While most french presses serve virtually the same function there are still some aspects you might want to look for in one. They are mainly a question of preference, but here we are going to go through those aspects so that you can decide what is the best french press for you. And also I will give you a list of my best french presses that meet most of these aspects, so whatever you like, I’m sure you will find a good option in it.
¿What to look for in a french press?
As I said before, most french presses serve the same function, but still you do want to have one that is ergonomic and comfortable to use. If you are like me, then you are usually sleepy while preparing your coffee, so it is just better to have your life made simple. Here I like a comfortable handle and a carafe and lid that doesn’t slip from it is base when you tilt it while pouring, specially when you are pouring the last drops.
The size of your french press will depend entirely on how many people you are going to be preparing coffee for. And it is a matter of convenience and preference, as long as you stick to the same coffee/water ratio you can prepare coffee on any sized press. Sizes that you will find are 12oz, 17oz, 34oz and 51oz. The most common are 12oz and 34oz.
French presses are mostly made of borosilicate glass, stainless steel, and stoneware. The most “classic” version of a french press is the borosilicate glass, which is good at supporting the water’s high temperature. If you enjoy the classic design and being able to see your brew while you are doing it, this is the way to go, on the downside of all three materials glass looses heat more quickly.
Stainless steel french presses are usually made of double walls which allow retaining heat for longer, so they have more control over temperature while brewing, but do not use this to keep the coffee longer in the french press, I don’t recommend it, see why on my french press tutorial. They will also last longer since steel doesn’t shatter like glass.
The third material, stoneware, is also very good at retaining heat, although it will break easier than a stainless steel one. In the end the reason for getting one is that you like the looks of it.
Honestly there is no big downside to any of the materials, so whichever you like will be good.
Having some grit in our coffee is part of french press coffee, if you don’t like it at all I would suggest drinking pour over coffee or any other type of coffee that uses a finer filter. But some french presses come with a double filter that allows getting more grit out of the brew without taking away the flavorful oils. I personally don’t mind the grit.
Well… not necessarily the prettiest equipment will make the best coffee, but since french press brewing is so straight forward, of course it is nice to choose a brewer that you like and that you want to show off to people visiting.
So having said this I will go straight to showing you my list…
The Mr Coffee French press will be the way to go if what your are looking for is to save money. It is still made of borosilicate glass to stand the temperature so as long as you don’t drop it, you will have a durable french press, it disassembles easily for cleaning, and will be ready to go for the next batch of coffee.
It is available for 38oz of coffee or 1 Lt.
For most of us, when we think of a french press, what comes to mind is the Bodum Chambord, some say it is the best french press or at least it´s the one against other presses are being compared with. This is because of its classical design. It is also very easy to use due to its ergonomic handle and has a nice thick glass which gives it more durability.
The Bodum Chambord is available in 12oz, 34oz and 1 Lt presentations.
Still, in the Borosilicate Glass category, the Kona differentiates itself with its modern design and that it is available in two different colors, black and red. The base is made of plastic so this gives the glass some shock protection. One thing I like about the Kona french press is it is handle, it´s extremely ergonomic and makes it easy to pour to the very last of the coffee prepared. It comes in 34oz size, which is good for preparing from 1 cup to 4 cups.
Design is the first thing that comes to mind when you see the Hario Double Glass french press, it is extremely unique and to my opinion it is awesome, definitely the option if you are willing to spend a bit more to impress your friends when they come over.
Because of it is double glass wall it helps maintain the heat for longer which might help to have a more consistent brew. It is made on an unconventional size of 400 ml. which is slightly bigger than the common 12oz. It works perfectly for 3 cups.
This is one of my favorites, it meets almost all needs and preferences, it is simple and elegant, and the lid has Oxo’s characteristic design made of stainless steel. It is a double wall french press which helps with the heat, the outer wall is made of plastic and the inner wall is made of borosilicate, so you can have both a shatterproof press while being able to see the brew inside. It is available in a 32oz capacity.
This is the only stoneware french press on this list, it is available in a 27oz presentation, and what I like about it is that from the available stoneware options it has the simplest design, it resembles a nice Jar. Because it is made of stoneware it does not need a double wall to preserve the heat so getting great coffee out of it should be very simple.
The frieling is one of the high end players on this list, it is made of stainless steel with a double wall for heat efficiency, it is design is well… beautiful. But the most characteristic aspect of it, is its double stage filter. This means it has two filters one finer than the other, so it will reduce to very little the amount of grit in your coffee. The best options for those who don’t like sediments. The frieling is available in four sizes 8oz, 17oz, 23oz and 36oz
This is also a stainless steel, double walled press, what makes the Kitchen Aid unique, is that it has a built in scale and timer. So if you are very meticulous on the way you prepare your coffee, this means you won’t have to use a scale you have it all there. It is an expensive french press so I would recommend it if french press is the only way you prepare coffee, if not, it is better getting a coffee scale.
The sterling pro is a great stainless steel press, it is design is minimalist and it is also not very expensive. Definitely the option if you want a low cost stainless steel press. It is still a double wall press and very easy to handle. It comes in various sizes all of them over 1Lt. The downside is that there is no option for those who only brew one cup.
This is the travel version french press of this list. Although for those of you who have read my tutorial on french press coffee you know that I don’t recommend letting the coffee sit after it is brewed, but still I find this design very convenient and for those of you who do not have a problem with letting it sit, I think it is a great option for taking in the car or the office.
Which One to chose?
As you can see none of the features on a french press make the coffee better or worse, the truth is french press coffee is great all along, the only feature that might make a difference would be the double filter of the frieling but only for those of you who are bothered by the sediment. In the end your choice will be narrowed down to the one you like best and how much you want to spend. I only wouldn’t go with very cheap presses because they might end up disassembling easily and If you get to a store and chose, do check getting one that is built in a way that is easy to clean. All the options in this list are.
I hope to have helped you, and if you have any questions please let me know below.