Three best French presses
Mornings would be a dark and depressing time without a strong cup of java to see you through. If you're anything like us, however, you don't have a lot of time in the morning to be fooling around with high-tech machines. Using a trusty French press is a quick and simple way to make a quality cup of coffee. But with so many of these handy coffee makers on the market, what should you look for to find the best French press for you? We've created this quick shopping guide to help you answer that question, including our picks for the three best French presses on the market.
Considerations when choosing French presses
You can find French presses with a wide range of capacities, from single-cup eight-ounce models to giant 50-ounce-plus presses. Think about how much coffee you and the others in your household drink, and select a size accordingly. Bear in mind that some French presses tell you how many cups of coffee they brew, but this is usually based on an eight-ounce cup, which is much smaller than an average coffee mug.
While you can find a few exceptions, the vast majority of French presses are made of either glass or stainless steel. Glass models are inexpensive and let you view the brewing process while it's happening, but they're fairly fragile. Stainless-steel French presses are rugged enough to survive a fall and are well-insulated, thus keeping your coffee warmer for longer. However, on the downside, they tend to be expensive, and you can't see inside to tell when your coffee is properly brewed.
Ease of cleaning
It's important to keep your French press clean and hygienic. The easiest French presses to clean are both dishwasher-safe and allow you to take the filter apart to clean inside.
Glass French presses provide very little insulation, so it's best to drink your coffee as soon as it's ready. If you want a French press that will keep your coffee warm for longer, choose a stainless-steel model with double-wall insulation.
The filter is part of the plunging mechanism, pushing all the coffee grounds to the bottom of the container once the coffee is brewed and ready to drink. It's generally made from a rust-resistant stainless-steel mesh. Some French presses feature a double-layered filter to help prevent finer coffee grounds from getting through and leaving sediment in your cup.
Basic glass French presses start at around $10 to $20, while high-end stainless-steel options can cost as much as $200. If you're looking for a good-quality, mid-range French press, you will pay about $20 to $30 for a glass model and $30 to $80 for a stainless-steel model.
Q. Can I buy replacement parts for my French press?
A. It's frustrating when one small part breaks on an appliance that's in otherwise excellent working order. If part of your French press breaks, such as the plunger or filter, you may be able to buy a replacement part so that you don't have to replace the whole thing. Your best bet is to check with the manufacturer.
Q. What sort of grind should my coffee beans have for a French press?
A. A coarse, even grind is best for a French press. If you use pre-ground coffee beans, rather than grinding your own, you can find coffee specifically designed for use in a French press.
French presses we recommend
Best of the best: Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
Our take: This top-of-the-line French press brews exceptional coffee, and it's available in five sizes from eight to 44 ounces.
What we like: This French press features durable stainless-steel construction and is double-walled to keep coffee warmer for longer. The dual screen leaves no sediment in your cup, even with finer grinds.
What we dislike: It's expensive.
Best bang for your buck: SterlingPro Coffee Maker French Press
Our take: Looking for a basic glass French press? This model is reasonably priced but doesn't sacrifice on quality.
What we like: It's made from thick, heat-proof glass reinforced with plastic to increase durability. The double-layer filter catches sediment from coffee grounds.
What we dislike: The vacuum-insulated lid could be better.
Our take: This French press is more affordable than many other stainless-steel options, but it still does the job well.
What we like: It's well-insulated, has an attractive brushed steel finish, and is dishwasher-safe. It brews a generous amount of coffee.
What we dislike: The filter is hard to clean as it doesn't disassemble.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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