Plenty of coffee drinkers swear that French press is the ultimate brewing method. Made correctly, French press coffee is intense, powerful and packed with delicious coffee flavor. It should be almost as concentrated as, yet have the full taste of . But selecting the right French press isn’t exactly easy. Though they’re simple to operate, there are .
Fortunately for you, I’ve personally used and tested a group of top-selling models. And, afterand drinking scores of cups of coffee, here’s what I learned on my quest to find the best French press a coffee lover can buy.
The Bodum Chambord has a classic French press design that hasn’t changed much from when it first hit the scene in the 1950s. Despite that, this model brews great coffee that’s strong, well-balanced and richly flavored. Its steel parts also come in various finishes. I especially like the vibrant red version shown here.
For just $20, the Bodum Brazil delivers hot coffee every bit as good as the company’s more expensive Chambord model. To cut down the price, Bodum uses plastic instead of steel for some of the coffee maker’s parts. Its carafe, however, is borosilicate glass. The coffee I brewed in the Brazil was satisfyingly strong, yet balanced.
The Veken French press is very well-equipped considering its reasonable price. Inside the kit you’ll find various tools you won’t see bundled with other French press models: a fancy wooden mixing spoon, a cleaning wand and a battery-powered milk frother for whipping up cafe-style drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
I also like this French press’ elegant copper finish. It really sets it apart from other models I’ve seen. Most importantly, the Veken brews outstandingly delicious cups of coffee.
The most expensive model in this group, the Frieling French Press doesn’t come cheap. What you get for its steep price is a heavy stainless-steel press construction that’s designed to last. Out of all the French press coffee makers I used, it felt the most durable by far. Its metal body also has insulating dual walls that keep coffee hot for hours.
Coffee I brewed in the Frieling came out well-extracted yet strong. So if money is no barrier, this is the French press for you.
Others we tested
How we evaluated them
I test French press brewers much like I test standard drip coffee makers. I begin by hand-washing and hand-drying each product. Then I grind enough coffee beans to meet a specific brewing ratio. For a French press that’s 4 ounces of ground coffee to 32 ounces of water.
I then add(203 F, 95 C) to the brewing chamber, stir the grounds and let them sit for 4 minutes. After that I drop the plunger for each press and pour a sample cup. Next I draw a sample of the brewed coffee and measure its percentage of total dissolved solids. I use a pocket reflectometer for this test. From there I can calculate the extraction percentage for each batch of coffee I brew.
Ideally, the extraction percentage ofshould be in the range of 19% to 22%. While this number alone doesn’t guarantee delicious joe, it’s a strong indicator of it. Ultimately the truth lies in a proper taste test.
More for hot beverage enthusiasts