The French press has been around since 1929, but it is understandable if you have never considered purchasing one. After all, the automatic drip coffee maker has become the leading household, commercial, and office coffee maker since hitting the scene in 1970. While the French press may have been replaced in homes because of convenience, it cannot be replaced when it comes to flavor. If you have never considered purchasing a French press because of a preconceived notion that it is a complicated or lengthy process, you should reconsider your decision.
In this ultimate buying guide, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the best French press coffee makers that are available today.
What is a French Press Coffee Maker?
A French press coffee maker is a glass beaker with a plunger filter and a lid. For easy pouring, the beaker includes a handle and a spout. That’s it. It is a simple concept with an even simpler brewing method.
How Does a French Press Coffee Maker Work?
The French press coffee maker works by steeping coarsely ground coffee in hot water for a few minutes. Once the coffee has steeped, the plunger attached to the lid will need to be pushed down to press the coffee grounds to the bottom of the beaker. Then, you are ready to pour freshly brewed coffee.
Here is a step-by-step guide for how to brew the best pot of French press coffee.
Step 1 – Grind the Coffee
You will need a coffee grinder that will allow you to grind coarsely ground coffee. The Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is one of the best available for the money. You will want to set the grinder to grind coarse coffee beans to place in your French press beaker.
Step 2 – Scoop Coffee into the Beaker
Depending on how much water you will be adding to your French press will determine how much coffee you should add. An easy rule of thumb is 1 ounce of coffee for every 10 ounces of water. Therefore, if you will be filling a 32-ounce French press with 32 ounces of water, you will want to add a little over 3 ounces of coarsely ground coffee directly into the bottom of the beaker.
Step 3 – Heat the Water and Add to the French Press
Next, you will want to measure out 32 ounces of water and place in a pot. Heat the water and bring to a boil. Remove the water from the heat and allow the water to cool for one minute. After one minute has passed, pour the water into the French press.
Once all the water has been added to the French press, carefully stir the water and the coffee until it has combined. Now, allow the coffee to steep in the hot water for about four minutes. You may need to adjust the time more or less depending on the roast of the beans you are using. Place the lid and plunger on top of the French press but do not push it down.
Step 4 – Press the Plunger
It’s time to put the French press to the test. Press the plunger down to move the coffee grounds to the bottom of the French press. This will leave ground-free coffee in the wake for you to directly pour and enjoy.
How to Find the Best French Press Coffee Maker
Now that you know how to make coffee using a French press, it is time to find the right French press for the job. You will want to look at material, size, style, and filter system to decide which French press is best for you.
Glass beakers are a common and popular choice among French press coffee makers because they can sustain the sudden temperature change, as well as allow you to view the coffee grounds within the beaker. This gives you full control of the brew to make sure that no grounds have escaped and found their way into the newly brewed coffee.
Stainless Steel Beaker
Another option of the material of the beaker is a stainless steel beaker. Stainless steel helps keep the coffee hot. It does not lower the temperature as quickly as glass.
French press come in a variety of sizes, so it is important to know which size you want or need when deciding which one to buy. If you are the only coffee drinker in your home or office and require a small amount of coffee each day, you may want to look at a mini French press. A mini French press holds about 12 ounces of water, as opposed to the 34 ounces of a full size French press.
This mini French press by Veken holds 12 ounces of water, is made of glass, has a stainless steel handle and lid, and comes with 4 filter screens on the plunger filtration system. Users have given this mini French press a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5, making it one of the best mini French presses available for the money.
Do you want a French press that adds a little pizzazz to your countertop? You may want to look at the various styles of French press coffee makers that are available to choose from. Like this one from Café du Chateau.
It features a stainless steel and glass base and beaker with an intricate design. While the concept is the same, the style adds a little extra flair that you may prefer to see on your French press.
The French press will need an appropriate filter system to keep the ground coffee from seeping through and entering the freshly brewed coffee. You will want to make sure the French press you purchase has a mesh filter system with additional filtration elements.
These stainless steel mesh filters can be purchased if you need to replace or add an additional filter to your French press plunger system.
These French press replacement filters by Compatify universally fit most 34-ounce French press coffee makers. They are dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
The Best French Press Reviews
Here are a few of the best French press coffee makers available today. We have included a glass beaker, stainless steel beaker, and mini French press for you to consider.
