From spending money on high-priced espresso machines to low-priced drip machines, avid coffee drinkers try their best to never compromise on quality and taste of their coffee.
If you’ve never tried or had a French press, it is time to give it a try. After all, the taste of a French press coffee is indulgent, rich, and smooth. No wonder, why French press is a favorite among many coffee connoisseurs, but it’s one favorite of mine.
What Is A French Press – The Definition
A French Press is the simplest equipment in use for brewing coffee. It was first patented by an Italian designer Atillio Calimani in 1929. A French Press is also known as a Press Pot, Coffee Press or a Coffee Plunger all over whereas in UK and Netherlands, it’s popularly called as cafetière. Lateron, it was popularized across Europe by a British company Household Articles Ltd and a Danish company, Bodum.
For coffee lovers, pot brewing is one of the simplest and quickest ways to get an excellent cup of coffee. Like Chemex, design is so straightforward and low-tech, the differences between different models can be subtle. We have pre-selected the best french press coffee makers to ease your hunt in several models.
Why Use A French Press?
French Press brewing is praised for coffee making because it doesn’t filter out the essential oils from coffee grounds which is a drawback in other brewing methods. The temperature of water and extraction time are controlled manually and as a result, the coffee brewed in this method is prepared with our own parameters.
French press can also be a good companion, if you are looking for a camping coffee maker as it doesn’t requires any electricity but rather, just needs hot water for extraction.
French Press Coffee often includes a fair amount of sediment. For some people, this is a major drawback while for others it actually contributes to the flavor of the brew.
Without wasting much of your time, let’s get on to the list about the best French Presses. If you are unsure about where to begin, you can read our Buying Guide about French Press, just after this list.
Top 13 French Press Coffee Makers
- Best Products
- Kona French Press
- Bodum Brazil
- Grosche Madrid Premium
- Bodum Chambord
- SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel
- Frieling Stainless Steel French Press
- Bodum Columbia Stainless Steel
- Espro Coffee Press
- Bodum Single Serve French Press
- Ceramic French Press
- FORLIFE Cafe Style Plunger
- Le Creuset French Press
- Kitchen Aid Precision Press
- Buying Guide
- How To Brew By French Press
- Tips to Brewing
Because “good” and “bad” so often comes down to individual preference, there is no overall winner in this list, rather we sorted the list of the Top Press Brewers in the preference as we liked them. While all of this brew an excellent coffee, each has something special to recommend in terms of design, function or value for money. We hope you’ll enjoy reading it!
#1 Kona French Press Coffee, Tea and Espresso Maker
The glass beaker of the Kona is well protected by the plastic frame, which has a funky, modern design. Most Noteworthy is the glass, which is extra-thick boro-silicate that makes it thermal shock resistant adding durability, and the plunger and mesh are made of stainless steel. It brews much as the same quality of coffee as other glass presses; what sets this one apart is the ergonomic durable design. The plastic wrap surrounded minimizes chips and cracks to our boro-silicate glass pot and even it protects the carafe from accidental slips and falls.
It brews 12 or 34 ounces of coffee and is dishwasher safe. The Coffee Press has a 3 piece filtration system which is easily separable for deep cleaning and the users have just loved the easy cleanable system. Finally, all of this makes the Kona at the TOP of the list and is the best seller by Amazon.
The model is available in two different sizes, in either red or black. It can both be used for coffee brewing or the loose tea. Also, all plastic parts are BPA-free. Additionally, the package also includes a handy measuring scoop which is again a plus.
There is absolutely no doubt to say that it is all in all one of the Top Selling Product by Amazon and is also recommended by many other coffee snobs. Gift it to your mom-dad or whoever loves coffee, it’s a perfect selection.
Size Options: 12 oz, 34 oz
Colors Options: Black, Red
[Read Complete Kona French Press Review]
#2 Bodum Brazil French Press
If you like the glass beaker style of press pot, you can’t do better than the economical Bodum Brazil. With a borosilicate glass beaker and BPA-free plastic base and handle, the Brazil has a fun, modern design and comes in two size options and a variety of colors. The size is either 8 cups or 3 cups and one can choose between Green, Black, Red or White color.
