I’ve never been a fan of French presses — sure, they’ve been around for decades, but their coffee-making abilities are vastly reduced as compared to most coffee machines on the market. Also, they require more hand work, which I’m not always willing to do — if I can get my shot of espresso the way I like it with minimal effort when using a sophisticated machine, why bother with a French press? Yet I wanted to give Mr. Coffee French presses a try.
Are they good? What should you expect from them? I’ve reviewed the best French presses from Mr. Coffee below. Also, do not hesitate to check out our general french press coffee makers page for more choices.
1. Mr. Coffee Cafe Oasis 32-Ounce Coffee Press
• 32-ounce glass carafe
• Stainless steel unit
• Protective cover prevents unwanted spills
• Dishwasher safe
• Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 8 inches
I found the Mr. Coffee Cafe Oasis 32-Ounce Coffee Press at just $29 — it’s perhaps the cheapest price I’ve ever paid for a coffee maker. At the first glance, the French press appears sleek and modern, with a beautiful stainless steel build that seems solid enough to withstand frequent use. The carafe can accommodate up to 32 ounces of coffee, or about four 8-ounce cups — enough for a two- or four-person household.
As with all French presses, there isn’t a certain brewing time. I found that the coffee tastes best when you leave it 6-8 minutes. Leave it less and the taste will be watery; leave it more and you’ll drink bitter, overextracted coffee. As a rule of thumb, you should never make more coffee than you can drink — the plunger will continue to brew even after you pull it back down, so the drink will be very bitter after a few hours of sitting.
The protective cover of the carafe makes it easy to avoid spillage even when you’re not careful. The unit is fairly lightweight when empty, but can get a bit heavy when there’s more than 16 ounces of coffee inside the carafe. The mesh filter doesn’t catch the “fines” (those super fine particles), so I need to use a spoon to pick them up, otherwise the coffee is undrinkable. It takes about two minutes or so to catch them all, but I don’t mind it if I’m in the mood. So far I’ve been satisfied with the Mr. Coffee Cafe Oasis 32-Ounce Coffee Press, although I would have appreciated shorter brewing times and a richer aroma.
2. Mr. Coffee 1.1 Qt French Press Gift Set
• 1.1-quart glass carafe
• Stainless steel French press
• 4 x 12-oz glass mugs
• 1 coffee scoop
• Dishwasher safe
This Mr. Coffee French press is fairly similar to the other one in terms of performance and looks — but much to coffee drinkers’ delight, it also includes four 12-oz glass mugs and one coffee scoop. I’ve actually bought one of these gift sets for a close friend who absolutely loves French presses, and she’s still thanking me for it.
Brewing is adequately easy with this unit, but I have to use a coarser grind if I want my cup of Joe to turn out really flavorful. This doesn’t prevent fines to get through the mesh filter, though — and I usually spend another two minutes to pick them up with a spoon. Once I pull the plunger up, it takes about 6-8 minutes for the coffee to be fully brewed and taste good. One thing I really don’t like is the build — mine was quite flimsy, while my friend’s seemed really sturdy. Also, the carafe tends to slip out when I pour hot water in it so I need to put my thumb on the carafe to prevent this. It’s not an issue, but can make handling more difficult, especially for those with really small hands.
Cleaning the French press isn’t too difficult, although the plunger can be troublesome to clean. I usually run it under a stream of hot water and this is enough to keep it clean. If you’re planning to get this unit, make sure to soak the plunger in some white vinegar for 5-10 minutes so all odors are removed. It will also help with keeping the plunger looking like new. The only problem is getting it out of the unit — you need to loosen the screw at the bottom of the plunger to take it out, and then tighten it back up. It takes some time, and may not be worth the hassle for some.
Mr. Coffee French Press Coffee Maker Reviews – My Verdict
As I said, I’m not a fan of French presses — but I’d happily recommend the Mr. Coffee Cafe Oasis 32-Ounce Coffee Press to anybody who asked me for a suggestion. The unit performs well, but if you’ve never used a French press, you’ll need some time to learn how to get really tasty coffee.