How to Choose the Best French Press Coffee Maker?
Table of Contents
Top Best French Presses Based on Reviews and Price
Why You Need a French Press Coffee Maker?
If you love brewing and sipping dark coffee, it is possible that your experience in most of the types of coffee makers are less satisfactory than desired. The French press, also called a plunger, press pot or piston coffee maker, is the best option when it comes to making dark, coarse, creamy coffee with natural topping.
This product is equipped with a transparent, semi-transparent or simply sealed container and a lid with an integrated circular plunger or piston. It presses the coffee remains against the bottom of the device to filter. It then separates the clean part of the preparation with the grain remains. In a few minutes, this type of coffee brewer will allow you to obtain a coffee with a lot, adding tasty aromatic power.
However, like every kitchen appliance, many models and variants have kept flooding the market. To help you choose, here is a buying guide on criteria to focus on before buying one.
Top 8 Factors to Consider When Buying a French Press
#1 The Types of French Presses
Which French coffee maker best suits your needs and lifestyle as a coffee lover? There is more than one version for the functionalities of these appliances;
This is the first version of the coffee maker and the most widespread around the world. It has a cylindrical body or widened sideways. It also features a triangular nozzle designed to release heat properly and serve without causing spillage.
It is used both to prepare tea, coffee and emulsified milk. This model can be heated directly in the burner or cooking stove. It is usually made of cast iron, food glass, titanium coating or stainless steel.
The design of the double-wall piston or press coffee makers is similar to that of conventional models. The difference will be that the jug has, in addition to the coffee container, a second external wall made of stainless steel. This further increases the robustness of the body of the coffee maker. Indeed, the container is better protected against shocks.
This type of French press also has other advantages such as better preservation of the temperature of the drink after preparation. Coffee can be kept hot for up to an hour, depending on the design of the double wall. In addition, the external surface of the coffee maker remains cool during preparation. This will prevent burns when your hand comes into contact with the coffee maker.
It is a very special model that has gained relevance in recent years. This type integrates the functions of the piston coffee maker with an electric heating base that uses alternating current, as the main cooking method. In this case, the base is completely removable. The parts of the coffee maker body continue to maintain the pressure and filtration system than in the more traditional French presses.
Besides, you can integrate a disposable or permanent filter made of plastic and sometimes metal. This optimization also allows the use of paper filters without affecting the performance of the machine.
The electric piston coffee maker is much thicker than the versions without an additional heating system. This is because it includes several layers of coating and a pressure seal that keep the heat circulating for a long time.
#2 Glass, Plastic or Steel French Press Maker?
In terms of construction materials, the most popular options are glass, steel, and plastic. It’s however common to find the combination of two or all of these in a model.
Today, most of the machines sold on the market by major brands are made of glass. Often, it is borosilicate glass. It’s known for its resistance to temperature change and impact. Note that this glass can withstand the heat of around 250°C.
There are other models made of double-wall stainless steel. These are insulated machines which are more and more popular with consumers. Why? Because they keep coffee hot for a longer time (about 2 hours). They are resistant models and are therefore very durable.
For limited budgets, you can choose a plastic French press coffee maker. This is the most recommended model for people who want to take this machine with them for hiking or camping. It is much more solid when compared to glass-made types.
#3 The Number of Cups
First of all, know that a cup of a French press is about 12 cl. A 4-cup piston coffee maker will, therefore, have a capacity of 50 cl. Your choice will, thus, depend on the number of people in your household, your frequency of consumption and consumption habits. For example, if you are used to drinking your coffee in a large mug, you will probably have to opt for a larger capacity.
#4 Features That Aid Cleaning
The ease of cleaning offered by the body of the utensil is another essential element to consider when choosing the perfect French press coffee maker. If you are looking for a practical and quick-washing coffee maker, then you should choose those with fully removable parts.
Another feature that can ease cleaning is the 100% stainless metal structure or models with scratch-resistant coating. With these, you can clean in the dishwasher without any risk of breakage.
#5 The Piston
In the context of a French press, this is, of course, an important criterion. It’s important to know this feature in advance. It guarantees the comfort and safety of using the coffee maker. The piston and the lid of the coffee maker should be fixed together. Ensure that the material that makes up the assembly is resistant, whether metal or plastic, to ensure safe use.
Also, check that this piston is securely attached to the cover always, to guarantee the safe use of your coffee maker. Besides, make sure it is neither stiff nor loose when you press it. You can go to the customer reviews of the different devices to get an idea of safety during handling.
#6 The Filter Mesh
Before looking for the place where to buy a new French press, it is important to find out in advance about the presence of a filter. That’s not all. If there is, then the construction material also matters. The filter in a French press is either permanent or disposable.
Since a permanent filter is washable, the thing to check is if it is removable and if it is easy to remove for cleaning. A disposable filter is made of disposable paper after use without requiring cleaning. The latter is perfect for you if you do not have time to always wash the filter after each use.
Again, the design will play an important part in your choice of the coffee maker. You can prefer the classic side of the Bodum Chambord, the elegance of the Bialetti® Simplicity or even a colored piston coffee maker like the Bodum Caffettiera.
The look of your French press will have no impact on the quality of the coffee. A French press is small and doesn’t take up much space. However, they can also serve as a decorative object in your kitchen.
#8 Important Accessories
You should definitely select the product with the most accessories included per purchase. This is because the French press coffee maker is completely dependent on your skills as a barista to take adequate measures of both water and coffee powder.
Some models include multifunctional cups you can use to take measurements and drink the prepared coffee. It is also possible to find types with measuring spoons. Try to ensure that the materials of these accessories are ceramic, stainless steel or coated metal. These help to preserve the flavor of the initial preparation and prevent the transfer of chemicals to the beverage. And, in this sense, you must choose models with food safety certification. Ecological materials process beverages are better than any other component.
Although the walls of the plunger coffee machine are provided with double or thick layers that guarantee the concentration of heat for a longer time compared to traditional pots, it is always advisable to choose products with removable heaters, either silicone or worsted cloth.
The French coffee maker has evolved a few times over the years, and most of the models are still valid in the market. Choosing between one and the other depends on the type of coffee you like to make. It all depends on the type of drinks and the thickness of the powder you use to make coffee.
If you like darker drinks, or if you want a completely black coffee, you must take all these parameters into account when making the purchase. Other points can be taken into account. These include, in particular: compatibility with the dishwasher, the presence of an anti-scald handle, a spout, a measuring spoon, the pitcher, and much more. These improve the level of convenience and practicality of the machine.
There’s nothing better than enjoying the coffee produced by a French press. It’s a real treat! For this, it is important to take into account the elements that we have just mentioned to choose an excellent device.