The raised Bodum Logo looks bold- attractive and the number of colors are actually there to suit your personality. The stainless steel mesh and plunger do a decent job of keeping grounds out of your mug. The lid seals well to keep the heat in keeping the coffee hot for a while. There is a protective safety lid to prevent splashing of hot water. This inexpensive model makes a great cup of coffee, sits at No.2 on our list and offers great value for money. All parts of the Brazil are dishwasher safe.
Users have reported that Bodum Brazil is not that durable but still the design makes it unique and also it makes a full-bodied cup of coffee. For a little amount of this plunger, the durability part can lag behind.
Size Options: 12oz, 34 oz
Color Options: Black, Red, Green, White, and Gray (Rarely Available)
[Read Complete Bodum Brazil Review]
#3 Grosche Madrid Premium French Press Coffee and Tea Maker
With its sleek chrome frame and borosilicate glass beaker, the Madrid has a striking modern design. In addition to the primary stainless steel filter, there is another filter at the lid, so you will never have to worry about stray coarse grounds in your cup, although fine grounds can still pass. Also turning the lid to close the spout will retain your coffee hot.
The coffee remains hot for an hour which is an awesome thing for any glass French Press. The main filter is sturdy and barely has any play, so pressing the filter is a breeze. The bottom is made in shape to reduce the number of grounds in your cup.
The glass beaker is easy to remove for cleaning or replacing in the case of breakage. The manufacturer recommends using a coarser grind for this press pot. Replacement parts of Grosche Madrid are easily available on Amazon.
(Note by Brand: The Purchase of this product will create 5 days of safe drinking water for someone in need through the GROSCHE SAFE WATER PROJECT )
Size Options: 11.8 oz, 34 oz, and 51 oz
Color Options: Single Glass
[Read Complete Grosche Madrid French Press Review]
#4 Bodum Chambord
On the 4th position in the list, we have Bodum Chambord. This is a classic one that makes excellent and rich coffee. It is this design that made Bodum famous in the 1980s and hasn’t changed much since. Made entirely of glass and stainless steel, it doesn’t interfere with the flavor of coffee in any way. Using it is simple and cleaning up is a breeze. The glass pot is not insulated, so this is a good choice only if you plan to serve the coffee as soon as it is brewed. The borosilicate glass used is durable, heat resistant and can easily absorb the thermal shocks.
The Bodum Chambord has received the American Culinary Institute’s award for being the Top Rated French press in 2004 and is still praised for its perfectly tasting cup of coffee. All parts of Chambord are dishwasher safe.
Size Options: 12 oz, 17 oz, 34 oz and 51 oz
Color Options: Transparent
Stainless Steel French Press | Insulated
#5 SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel Coffee Press
With its mirror-finish stainless steel exterior and sleek shape, this coffee pot will look great in any kitchen. The tight-fitting plunger and double screen filter mean NO GROUNDS will make their way into your coffee mug, and that’s a guarantee by Sterling.
Here is how the process goes – the first screen captures the coarser grinds while the second one catches the finer. The deep lid design helps keep the coffee hot, and houses additional filtration at the spout area. The SterlingPro is double-wall insulated to keep coffee hot for longer and also prevents heat from escaping while brewing. The outside of the pot stays cool to protect your hands when pouring. The gap between handle and pot is perfect so that one doesn’t get his hands burned while brewing. Being of metal, it can survive longer than any other made of glass and can stay intact in falls or thermal shocks.
The SterlingPro is dishwasher safe and is very easy to clean. All parts are made of high-quality stainless steel and will keep your coffee hot for hours. The Sterling Pro is a Once Bought device which will always be there in your kitchen until you want. Currently, the brand is offering 2 Bonus Stainless Steel Screens worth $25 and is in limited quantity. With its durability and features, it can easily be titled as one of the top-notch coffee press in the market that is loved by every buyer.
Size Options: 1L, 1.5L
Color Options: Stainless Steel
#6 Frieling French Press Brushed Stainless Steel
The combination of a sleek, minimalist design and a brushed stainless steel finish make this a particularly attractive looking item. It is an all metal product with no plastic parts and hence it’s naturally BPA Free. This one is best suited to coffee lovers who don’t mind a bit of texture with their coffee: the filter isn’t particularly tight when tipped for pouring, and there is no strainer at the spout. Cleanup is easy with this model, as the smooth surfaces don’t trap the grounds. With a metal body, it is devoid of delicacy and there is no danger of any chips or cracks like the ones with borosilicate body.
