (discontinued)
The Bodum Tribute is an upgrade to the Chambord, though it appears to be discontinued. However, at the time of publishing, you can still purchase it as part of a set that includes a blade coffee grinder and a travel mug. The carafe of the Tribute is smaller compared to the larger version of the Espro P7, making it more suitable for brewing enough coffee for two or three people. The plastic handles of the Tribute stayed cool to the touch even after brewing, and the plunger, made of mesh and silicone, created a tight seal to prevent grounds from entering the mug. Additionally, the silicone plunger was easier to clean and prevented scratches on the inside of the press. The carafe itself was easy to clean, especially the plain stainless-steel model, which is dishwasher-safe.
Le Creuset French Press
Le Creuset's singular aesthetic shines through in their stoneware French press. The stainless steel filter is similar to the coil and spring filtration system found in Bodum French presses. The Le Creuset press produces a slightly heavier and darker cup of coffee compared to the Espros or Bodum models, but it still maintains a delicious taste without being overly gritty. The heavy pitcher can keep liquids warm for extended periods and can also serve as a stylish serving pitcher for non-coffee beverages. It is less expensive than the Espro P7 and is a great option for those who appreciate Le Creuset's country house vibe and the variety of colors it offers.
Le Creuset Stoneware French Press
Frieling Insulated Double-Wall Stainless Steel French Press
The Frieling French press is highly regarded by critics and has received numerous glowing reviews on Amazon, praising its luxurious insulated stainless steel body and the nuanced, light coffee it produces. The seal around the filter is impressively tight, ensuring a thorough filtration process. However, this tightness can make it slightly awkward to use, particularly when inserting the plunger into the carafe. There is also a concern that the Frieling's filter may be too effective, resulting in a cup of coffee that tastes more like pour-over. While some may prefer this cleaner taste, others may enjoy a French press coffee with a bit more body.
Frieling Double-Walled Stainless-Steel French Press
The SterlingPro French press bears a resemblance to more expensive metal presses like the high-end Frieling and is exclusively available on Amazon. The insulated 18/10 stainless-steel carafe feels sturdy and is easy to clean, either by hand-washing or in the dishwasher. However, the flavor of the coffee brewed by the SterlingPro is noticeably weaker compared to several of its competitors, and it allows some large solids to pass through. While it is an affordable stainless steel press, it doesn't quite measure up to the quality of the Espro P7 or the value of the P3.
Secura French Press Coffee Maker
Fellow Clara French Press
Just like everything Fellow produces, the matte black Klara French press is beautifully designed. It stands out among the others with its modern aesthetic. However, there is a major issue with this press—it leaks. The lid design features multiple strainers around the circumference, but this results in consistent spillover beyond the spout. Despite the leak, the filter effectively keeps grit out, ensuring a smooth cup of coffee.
Varia Multi Brewer
The sleek and compact Varia Multi Brewer offers three different brewing options: French press, pour-over coffee, and Moka pot-style. While it sounds promising, it was ultimately disappointing in practice, especially considering its price. The carafe is very small, making it suitable for only one person. Additionally, it produced an excessive amount of coffee grounds in the first test, indicating a problem with the plunger's seal. The opaque carafe prevented us from seeing what was happening inside.
Stanley French Press
The Stanley French press features a vacuum-insulated carafe that is best suited for group camping trips. Its large size and rugged appearance make it less practical for everyday use at home. It brews a rich and dark cup of coffee that pairs well with a dawn campfire and sizzling bacon.
SterlingPro French Press Coffee Maker
Secura French Press
We tested the matte black Secura French press, but it is also available in stainless steel, which is nearly identical to the SterlingPro. The Secura performed similarly to the SterlingPro and comes with extra screens for enhanced filtering capabilities. While it is affordable, we found that the coffee brewed by the Espro P3 and Oxo was far superior, making it difficult to recommend the Secura as the best value choice.
Fellow Clara French Press
Like everything Fellow produces, the matte black Klara French press is beautifully designed. It stands out among the others with its modern aesthetic. However, there is a major issue with this press—it leaks. The lid design features multiple strainers around the circumference, but this results in consistent spillover beyond the spout. Despite the leak, the filter effectively keeps grit out, ensuring a smooth cup of coffee.
Varia Multi Brewer
In conclusion, the French press coffee maker is undeniably a game-changer for coffee enthusiasts. From its elegant design to its ability to extract rich, aromatic flavors, it proves to be a worthy investment for those seeking the perfect cup of joe. While other French presses we tested also performed well, the top spot goes to this exceptional coffee maker. So why settle for mediocre coffee when you can elevate your mornings with the best French press? Embrace the art of brewing and indulge in the unparalleled taste and experience that only the best coffee French press can provide.
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