Best French Press Coffee Makers for 2020

best french press coffee makers

UNDERSTANDING PRESS COFFEE & OUR TOP PICKS

Basics of

French Press Coffee.

KEEP IT SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE...

The French Press has two simple parts: the glass or stainless steel beaker and the plunger/filter mechanism.

stainless-steel-beaker-and-plunger-or-filter-mechanism

Freshly ground coffee goes into the beaker’s base, and hot water is poured over the grounds. The water/coffee ground mixture is given a stir and left to steep for about four minutes. Then, a piston-like plunger mechanism with a filter attached at its base forces the coffee grounds down through the hot water. The grounds are contained beneath the filter, so you’re free to pour a cup of coffee from the beaker’s spout.

While hipsters get technical with French Press coffee and specify things like water temperature and weight of coffee beans in grams, there’s no need to be so scientific.

You can make a decent French Press coffee with only coffee, hot water, and a French Press. Once you begin to grow familiar with the process, you can start to experiment with variables like water temperature or bean roast, which will elevate your already excellent cup of coffee.

A classic French Press can be purchased for as little as $25.

Along with being simple to use, the French Press method is also affordable and portable. A classic French Press can be purchased for as little as $25, and because they don’t require electricity like a drip coffee maker, they are excellent companions for camping trips or vacations.

Turn coffee into teaching

Full-bodied &

Full Flavored

If you’re just staying at home, the French Press takes up very little room and is especially well suited for small living spaces where storage is a concern.

Another advantage of the French Press is the ability to customize how much coffee you want. If you brew using a method like the Moka Pot or Aeropress, you’re limited to smaller quantities of coffee. A French Press is an easy way to make multiple servings of coffee at once without sacrificing taste and quality as you would with a drip coffee maker.

The French Press produces a distinct type of coffee. Pressing the filter through the hot water and coffee grounds causes some particles of coffee to be suspended in the final brew, producing the viscous, slightly oily coffee that the French Press is uniquely known for.

This slightly oily coffee is full-bodied and flavorful. It is distinctly French Press; you’d never mistake it for coffee from a regular drip pot.

While French Press coffee’s viscosity is an advantage for many people, some coffee drinkers dislike the “grittiness” of a French Press cup. The filter cannot remove all coffee particulates, so the end result is grittier than a regular drip cup. If you would be bothered by small particles of coffee remaining in your cup, especially at the bottom, the French Press may not be the brewing method for you.

What to Know Before Buying a

French Press Coffee Maker

coffee plant
glass vs steel french press

Design
If you’re just staying at home, the French Press takes up very little room and is especially well suited for small living spaces where storage is a concern.

Another advantage of the French Press is the ability to customize how much coffee you want. If you brew using a method like the Moka Pot or Aeropress, you’re limited to smaller quantities of coffee. A French Press is an easy way to make multiple servings of coffee at once without sacrificing taste and quality as you would with a drip coffee maker.

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A major drawback to the French Press method is heat retention. Because the standard French Press model brews several cups of coffee, a single coffee drinker may find their coffee is cold long before they finish the whole French Press. This is because traditional French Presses have used glass beakers, which rapidly lose their heat. Modern stainless steel models have tried to answer this concern by creating stainless steel beakers that hold heat in for much longer than their traditional glass counterparts. However, the stainless steel models are more expensive, so some French Press users stay with the traditional glass beaker design and get stuck with microwaving the final cup of their French Press brew, which has a definite negative effect on the flavor.

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coffee flavor chart

FLAVOR
In general, French Press coffee will be extremely flavorful and full-bodied because some of the coffee’s natural oils will remain in the final brew, giving a delightful sheen to the top of your coffee. An easy variable you can control for optimal flavor is water temperature. If your water is too hot, you’ll scorch your coffee grounds, and water too tepid won’t fully extract the coffee, making a weak brew. An easy rule of thumb to remember is to let your boiled water sit for 30 seconds to one minute before pouring it over the grounds.

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use a thermometer if you want to be scientific about it! But we find that the 30-second rule is easy and reliable, no equipment required.

