The French press coffee maker is a favoured choice for its simplicity in producing a rich and flavourful cup of coffee with minimal effort.
With a straightforward design consisting of a glass jar for mixing ground coffee and hot water, and a plunger to separate the grounds, it’s a clean and cost-effective method for brewing coffee.
Despite not being the most widespread brewing technique, its ease of use and affordability make it a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts. Whether you’re new to French press brewing or seeking to deepen your knowledge, this guide is here to help.
French Press: Origin and basic concepts
The French press coffee maker has its roots in France in the mid-nineteenth century but was patented by Italian Attilio Calimani in 1929. They come in various sizes to fit your home coffee preparation needs.
The only downside to brewing coffee with a French press is that it’s not as fast as other methods. You must let it sit for 3-4 minutes before enjoying your coffee.
However, it’s very easy to use and requires no special skills. Anyone can make a delicious cup of coffee with a French press. Although other coffee makers are more commonly used, the French press remains a popular choice for coffee lovers.
Following some basic rules is important when using a French press to avoid ruining your coffee. The most crucial step is to serve the coffee right after it’s done brewing. If you let it sit for too long, it will become bitter. And if you serve it too soon, it will be too sour.
If you are interested in buying a french press online, you will be excited to take a look at some of the leading models on the market here:
- Clever Chef French Press Single Serving Coffee Maker Small
- Cafe Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker
Where to buy a french press?
Cheap French presses are widely available in supermarkets, but if you’re searching for a specific brand or high-end model, online shopping is your best bet.
Online retailers like Amazon offer a wider range of options and better prices than physical stores. French presses aren’t as popular among online shoppers, so you may only find basic and low-quality models in supermarkets.
The best brands of french presses 2023
The French press method of brewing coffee is unique, and many top brands may not be the most recognizable. However, the brands we will highlight below are well-known among coffee lovers and are considered the leaders in this category of coffee makers. Let’s take a look:
Bodum French Press: The Best of the Best
Bodum is undoubtedly the top brand in the world for French presses. With a vast variety of high-quality models and a range of options from affordable to designer, you’ll find the perfect French press for your needs within this brand.
As a leading European manufacturer specializing in French presses, it’s no surprise that several of the best-selling and most popular French presses come from Bodum.
- BODUM 8 Cup French Press Coffee Maker, Black
- BODUM 1543-01US Brazil 3 Cup French Press Coffee Maker, Black
Renberg French Press: Affordable Quality
Renberg, a Central European brand, deserves recognition in the world of French presses for its exceptional price-to-performance ratio.
While Renberg’s selection of French press coffee makers may not be as extensive as Bodum’s, it offers a variety of options, including colourful plastic models and high-quality stainless steel or aluminium options.
In conclusion, purchasing a Renberg French press coffee maker means taking home one of the best-value coffee makers on the market.
Quid French Press: Affordable and Eye-catching
We also want to mention Quid in the world of French presses for its affordability. Quid offers some of the most budget-friendly French presses on the market. Considering buying a French press online without breaking the bank, consider the Quid Ceylon and Quid Fiona models.
These French presses feature bold designs with bright, eye-catching colours and are made of durable plastic. Check them out for a budget-friendly yet stylish option.
SILBERTHAL – The Ultimate French Press
SILBERTHAL is a German brand that stands for high-end products. They strive for excellence in all their creations, which is evident in their French press coffee makers.
These presses are made with only the finest materials and boast elegant designs, making them the ideal choice for coffee enthusiasts and daily users. The presses are constructed with durable stainless steel, ensuring they are built to last.
- SILBERTHAL French Press Coffee Maker 1L 8 Cups
- SILBERTHAL Cold Brew Coffee Maker – Glass & Stainless Steel
Bialetti: Italian Craftsmanship in French Presses
Bialetti’s french presses feature quality materials, elegant designs, and excellent brewing results. There’s a Bialetti french press with options ranging from stainless steel to glass to fit everyone’s taste and budget.
Whether a coffee connoisseur or just a casual drinker, you can enjoy delicious, rich coffee in the comfort of your home with a Bialetti french press.
- Bialetti 0003160/Nw Coffee Press Omino 350 ml
- Bialetti 1 Litre 8 Cup Bialetti Trend Coffee Maker, Silver
Factors to consider when buying a french press:
- Size: Choose the size that best suits your brewing needs (0.35L, 0.5L, 0.7L, or 1L)
- Material: Glass is always borosilicate, but the body can be made of resin, plastic, stainless steel, or aluminium. This affects the product’s lifespan and price.
