What do you most value when you’re making coffee?
Addressing this question off the bat will make it far more likely you end up with an appropriate brewing system than a rash waste of money.
If you’ve previously turned your nose up at the faithful French press and considered it a primitive method of making coffee, you might want to rethink that…
Anyone looking for nothing more than a consistently great mug of coffee in less than 5 minutes would be well advised to consider ditching the machines and opting for the simplicity of a French press instead.
Ladle in your coffee, our on hot water and wait 4 minutes. Plunge downward and your coffee is served. Things don’t get much easier than that but you won’t have the backlash of a poor quality cup of instant in your cup as a result.
Today, we’ll walk you through 10 of the very best french press coffee makers on the market.
Before we launch fully into our best French press reviews, though, here’s a sneak preview of our top 3…
#1 Pick: Bodum Chambord French Press - The Best French Press
Selecting the standout winner from 10 products is always a tough call but we have no hesitation awarding our top pick to Bodum’s classic Chambord. Choose from a range of sizes to suit and invest in a classic design that will guarantee you the best coffee every morning without spending a fortune.
Runner-Up: KONA French Press
With glass encased by a snaking design of plastic outside, the KONA reboots the traditional French press without losing any of its roots or heritage. For a cost-effective and controlled way to enjoy the freshest filter coffee, treat yourself to this French press and you might end up forgetting about that espresso machine you’ve been eyeing…
Also Great: Secura French Press
Our worthy third place goes to Secura with this commanding stainless steel French press to grace any kitchen counter. With cool touch parts to keep you safe and a triple-layered filter for the crispest, cleanest coffee, you won’t regret securing a Secura.
The first thing you should pay attention to is what kind of French press you plan to buy and we’re here to help you out.
Table of Contents
I. Things To Consider Before Buying a French Press
When you walk into a store or visit a website to purchase a new coffeemaker, the sheer number of items available can be overwhelming…
There are only so many ways to make a cup of coffee, after all.
But what is the best way?
Many people agree that the very best way to make a cup of coffee is with a French press. There is just something to be said for the simplicity of making the coffee yourself set against using a machine to do it for you.
Even among French presses, there’s a surprising amount of variety, and it can be tough to know where to begin looking when making a selection.
Before you buy your French press coffee maker, we’ve got some advice on things you should consider. Keep reading for our tips!
See Also: Top 20+ Best Coffee Makers
1. What Is A French Press
You know by now that a French Press is something used to make coffee but beyond that, what is it?
A French Press is made of 3 main parts. There are smaller components as well, but the three most important are these:
The lid of the French Press is quite simple, as it’s simply a top to the carafe.
The plunger is one of the most important pieces to the French Press, arguably the most important. The plunger actually has 3 parts to it; the handle, the plunger and the filter. You use the handle to push the plunger and filter down into the carafe which forces the coffee grounds to the bottom allowing your coffee to brew.
The carafe is the container the coffee is brewed in. This is sometimes also known as a cafetière.
See Also: Top 13 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
2. What To Look For
Different people have wildly varying preferences when it comes to their French Press, but here are some common elements to look out for…
There are a few materials the carafe can be made from, the most popular being glass and stainless steel. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, so let’s consider them now…
Glass carafes are classic and are generally less expensive than their metal counterparts. Part of the experience of brewing with a French Press is watching your coffee being made, and with a glass carafe you can see it happening right in front of you. Unfortunately, glass doesn’t offer much in the way of heat retention, and although the borosilicate glass French presses are made from is sturdy, it’s still glass therefore obviously breakable.
Stainless steel carafes will cost you more at the outset, but the extra expense might prove worthwhile. Stainless offers showstopping heat retention, so you can brew more coffee at once without worrying about it cooling too much, and the stainless isn’t going to shatter if you drop it. The drawback here is that you can’t see into the carafe to see the coffee as it is brewing, but that’s a personal issue.
As we said, the plunger has 3 parts: the handle, the filter and the plunger. The most important consideration here is the filter.
In a drip coffee machine, the filter is typically fashioned from finely woven paper.
In a French press, the filter is usually made from steel mesh sheets that fold over each other. There are likely to be tiny bits of sediment made of coffee grounds, but most people don’t mind too much. The coarse filter in a French press allows you to experience the full flavor and aromatic body of the coffee once brewed.
Beyond this, make sure the handle of the plunger is sturdy and heat-resistant.