The Frieling press is available in 4 different size options to suit your drinking habit. Also, it is available in four different body textures. It’s dishwasher safe and insulated to keep coffee hot for hours (4-5 hour usually).
Like Sterling Pro, it is also made to last longer and is a once bought product for your kitchen. It’s costly than the others but if you are looking for something different, Frieling is one to go for.
Size Options: 8oz, 17 oz, 23 oz, 36 oz and 44oz
Color Options: Brushed, Polished, Frustration-Free Brushed and Frustration-Free Polished
#7 Bodum Columbia Insulated Stainless Steel French Press
This stainless steel pot is insulated with a double wall, making it a good choice if you want to keep coffee hot for sometime after brewing it. It’a quite costly than the others, but for the unique design. it’s worth the money. The handle has a good ergonomic design and the pot is durable, well made. The plunger, made of mesh and silicone, reduces sediment by effectively filtering the coffee, and is guaranteed not to scratch the inside surface of the pot.
The Bodum Columbia is dishwasher safe for easy clean-up. The double wall system keeps the coffee hot for up to 2 hours. The twist shut lid also prevents coffee from splashing while brewing. The package includes a measuring spoon as well, so you don’t have to buy one.
Size Options: 12oz, 17oz, 34 oz and 51oz
Color Options: Shiny Metal
#8 Espro Press Insulated Press
If you like the simplicity of Coffee press but prefer the flavor of filtered coffee, this may be a good choice for you. The Espro Press stands at #8 in our French Press collection. With its patent-pending filters, the coffee is filtered twice and there is no grit left for your cup. This Espro Press prevents the sediments that are usually the feature of press pot coffee. The vacuum insulated double wall design doesn’t let heat escape during the brewing process and keeps coffee hot for longer spans. There is a buffer between the two filters which helps prevent over-extraction.
Though it’s a uniquely designed product and has features that other French Presses don’t have, it also has some flip downs. The silicone ring around the filter makes it a bit harder to press down than some other pots, and the double filter is not quite as easy to clean as a simpler one. The manufacturer recommends hand washing with a bottle brush or using the only top rack of your dishwasher.
Size Options: 8oz, 18 oz and 32oz
Color Options: Stainless Steel and Brushed Steel
Best Single Serve French Press
#9 Bodum Travel Press
This press pot and travel mug combined is perfect for people who like to head for the office almost as soon as they wake up. You simply drink the coffee from the same vessel you brew it in. The insulated travel mug is made of stainless steel and plastic, and the silicone and mesh filter ensures that the coffee doesn’t continue to brew while you are drinking. The lid has a built-in plunger and is spill proof.
The Travel Coffee Press makes 15 ounces of coffee at once and keeps it hot for few hours. The non-slip grip is available in 4 bold colors. It is fully dishwasher safe. The price is very feasible as it comes from one of the reputed brands, Bodum.
Size Options: 15oz
Color Options: Black, White, Orange, Green, Purple, and Gray
Stoneware French Press
#10 Ceramic French Press Coffee & Tea Maker
At number 10, we have the Ceramic French Press. The clean lines and white color of this ceramic press pot give it a simple, understated style. It has a stainless steel mesh plunger with a plastic lid and a rubber base to help it rest securely on your table or countertop. The mesh keeps stray grounds out of your coffee while letting through the essential oils and flavors that are characteristic of this method. This plunger will make up to 36 ounces of coffee. The solid ceramic does a better job of keeping the coffee hot than the usual glass beaker design. All parts are dishwasher safe.
Size Options: 36 oz
Color Options: White
#11 FORLIFE Cafe Style Coffee/Tea Press
Next in the list is the FORLIFE Press. This pot is available in a wide variety of colors to suit any décor. It has a simple but not ultra-modern shape. The carafe is made of high-fired ceramic while the plunger is stainless steel and silicone. A silicone ring at the bottom of the pot protects your table from the heat and keeps the pot from slipping around. The filter and plunger design keep the grounds where they belong, though it’s unfortunate that this model doesn’t include a strainer at the spout.