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french press performance

PREFORMANCE
It’s important to remember that part of the charm of French Press coffee is some grittiness in the brew. Most models promise no sediment, but this is hard to truly achieve. Even if the filter pushes all coffee grinds to the bottom, some grounds could still resurface when pouring your coffee. If you find some grit in your coffee, don’t be concerned; this is a normal part of the French Press coffee experience. It’s best to avoid pouring the last bit of coffee from the French press and drinking the last bit of coffee in your cup, as these are both almost guaranteed to be full of grit.

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The performance of the French Press can’t be judged on its own; a cup of French Press coffee is only as good as the beans. If you find that your coffee is muddy and bitter, you likely ground your coffee beans on too fine a setting. Investing in a Burr grinder, which grinds beans much more uniformly than a traditional blade grinder, can be a great way to improve the quality of your coffee.

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cleaning a french press

CLEANING
One common complaint is the difficulty of cleaning French Press coffee makers. While the majority of models are dishwasher safe, most consumers agree that disassembling their French Press periodically for a tedious hand-cleaning is necessary. The dishwasher just doesn’t fully clean the fine mesh screen and filter components. Even in the most expensive models on this list, the hassle of cleaning the French Press by hand persists. There’s no good way around the issue of cleaning; it is simply the trade-off for all the excellent features the French Press offers.

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buying a french press

PRICE
The affordability of the French Press is one of its great features. It’s perfectly possible to get a great French Press for around $20. Basic French Presses in the lower price bracket are typically made of glass; more expensive French Presses are stainless steel. However, this is one situation where price does not necessarily equate quality; some cheaper French Press models seem to hold up for just as long and perform just as well as their higher-priced cousins. See below for our rankings based on performance and price.

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Data here

>>> Jump down to Best Press for Camping

10 BEST FRENCH PRESS COFFEE MAKERS

10 BEST FRENCH PRESS COFFEE MAKERS

#1

Bodum Columbia

1-bodum-columbia

Bodum is an industry-leader in French Press design, and this model, our best choice pick, is no exception. Double-wall stainless steel construction keeps your coffee warm for up to two hours. That’s definitely an advantage since this French Press brews up to 8 cups. The lid can also be slid into the “off” position, totally sealing the unit and preventing heat escape. (Most French Press units don’t have this option, and heat inevitably escapes from the pouring spout).

If all this wasn’t enough, the Bodum Columbia French Press is completely dishwasher safe, making clean-up a snap. All these features do come at a cost; this French Press clocks in at around $60 at the time of this writing, making it one of the more expensive French Press models. However, most users agree this French Press is worth the higher price tag.

#2

Frieling USA

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Frieling’s serving carafe is made of insulated stainless steel, making this another good pick if you’re worried about heat retention. The Frieling is unique for its 2-stage filter technology, which promises no grit or settlement in your final cup. The pre-filter features a patented super-fine Italian mesh, which helps to keep grit out. Frieling’s French Press is also unique because it does not contain any plastic components, so there’s no worry about discoloration or funny smells developing over time with plastic pieces. Finally, Frieling manufactures its coffee presses in the USA.

#3

Bodum Chambord

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The Bodum Chambord is a classic French Press with a glass carafe. This version gets a sleek upgrade by using copper on the exterior where traditional French Presses use plastic.

There are two main disadvantages here: First, the glass is not very good at holding in heat. Second, the capacity of the Bodum Chambord is small, and you may get fewer than two cups of coffee from this French Press, which is a deal-breaker for some consumers.

Whether you decide to get technical with factors like bean weight and grind consistency or choose to just stick with standard brewing procedures, the French Press will happily accommodate your desire for a strong and tasty cup of joe.

Despite those potential drawbacks, users are consistently pleased with the coffee the Chambord brews; it has a good balance of the coffee’s natural oils but doesn’t leave too much grit behind in your cup.

#4

Espro 1032C

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At over $100, this is an expensive French Press. However, that higher price tag gives some excellent features.

First, the Espro 1032C is made of stainless steel, which, as we’ve discussed, is best at retaining heat. Unfortunately, though, the lid cannot be turned to completely seal off the spout, leading to inevitable heat escape.

