8 Best French Presses | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Unlike standard coffee makers, French presses don't leave behind an oily residue that can ruin future cups unless you regularly clean your machine. If you value your morning Joe, consider one of these models that will let you grind your beans however you want, and stop the brew in 10 seconds or in 10 days, depending on how amped up you want to get. Skip to the best french press on Amazon.
8 Best French Presses | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
The KONA French Press is a multifunction coffee, tea, and espresso maker with an appealing design and an insulated outer shell. It's a great choice for occasional use, though it won't last forever if you use it daily.
The Starbucks 10oz. Travel Press keeps gourmet coffee addicts on a caffeinated high all day long. This portable stainless steel French press makes great coffee anywhere, though it can only make a serving for one.
The Cafe Du Chateau for tea and coffee is made from stainless steel and durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass. The unit produces up to 34 ounces of coffee at a time. It is made with a reliable four level filter system.
The GROSCHE MADRID French Press is a premium model suitable for the refined tea or coffee drinker. The simple design of its borosilicate glass beaker and sleek chrome casing mean it looks great in use or just on the shelf.
  • three-plate filter
  • suitable for loose leaf tea
  • thin beaker prone to breaking
Model GR 171
Weight 1.7 pounds
The Bodum Chambord French Press will be your new best friend during those early mornings thanks to its great looks and its extra sturdy carafe, but mostly because it extracts maximum flavor and potency from your coffee grinds.
  • takes a long time to clean
  • classic press design
  • stainless steel internal components
Brand Bodum
Model 1928-16US4
Weight 1.3 pounds
The Secura 1 Liter French Press is a coffee aficionado's dream, brewing up to eight standard 4-ounce servings within its double-walled reservoir. It features a cool-touch handle and knob for comfortable and safe pouring.
  • screens catch even smallest grounds
  • superior thermal retention
  • 100% dishwasher safe
Brand Secura
Model SFP-34DS
Weight 1.7 pounds
The Le Creuset Stoneware French press is a lovely-looking device that is also the creator of smooth, rich coffee; no lumpy bits, guaranteed. The unit's quick clean-up is a plus, but be aware that ceramic can break just like glass.
  • high-fired stoneware
  • non-porous enamel
  • sumptuous cherry finish
Brand Le Creuset
Model PG8200-1067
Weight 2.7 pounds
The Frieling Polished French Press brews up amazing coffee and looks amazing, too. It has an 18/10 stainless steel cylinder exterior and interior, and its mirror-finish carafe doubles as a handsome serving pitcher.
  • large 36-ounce capacity
  • retains heat 4 times longer than glass
  • very easy to disassemble for cleaning
Brand Frieling
Model 0104
Weight 2.8 pounds

An Impressive Cup Of Coffee

A strange dichotomy has taken hold of coffee culture in the past 20 years. Places like Starbucks and its most direct competitors offer up a litany of caffeinated drinks presumably derived from coffee beans. Most consumers order them in forms so far removed from actual coffee by the addition of sugar, creamers, flavorings, and spices that to call the drinks coffee would be a kind of deception.

Then, there is the opposite end of the coffee-lover spectrum, which was, perhaps, a knee jerk reaction to the gourmand approach taken up by the big java retailers. I'm talking about the in-group of gourmet coffee enthusiasts, the specialists, the aficionados. These are the folks who brew different strains of bean at different water temperatures and store their coffee in underground, sound-proof vaults.

That's not to say the coffee purists out there necessarily know what they're talking about. Honestly, you could get a large enough group of people together and if they all agree on the superiority of the characteristics of one glass of water over another you could capitalize on a craze over gourmet boutique artisan water in no time.

One thing that's pretty undeniable, however, whether you're a purist or a casual coffee drinker, is that the way you choose to brew your coffee has a distinct effect on its flavor and its strength. When you use a French press, specifically, you're liable to end up with a stronger, more flavorful cup of coffee from the same amount of water and beans as you would in a regular drip coffee maker.

For Molecular Motion, Materials Matter

Coffee, unlike revenge, is a dish best served hot. I would argue that hot revenge has its good points, as well, but the point is that coffee just tastes better hot. That's because our human taste receptors don't respond with as much specificity when we consume foods at or above 98˚F. Beyond that point, we taste less and less, so that piping hot cup of coffee just tastes less bitter. The same is true below a certain temperature, as well, for all you iced coffee drinkers out there.

That means you want to find a French press that, among other things, comes in a material that will best insulate your joe against the cold. Understanding how coffee gets cold in the first place ought to help with your decision.

The thermal conductivity of a material is what will determine its ability to keep a hot beverage hot. Hot coffee is hot because its molecules move so quickly. As they slam into the sides of a container, they transfer a certain amount of energy to the container wall, slowing them down and cooling off your drink.

For clarity, imagine that you were in a mattress shop, and your sole purpose was to find the mattress that was the most fun for jumping and bouncing. If you jumped on a particularly hard mattress, your legs would get tired and your disappointment would ultimately grind your fun to a halt. If, however, you found yourself a wonderfully springy mattress, the sheer joy of the bounce could keep you airborne for hours. You want to choose a material for your coffee that's best for bouncing.

This is where the purists will come in and berate me for suggesting that you brew a full French press and leave the unconsumed portion behind until you're ready to drink it. They'll tell you that you're ruining the remaining coffee by over-brewing it. Technically, they'd be right; your coffee will increase in strength and bitterness the longer you leave it in the press, even after you press it. But if we're speaking in realities here, then that is most certainly what you will do. Either way, if you only have your coffee in there for the five minutes it takes to brew, you want it coming out as hot as it went in.

As far as the bounciness of your materials goes, glass is best, as it doesn't have a crystalline surface to it like metal or ceramic, so it gets the highest bounce rating. Ceramics come in a close second, with metal pulling up the rear. Take a look at the sizes of the available presses on our list, and match up the right amount of coffee for your household with the best available bounce, and the heat will hang around.

A Building Brouhaha

Before the French press as we know it today came about–with its metal mesh screens and elongated press arm–European coffee drinkers used cheesecloth screens fitted to somewhat similar metal rods for their brewing purposes. It wasn't until 1929 that a Milanese designer named Attilio Calimani patented a press we would categorize with its modern brethren.

Another Italian, Faliero Bondanini, began producing a similar device out of a French clarinet factory in 1958, and it quickly caught on in that nation, despite essentially being an Italian invention. Aided in part by its use in the 1965 British espionage thriller The Ipcress File, the device's popularity spread throughout Europe, eventually making its way to the US.

Since the coffee purists came along and started making us all feel bad about how we drink our coffee, presses have gotten even more popular stateside, so much so that companies like Starbucks have created single-serve travel presses like the one on our list.

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Last updated: 03/28/2017 | Authorship Information