See Also: 7 Best Keurig Coffee Makers
The lid is not of too much consequence, aside from the seal and how much heat it allows to escape during brewing.
Some less expensive French presses do not have a way to prevent the escape of heat during the brewing of the coffee. Some models will have a piece on the lid that blocks the spout and traps the heat in the carafe.
Also make sure your lid has a strong seal unless you wish to pour hot coffee on your counters and yourself first thing in the morning.
Because everyone’s cup of coffee is a different size, make sure you pay attention to how many ounces the French press makes instead of how many cups it claims to make.
If you like to drink 16 ounces of Joe in the morning, make sure you purchase a French press that can comfortably accommodate that.
If you drink less, there are highly portable, much smaller French press coffee makers.
Perhaps you drink little during the week, but more on weekends… If so, you can still purchase a larger press and add less water until you need to make coffee for more people.
II. 10 Best French Press Coffee Maker Reviews
1) Bodum Chambord French Press
Bodum is a Danish kitchenware company that’s been in business since the 40s.
The Chambord is an elegant and timeless design that’s been in production for over a half-century.
From muted chrome and copper through to striking and vibrant red, there’s a Chambord to match your kitchen décor.
It’s not just colors you can choose from but sizes, too. Whether you want a dinky 12oz cafetière or a much more generous 34oz, get the right size for you and your family.
As with all French press coffee makers, you’ll need to handle your Bodum with care. Any glass appliance, whether you’re using it or cleaning it, needs to be cosseted. If you look after your Chambord, it should return many happy years of service.
One thing to watch out for is the ambitious claim from Bodum that the Chambord is dishwasher safe. We’d advise extreme caution about popping any part of this cafetière into the dishwasher. You’re much better off to rinse and wash it by hand or you’re highly likely to end up with cracks or splits.
In terms of the end product, you’ll get reliable filter coffee every time with the steel mesh filter bringing out the very best in the grounds in terms of flavor and aroma.
Although this design dates back decades, a recent tweak means the lid has received some attention and you’re much less likely to experience any spillage when you’re pouring.
This minor niggle aside, if you’re looking for a pared-down method of enjoying first-rate coffee at home, the Bodum Chambord is the obvious solution.
- Couldn’t be easier to use
- Borosilicate glass carafe for optimum insulation
- Rugged stainless steel components and body
- Shotgun delivery with fresh coffee in 4 minutes
- Looked after properly, will last for years
- Not the cheapest French press
See Also: Top 7 Best Coffee Makers With Grinder
2) KONA French Press
If you’ve decided to cut away all the fat and get back to coffee basics with a French press, sometimes the simpler the better…
A French press is no place for bells and whistles better reserved for a super-automatic espresso machine and with the KONA, you’ll get a fantastic cafetière that punches above its weight.
The plastic shell that snakes its way around the glass is a nice touch and makes this coffee pot at least slightly more robust than most all-glass alternatives. Plastic is, of course, BPA-free so you can sip away without worrying about your health.
If you have a large family and you’re used to lots of voices clamoring for coffee first thing, the 8-cup capacity of the KONA means you’re in safe hands. 4 minutes after brewing up, everyone’s caffeine fix will be delivered. This gives you a lot more latitude than many smaller cafetières.
The 3-piece stainless steel filter is rugged and highly effective. You can remove it to simplify cleaning. You can pop the rest in the dishwasher without worrying unduly. We would not really recommend this and always favor hand washing a French press. Is saving a few seconds really worth that distressing sound of shattered glass?
If you want a basic vessel to help you enjoy finely brewed coffee at its best without the ceremony of pour-over or the lack of control of a single-serve, this KONA French press is well worth popping on your shortlist.
- Extremely cost-effective way to enjoy gourmet coffee
- Plastic shell enhances durability
- Striking design for a simple coffee pot
- Great capacity making up to 8 cups of coffee
- Super-simple to clean and dishwasher safe
- Some users report cracks developing so keep a close eye out for leaks
See Also: Best Pour Over Coffee Maker
3) Secura French Press
In a market positively glutted with glass cafetières, the stainless steel Secura makes a remarkable statement.
As with every French press, you’ll get great coffee in 4 just 4 minutes or so. You’ll enjoy a little more ability to customize your drink by stacking multiple filters together if you’re looking to use super-fine grounds.