This model features a buffer between its dual filters that helps prevent over-extraction, which can lead to a bitter coffee flavor. It also boasts a double lip seal that is excellent at keeping grounds from getting into your cup of coffee. Overall, consumers enjoy the mellow, sediment-free cup the Espro brews with all the ease of the traditional French Press.

#5

Bodum Brazil

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If you’re new to French Press brewing, this may be a good option for you. This was the first coffee press Bodum marketed, and it has retained a loyal and happy fan base in the 30 years since then. The low price tag makes it extremely accessible, and even though it is inexpensive, it is still well-designed and durable.

The sturdy German-made borosilicate glass resists cracking, and any plastic components of this press are BPA free.

This would be the perfect French Press to gift to a new college student to use easily in their dorm room in combination with an electric kettle, or to a devoted Keurig user who you know secretly would love a better cup of coffee but is intimidated by the world of modern coffee brewing.

The Veken French Press has the standard glass carafe, but it pairs that with something extraordinary: a 4-level filtration system. Two double-screen stainless steel filters are durable and keep sediment out of your brew.

Veken wants to go above and beyond to improve your coffee drinking experience. They include a free wooden spoon (the best option for stirring your grounds and hot water together) and a cleaning brush, and they put measurement lines on the outside of the carafe so you can know exactly how much coffee you’re making.

They also boast about their smooth plunger mechanism that won’t squeak as it is depressed through the coffee grounds.

The Muller French Press is German designed and engineered. If you’re looking for a stylish and sleek looking French Press at an affordable price, this is the best option for you. The mirrored stainless steel will look great displayed on your kitchen counter, and the double-wall insulation will keep your coffee hot for hours. Both the style and functionality are far beyond what the small price tag would imply.

Muller is so sure of their product, and they guarantee you won’t find any grinds in your coffee.

Like most French Presses, the Muller makes tea, too, and can even be used for cold brew coffee. Simply allow the coffee to soak in the water for several hours rather than several minutes before pushing down the plunger.

If you need a lot of coffee in the morning, the Secura French Press has you covered with its 1.5-liter capacity. Three exterior layers of the stainless steel carafe help keep all that coffee warm, and the cool touch handle protects you from heat as you pour.

Even though it is very large, the Secura is very reasonably priced, and consumers consistently feel they got a good value by purchasing this French Press. Secura does include extra mesh screens, which do need to be replaced from time to time in most French Presses, but users frequently praise this model’s durability.

As a bonus, the Secura is completely dishwasher safe, including filters and plunger.

If you need a lot of coffee in the morning, the Secura French Press has you covered with its 1.5-liter capacity. Three exterior layers of the stainless steel carafe help keep all that coffee warm, and the cool touch handle protects you from heat as you pour.

Even though it is very large, the Secura is very reasonably priced, and consumers consistently feel they got a good value by purchasing this French Press. Secura does include extra mesh screens, which do need to be replaced from time to time in most French Presses, but users frequently praise this model’s durability.

As a bonus, the Secura is completely dishwasher safe, including filters and plunger.

#10

Cafe Du Chateau

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If you need a lot of coffee in the morning, the Secura French Press has you covered with its 1.5-liter capacity. Three exterior layers of the stainless steel carafe help keep all that coffee warm, and the cool touch handle protects you from heat as you pour.

Even though it is very large, the Secura is very reasonably priced, and consumers consistently feel they got a good value by purchasing this French Press. Secura does include extra mesh screens, which do need to be replaced from time to time in most French Presses, but users frequently praise this model’s durability.

As a bonus, the Secura is completely dishwasher safe, including filters and plunger.

French Presses for Camping

Camping French Presses main image

When the morning sun shines into your tent, it’s time to burrow out of your sleeping bag and throw on some coffee. There’s nothing as good as morning in the mountains with a hot cup of joe to warm you up to face the day. In town, I mix up my morning coffee between a V60 pourover, an Aeropress, and a French press, but when I hit the road, it’s French press all the way. A good camping French press is easy to brew and easy to clean, and gives you a first-class cup of coffee.

Infusion is the best way to make coffee when camping, and the French press is the best design to make that happen. Combine coarsely ground coffee with near-boiling water in a brewing vessel, let infuse for 4 minutes with a stir after 30 seconds to make sure all the coffee is doing its job, then press a metal filter through the coffee. The filter traps the coffee grounds at the bottom of the pot, letting you pour coffee out the top.