- Price: Larger or better-made french presses tend to be more expensive, but they are still generally affordable.
What are the top French presses of 2023?
When deciding between different models, it’s common to have questions about size, budget, and coffee consumption. The best French press is the one that fits your needs in terms of size, material, and budget.
It’s recommended to select a French press with the right size for your coffee consumption, made from quality materials without exceeding your budget.
Many French presses are available in various sizes, so once you have picked a model that meets your criteria, you can choose the size you prefer. For instance, the Bodum Chambord comes in multiple options, as shown below:
- Bodum Chambord Coffee Maker, 0.35 L/12 oz – Silver
- Bodum Chambord Coffee Set with Coffee Maker and Travel Mug
Some popular models widely considered the best French presses include the Bodum Brazil, Bodum Chambord, and Quid Ceylon. These are some of the most frequently purchased French presses online.
Components of a French Press
A French press coffee maker, also known as a plunger, consists of two parts: the container and the plunger.
- The container can be made of glass and holds the coffee grounds and water. It is usually surrounded by a stainless steel casing and has a small handle for easy handling.
- The plunger, which gives the press its name, is a small device with the same circumference as the container. It is used to press the coffee grounds after they have been infused with water. The bottom of the plunger has a filter to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid, while the top has a handle or knob for easy use.
The following image shows the complete structure of a French press coffee maker, such as the Bodum French Press:
This is the same configuration and components used in french press teapots (in this case, modified with an infuser to hydrate the tea leaves).
What do you need to brew coffee with a french press?
One of the significant advantages of making coffee with french presses is its simplicity. You need:
- The coffee maker
- Hot water (not more than 95º C)
- Ground coffee (coarse grind)
How to use a french press
- Coffee beans: 30 grams
- Type of grind: Medium-coarse
- Filtered water: 500 grams
- Water temperature: 95 degrees Celsius
Here is a step-by-step guide to preparing coffee with the French Press:
- Preheat the French Press and cups with hot water.
- Grind 30 grams of coffee to medium-coarse size.
- Place 30 grams of coffee into the French Press and add 500 grams of filtered water at 95 degrees Celsius.
- Place the lid on the French Press and let the coffee rest for 4 minutes.
- Break the coffee crust on the surface by gently stirring and remove the foam with spoons.
- Let the coffee rest for an additional 5 minutes.
- Lower the plunger until it reaches the surface of the coffee.
- Serve delicately without disturbing the coffee beans at the bottom.
This recipe takes 9 minutes to extract the coffee, which results in a high caffeine value. This added time is ideal for preparing breakfast toast. The longer the coffee sits, the better it will taste, as it becomes sweeter and sweeter as it cools down.
What should coffee be like for a french press coffee machine?
For the french press, we should use coarsely ground coffee, as we explain in this article: types of ground coffee. This thickness translates into a greater surface area of contact with water and, therefore, (by work and grace of the infusion) higher flavour extraction.
If you use an excessively finely ground coffee, you will barely manage to infuse it in the 4 minutes required. You will get a brew with no colour or flavour.
Related: What is boiled coffee?
What is French press coffee like?
With the french press, you get a very aromatic coffee, tasty and full-bodied, a product of the infusion time left for the beans to release all the oils and nuances to the drink. With other preparation methods, these oils are not directly extracted or lost or are absorbed by paper filters in drip coffee machines.
In our case, because they are present in the beverage, they are responsible because coffee with a french press has a more consistent and thick appearance than other coffees.
Coffee prepared with a french press has nothing to do with other types of coffee. For example, espressos are much more concentrated, making it possible to distinguish less between flavours.
In a french press coffee maker, the whole liquid is soaked with aromas, nuances, oils, sugars, and chemical components. All the essence of the coffee you will drink at the end. For this reason, french presses will always have more residue and caffeine than espresso. And consequently, it is recommended to use 100% Arabica coffee.
French press or Moka pot?
This question often arises because consumers lack knowledge about the coffee makers, brewing methods, and the coffees obtained from each one.
An Italian coffee maker, or Moka, is used to make espresso. It is a much more concentrated coffee. The coffee made with the French press is different. To avoid doubt, we advise you to read our guide on Moka pots and learn what type of coffee is prepared with them.
