I love my French Press.
It’s a super simple coffee maker. A big pot where you brew the coffee and a filter to get rid of the grounds when you’re done.
The French Press results in a rich, oily taste that is beautiful and unique. This is because the relatively large holes of the filters allows the thicker coffee microparticulates and creamier, oily particles to pass through. It means a delicious full-bodied taste that is impossible to achieve with many more complicated and expensive methods.
My thing is getting that coffee shop quality taste at home.
Don’t listen to anyone who says you only get good coffee through a massive quadruple grouphead espresso machine.
The whole world will tell you to fork over your hard-earned cash to get some decent coffee in the morning. It’s not real coffee unless you’ve spent the best part of $10 on something with your misspelt name on it.
I can make better with just a $20 coffee maker and the right coffee beans, and so can you.
Not skimping out on size either. I like my coffee big. With enough caffeine to send me into hyperdrive for another productive morning.
And that’s why the French Press is one of the best devices available, it’s child’s play to make a coffee as big or as strong as you like.
How To Choose A French Press
A French Press is a simple design. A pot where you mix coffee and water with a plunger to strain the coffee. As such, there is little to choose between the models in terms of coffee preparation. They can all make great coffee.
The budget models are roughly similar, being made of plastic and boro-silicate glass. You can shell out a little more to get a stainless steel option or something that will last longer. (Update: check out the Secura (4th option) for a stainless steel French Press with great reviews that is also inexpensive!)
You might hear some sales-speak of a strainer that removes any microsediment. That’s BS, as far as I’m concerned. There will always be sediment in your French Press coffee.
You could pour it through a paper filter to remove the sediment, but then you’d no longer have the unique French Press taste.
I’ve collected the best options currently available on Amazon. Pick one you like the look of and get it delivered in a couple of clicks. Every single option on this page has been thoroughly researched and scores high in user reviews.
1. Bodum Brazil – Budget Option
Bodum is a huge name in the coffee world. So huge, in fact, that the people of France typically call one of these “un bodum”. But what would the French know about the French Press? Oh…
This is a classic design. It’s a solid piece of equipment, made of borosilicate glass which is super strong glass that feels a bit plasticky. It’s plain-looking, a simple design that won’t win any awards for uniqueness. There are options to purchase it in alternative colors of red or lime green, if that so interests you.
My dad has owned one of these for years and swears by it. It’s simple, it’s reliable, it works.
The next option is the Kona French Press which is made of BPA free plastic and borosilicate glass that is strong and dishwasher safe.
As French Press’s all work in much the same way, you may want to choose your purchase based on design and the Kona has a lovely form which will be a nice addition to any kitchen.
The Kona comes in two sizes. The 12oz (350ml) is just the right size for a normal cup of coffee. Bigger drinkers might want to plump for the 34oz (1 liter) model.
The Veken is a newer model that wasn’t available when I first wrote this article, but its beautiful design and large number of good reviews meant I felt I had to include it.
One of the most striking things about the Veken is its quadruple filter system. While you’ll never eliminate the microsediment from French Press coffee, it’s part of the method, this’ll go some way to reducing the amount left in the bottom of the cup.
As you can see on the photo on the right. This French Press gives you measuring lines so you can see how much coffee you’re making. A nice touch and very practical.
You even get a 2-year warranty on top of everything else.
4. Secura Stainless Steel French Press
The Secura is a newer French Press that offers one great advantage: a well-built and polished stainless steel exterior for a modest price.
I used to recommend another model for stainless steel which was north of a hundred bucks so to see this hit the market was a pleasant surprise and I quickly added it to this article.
The stainless steel is built to last and has the added benefit of retaining heat better, so this option is perfect for those of you that like their coffee as hot as the sun. You get one option for capacity which is 34oz or about 1 liter.
How To Remove All Sediment
French Press coffee will always have some small amount of coffee grounds, or microsediment, remaining in the bottom of the cup. Even the very best and most expensive commercial coffee bean grinders produce some fine particles that will end up in the bottom of your cup and will probably make you choke and spit.
If you drink it, of course. I recommend not drinking it.
The fact is, French Press uses an immersion brew technique that creates a full-bodied (think thick and creamy texture) coffee, you could run it through a paper filter once it’s finished brewing but then it’s no longer French Press coffee.
How To Know Which Size To Get
Many French Press’s you see will advertise themselves as ‘3-cup’ or ‘8-cup’. ‘Eight cups?! I don’t want one that big!’ I hear you cry. Be mindful that this is ‘cup’ as in 4 ounces. Not the number of cups of coffee you will be able to make.
The two most common sizes you will see are ‘3-cup’ or ‘8-cup’. Generally speaking, ‘3-cup’ is 12 oz which is good for one cup of coffee and ‘8-cup’ is 32 oz which is good for two or three cups. The reviews link to ‘8-cup’ French Press’s where possible, although there are usually alternative options.
The only reason to get a 3-cup is if you need a small, travel option. Otherwise get an 8-cup. If you need to make less coffee then you just don’t fill it all up. Easy!
The Key To Making Good French Press Coffee
Which French Press you buy does not change whether you make good coffee or not. Fantastic coffee comes from the right extraction and this is where most people trip up.
If you use preground coffee then your coffee will have lost all freshness within a few hours and be basically dead within a day or two. Even worse is using a cheap grinder or (god forbid) a blade grinder.
This will produces ground coffee that is full of fine particles that extract too quickly making your coffee bitter and silty and full of large blocks that barely extract at all making your coffee weak and acidic. You want even grounds, not dust and boulders.
The quickest way to fast-track yourself to top tier coffee is by having smoooth, consistent, evenly and freshly ground coffee. The way to get there is by investing in a high quality burr grinder. Here’s my recommendations on hand grinders and automatic grinders.
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