This French press coffee maker is 34 ounces, features a glass beaker with stainless steel handle and lid, and includes a 3-part stainless steel mesh filtration system. There are many different stainless steel handle and lid designs and finishes to choose from: chrome, cork, black, copper, copper shatterproof, gold, matte chrome, stainless steel, and white.
The entire French press coffee maker system is dishwasher safe unless you purchase the chrome or matte chrome finish. If you purchase the handle and lid in chrome or matte chrome finish, you cannot wash those parts in the dishwasher.
Customers have given this French press coffee maker a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Customers are most pleased with the flavor of the coffee the French press produces. Other customer satisfaction includes how easy the French press is both use and clean, as well as the quality of the product.
Another French press coffee maker by Bodum is this thermal stainless steel 34-ounce French press. The insulation of this stainless steel French press coffee maker keeps the hot coffee hotter for longer. The mesh filtration system is identical to the Bodum Chambord glass French press coffee maker. It is a 3-part stainless steel mesh filtration system that is dishwasher safe.
Customers have given this thermal stainless steel 34-ounce French press coffee maker by Bodum 4.5 stars out of 5. Customers are most satisfied with the fact that the entire French press and its components are dishwasher safe. Customers also agree that the flavor of the coffee produced, as well as the ease of using this French press, make it a highly favorable French press among users.
This mini French press is identical to the 34-ounce version by Bodum. The only difference is that this mini French press holds 12 ounces instead of 34.
The stainless steel handle comes in a variety of colors: chrome, cork, black, copper, copper shatterproof, gold, matte chrome, stainless steel, and white.
The 3-part stainless steel mesh filtration system is identical to both the Bodum Chamboard 34-ounce and the Bodum Columbia stainless steel French press.
Just like the 34-ounce Bodum Chambord, all components of this French press coffee maker are dishwasher safe except for the chrome finish and the matte chrome finish.
Things to Remember
You will want to purchase a French press with a glass beaker or stainless steel beaker. This will give you the best tasting results when brewing coffee in the French press. You will want to stay away from plastic components in a French press as they could be dangerous when coming in contact with hot water that has been boiled.
You will want to check the size of the French press you are interested in buying to make sure that you receive the correct size. A mini French press is a French press that makes about 12 ounces of coffee.
A full-size French press is a French press that holds at least 34 ounces of water. Some French press coffee makers have the ability to hold up to 51 ounces of water!
You will also want to make sure the filter system included with your French press has a multiple stainless steel mesh system. This will ensure that the coffee grounds stay in the bottom of the glass beaker when pressing the plunger. The stainless steel mesh filtration system will also be dishwasher safe. This means easy and quick cleaning when the French press coffee maker is not in use.
Finally, you should remember to use coarsely ground coffee beans so that the grounds of the coffee do not seep through the filter system of the French press. A finely-ground coffee will taint the coffee you are trying to brew, giving French press coffee a bad name if prepared improperly.
Still on the Fence?
One thing we haven’t covered yet is why you would need a French press coffee maker. We have gone over the how’s but we have not talked about the why’s.
The simple answer for why you need a French press coffee maker is simple: flavor.
With a French press coffee maker, you control how long the coffee is steeped in the beaker. Unlike the convenient automatic drip coffee maker that gives you little to no control, you posses much control when using a French press.
Aside from flavor, let’s talk about some other factors, such as the affordability and ease of use. A quality French press can set you back as little as $25 or possibly up to $50. The French press is one of the most affordable means of brewing quality flavored coffee right in your own home.
In addition to affordability, the French press is also a simple and quick brewing method for brewing flavorful coffee. Simply fill the beaker with the appropriate amount of coffee, add hot water to the coffee, and let the coffee steep for a few minutes. Once steeped, press the plunger slowly and firmly until all the grounds have reached the bottom of the beaker. You are now ready to pour and enjoy fresh brewed French press coffee.
The French press is a method of brewing coffee that anyone can enjoy. Once you know the type of French press you should choose and the size the French press needs to be, you can be well on your way to enjoy a flavorful cup of coffee any time you want.