10 Best French Presses | April 2017

10 Best French Presses
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Any connoisseur of caffeine will tell you that one of the best and simplest ways to get a fresh and full-bodied cup of coffee is with a French press. This delicate method of separating and filtering the grounds sets it aside from other brewing styles. Our selection of presses comes in a range of sizes and materials, so you can easily find one that matches the needs of you or your family. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best french press on Amazon.
10
Le Creuset Stoneware Cerise has a beautiful non-porous finish that makes it odor- and stain-resistant. It can be put in the dishwasher, but to truly get a good clean the filter and plunger must be completely taken apart as grounds often get trapped.
  • keeps coffee hotter than glass
  • grounds tend to get into the drink
  • heavy and a bit cumbersome
Brand Le Creuset
Model PG8200-1067
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
The Starbucks Travel keeps gourmet coffee addicts on a caffeinated high all day long. This portable, double-walled unit makes great coffee anywhere, though it is a bit costly, especially considering it only makes enough for one.
  • silicone band provides a secure grip
  • silky black matte finish
  • not microwave safe
Brand Starbucks
Model 11022824
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
8
The Cafe Du Chateau Four Level is made from 304-grade steel, protecting it from wear and rust, and the strong glass is relatively break-resistant. The tight inner seal ensures no grounds wind up in your teeth, and the entire unit is BPA-free.
  • comes with detailed instructions
  • lifetime replacement warranty
  • contents can cool quickly
Brand Cafe Du Chateau
Model FY1
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
7
The Ritual Bamboo has a beautifully fabricated outer structure and an attractive logo on the glass. Its specially designed filter makes sure you get the freshest tasting coffee without the grounds, and the glass is safe for water up to 400 degrees.
  • squared-off handle is easy to grasp
  • has a nonslip base
  • lid soaks up moisture over time
Brand Ritual
Model NA
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
6
The Brill Stone Indestructible is a barista's dream. Its ultra-fine mesh filter helps remove acidity, so you'll get the rich flavor and fresh-brewed taste you've been looking for, plus the high-quality insulation is efficient at keeping beverages hot for extended periods.
  • includes a scoop and dessert spoon
  • chrome or candy apple red
  • swiveling lid closes the spout
Brand Brill Stone
Model pending
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The Grosche Madrid is a premium model that produces a rich, full-flavored cup suitable for the refined coffee snob. The stylish, slim design of the chrome outer casing means it looks great in use or just on the shelf and it also protects the flimsy beaker from cracking.
  • filter sits snugly against the glass
  • sturdy plunger won't bend
  • backed by a one-year warranty
Brand GROSCHE
Model GR-171
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
4
The Secura Stainless Steel produces delicious, piping-hot java within its double-walled reservoir that has a beautiful finish and looks great in any kitchen. It features a heat-resistant handle and knob for added comfort and safety.
  • triple layer filter
  • long lasting thermal retention
  • safe to put in the dishwasher
Brand Secura
Model SFP-34DS
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
3
The Bodum Chambord will be your new best friend during those early mornings thanks to its great looks and extra sturdy carafe. This flawless model is manufactured in Portugal to exacting standards and makes delicious, aromatic coffee that is sure to please.
  • available in a variety of sizes
  • simple design makes it easy to use
  • beautiful chrome finish
Brand Bodum
Model 1928-16US4
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
2
The SterlingPro 34-ounce has a strong and beautiful borosilicate glass pitcher. Its filter creates a very smooth and full-bodied cup of coffee by virtually removing all coffee grounds from the carafe, and considering its price and quality, it is a great value option, too.
  • makes an amazing gift
  • ideal for both coffee and tea
  • comes with two replacement screens
Brand SterlingPro
Model 8cupg
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
1
The Frieling Double Wall brews up amazing coffee or tea and looks amazing, too. It has an 18/10 stainless steel, double-sided cylinder that keeps coffee hot up to four times longer than a glass pitcher, and is available in a variety of sizes.
  • double-step filtration system
  • extra large handle
  • disassembles for easy cleaning
Brand Frieling
Model 0104
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

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 on April 13, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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