What Are The Best French Press Coffee Makers?
The Best French Press Coffee Makers
A cafetière, cafetière à piston, Cafeteria, press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger. These are various descriptions of a French press. This nifty little coffee brewing device was patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929.
It has since undergone quite a few design modifications. The first French press coffee maker, which was possibly made in France, was basically the modern coffee press in its most fundamental form: a metal or cheesecloth screen was fitted to a rod that was then pressed into a pot of boiling water.
The French press is one of the most simplistic brewing methods, producing delicious filter coffee within minutes. It is also a very cost effective brewing method. All you need is a sturdy French press, a kettle and a few heaped up spoons of coffee ground. It is also a much more sociable way of producing filter coffee, inside the house or outside. You don’t have to stand and wait for a coffee machine near an electric point to brew the coffee for you, simply pour in the hot water and carry the French press to wear you are seated and wait for it to finish brewing.
Origins of the French Press Coffee Maker
The press was patented by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. After the original French press was created, several design modifications was made by Faliero Bondanini, who then patented his own version in 1958.
Manufacturing of the french press coffee maker was started in a French clarinet factory called Martin SA.
Its burst of popularity may have been aided in 1965, after Michael Caine used one in his film, The Ipcress File. It was further popularized across Europe by a British company called Household Articles Ltd. Also, most notably by the Danish tableware and kitchenware company, Bodum. Nowadays some people also call the French press a coffee bodum.
French Press Coffee Brewing Method
The modern-day French press coffee maker consists of a thin cylindrical beaker, which is usually made of glass or clear plastic. It is equipped with a metal or plastic lid and a plunger with a fine wire or nylon mesh filter that fits tightly in the cylinder.
It requires a coarser grind coffee than does a drip coffee machine. Finer grounds, when submerged in water, have lower absorbency than coarser grounds.
To brew coffee, you place the ground coffee in the empty beaker and add hot water of 200-205° F (93-96°C) in proportions to approximately 1 ounce (28 grams) of coffee grounds to 15 fluid ounces (450 ml) of water. You can roughly add one heaped up table spoon per cup of coffee, adding more or less coffee ground to taste.
The water then covers the coffee ground and you have to let it stand a while to allow it to brew. The total brewing time is approximately two to four minutes, depending on the press size and how strong you prefer your coffee. After the brewing is completed, you press down the plunger to trap the grounds at the bottom of the beaker and the coffee is poured out.
It is best to pour out the coffee when the brewing time is complete, leaving the brewed coffee in the beaker with the used grounds will cause the coffee to become astringent and bitter. But some people like this effect of the French press.
Advantages of a French Press Coffee Maker
A handy thing about french presses is that they are portable and self-contained. There are also travel mug versions available, made of tough plastic. They have a sealed lid with a closable drinking hole.
Other fancier versions include stainless steel presses, which are insulated to keep the coffee hot. Another variation uses a pull design instead of the usual push down method: the coffee grounds are placed in a mesh basket, it is then pulled into the lid after brewing to trap the grounds out of the coffee. French press coffee makers can also be used to make cold brew coffee.
Type of Coffee Grind to use with a French Press
Because of the simplistic brewing method, most beans will produce a well flavored coffee in the French press. The more important aspect is the grinding method that is used, it needs to be a coarser grind coffee. If you use a finer grind, you will become frustrated with the press, as some of the grind will not be caught by the plunger and end up floating in your coffee. There will always be a little bit of coffee ground that escapes through the sift, so remember to not drink the last sip of your cup of coffee.
Arabica coffee ground will produce a sweeter cup of coffee compared to Robusta coffee ground. The Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content, causing a more bitter taste. The Arabica beans are pricier than Robusta and most pre-packed coffee ground that you find at your supermarket, will be Robusta. The Arabica beans are used more in speciality coffees.
If you are using a dark roast, you will be able to produce a very strong cup of coffee with a French Press. A medium roast that is left to brew for a longer period will also produce a strong cup, but the quality of the coffee will not be as potent as a dark roast. You need to find the perfect balance between not under-extracting and not over-extracting the coffee ground. Also, make sure that you don’t use boiling water, it needs to be just under boiling point. If the water is too hot, it will burn the coffee, creating a bitter taste.
Furthermore, it is important to get the ratio of coffee ground per cup right. Using a dark roast vs. a medium roast will determine how much coffee ground you will need per cup.
Make sure that when you buy a pre-ground pack of coffee that you don’t buy one that is specified for espresso use because it is a finer grind.
Best French Press Coffee Maker Reviews
We review three of the best french press coffee makers that we recommend to our clients:
Frieling Polished 18/10 Stainless Steel French Press
Sizes: 8-Ounce (2 cups) | 17-Ounce (4 cups) | 23-Ounce (5 cups) | 36-Ounce (9 cups) | 44-Ounce (11 cups)
This stylish press has a mirror finish on the outside and a brushed finish on the inside. Its full-length handle makes it very comfortable to pour out the brewed coffee with ease. The all-steel mesh plunger slides down with ease when gently pushes down onto coarse coffee grounds.
The carafe doubles up as an insulated serving pitcher as well. It will retain heat four times longer than glass.
The press is very easy to disassemble for washing and it is dishwasher safe. You will receive a five year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz., Chrome
Size: 34-Ounce (8 cups)
The carafe is made of durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass. The stainless steel frame has a heat resistant handle. Its three-part stainless steel mesh filter will help to extract your coffee’s aromatic oils and subtle flavors.
The pressed coffee method extracts the perfect amount of essentials oils and acids from the grounded beans for the maximum amount of flavor from your coffee. This is the preferred coffee brewing method of coffee enthusiasts everywhere.
All the Bodum parts are dishwasher-safe.
GROSCHE Madrid French Press Coffee Maker
Sizes: 11.8- Ounce (2 cups) | 34-Ounce (8 cups) | 51-Ounce (12 cups)
A premium quality French press coffee maker, with a German Schott-Duran borosilicate glass beaker and finely crafted chrome housing. It uses a special dual filter system, firstly the main plunger press and secondly another one in the lid as well.
When making coffee, turn the lid to close the press while your coffee is brewing, then turn it again to open it for pouring. This way most of the heat will be retained, allowing for better flavored coffee. This French press coffee maker is ideal for a connoisseur of fine tasting coffees.
One year warranty and replacement beakers are available from manufacturer.