The triple-layered filter is where this French press stands tall and you’ll get no sediment seeing through to spoil your morning coffee.
With double-walled stainless steel, you’ll get the ideal insulating properties to keep your drink piping hot for longer.
The cool touch handle and knob mean you can benefit from this heat retention without burning your hands as a result.
The only notable downside is that you’ll need a bit of elbow grease to operate the plunger. This is by no means a deal-breaker but be aware of this if you struggle with using brute force.
Dishwasher safe, you’ll have no niggles when it comes to keeping your Secura tip-top.
One of the primary advantages of the stainless steel mesh filter is that the precious oils and acids filtered out by paper can make their way into the final mix giving you coffee the way it should be.
If you want coffee shop quality beverages every day without the expense of buying coffee pods, invest in the Secura French press and you’ll never look back.
- Roomy enough for 3 large coffees
- Exceptional stainless steel build quality
- Outstanding triple-layered filtration for the smoothest drink
- Stack filter screens for super-fine espresso
- Cool touch handle and knob for your safety
- Plunger can feel like hard work
See Also: Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker
4) Bodum Brazil French Press
Another strong offering from the legendary Bodum up next in our best French press reviews, the Brazil.
This iconic design has been selling out since the 1950s. If black is too subdued, you can opt for a striking red or green instead.
You won’t get the stainless steel of the Chambord but with borosilicate glass and BPA-free plastic, you’ve got the core ingredients of a classic French press.
There’s no protective plastic around the glass so, as with all cafetières of this design, handle with extreme care. This fragility means the Brazil is not your best bet for a camping mission or a road trip. Durability will always be relative when you’re dealing with glass but even by these standards, the Brazil needs handling with kid gloves.
As with all the best French press coffee makers, you’ll have a first-class caffeine fix in less than 5 minutes with absolutely no fanfare. Whether it’s your tech-hating gran or your teenager, anyone can return gourmet drinks stress-free.
If you tire of coffee, how about some loose-leaf tea instead? A hidden benefit of the best French press is its versatility when it comes to making drinks. Any infusion like fruit tea will also come out a treat.
There’s little to choose between the Brazil and the Chambord but if you’re looking for a budget French press with a modern twist on an enduring design, Bodum delivers across the board.
- Multiple colors if you want a splash of brightness
- Big cafetière good for 8 cups of coffee
- Clean, minimalist design
- Impeccable brand heritage
- Perfect combination of speed and quality of drink
- Plastic parts rather less than rugged
- Durability all-round is suspect
See Also: Top 20+ Best Espresso Machines
5) Frieling French Press
Next up in our look at the best French press coffee makers is another stainless steel beauty, this time from the industry heavyweight Frieling.
If the straight-up stainless steel is not to your taste, you can grab this cafetière in a brushed finish or in metallic black. While the age-old design of glass, more recently borosilicate glass, is perfectly fit for purpose, longevity will always be questionable with glass. A tiny tap on the faucet while you’re cleaning and you could be looking at a broken cafetière.
Not only will you extract superior lifespan from this rugged but stylish French press, you’ll arguably get a finer cup of coffee into the bargain.
Many French presses come in a single size which might very well not be suitable. Whether you want a dinky 8oz pot or a 44oz beast, Frieling has you covered.
With a rock-solid 5-year guarantee in place, you can buy this French press with complete confidence and it might well be the wisest purchase you make this year.
The only meaningful complaint we can really level at the Frieling is the price tag. While you would pay much more for a machine, if budget is your prime concern then this is not the cafetière for you. If, on the other hand, you have the cash to spare and your standards with coffee are uncompromising, this French press stands head and shoulders above most of the competition.
- Carafe also works as an insulating pitcher keeping your coffee piping hot
- 2-stage filter for a clean, sediment-free drink every time
- Choice of stunning finishes
- Multiple sizes available so suitable even for larger families
- Super-simple to clean
- Extremely expensive for a basic coffee maker
See Also: Best Ninja Coffee Bar
6) Bodum Travel French Press
With the third Bodum model entering the fray inn our French press reviews, it’s easy to see why this brand has such a stranglehold on this type of basic coffee maker.
Today, so many people have mobile lifestyles, travel appliances always sell strongly. The Travel model in Bodum’s impressive line of cafetières is no exception. Whether you want a cup for your morning commute or the chance to enjoy great coffee on your camping trip, this affordable gem is a must.
