Making coffee without the use of technology is an extremely enjoyable task. While some prefer to use a machine with more buttons than a mixing board, others take a more hands-on approach. The French press coffee maker is one such hands-on gadget. Since it’s inception in the 1920s, the French press has delighted coffee lovers with its delicious, low-tech coffee.
How Does a French Press Work?
The French press coffee maker operates with 4 simple components. There’s a beaker, a screen, a plunger, and a lid. The screen and plunger are the most important components. The way the French press works by pouring hot water and coarse coffee grounds into the beaker. After letting them brew for a few minutes, you use the screen and plunger to push the grounds to the bottom of the beaker.
The flavor and strength of coffee made in a French press are due to the grounds themselves. Unlike grounds for a drip brew or espresso, the French press uses grounds that are very coarse. The consistency is similar to sea salt. The thickness allows the screen to trap the grounds while allowing the brewed coffee to flow upward.
If coffee isn’t your speed, you can also use a French press to make tea. Follow the same process using hot water and tea leaves. After steeping for the desired time, use the plunger to press the leaves like you would the coffee grounds.
Choosing The Best French Press Coffee Maker
Finding the right French Press coffee maker can be a tedious and difficult task. With so many brands, styles, and features, you can easily get lost in a world of glass beakers, triple screens, and so on. So, to help ease your burden, here is a guide to the 5 best French press coffee makers.
#1 The Swiss Army Knife – The Bruhen Klassik
Whether you travel, entertain, or simply love coffee, this French press can do it all. The Bruhen Klassik has an exquisite mirror stainless steel finish, which runs throughout the French press. Even though it looks amazing, the Klassik isn’t all show. Users absolutely raved about how durable the construction was, and it was just as comfortable on the trail as at home.
With a 32 oz. brewing capacity, the Bruhen Klassik makes plenty of coffee for you and your friends. The stainless steel construction ensures that the coffee is absolutely BPA free. This French press has it all.
Facts and Features
The Bruhen Klassik has the most hardcore plunger out of all of the French presses in this guide. The Klassik has a quadruple layer filter basket with not one, but two steel mesh filters! This level of filtration basically guarantees that you will never have sediment in your coffee or tea.
The heavy-duty stainless steel beaker is also double-wall insulated. This design will keep your coffee hot and fresh for much longer than a glass beaker.
Overall, Bruhen has created a beautiful workhorse in the Klassik. It functions just as well at home, in a restaurant, or in the woods.
#2 The Highest Capacity Press – The Grosche Madrid
If you want the absolute biggest French press coffee maker, then this is the one for you. The Grosche Madrid French press features a 51 oz. glass beaker, making it the highest capacity brewer in this guide. If you don’t want a French press that big, simply choose from the 11.8 oz. or 34 oz. size.
The Grosche Madrid rocks a unique chrome housing that fits in perfectly at home or at the office. This housing is not all looks either. The bottom has grips on it to keep this French press on your counter where it belongs.
Facts and Features
The plunger on the Madrid has a dual filter system as well. However, unlike the Frieling, which has a pre-filter and screen, the Madrid has a slightly different design. The plunger on this French press has a standard grill filter at the end. The second filter is inside the lid. With this filter, you twist the lid to open the filter and twist it again to close it.
The beaker is German-made by SCHOTT DURAN, a company that also makes laboratory equipment. The design is both durable and heatproof. You can also separate the chrome housing and the beaker for cleaning.
Overall, Grosche has created the perfect large-size French press with the Madrid. Users will enjoy 51 oz. of excellent coffee from this coffee maker.
#3 The Single Serve – Bodum Brazil
This little French press is absolutely adorable. With its small size and eight different color options, it is perfect for a small home or college dorm. The glass beaker is encased in protective plastic and can brew 12 oz. of delicious coffee.
Users loved the portability of the Brazil French press. Its small size makes it easy to store and carry, and the plastic protects it from breakage.
Facts and Features
Unlike the other French presses in this guide, the Bodum Brazil uses a more traditional plunger. The plunger on this French press only has the one filter. There is another small filter inside the lid of the Brazil. This filter is similar to the filters on juice pitchers.
Like the KONA, the Brazil also uses a borosilicate compound as the material for its beaker. This coupled with the protective plastic shell provides protection from breakage. The beaker is also reportedly dishwasher safe, which improves the ease of cleaning.
Overall, Bodum has created a portable French press that is seriously cute. This would make a perfect gift for your college student.
#4 French Press On The Go – Idylc Homes KONA
This French press is perfect for when you’re on a trip and you want a coffee maker that can take a beating. The KONA features a borosilicate glass beaker and is covered with an insulated plastic shell. These materials provide protection from getting roughed up in the elements while ensuring the coffee is still hot and delicious.
Another feature that endears the KONA to users is the ergonomic handle. Whether you purchase the 12 oz. version or 34 oz., the handle fits your hand with ease and ensures a smooth pour into your cup.
Facts & Features
While most of the KONA is made of plastic and glass, the plunger is not. The plunger on this French press is stainless steel and combines the main press and mesh screen into a single unit.
If you’re worried about BPA getting into your coffee, don’t be. The lid is BPS and BPA free, so no plastic will interact with your coffee. The plastic material on this French press merely serves as protection and insulation.
Overall, the KONA is a clear choice for adventurous coffee lovers who demand much from their coffee makers and their bodies.
#5 The Award Winner – Frieling USA 131
This elegant French press from Frieling garnered the 2017 Housewares Design Award, and it’s hard not to see why. With a gorgeous brushed stainless steel finish, this French press is a welcome addition to any modern kitchen. This French press also comes in 7 different sizes ranging from 8 oz. to 44 oz. (pictured).
Users raved about the Frieling’s durability. One user remarked that his Frieling had lasted for 7 years without replacing a single part, and it was still working perfectly! That kind of durability is unheard of with most electronic coffee makers.
Facts & Features
The Frieling 131 is made with a double-wall insulated beaker. This means that the coffee will stay warmer for longer, and will also help in the brewing process. The stainless steel is also much more durable than a glass beaker. It can easily withstand being dropped.
Another feature where Frieling excels is the plunger design. The Frieling French press uses a 2-stage filter system that has a pre-filter and a super-fine mesh filter. This protects against any sediment getting into the finished coffee.
Like all French press coffee makers, the Frieling is extremely portable and easy to wash. Overall, the Frieling 131 is a remarkable achievement that is loved by personal users, hotels, and restaurants.
Making your coffee by hand is an extremely satisfying task. The grinding of the beans, the pressing of the grounds, all of these things provided an experience unmatched by electronic brewers. Hopefully, this article has provided you with a choice to fit your lifestyle, so you too can enjoy the delicious handmade coffee from a French press.