Since the 1800s, people have been foregoing a filter and pressing their coffee for maximum flavor. Drip machines are great in a pinch, but on the weekends there’s nothing better than ditching your machine and indulging in a silky cuppa made with love in your French Press. Filters in coffee machines suck up the oil in your grounds, and in turn, much of their rich flavor. A press releases oils right into your cup along with fine grinds that continue to steep your coffee as you drink it. As an added bonus, people seem to feel extra special when you prepare their coffee in a French Press, so hands down your friends are going to want to come over for brunch more than ever before. Say sayonara to your filters and peruse this list of our top picks to find the best French Press for you.
Top Picks For Best French Press
Most Beautiful And Functional Pick – Le Creuset Stoneware French Press Coffee Maker
This lux and efficient option is made by a premium European manufacturer and is more sturdy and durable than many glass options on the market.
Functional and beautiful, the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press Coffee Maker is sure to make a statement on any table.
The non-porous enamel finish resists odors, staining, chipping and cracking.
This French Press is made of durable, high-fired stoneware with a glossy enamel glaze that is dishwasher safe and easy to wipe down.
The stoneware carafe can hold the temperature for quite some time, keeping your coffee warm.
The stainless steel plunger and mesh press are durable and built to last.
Choose from a variety of bold colors that work harmoniously with other colors in the La Creuset stoneware line.
- Decorative and functional
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Durable and dishwasher safe
- Some customers struggled with the plunger when their coffee was ground too fine
Overall Top Choice – Frieling USA Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker with Zero Sediment Dual Screen
Coffee aficionados everywhere rave about this French Press, and the Amazon reviews prove it. This stylish option comes in a variety of finishes and sizes for all of your coffee pressing needs.
Made out of pure stainless steel, the Frieling USA Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker with Zero Sediment Dual Screen will ensure your coffee stays hot and sediment-free for a very long time.
The patented dual-screen means zero sediment, making this press a great option for coffee or tea.
The unique two-stage filter system on this French Press uses a pre-filter, super-fine mesh filter and a metal wire inside the coil (that presses the plunger against the inside wall) ensuring no grinds escape.
The mirror finish on the stainless steel body is beautiful and nicely compliments the brushed metal finish inside. The full-length handle attached to the outside of the carafe is comfortable in the hand and makes for an easy pour.
The double-walled stainless steel carafe doubles as an insulated serving pitcher and will keep things hot for four times longer than glass.
Easy disassembly makes this dishwasher safe press very easy to clean.
Enjoy a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
- Durable double-walled stainless steel construction that keeps things hot up to four times longer than glass
- Two-stage filter with dual-screen eliminates sediment
- Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
- Comes in a variety of sizes and finishes
- Five-year manufacturer defect warranty
- More expensive than some other options
Best All-Around Budget Option – Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker
This is a great option for anyone who is just getting started with a French Press or needs a straight-up, easy to use and reliable option at a good price. This press has been around since the ’50s and has been incredibly well-received by the masses.
Many people compare the Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker to more expensive French Press options on the market.
The Chambord model was designed in the ‘50s to honor the iconic Château de Chambord in France, and they still produce it in Europe today with the same craftsmanship they used back then.
This Bodum line is available in both borosilicate glass and recyclable shatterproof carafes.
The borosilicate glass is ultra-light and strong and has great heat- resistant properties.
The Recyclable SAN Beaker is Shatterproof and provides the same clean cup of French Press coffee as the other glass option. Both carafes are dishwasher safe and will not get cloudy in the dishwasher.
With the exception of the Chrome and Matte Chrome colors; only the glass, plunger and filter are dishwasher safe. The frame and lid should be hand-washed with a non-abrasive sponge.
Bodum uses a stainless steel spiral plate that keeps the mesh plunger in place and ensures little to no grinds escape. The flexible spiral has a universal fit so it will fit with many other glass jugs manufactured by Bodum.
The Stainless Steel Filter Plate separates the ground coffee beans from the water after the brewing has stopped (ensuring your coffee doesn’t continue to brew in the carafe after it’s been plunged).
- Affordable price
- The quality has been compared to more expensive French Presses
- Manufactured in Europe
- The carafe comes in a variety of strong materials that are dishwasher safe and breakage resistant
- If you don’t pour it at the right angle some grinds can escape into the brew
- The frame and lid are not dishwasher safe
Do I really NEED a French Press?
Do you really need one? I don’t know. Do you really need any of the finer things in life? Here’s the deal. A French Press allows you to brew small batches of strong tasty coffee. They are easy to use, and I promise you’ll learn to appreciate the ritual of using a coffee press. Coffee lovers around the world love to use a press because they are gentle on coffee and don’t scald the grinds, which quite simply, makes the coffee taste better. You also don’t have to worry about a paper filter stealing all the delicious oils from your brew, and this makes the taste really well rounded and delicious. Some people get crazy with their French Press coffee preparation, using scales and thermometers for a precise brew, but I’m telling ya, it really doesn’t have to be that hard. Simply add grinds to your press, add hot (not boiling) water, steep the coffee for about four minutes and then press and pour. Voila!