While many people immediately associate a French press with expanses of brittle glass, it doesn’t have to be that way. Indeed, if you want a travel coffee experience, the very last thing you want is something likely to smash or shatter. The double-walled stainless steel keeps your coffee warmer for longer, while the flash of colored grip is designed to resist any slippage.
Coffee from the Bodum is as you would expect… Assuming you’ve taken care of grinding properly, you’ll have a delicious filtered coffee in less than 5 minutes. At the end of the day, everything else is secondary to that finished product and with the Bodum Travel Press you’ll have absolutely no complaints.
- Perfect for coffee on the go at all times
- 4 vibrant colorways offering you plenty of choice
- Insulated mug keeps your coffee nicely drinkable for hours
- Silicone grip won’t slip from your hand on a busy train
- Holds 15oz so great even if you enjoy a longer drink
- Lack of glass may annoy purists but you can’t argue with the end result
See Also: Best Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo
7) Coffee Gator French Press
As we edge toward the end of our best French press reviews, in storms the formidable Coffee Gator.
Whether you want a muted gray or a practically luminous orange carafe, there’s a Coffee Gator to match all kitchen décor.
Alongside a hard-hitting French press, you’ll also get a matching container so you can store up your next dose of coffee without losing any of the taste or smell. A genuinely useful e-book is also included and crammed with useful tips and advice.
The double-layered stainless carafe is not only reassuringly durable but will also keep your coffee or tea at its very best for significantly longer than a glass alternative.
Many French presses are sorely let down with filters that contain far too much flimsy plastic. The filtration system on the Coffee Gator is entirely stainless steel with everything nicely tied together. This will optimize flavor and aroma while making certain no sediment spoils your finished drink.
If you are driven only by the bottom line, there are plenty of cheaper options that will get the job done. If you want rugged staying power matched with impressive design and the ability to render exceptional coffee every time, think long and hard about the Coffee Gator.
- Great choice of color schemes to brighten up your kitchen
- 34oz capacity enough for even voracious coffee fiends
- Double filter will keep the flavor in and the sediment out
- Container thrown in to store your fresh coffee
- Cool touch handle lets you benefit from insulation without endangering yourself
- Relatively pricey but still great value
See Also: Top 10+ Best Coffee Scales
8) SterlingPro French Press
Currently available at an aggressive discount, the SterlingPro is a French press with a difference…
If the whopping 1-liter carafe isn’t quite man enough for you, there’s a colossal 1.5 liter model up for grabs so regardless of how much coffee you swig down in the morning, you’re in safe hands with the SterlingPro.
The stainless steel design means you’ll never again hear that cracking sound only to need to throw away yet another broken French press. Not only is this double-insulated construction built to stay the distance, it looks great too. The mirrored sheen makes the SterlingPro a strong fit in any minimalist or utilitarian kitchen.
Alongside the carafe itself, a core element of any French press is the filtration. Without proper attention paid here, you’ll end up with a sloppy coffee quite likely to be filled with grinds and sediment. The only manufacturer to deliver double screens, you’ll notice a marked improvement in the end coffee compared to most of the competition. Just because a French press is by design simple, that doesn’t mean all cafetières are created equal.
For plenty of silky smooth coffee in minutes flat without needing to take out a bank loan, look no further than the enduringly popular SterlingPro.
- Double-screened filter for sediment-free coffee in every mug
- No plastic components will satisfy true aficionados
- Exceptional design but not a case of form over function
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-friendly for your convenience
- Pair of steel screens thrown in enhancing value further
- No markings on carafe for measurement purposes
- Central connecting component is fragile so handle carefully
9) Bodum Columbia French Press
Just in case you haven’t noticed by now, Bodum are pretty good at designing the classic French press.
The Columbia occupies a relatively large footprint in its biggest 51oz incarnation but there are 6 sizes in total catering for as few as 3 cups or enough for a sprawling family depending on your situation.
Although the Columbia is not exactly cheap, take the build quality into account before immediately considering a less expensive alternative. If you look beyond the bottom line, you’ll likely be impressed by the overall value rather than bemoaning the price tag.
Sometimes even committed coffee drinkers tire of the usual staple and with the Bodum you can switch up to a selection of tea, herbal tea or fruit infusions if you fancy ringing the changes.
