Ok, we are going to start off here by saying that coffee aficionados seem to each have their favorite coffee making method. And they all tend to adhere to them with great and abiding passion. So when we review our picks for the Five Best French Press Coffee Makers, you can rest assured that we find this method one of, if not THE, best way there is to make delicious coffee. That’s why we are starting with the French Press.
And we aren’t alone, most of Europe agrees.
We aren’t here to dissuade any one. And–full disclosure–we will be writing three articles over three days about three different coffee making methods that we think result in reliably wonderful tasting coffee. The BEST coffee.
Each method renders a slightly different drink. And each method takes varying amounts of time and attention. So what fits one person’s taste and lifestyle may not fit another’s. But we are starting with the FRENCH PRESS because it has long been our favorite. And it is the method most widely used across Europe both in homes and restaurants.
GREAT WATER + QUALITY GROUND BEANS = GREAT COFFEE
Always. No matter what brewing technique you use. Great coffee starts with the best water at the perfect temperature married with the best coffee in the perfect grind.
So along with these articles about coffee brewing devices, you also will see our reviews of the best home water filters, the best electric kettles for heating water, and the beast coffee bean grinders for grinding freshly-roasted whole coffee beans.
One of the best things about a French Press coffee maker is that the device has been around so long, changed so little, and is so internationally popular that it doesn’t cost very much to purchase one. And they cost almost nothing more than the cost of coffee beans to use.
They are easy to clean. You can easily throw leftover grinds into your garden or use them for an assortment of beauty applications or even as room deodorizers. And almost all of the presses themselves are dishwasher safe. French Presses require no expensive filters that clog the landfill and no electricity other than what you might use to heat the water. So they have a very small ecological footprint as well.
But of course, the proof is in the coffee.
If you want a rich, aromatic cup of coffee, the French Press method is perfect for you. You have optimum control over the ratio of water-to-coffee so you have almost total control over how thin or how thick your coffee turns out.
The range of personal taste on ratio is quite wide, even among the most avid coffee fans. And sometimes the ratio changes depending on the specific beans and the specific roast of the beans.
Rule of thumb is that a water-to-coffee ratio anywhere from 1-to-7 to 1-to-16 makes great coffee.
How Hard Is It & How Long Does It Take to Make Coffee in a French Press?
We usually use 1 ounce of coffee beans (about 4 Tablespoons) and grind them coarsely just before brewing. Then we put the freshly ground coffee in the bottom of our French Press pot.
We then heat 1 liter of filtered or purified water to 195-205 F in a temperature-controlled electric kettle. We pour the water over the ground coffee in the French Press, swirl slightly as if the pot were a glass of fine Bordeaux. Then we put the lid on the pot with the plunger pulled all the way up and the screen touching the lid.
After 4 minutes, we press the plunger of our French Press down so that the screen pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot to trap them there. And the coffee is ready to drink.
We pour whatever amount we plan to drink immediately into our cups, then pour the balance of the pot into a thermal carafe to keep it warm for later.
You NEVER want to leave the coffee in the French Press after the four-minute brewing period. The longer coffee sits in the pot, the more it starts to become bitter. So unless you plan to add lots of cream and sugar to mask the bitterness, either drink your coffee right away or pour it into a separate storage vessel not touching the coffee grounds.
The amount of coffee you make can change easily, but once you determine the ratio you like, maintain that ratio no matter the volume. You may like your coffee slightly weaker or somewhat stronger than we do. Both are easily achieved simply by adjusting the water-to-coffee ratio slightly.
Your pot size controls the upper amount, but you can make smaller amounts of coffee in a press of any size.
We pour any coffee we don’t immediately drink into a thermal carafe to keep it warm for later. But some people like to drink iced coffee later in the day. To use leftover coffee for iced coffee, pour the coffee you don’t immediately drink into a Mason jar (or other heat-tolerable container), allow it to cool to room temperature, then store it in your refrigerator.