Are All French Presses The Same?
I mean…some would argue yes, because any coffee press serves the same purpose. In reality, though, they’re not. The materials used to make a french press can differ quite a bit, and in turn, so does their quality and insulation ability. The handles pour spouts, plungers (that’s the part that actually presses the coffee) and mesh filters can differ too. That’s why it’s important to do your research and read reviews so you can figure out which French Press is the right option for you.
Common Questions Asked By French Press Newbies
Is a French Press Hard To Use?
No! But it does take a little more effort than spooning pre-ground coffee into your machine.
- Pay attention to the water to bean ratio; one HEAPING (7-8 g) tablespoon per 200ml (6.7 oz) of water.
- Use hot but NOT boiling water. Add it to your French Press and gently stir.
- Carefully place the plunger (which is attached to the lid) on the pot, make sure to sit the lid gently on top (stopping above the water and ground coffee line). Wait to plunge!
- Allow your grinds to steep for four minutes and then depress the plunger and pour a cup. Remember, small grinds in the coffee are normal.
- You will sometimes have black coffee “mud” at the bottom of your cup, this is normal.
What Equipment Do I Need?
- You will need to either have pre-ground coffee beans or preferably, whole coffee beans that you can grind at home. If you go with the whole bean option you will need a coffee grinder. Coarsely grinding your own beans right before use will always result in a better-tasting cup of coffee, but using pre-ground is OK too.
- You’ll need a tablespoon (seems funny, but measuring out your coffee is a must!) Remember to always use a HEAPING tablespoon per 200ml of water
- You’ll need a measuring cup or some way to measure out your water
- You’ll need (ideally filtered) almost boiled water (so a kettle or stove is a must)
How Should I Grind The Beans?
It’s always best to buy whole beans and grind them until they’re coarse. If you buy whole beans at a coffee shop, they will grind them for you (just tell them you’d like them ground for use in a French press). Pre-Ground Coffee that is store-bought is designed to work well in a coffee machine. A French Press loves a chunkier grind. Small grinds can get stuck in the mesh filter on your press and often slip through which can create a lot of sludge in the bottom of your cup, and make it harder to depress the plunger. Play around with the level of the grind until you find a consistency you like.
Can I Drink the Grinds Floating In My Cup?
Absolutely! With a French Press, it’s sometimes tough to avoid the floaties and I promise you, they won’t hurt you. If you manage to grind your coffee to the perfect size and use a top-quality press (like the ones on our list) you MIGHT be able to avoid grinds floating in your brew, but inevitably, you’ll probably still find some tiny ones. When you grind a bean, parts of it will shatter into inconsistently sized pieces that will often slip through some mesh filters. This often can’t be avoided (even by the pros) so just stop worrying and drink up.
Once The Steeping Time Is Up, Should I Pour ALL Of The Coffee Out Of My Press?
Yes, in a perfect world you should because as it continues to sit (in some) presses it will continue to slowly brew.
Which Size Of French Press Is Best?
When researching your press keep in mind that French Press manufacturers refer to cups instead of ounces…which can be pretty confusing. For example, when you choose to buy a “three-cup” french press, the amount of liquid it holds won’t actually equal three American cups. Confusing, right? The “cups” they’re referring to are usually based on European sizes (which are smaller).
Here is a handy guide for you:
- 3 Cups = 12 Ounces = 354 Milliliters
- 8 Cups = 34 Ounces = 1005 Milliliters
- 12 Cups = 51 Ounces = 1508 Milliliters
Unless you have a big coffee drinking family, you’ll probably find a 12 cup press is way too big for everyday use (maybe it’s best to have one set aside for hosting brunches etc). If you live alone and don’t host guests often, you’ll probably find a 3 cup press does the trick, but if you don’t live alone it’s probably best to get an 8 cup press as it’s a great mid-range size, and the standard size enjoyed by most people.
If you truly enjoy a good cup of coffee a French press is a need to have. That said, it’s only going to produce a cup that’s as good as the press you use, and the ingredients (and method) you use to make it. Try to purchase quality beans that you can coarsely grind at home, right before use. Take the time to pay attention to little details, like making sure your water isn’t too hot and waiting at least four minutes before plunging. As you get more confident with your press and use it more often, you might want to do extra things like weighing your coffee or measure the temperature of your water, but these steps aren’t necessary. We hope that this list of our top picks makes your French Press decision a little bit easier. Most of all, we hope that you can learn to slow down in the mornings and take a little extra time (just for you) to steep the perfect cup of coffee in your new French Press.