If you’ve used a French press in the past, you’ll almost certainly be familiar with the tedious design flaws in many models resulting in a cascade of scalding coffee all over the counter. Bodum has worked hard to produce a safety lid which puts paid to this nonsense once and for all.
As with any kind of coffee maker, when you’re buying a French press you should think about what would work best for you rather than expecting one particular product to hit all your pain points. If you want lots of coffee without needing to refill and you don’t mind investing a little, you can’t go far wrong with the classic Bodum Columbia.
- Keeps your drinks stay hot for an incredible 2 hours
- Redesigned safety lid puts an end to dangerous spillages
- Broad spread of sizing available
- Stress-free cleaning and dishwasher-friendly
- Should last for years of dedicated use
- Certainly not the cheapest French press
- Reasonably bulky so not suited for travel use
10) Le Creuset French Press
If you’re a cooking fan, you’ll be only too aware of the reputation enjoyed by Le Creuset for supplying top-tier products. This brand might not be cheap but anything issuing from Le Creuset should be considered an investment not an expense and is priced accordingly.
If you’re reluctant to throw away your old glass French press, you might want to rethink. Ceramic will outperform glass every time in terms of heat insulation. If you tend to brew up a batch of coffee and then let it sit idle for some time, the stoneware carafe will keep that coffee drinkable even if you forget about it for a half hour.
Don’t be concerned about this coffee maker being dainty either… The ceramic has a completely non-porous finish. You shouldn’t notice anything by the way of scratching or chipping as long as you don’t start throwing it around.
The non-stick interior should mean fewer coffee grounds stuck on inside. Cleaning is a breeze and you can pop your coffee maker in the dishwasher without panicking.
For a classic with a difference, why not road test this sleek, contemporary French press that breathes like into a tried-and-true classic? Le Creuset will not disappoint.
- Stunning stoneware adds a twist to normal design
- 11 color schemes means there’s something for everyone
- Resistant to scratches and stains so no need to stand on ceremony
- Ceramic keeps your coffee hotter for longer
- Incredible brand heritage available at a reasonable cost
- Fairly heavy and bulky
III. French Press Coffee Instructions
Once you’ve made your selection and purchased the best French Press for your needs, you might be looking at the contraption in confusion, trying to determine how to use it.
The pieces of the French Press might make it look like it will be a complicated process. Thankfully, looks can be deceiving and that’s certainly the case here. Using a French press is actually pretty simple, and it’s an extremely forgiving method of brewing coffee. Once you have the steps down, you’ll be able to get a consistently great cup of coffee every time.
Though it’s not complicated, there are still some essential steps to follow and certain things you need to be mindful of when using a French Press to make your coffee so read on…
Many people argue over what makes the correct ratio of water to coffee, and how you should measure that ratio out.
Some people insist the only way to properly measure the coffee is by weighing it on a gram scale, while others maintain it’s perfectly fine to just pour in a few scoops of coffee grounds.
If measuring by weight, the most frequently used ratios are 1:15 to 1:18.
What this means is that for every 1 gram of coffee you use, you need to use 15 or 18 grams of water. Make sure you have a good scale if you use this method to help ensure consistency.
If you choose to measure by volume, follow the measurement suggestions on your package of coffee or go by the standard ratio of 1 tablespoon of coffee for every 6 ounces of water used.
Honestly, the best ratio for you is going to come down to your personal preference.
If you like a bold, strong cup of coffee then you should use a measurement of coffee grounds that gives you that. If you prefer a cup that is solid but perhaps not European strength then feel free to reduce the amount of coffee grounds you use.
Experiment with the ratios a bit until you find your sweet spot for your perfect cup of Joe.
The temperature of the water you use is crucial. As this is a manual method of brewing coffee, you won’t have a machine to heat the water to the proper temperature needed to extract the full flavor from your coffee grounds.
If the water is too cool, it will not be able to pull the flavors and oils from the coffee grounds which will result in dull, flavorless coffee. On the other hand, if the water is too hot, it will scorch the coffee leaving you with a bitter brew.
You should measure your water according to the ratio you have chosen for your coffee and put it on to boil. When your water reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and let it cool down for 30-45 seconds. Ideally, the temperature of the water should be 195 degrees, but you don’t have to stand over it with a thermometer to make sure.
Brewing The Coffee In The French Press
Once you know your ratio of water to coffee grounds and you’ve boiled and cooled the water, it’s time to get the coffee brewing in the press.