The FORLIFE coffee/tea press makes up for 32 ounces of coffee and is dishwasher safe. It will keep coffee hot for about an hour. In conclusion, what makes this device unique is the rubber base and an array of colors which are not available with any.
Size Options: 32 oz
Color Options: Black, White, Blue, Red, Gray, Lime, Purple, Carrot, Turquoise, Ivy and Mandarin
#12 Le Creuset Stoneware French Press
Le Creuset is a very popular line of premium cookware, and if you’re a fan, you will be glad to know they also make a Coffee press. The pot is enamel glazed stoneware and the plunger and mesh are both stainless steel. The mesh filter does a good job of keeping grounds out of the brewed coffee. Just be careful not to overfill this pot. Seems like it can hold more than 27 ounces, but you have to stop filling before the water reaches the spout level.
The Le Creuset French press pot is dishwasher safe and the stoneware keeps coffee hot longer than glass pots, though not as long as double insulated stainless steel pots. The material is durable but it will break in fall. Like the ForLife Press, this product is also available in a range of colors to suit your taste or kitchen. Match it with your walls and it will look fantastic.
Size Options: 27 oz
Color Options: Black, White, Cherry, Palm, Flame, Caribbean, Truffle, Hibiscus, Soleil, Blue
Update: 27 May 2016– We have added one more awesome product to this list that eases the coffee brewing to more perfection. It’s called Precision Press by KitchenAid.
#13 KitchenAid Precision Press
Precision press product integrates a timer and a scale to create less fuzz around and will help you make the coffee easy and fast with only one gadget. It’s not among any super-automatic machines, but rather some automation in the process.
It also displays the temperature of brewed coffee. Additionally, it is made by dual wall stainless steel, and therefore press maintains temperature for longer time span.
With a simple push of a button, the timer starts and stops. To reset, just push the timer button for 2-3 seconds. The scale option tells weight in both grams or ounces so it’s pretty easy to use the perfect quantity of ingredients. This product is revolutionary and is getting adaopted by many coffee snobs.
On the inside, the Precision Press has a mesh filter lined with a rubber gasket. It reduces the number of grounds in the cup. Though it takes a little harder to push the filter in the brewing process. Overall, it’s a good and innovative product to make your coffee more precisely without much guesswork.
Buying Guide French Press
Experts highly recommend making coffee using it because it is simple equipment that just makes pure coffee! If you’ve already started thinking about buying it, here is everything you need to know!
Considering French Press Carafe Materials
Many people prefer one material over other, often for aesthetic reasons. Some people favor a glass carafe both for the look and for the ability to see the color of the coffee as it brews – a useful indicator of when the coffee is ready.
French Press carafes are made from different materials that range for glass, stainless steel, stoneware, and plastic.
Borosilicate Glass – Boron trioxide and silica are used to make borosilicate glass. Carafes made from borosilicate glass are highly resistant to thermal shock. This means that the glass won’t crack or explode when you pour hot water in it.
The carafe has the composition of glass and that’s why it is not recommended for you to buy a French press with borosilicate glass carafe if you have a tendency of dropping/breaking glass every now and then.
If an all-glass carafe appeals you, there is no harm but you need to handle it with care. It is because it has no cages in it and there is nothing but just glass – attractive but breakable.
Overall, glass carafes are affordable and have a sleek design, but they are easily breakable and it can be a deal breaker for some folks.
Stainless Steel – If you want a reliable French press that makes good coffee and won’t break easily, you should go with a stainless steel carafe. Another reason for you to choose it is that stainless steel carafe is double-walled and vacuum sealed – more like a travel mug. This means that your coffee will stay hot for hours.
French press carafe made of stainless steel are available in two finishes; polished or brushed. Polished ones have a fine silver-like mirror finish and brushed ones come in different color options. Choose whatever you like but one thing is for sure that the carafe won’t break.
Overall, they are durable and travel-friendly, but the downside is that you cannot actually see the brewing process. This can be a deal-breaker for someone who actually keeps a close eye on how the coffee is brewed.
Ceramic or Stoneware – Even though these French presses are a bit pricey as compared to others, one thing can be said with certainty that these are classy and beautiful. And they are dishwasher safe as well. These carafes can have a bit of steel, aluminum, plastic and some of them have a rubber seal as well.
