Though it’s not entirely clear whether the coffee plunger originated from France, these little manual coffee making machines are worldwide known as a “French Press”; reason being that the first who commercialized them were some French companies. The process behind a French press and how it makes coffee is quite simple: when the hot water is poured in the carafe with coffee, it extracts the oils from the ground beans, brewing coffee. Think of it as instant coffee – but using ground beans which need to be filtered before being poured in your mug. Here are some of the best French press coffee makers I have tried out so far:
Bodum Columbia Thermal 51-Ounce Stainless-Steel Coffee Press
Bodum is one of the oldest and most renowned French press maker companies of all, so much that many people still refer to French press carafes as Bodum. In this particular Bodum model, they have strayed from using the traditional glass carafe which allows you to peek at the coffee being made for the efficiency of a steel body. This is because using stainless steel, the French press is able to keep the coffee warmer for much longer; and to make it even better, this machine has double stainless steel walls – allowing it to maintain the beverage hot for over a couple of hours.
The French press is quite large, holding up to 50 ounces, which allows for around 12 cups of fresh brewed coffee. It uses replaceable mesh filters (made in a single piece for cleaning convenience) which don’t need to be replaced often. A personal tip is to use a medium grind for the best results: too thin and the grounds pass through the filter.
Frieling Ultimo 44 oz French Press Brushed Finish
- The whole body and filter is also made of stainless steel to maximize heat retention and help the coffee stay warm for longer.
- This is a sturdy coffee maker, and will last you a lifetime, regardless of how much you use it and where, both indoors or out.
- Very easy to clean as each part can be easily removed; also because it is made of stainless steel, the insides of the carafe won’t have any coffee stains on it, even if you forget some sitting in (personally happened to me: I forgot it half-filled overnight, but didn’t leave any stains when I cleaned it afterwards).
- Very stable both when empty or filled while remaining elegant to look at.
KRUPS KM4688 Moka Brewer Filter Coffee Maker, 10-Cup, Black
Krups is well known for being maker of semi-automatic coffee machines, and though the French press is a traditional hand operated machine, their attempt at making an automatic version deserves some attention. Water is poured in the compartment under the carafe where it is made to boil and then sent up to the grounds with a filter where the brewing happens. The coffee then drips into the carafe where it is kept at an optimal temperature thanks to the boiling water and heater located just below it.
While I do appreciate the effort, I still consider this to be a somewhat modified drip coffee machine (as it operates similarly to one) though the taste is a bit like a French press. But from what I can say from using the machine, this is the best automation attempt at a French press so far – if you’re willing to sacrifice some taste in exchange for ease of use.
SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel French Coffee Press, 1 Liter
When a product is of great quality and comes at a competitive price, it sells well: that’s how it works, plain and simple. So, I wasn’t shocked to see that this product is sold by someone with the “best seller” tag on Amazon: it looks aesthetically pleasing because of its polished mirror finish, and it was even better once I tried using it.
Like all other respectable French presses focused on keeping coffee warm, it features double stainless steel walls for insulation. It also uses two screen meshes in its filter, making it one of the few (or the only one, actually) to do so, allowing it to hold back more grounds, preventing them from getting poured in your mug – though I still recommend using medium coarse grounds as the finer ones can still pass through. This French press is actually smaller than the others though, able to make up to a liter of coffee each brewing (roughly 8 cups), as opposed to the standard 12 cups of larger carafes.