Our coffee may seem weak to you. This is the ratio we use if we are drinking our coffee “black” with nothing added to it. We make it stronger–with a higher coffee-to-water ratio–on the days we feel like adding cream and sweetener or if we feel like making Bulletproof coffee. Most people prefer slightly thicker and richer coffee if they plan on additives. You will find over time your tastes may change. One of the many beauties of a French Press is that it is easy to adjust the recipe to your tongue.
We have a strong preference for glass touching the coffee rather than metal. Not everyone feels that way. Some prefer stainless steel. But even if that is your yen, we strongly advise against buying a steel or double-wall French Press with the idea of keeping your coffee warm inside the press. Your coffee will taste 1,000 percent better if you don’t let it marinate in the coffee grounds.
But that is a matter of personal preference. Many people prefer to purchase a thermal French Press and eliminate the separate thermal carafe.
So here are our picks for the best French Presses at the best prices.
Bodum Brasil French Press
We are going to be very upfront here. This is a great French Press.
In fact, we have two of them in our home right now just in case someone forgot to stick yesterday morning’s pot in the dishwasher. This has been our go-to coffee pot for decades. One of the main reasons is because it makes great coffee and it is dirt cheap.
Our favorite combination.
Yes, we have strayed. And yes, we have other coffee makers in our kitchen that we have used from time to time. And we still do, just for variation sometimes. But we always come home to the best.
And–even if there were not a fantastic sale on Bodum coffee pots right now–this great little pot is one of the least expensive pots you can find anywhere. You can pay 10 times as much for a coffee maker and not end up with coffee as good as you get from this pot.
The bang for the buck is extraordinary.
Admittedly, the Bodum Brazil is not going to knock your socks off in the visual department. It has a incredibly utilitarian external plastic holder and handle with a borosilicate glass insert (the kind of glass that is both impact-resistant and heat-resistance). It comes in three color choices of Bodum’s classic Black, White, and Red. And actually, Bodum has recently added a fourth color, a mustard-shade of Yellow.
If you are willing to live with a Red one (which we happen to love) you can get this sweet Bodum Brazil French Press on a 30%-off sale right now on the 3-cup version of the Bodum Brazil, making the sale price only $9.99. And if you want the 8-cup version of the Bodum Brazil, it is 20% off, with a sale price of $14.99.
On both of these links, simply scroll down to the red Bodum Brazil to purchase it.
You can find the other three colors of this same press on that page as well, just not at the discounted prices.
Bodum Caffettiera French Press
This is a different style on the exterior, but has the same working interior as the Bodum Brazil. In fact, if you ever have to replace the inner glass or plunger, the parts are interchangeable with all of the other Bodum French Presses.
You may see some reviews on Amazon that talk about how “fragile” the glass is and how easy it is to break. But we have had a glass Bodum press in our home for 35 years and have broken the glass insert to it once. Yes. ONCE. In 35 years.
It scratches our brains to wonder what is going on in their kitchens. We throw ours into the dishwasher every morning. It has lived through kids and dogs and hurricanes and moves. The thing is virtually indestructible. I just hope those people don’t have china.
Anyhow, in the event you break the glass every three decades or so, you can replace it easily. And heck, at the price of this pot, you can just buy a new one.
Bodum has been around since 1944. It remains even today a family-owned and family-operated company. It started in Denmark with those simple, functional Danish concepts and weathered the family move to Switzerland in the 1970s. It remains focused on simple, no-frills functionality.
The Bodum Caffettiera has a chrome frame with feet to protect against counter surface heat damage. The lid is high-impact BPA-free plastic that never touches the water or the coffee.
More graceful to look at and designed in lighter colors than the Bodum Brazil, the Bodum Caffettiera usually is slightly more expensive than the Brazil. But it just so happens it is on sale right now, too. And with the deeper discount in the price, you can actually get it for less than the Brazil.
The Bodum Caffettiera French Press comes in a Pale Pink, Pale Pistachio, and Pale Blue with Chrome in a 3-cup and in an 8-cup version. Right now all three colors of the 8-cup Bodum Caffettiera are 30% off, so you can get any one of them on the Bodum website for only $13.99.
