Best French Press 2016
The French press, also known as a coffee press, press pot, cafetière or coffee plunger is a manual coffee brewing device. It is the most widely used style of manual brewer available. I have written this article to help you find the best French press to suit your needs.
The popularity of the French press has waned somewhat in recent years due to the rise of modern automatic coffee machines which most people consider more convenient. However, presses still have their charm and can brew an intense fulfilling cup like no other coffee maker.
Many coffee connoisseurs still believe that the French press produces the best taste, standing against all the newer and fancier technology. They typically capture a lot more of the essential oils and flavors than an auto drip or a single serve machine.
Factors to Consider
Some coffee presses are made of either glass, ceramic or plastic. Personally, I prefer a stainless steel press. The main differences are that glass and stainless steel generally keep the coffee hotter and fresher for longer. Ceramic and plastic presses are usually cheaper and lower quality.
I have definitely found there to be a wide range in quality when it comes to coffee presses. Some lower end models tend to have flimsy plungers and are easily damaged. This ties in with material also, as the stainless steel presses are definitely far more durable than their weaker counterparts.
Size / Cup Capacity
Depending on how much coffee you typically drink, you’ll probably want to take into account the capacity of the French press. The smallest presses have the capacity to brew just a single cup, whereas the larger models can brew up to 14.
The truth is some presses are easier to clean than others. If you have a dishwasher it’s also worth checking whether the coffee maker has dishwasher friendly components.
Some types of press have extra features such as vacuum insulated walls or double filter systems. If you want something fancier these things are worth taking into account. Heat retention is important to some people and not so much to others – it depends on how many cups you want to drink from one brew and the size of your carafe.
Best French Press Picks
Frieling Double Wall French Press
The Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press is in my humble opinion the best French press available. First of all, the double wall feature means that the coffee is kept hot and fresh for a lot longer than its competitors. It is extremely durable – all parts are stainless steel and looks and feels well-crafted.
Cleaning the Frieling is a really easy process as all the parts disassemble, but most importantly the coffee produced is great tasting and rich, even as far as coffee presses go. It’s one of the pricier presses on the market, but you really get what you pay for and it will last for a very long time, cutting out the need to replace broken glass carafes or other parts. I’ve owned this particular French press for over 10 years and it’s still working as good as ever.
Double wall for greater heat retention – keeps coffee hot for longer
Easily disassembled and cleaned
Best French press for functionality and longest lasting
Bodum Columbia Insulated French Press Coffee Maker
This is another press pot that I would highly recommend. It is similar to the above mentioned Frieling model, although slightly less expensive and not as finely made. Despite the lower price, this is still an outstanding press and doesn’t feel “cheap” or “low-end”.
For people who want a premium stainless steel coffee press but don’t want to shell out too much cash, this would be my top choice. Similar to the Frieling, the Bodum Columbia is double walled for high heat retention and can keep coffee hot for up to around 2 hours.
This is a perfect French press for a complete newbie to coffee, the only complaints that consumers generally have with it is the inclusion of some plastic parts and the less than flashy design. But make no mistake about it, the Bodum Columbia brews some wonderful coffee.
Good heat retention
Outstanding price to quality ratio
Easy to clean
Grosche Madrid French Press Coffee Maker
The Grosche Madrid is a beautifully designed glass French press with a wonderful dual-filter system which guarantees no grounds in the coffee. It is generally lauded by coffee enthusiasts as one of the best French presses available, producing a rich and full flavor and collecting all the essential oils of the beans.
For a press with a glass carafe, it is widely agreed that the Grosche Madrid is one of the sturdier models, as it sits in a chrome base and has a stainless steel lid. It is unarguably one of the most aesthetically pleasing coffee presses out there and adds a chic vibe to any kitchen or office.
As an additional bonus, Grosche helps to provide safe drinking water for people in need through their Safe Water Project for every purchase.
Strong and rich flavor full of essential oils
Particularly durable for a glass carafe press
Some proceeds to go Grosche Safe Water Project
Bodum Chambord 8-Cup French Press
This is Bodum’s original French press design. Made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a stainless steel frame, this is a very popular press amongst all kinds of coffee enthusiast. Bodum is one of the better known names in the business and a quality product is always guaranteed.
Although slightly more fragile than the other coffee makers I’ve mentioned, I also wouldn’t say it is easily breakable. The plunger fits very snug in the carafe, making for a really well filtered cup of coffee.
The Chambord features a classic, elegant and well-loved design which is largely unchanged since the 1950s and also has a robust, heat-resistant handle for perfect grip.
Classic ornate French design
Heat-resistant and dishwasher safe glass carafe
Very easy to clean
Kona French Press Coffee, Tea & Espresso Maker
The KONA French Press is perhaps the best selling model of coffee press right now. It is made of borosilicate glass with stainless steel components. This press has more of a modern design than more traditional presses and is perfect for a first-time user.
It is one of the simplest and most user-friendly coffee presses out there, and on top of that it comes at an extremely low price – making it perfect for anybody working on a tight budget. The only drawback is that some of the pieces feel a little flimsy or delicate, but if you’re careful they shouldn’t break too easily.
For its price, the KONA is a wonderful little coffee maker – you would be hard pressed to find another one of its quality for such a low cost.
Very simple and user-friendly, ideal for a first timer
Best French press for affordability
Modern ergonomic design
Quite durable although has some delicate components
Now that you’ve seen some of the best French press coffee makers, hopefully you’re closer to making a decision. Of course, everyone has their own preferences and I have tried to include a wide variety of models which meet a bunch of different criteria.
As I mentioned, my personal favorite is the Frieling Double Wall French Press and although it’s the most expensive on the list, there is very little chance you will ever need to replace it. If you’re a first-time buyer and don’t want to break the bank, every other press I mentioned is perfectly adequate and were all chosen for their supreme quality. For those on the tightest budget, the KONA is the least expensive, and for people more concerned with elegance and aesthetics, I recommend the Grosche Madrid or the Bodum Chambord.
One more thing to consider is that when buying a French press you will need to also buy a coffee grinder as presses are not fitted to grind coffee beans. Most coffee grinders available will be adequate to get started brewing with a press, but for those who want the highest quality, I can recommend the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder.
If you want an affordable grinder which produces perfectly uniform and consistent grinds every time, this is the perfect product. The quality of the grind can and will affect the quality of the drink, so a good grinder is paramount to the best tasting cup of coffee possible.