Many suggest slightly preheating the carafe before brewing the coffee, especially if you are using a glass model. You can do this by filling the carafe with warm water and then emptying it.
- Firstly add your measured coffee grounds to the bottom of the carafe.
- Pour in just enough water to get the coffee grounds wet. You can mix it around a bit to make sure they are saturated. Allow the coffee grounds enough time to bloom - this is when they puff up a bit, it usually takes about a minute - and then pour in the rest of the water you boiled and cooled.
- Quickly stir the water and coffee grounds together and place the lid on top of the carafe, but do not push down on the plunger yet.
- Set a timer and let the coffee brew in the carafe for your desired amount of time. This again is about your preference for the taste of the coffee. You will probably want to play around with timing a bit and tweak things until you get it just right for you. 4 minutes is commonly suggested for the brewing time.
- When your timer goes off, push the plunger to the bottom of the carafe. Be firm but gentle or you will wind up chewing your coffee because there will be a lot of grounds in it.
- Pour the coffee from the carafe into your cup. Enjoy!
IV. How to Grind Coffee for French Press
Even if you have done plenty of diligent research on a product and read all the suggestions and reviews, you can still end up with a lousy cup of coffee.
Even if you go to the store and spend a sizable amount of money on a top of the line French press, you can still wind up with a bad cup of coffee.
Even if you follow every word of the instructions precisely, you can still somehow come up short.
You might be staring at your bitter, burnt tasting, or flavorless coffee wondering how in the world a contraption as simple as a French press can be giving you so many problems… but you’re not looking in the right place.
Most people are concerned with what pours out of the spout of their French press’s carafe, but the truth is that the main focus of how a cup of coffee will taste starts long before it’s ever brewed.
The most important thing that will influence what type of coffee pours from your French Press is what you put into it to begin with.
The most critical part of the process is the coffee beans, and more so, how those coffee beans have been ground.
When it comes to making a good cup of coffee, the grind of the coffee bean is vital.
When brewing coffee in a French Press, you will want a different grind of coffee than you would want when brewing your coffee in an automatic drip brewer.
Coffee used in a French Press should have a coarse, even grind to it.
The best choice of coffee to use in any application is coffee that’s freshly ground right before brewing. The reason for this is that as coffee grinds are exposed to the air they lose their flavor and delicious aroma. It doesn’t matter how tightly you close the bag or seal the canister of coffee grounds, the flavor will rapidly deplete, and you’ll be left with stale flavorless coffee.
Understandably, some of us don’t have enough time to grind coffee every single time we want a cup of Joe, so there are pre-ground coffees available with the requisite coarse grind. Just try not to make a habit of using them every day!
To get the best grind for your coffee, you’ll need to invest in a great coffee grinder. Don’t worry, it really won’t take up too much space on the counter, and they don’t have to break the bank. You can get a decent coffee grinder for a perfectly reasonable price.
Selecting a Grinder
As with everything else, when it comes to the entire process of getting the elixir from those little beans into your cup and perking up your morning, you’re spoiled for choice, and it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Luckily, we’re here to help you out. Keep reading for our simple but effective tips on choosing the best coffee grinder for making coffee in your French press…
There are 2 main types of grinder, a blade grinder and a burr grinder.
There are stark contrasts between these 2 contraptions which we’ll double down on now.
Featuring stainless steel propeller shaped blades that rotate at high speeds - upwards of 20,000 rpm! - a blade coffee grinder doesn’t actually grind the coffee beans. Instead, it simply chops them up into smaller pieces.
Blade grinders are relatively inexpensive, generally costing less that $30. A blade grinder also takes up very little room, which is great in smaller kitchens or for people with little storage space. One of the most popular available is the Krupps Electric Coffee Grinder.
There are several problems with blade grinders, though…
When the coffee is chopped up into bits inside the blade grinder, there’s no consistency to the grind. You want a coarse grind, yes, but you also want a grind that is all coarse, not one that’s mostly coarse with some fine particles mixed in.
This inconsistency in the grinds will cause a couple problems. Firstly, it will give you a coffee that’s poorly brewed. Because there is such variance in the sizes of the grind, the flavor and aroma will not be able to be pulled from each piece equally. Secondly, you will likely notice some sediment in your cup of coffee because of the finer particles of coffee beans not being properly filtered.
