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How To Choose (and Use) a French Press

French presses are one of the simplest, most convenient brewing systems when it comes to making coffee. French presses have a built-in metal filter that separates the grounds from brewed coffee, meaning you don’t have to buy paper filters or use wasteful K-cups. And unlike espresso or pour-over, a French press doesn’t require constant attention. Running late? Set the coffee to brew, finish getting ready, and pour the coffee straight into your travel mug. Plus, French presses are very versatile, and they’re great for making loose-leaf tea. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best French presses to buy online.

How To Use a French Press

Simply pour ground coffee then hot water in the glass carafe and let it steep for a few minutes. You’ll need either a stovetop kettle or an electric kettle, the latter of which is more convenient. Then, press the metal mesh filter to the bottom of the beaker. This separates the coffee grounds from the liquid coffee and guarantees you get the bold, unique flavor coffee was meant to provide. It’s easy to play around with different ratios to find the strength that you like.

For better French press, you should always use coarsely ground coffee: The metal mesh filter cannot filter out coffee grounds as well as paper. That means French presses can leave sediment or a chalky mouthfeel. Using coarse coffee is the best way to ensure a cleaner cup of coffee.

How To Clean a French Press

Cleaning a French press can be tricky; the wet grounds can stick to the bottom of the carafe. One of the best ways to clean a French press is by using a fine-mesh strainer. When it’s time to clean the press, remove the lid and fill the carafe with water. Pour it over the mesh strainer into the sink, then dump out or compost the grounds. The strainer should catch most of the grounds.

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It’s also a good idea to give your French press a deeper cleaning. This doesn’t have to be after each brew; you can do this every week, for example. The filters usually have at least three pieces, which can be disassembled. Take apart each component, then individually wash them. This will prevent stale coffee odors from seeping into your daily brew

How to Choose a French Press

The most common French presses have glass carafes. These are more affordable, and the transparency of glass makes it easy to monitor your brew and control the amount of coffee and water. However, glass is more breakable and doesn’t retain heat as well. Stainless steel French presses are super durable and retain heat well. However, they can potentially impart metallic flavors, and you can’t see inside your cup. Ceramic or stoneware French presses retain heat better than glass and won’t have metallic flavors like steel. But you can’t see inside them, and they can still potentially break. For most people, a glass French press is the most versatile option. We’ve rounded up some of the best French presses to buy online for yourself or as a gift.

  

1. Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

BEST OVERALL 

Bodum’s French presses are classic, and they’re still among the best options for anyone looking to make a delicious, strong cup of coffee. The Chambord is Bodum’s most iconic design, and the French press comes in different sizes and finishes. It pours neatly and presses easily, and the mesh filter can be entirely disassembled for thorough cleaning. The carafe is made from shatter-resistant borosilicate glass, but if it ever does break, Bodum sells replacement carafes, so you won’t need an entirely new press.

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2. ESPRO P3 French Press

BEST UPGRADE

The biggest complaint most coffee-lovers have with French press coffee is the residue that can muddy the cup. The Espro looks basic on the outside, but the innovative double-layer filter more effectively prevents sediment from seeping into your cup.

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3. Bodum Brazil

BEST VALUE

The Brazil French Press by Bodum is easy to use, easy to clean and easy on your wallet. In just 4 minutes you can brew delicious coffee that is full of flavor due to the 3-part stainless steel plunger which allows for premium extraction, a mesh filter that allows for the flavor to be delivered direct to your cup and not absorbed by a paper filter which also means no waste.

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4. Stanley French Press

BEST INSULATED 

Stanley offers French presses that mimic the look of their classic outdoor thermoses. This French press is insulated. If you’ve ever gone for a second (or even a first) cup from your French press only to find that it’s gone cold, this French press will keep your brew hot for four hours. It’s made from high-quality 18/8 steel and is great for camping.

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5. Le Creuset French Press

BEST STONEWARE 

Glass and steel are the more common French press materials, but stoneware and ceramic have certain advantages over both. Ceramic does a better job of retaining heat than glass, without the metallic flavor that steel can sometimes have. This option comes from Le Creuset, meaning it comes in a ton of stylish colors.

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6. Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker

ALSO GREAT 

A 3-layered stainless steel filter structure traps the smallest coffee grounds to produce an exceptional full-bodied flavor and a bonus stainless steel screen is included with this French press from Secura. When the two are stacked together, this gives your coffee or espresso a more refined taste. Lastly, it’s designed with a cool-touch handle and knob provides for a comfortable and safe pour.

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