Ceramic or stoneware carafes mostly come in a rainbow of enamel colors and are also internally coated to ensure satisfactory resistance against stains and odors. Even though they are breakable like glass carafes, they are quite durable and resistant to extreme temperatures.
All in all, they offer great heat retention, a variety of designs & colors but remember that you cannot actually see the brewing process in these carafes, so you have to make sure you keep tracking the time.
Plastic – If you want to buy a French press with a plastic carafe, make sure that you are buying one from a reputable brand. It is because known brands ensure that plastic carafes are made styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) and without harmful styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN).
Plastic carafes made from SAN can easily withstand high temperatures and do not warp or leach chemicals. Therefore, make sure that you are buying a plastic carafe made from SAN and free of BPA. Overall, plastic carafes are budget-friendly and unbreakable.
While stainless steel press looks great in some kitchens, it also allows for a double wall vacuum insulated pot to keep coffee warm. Furthermore, Ceramic Coffee Press gives you a lot of color options and does a better job of keeping coffee hot than a glass.
It is an important factor to consider because it is defined by how much coffee you consume. If you make a cup of coffee for only yourself and not 2-3 people, you should choose smaller or travel or single serve French press.
However, if you brew coffee for not only yourself but also for others as well, you can consider buying much bigger French presses that have a capacity of brewing up to 2-liter coffee.
Choosing the right filter type is a really important thing to keep in mind when you are buying a French press. It is because this can affect the type of coffee you’re going to get.
Selection of the right wire mesh filter helps in getting a clean brew without too much coffee grounds. However, there are still some chances you’re still going to get some coffee grounds in your coffee. Therefore, it is best to choose the filter that comes with at least 2-3 wire mesh filter added on the press.
Plastic French press is definitely going to be on the lowest cost side of your pricing. Ceramic and traditional French presses have a middle of the ground pricing and this means that you get a lot of quality for spending not too much money. Stainless steel, metal,and designer glass French presses are pricier as compared to others. So, it all comes down to how much money you want to spend.
How To Make French Press Coffee
May be you are already familiar about the method or might be new to the French Press brewing. Here are short and sweet steps for making a great cup of coffee using French Press. You can skip if you already know this well.
- Warm up the French Press by rinsing it with hot water
- Add coarsely grind coffee, somewhat like breadcrumbs into the French press – One tbsp per serving
- Add half of the water in a way similar to pour over brewing, boiled precisely up to 205°F for optimum extraction and start the countdown
- At 1:00, gently stir preferably with a wooden stirrer and at add the rest of water. Put the cap with plunger pulled up and leave for three minutes
- After the 3 minutes, press the plunger down gently, and you are ready to serve.
Infographic by Quill
Cold Brew With French Press
Making a cold brew with French Press is very much similar as brewing normally with it. Below are the short steps:
- Add 1 tbsp of coarse ground coffee per serving into the French Press
- Now pour room temperature water (as per servings) into the carafe.
- Place the cap with plunger up and put the press into the refrigerator for a night
- Drink your cold brew coffee in the morning
Tips To Brew Great Coffee With French Press
- Use Coarse Grounds and the reason is that fine grounds can come as sediments in coffee cup
- Don’t fill the Press immediately, rather wet complete grounds for 30 seconds before pouring halfway
- If the grounds flow up to top, give them a stir of around a minute
- The best coffee to water ratio is 1:16 to 1:18
- Pour the coffee into some carafe or drink immediately as leaving the coffee in a French Press might lead to over-extraction
If you are going to use a French press for the first time or want to do some experimentation, it is best to step into a lower cost French press smaller ones. Once you have find out why French presses are deemed as one the best devices for making coffee, you can step on up to something that’s a bit more pricey and with more features.
On the other side, if you are already in love with French Press and have tried them before, consider getting either a stainless steel or a glass French Press as they are more professional and precise for making a great cup of coffee.
- Kona French Press
- Bodum Brazil
- Grosche Madrid Premium
- Bodum Chambord
- Sterling Pro Double Wall
- Freiling USA Double Wall
- Bodum Columbia
- Espro Press
- Bodum Insulated Travel Press
- Bonnevie Ceramic
- FORLIFE Cafe
- Le Creuset Stoneware
- KitchenAid Precision Press