When you brew with a French press, you get a robust cup of coffee. Without a paper filter, you lose none of the liquid contents of your coffee, giving a unique and strong flavor. There’s a dark side here — you get a little bit of the solids in your coffee too. The finest bits are just a part of the characteristic texture of French press coffee, but the last swallow or two in your cup are usually full of undrinkable grounds, which have to just get tossed.

Why Choose a French Press for Camp Coffee?

Why Choose a French Press for Camp Coffee

A French press is a good choice for camping because it’s a simple way to get a great cup of coffee with minimal equipment and waste. French press coffee is tastier than boiled coffee or a percolator. It’s easier than pourover, especially if you’re making it on the ground. There’s no paper filters needed, and no extraneous parts to lose. The French press doesn’t care what heat source to heat up your water, so it’s versatile.

Not every good French press is a good choice for camping, though. Glass is just fine around the house, but you need something stronger for camp use, usually metal or plastic. While you’re better off transferring your coffee to a thermos to get it off the grounds once it’s brewed, I don’t go to that kind of trouble when camping. A good camping French press should be well-insulated so it holds onto the heat for your second cup of coffee. This is also useful for cold mornings where you’re brewing your coffee at well below room temperature. A bad pot won’t even give you a hot first cup of coffee.

When you take your French press camping, you should do a little prep-work to make your morning coffee easier. Pregrind your coffee and portion it out at home into one-pot units. I recommend reusable plastic 1-cup containers, since they’re useful around camp for storing leftovers or easy to stack and store for taking home. Ziptop plastic bags are fine too, but are harder to empty all the way and leave you with more trash.

Our Testing Method

We made a pot of coffee in each of the presses at a ratio of 16 parts water to 1 part coffee and noted any problems in the brewing process. After pressing, we measured the temperature of the coffee and tasted it, noting any problems. We then set the presses aside for 30 minutes and measured the temperature again to check for temperature retention. Afterward, we cleaned all the presses to look for any problems on that end. Throughout the process, we took notes on the design of the pots.


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Best Camping French Presses

[Tested & Ranked]

Ordinarily, I’d be breaking down these pots individually, but these four are all extremely similar, and extremely good. They’re all stainless steel pots with double-wall insulation, all with a 1-liter capacity. We got a tasty cup of coffee from each of them with a minimum of grit. Each one dropped about 20° in a half hour, so your coffee will stay good and hot. They’re all solidly built, and should last a good while.

Any of these four would be a great choice for your next camping trip. Your choice comes down to mostly price and style.

1 Müeller french press— Best Value

Müeller — Best Value

The Müeller rises a little higher than this top group because of its great price — at $25, it’s $10 less than the other top choices. It’s got a sleek industrial look, and includes a small matching canister for grounds. That canister won’t get a group through a long weekend, but the coffee pot sure will.


2 Coffee Gator french press

Coffee Gator

Imagine the Müeller, but dull gray instead of shiny silver, and you’ve pictured the Coffee Gator, down to the matching canister. The biggest difference is the price — $36. This too is a great coffee pot, but I’d rather have the extra $11.


3 Poliviar french press

Poliviar

This time, take the grey finish and give it a stone texture, plus nice-looking wood for the handle and the pressing knob, and you’ve got the Poliviar. There’s no coffee canister included for your $37, but the pot is marked inside with measurement lines, which is good if you just want to make a half pot. I like the look and feel of the wood handle, but I don’t love the handle attachment, which looks a little weak.


4 VeoHome french press

VeoHome

The Müeller wins on price, but the VeoHome wins on style. The functionality is the same, but I love the sweeping curves of the VeoHome, and the feel of the closed-loop handle. You’ve got to pay $35 for that style, and while I love the feel of the handle, the attachment looks a little iffy. Honestly, I’d rather keep this one and home, and the Müeller in the camping box.

The Second Tier

Stanley French Press 48 oz.