There are other Bodum French Presses as well. Same quality. Different styling. Different colors. These sales prices on such great coffee makers are hard to pass by. We aren’t sure how long this sale will run. But you can browse all of their sales through this link.
In fact, the pot we’ve had our eye on for a while, the Bodum Chambord in White is 30% off right now. The sales price is $27.99.
But the best deal is the ulta-modern Bodum Eileen with geometric Chrome overlay. It is 50% off, on sale for only $19.99.
You can browse all of these great Bodum coffee makers through this link to Bodum’s French Press sale.
Coffee Gator French Press
The Coffee Gator French Press has a rugged stainless steel interior with a pebbly-surface brushed metal exterior in several designer colors. It is a double-walled unit intended to leave brewed coffee in it as it doubles as a thermal carafe.
It is made from premium quality steel and has a cool-touch handle and a very modern and slightly masculine look.
The Coffee Gator comes in six exterior finishes including Pink, Forest Green, and Wine (all three of which seem to be out of stock items right now). But it is still available in Dark Matte Gray, Orange, and Brushed Stainless. The price is color-dependent, but ranges from $35-$40.
This unit gets high marks from a number of independent reviewers and has a lot of customer backing. Amazon reviews are consistently high.
If you routinely add cream and sugar to your coffee, this unit could function as an press/carafe for you so you would not need a stand-alone thermal carafe. If you add “stuff” to your coffee, it counter-acts any accumulated bitterness that accrues as you leave your coffee inside the French Press with the coffee grounds for an extended period of time.
Your own individual habits dictate what works best for you.
Cafetiere French Press by VeoHome
If we were picking with our eyes only, this is probably the French Press we would buy.
It comes in two sizes. The 27-oz (0.75-liter) Cafetiere French Press usually runs $30-$35. And the larger 34-oz Cafetiere French Press typically is around $60. But as of the date we are posting this, the larger model is on a holiday-weekend sale for roughly the price of the smaller model. We can’t guarantee it still will be when you check the price because prices fluctuate greatly around holiday sales times.
But it has a beautiful, classically graceful exterior.
This also is a stainless steel French Press, both internally and externally. But what we really love about it is the softly rounded shape that really sets it apart from most French Presses. There is nothing institutional-looking about it. It looks very “Old French.,” almost formal. And people who buy it seem to find it highly functional.
VeoHome appears to be a French company, and the design of this pot has a decidedly French feel to it.
Like the Coffee Gator, the Cafetiere is a double-wall unit intended to be a self-contained thermal carafe.
Müeller Double-Wall Stainless Steel French Press
If you are bound and determined to get a stainless steel French Press, it would be difficult to find a more well made, higher rated press at a better price than this one. Depending on the day you order it, this Müeller Stainless Steel French Press runs $20-$25.
It is dishwasher safe, rust-free, and has a no-coffee grounds guarantee. It’s also the highest rated stainless steel French Press for the lowest price that you can find on Amazon. It has insulated double-wall construction intended to be a one-vessel thermal carafe for your brewed coffee.
Müeller Austria is a highly respected European kitchen appliance company. Their products are Austrian-engineered and manufactured in Poland to Austrian standards. It is a highly-rated French press both by independent reviewers and by Amazon customers.
Any one of these French Presses will give you years of great coffee. Of that we are certain.
But for all of the reasons we have outlined, and particularly because of the Bodum sales right now, we strongly think taste-for-cost, one of the Bodum French Presses is the best buy. Which one is a matter for your eyes.
You get the same great tasting coffee in any one of them — for a truly great price.
So Frenchly is both and Amazon Affiliate and a Bodum Affiliate. We may make a small commission on any purchase you make if you branch from our website. But we choose our affiliates very carefully and only choose those we personally know and feel confident about. And branching from our site never costs you a cent. Your price is always the same, except for possible discounts you may get by branching from us. Any small commissions we may make help us continue independent and in-depth reviews.
You might also want to check out Our Favorite Thermal Carafe.