As a further niggle, you won’t be able to recreate the same grind each time, as there are no settings for the different levels of grind. You’ll just have to rely on how the coffee grinds look and hope you get it right and this is no way to operate.
Because of these inconsistencies and problems, we do not recommend you use a blade grinder for your French press.
The burr grinder has been around for a very long time and is still the top choice of coffee grinder for genuine enthusiasts.
This is the type of grinder you see in coffee shops and cafés.
You can find burr grinders in a manually operated style like the grinder your great-grandparents used or in an electric operated version.
A burr grinder has 2 metal surfaces covered in abrasive grooves. These surfaces are the burrs. When the grinder is being operated, one burr remains stationary while the other spins. As this happens, the coffee beans are scraped between the burrs and are ground into pieces.
Burr grinders allow for a coffee grind that is much more uniform and, because you can adjust the distance between the burrs, you retain full control over the grind of the coffee whether you want it coarse or fine.
A burr grinder is the type of grinder we recommend when you are grinding coffee to use in your French Press.
Our favorite burr grinders are the Handground Precision Coffee Grinder which is a manually operated burr grinder, and the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder which is an electrically operated burr grinder.
Both are fantastic choices and we can’t recommend them strongly enough.
V. French Press FAQs
Though a French Press is a relatively simple machine to operate there’s still be some confusion and questions that need to be addressed in order to use it properly.
Here we will take a look at some of the most common concerns and show you how to ake the most of your French press experience.
1) How do I clean a French Press?
Because a French press is comprised of only 3 main parts, it’s relatively easy to keep clean. Be aware of how the pieces come apart so you can put them back together correctly once the contraption is cleaned.
Wash the French press after each use. Using warm water and a few drops of soap, fill the carafe and put the lid on, pushing the plunger into the water. Let this soak for a few minutes and then pour out the water. Rinse the carafe and lid, and gently scrub any residue from the plunger and filter screen. Rinse them well and allow them to dry.
If your French press is dishwasher safe, you can clean it that way. Place the carafe in the dishwasher. Detach the plunger screen from the handle and put the handle and plunger components into eh silverware basket to prevent them from escaping during the wash cycle.
2) My coffee doesn’t taste right, what’s going on?
This issue of bad tasting coffee can be sourced to several issues, most of which have already been covered.
Did you make sure the water temperature was correct? Remember, water that’s too cool will not be able to fully extract the flavors and aromas that your coffee beans are able to provide, and water that is too hot will scorch the coffee leaving you with a bitter, burnt tasting cup of Joe. Remember you want your water around 195 degrees so that your coffee will brew just right.
Perhaps your coffee is too weak or too strong for your liking. This is where you need to tweak it and play around with ratios and timings to get it to your liking. You can adjust the amount of coffee grounds and amount of water you are using as well as the amount of time you let the coffee brew. This is your cup of coffee, make it your way!
3) Why is there sediment in my cup?
There will likely be a tiny bit of sediment no matter what when you use a French press to brew your coffee, but if there’s a large amount, it’s because your coffee grind is too fine. Please make sure that you are using a coarse ground coffee that has an even grind. Preferably from coffee beans that you ground yourself in a burr grinder.
4) How can I get new filters for my French press, and how do I know if I need them?
If you clean all the pieces well, your filters should last a few years. Your French press should be cleaned after each use, but sometimes little bits of stuff get worked in and just won’t come free. If you notice you are getting sediment in your coffee no matter how you grind the beans, or spot s any dirtiness on the filters that won’t come off, it might be time to replace these filters. You can generally purchase them from the same place you purchased your French press if the model comes with replaceable filters.
5) How do I know when it’s time to buy a new French press?
If you cannot get replaceable filters for your French press, it’s time to buy a new one. You do not want to continue brewing coffee in a space prone to bacteria or you risk making yourself ill. Also, if any parts of your French press break you need to replace it. It won’t work correctly if it cannot plunge properly or be effectively sealed.
We very much hope this extensive look into the seemingly simple French press has given you a few ideas along with the desire to get back to your roots.
There are many far more tech-driven methods of brewing coffee now but for anyone interested in simplicity and purity along with complete control, grinding your own beans and using a basic French press is showing no signs of fading away.
Whether you want a classic glass carafe or a steel or stoneware variant, pay close attention to our buying guide, read plenty of French press reviews then buy with confidence knowing gourmet coffee won’t need to involve a trip to Starbucks every day.
Come back soon!