The number one reason to buy the big Stanley is right there in the title. Its 48 ounce capacity towers over the 30‒34 ounces offered by most of the other presses. The number one reason to not buy the big Stanley is the price tag — $65 is a lot of money to avoid making a second batch of coffee. Performance-wise, we got a quality cup of coffee from this model, plus the great heat retention we’d expect from Stanley, dropping just 21°. Build quality is solid, and Stanley is a trusted name.

The big question here is, how much coffee do you need at once? The big Stanley here will serve four people in one pass; the models in the top tier will get four people started, but you’ll probably want to throw on a second pot. The 48 ounce Stanley is a really good product, but I’d rather make two pots in the morning and have the extra cash.

stanley press in forest

Stanley Adventure All-in-One Boil + Brew

The Stanley Adventure is a coffee pot with great potential. It’s designed more explicitly for camping than other pots above it in this list, with folding handles to make it compact, and a rugged sleeve-style filter instead of a filter on a stick that moves through the lid. This gives the Stanley Adventure more parts than the other presses here, but the individual parts are tougher. The Adventure can be heated as a pot too, which is great for backpackers who don’t need an extra pot to heat the water. Just make sure to stir well when the coffee grounds go into the water, then again 30 seconds later to get all the grounds in contact with the water.

As a French press, I wish the Stanley Adventure were a little better. The sleeve filter is harder to press than the usual plunger style, and that’s only going to be more true without a sturdy table to work on. The taste of the coffee was good, but the Adventure has trouble with retaining heat. It dropped 35° in half an hour and was on the low side immediately after brewing too. The lid twists around as if it seals, but doesn’t seal that much. The folding handles are better for storing than pouring.

Overall, I like the idea of the Stanley Adventure better than I like the actual product, though I do like the reasonable $25 price tag. It would be pretty good for a pair of backpackers looking to split a liter of coffee, but not as good as the rest for car camping.

6 Stanley Adventure All-in-One Boil + Brew french press

Not So Much

OXO unbreakable press

OXO 11181100 BREW

I started the day without a real preference between metal and plastic for a camping French press, but ended it pretty sure that metal was the right answer. The OXO looks like the classic glass French press, but made of Tritan plastic. Build quality is sold — you’re not breaking this thing without some serious effort. Unfortunately for the OXO, coffee quality is not as solid. The filter has a silicone outside gasket instead of the usual metal spring, and it did not do as good a job. The coffee was noticeably gritty and a bit unpleasant. The plastic might be tough, but it’s not as insulating as the metal presses, losing 31° in half an hour’s rest.

Add it all up, and even the $20 price tag and light weight doesn’t save the OXO.


8 Widesea Camping Coffee Pot french press

Widesea Camping Coffee Pot

The Widesea is made for backpacking. It’s made of lightweight aluminum, and features a drink-through lid. Like the Stanley Adventure, it can be used as a pot over a stove or a fire. It’s labeled for ¾ liter, but will actually hold a little more, which is a nice change of pace in this category. The coffee we brewed in it was tasty enough, though the aluminum drops heat fast. It lost 47° in thirty minutes, so drink up fast. The lid and plunger are a little awkward and bendy, but there were no problems with grit. The lid suffers a bit as it’s not great for drinking or pouring, but it does work.

This isn’t a bad product, but the Stanley Adventure is better in basically every category for the same price ($25).


9 Bestargot Outdoor French Press french press

Bestargot Outdoor French Press

The Bestargot is another one for the backpacking crowd, trading off everything for light weight. This is a pot for one, with a capacity of just 16 ounces. It’s made of titanium, so it’s very light, but seems good and strong. It can be used as a pot over a fire or stove, but it heats a bit oddly, so you’ll want to try it a few times to get used to how the titanium behaves. The flavor on the coffee was fine, but the temperature drops like a rock. After half an hour, it was down a whopping 57°.

If you’re willing to trade away everything else about the pot, including $37, you get your light strong coffee pot. I’m looking elsewhere, myself.

Conclusion

My number one takeaway: these coffeepots were really good. I’ve been burned before, sometimes literally, on previous tests, but all of these pots have legitimate upside. I think it shows how good the French press design is. For value and quality, we recommend the Müeller, but you’ll be happy with any of these pots on your next camping trip. I look forw.comard to mine.

Watch the Camping French Press Testing & Review on YouTube