Which is better, a french press or a Moka pot? Well, this is a question for which there is no answer. It doesn’t make sense. It depends on the type of coffee you like to drink. No more and no less.
Spare parts for the french press
Buying spare parts for french presses is very common because these coffee makers have two essential elements for their operation and are entirely independent of each other: the glass cup or receptacle and the plunger.
The glass container can fall, break, or scratch; it is a fragile element due to its constitution, as it happens, for example, with the glass jars of filter coffee makers.
When buying a spare part for the glass of your French presses, you have to make sure that its size fits perfectly with your piece (and if it is the spare part of the same model and brand as the one that has been broken, so much the better).
On the other hand, the plunger or filter is responsible for pressing the coffee and filtering the coffee grounds to remain at the bottom of the glass. Without it, you cannot separate the drink from the ground coffee. It is an elongated handle with a mesh filter at one end. This filter is the one that can be broken most frequently, although fortunately, it is cheap and easy to replace. A very simple element, but yes: it must have the same diameter as the inside of your glass.
You can buy spare parts online for your french presses. Usually, you have to look for the brand, and the manufacturer will offer you the available options. Here are some examples:
- KitchenCraft PY8CUP Le’Xpress 8-Cup Coffee Maker Replacement Glass Jug, 1 Litre
- Bodum 01-10945-10 Coffee Press Replacement Beaker, No Spout, Borosilicate Glass – 8-Cup
The best cheap french press
This is perhaps a redundant paragraph regarding articles such as the french presses, which are quite cheap. We can always make distinctions and ask ourselves questions such as. Which are the most affordable french presses? Where do you buy the most inexpensive french presses?
As mentioned in this guide, french presses are usually affordable. Still, some expensive models belong to prestigious brands, bear a designer’s signature or use materials such as stainless steel in their casing. If we discard all of these, we are left with the cheapest french presses on the market.
They probably belong to brands you don’t know and are not built with steel but with plastic or resin. Still, their price does not exceed 10-15 pounds and allows you to try this attractive brewing method without risking too much budget.
Here is a list of the best cheap french presses you can find on the Internet:
- Xavax Stainless Steel Manual Tea/Coffee Maker with Press Filter – Black 0.6L
- Quid Ceylon – Plunger Coffee Maker 600 ml Fuchsia
Stainless steel french press
Fans of the french press, who use their french presses daily, will typically have at home a set of 2 or 3 pieces of different sizes. And they won’t mind spending a little more to enjoy a top-of-the-range french press with stainless steel casing, which in addition to presenting a more attractive design, will always have more exceptional durability and resistance to shocks.
When we talk about buying a stainless steel french press, we always refer to the structure that holds the glass cup inside and sometimes to the lid’s material that closes the plunger. These are some of the best stainless steel french presses you can find today:
- La Cafetière Coffee Maker Cafetiere French Press, Thermique Insulated 8-Cup
- Secura French Press Coffee Maker 18/10 Stainless Steel
Small french press
If you’re curious to try french press coffee, you may not want to involve your family and roommates, so you’ll need a coffee maker. Or maybe you live alone and don’t need to brew more than one or two cups of coffee simultaneously.
The size of your french presses is no small matter since, as you have read in this guide, coffee prepared with the french press should not be overheated. Better at the moment.
Which is the smallest french press? The smallest size you will find in the market is 0.3 or 0.35 litres. A third of a litre to understand each other. If you know of any french press model that sells in a smaller size, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments.
If you want to buy a small french press (or a third of a litre, which is the same thing), here are some options:
- BODUM K11102-01 Travel Press Set Coffee Maker with Extra Lid, 0.35 L/12 oz – Black
- BODUM Chambord 3 Cup French Press Coffee Maker, Chrome, 0.35 l, 12 oz
Large french press (1 litre)
On the other extreme, we find the need to buy a large french press when we frequently attend visits or meetings of several people. We can’t prepare one or two coffees individually because making French Press coffee takes 4 or 5 minutes, so making all the coffee you need at once is a good idea.
And for these occasions, you need to buy a large french press.
What is the biggest french press today? Well, the 1.5-litre ones. We don’t know of any larger pieces than these. If you want to buy a 1-litre french press, and you don’t know where the shots go in terms of price or what models are made in this size -not everyone has it- then check out the list below: the best large French presses on the market.