If you’re like me, you’re usually a “one-cup-per-day” type of person. Too much coffee and you can start to get jittery, increased heartbeat, and nausea. Not only that, too much coffee can mean a physical and mental addiction to a large dose of caffeine. No one wants to be held back from their usual activities because they need “the next cup.”
In order to prevent some of the side effects of too much caffeine, one should try to limit their coffee consumption to one cup per day. That’s why we recommend a single-cup french press coffee maker. It has the effect of limiting your caffeine consumption, and a small french press takes up less storage space. If you live alone and have a small apartment, this is an added bonus!
We’ve reviewed the top four small french press’ available. If you’re looking for a coffee device that’s easy to use, clean, and store, read on!
Our Top Pick – Bodum Chambord
One of the most popular french presses on the market is the Bodum Chambord. This is a classic french press available in many sizes, including 12 ounces. 12 ounce french presses are the smallest kind you can buy, and best for a single cup of coffee.
We tried both the 32 ounce and 12 ounce versions of the Bodum Chambord and were impressed by both. They feature a main cylinder made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass and a plastic handle that has proven to be sturdy. In addition, the glass cylinder comes apart from the handle to make dish washing the Bodum easy. Also, the plunger is dishwasher safe. This is a great feature since the plunger can be the most difficult piece to clean.
If you live alone or are the only coffee drinker in your house, the Bodum small french press is a great purchase. Weighing in at only 11.8 ounces and a height of six inches, it’s also perfect for a small space. If you’re like me and live in a cupboard on the east coast you can’t take up a lot of room with kitchen gadgets! Bodum claims on Amazon that it can make 3 cups of coffee, assuming each cup is 4 ounces. We drink a lot more coffee than that, and we think you will too.
In the Mix – Clever Chef Single Serve French Press
This is one of my favorite mini french presses – mainly due to its size! Not only is the Clever Chef Single Serve French Press a small 12 ounce cylinder, its small handle makes it easy to fit anywhere.
We used this french press for around two weeks and found it easy to use and similar to other mini french presses available on the market. If you currently use a Keurig or similar machine, you will be impressed with the taste you can get using a single-serve french press like this one. The device is well constructed, though we have worried the glass is not as sturdy as other french presses on the market. One other interesting part of the design is that the plunger does not disassemble for cleaning. Though it does not affect the usability of the press, we do like to thoroughly clean the plunger on other presses.
One of the best uses we found for this french press was to make cold brew. Cold brew packs more caffeine than other coffee methods since it sits for 12-24 hours. Since this french press is on the smaller side, if you like your caffeine cold brew is a good method. Overall, we recommend this small french press notwithstanding the durability concerns. If you’re clumsy (we are!) you may want a heavy-duty french press.
Stainless Steel Option – Magicafé French Press
The only fully stainless steel option on this list, the Magicafe is a sturdy, compact french press that performs well. For those concerned about drinking from anything plastic, stainless steel is proven to be BPA-free. Also, it is double-walled, which helps keep coffee warm. In our testing, we found we could keep a newly-brewed cup of coffee warm for nearly two hours! Last on the steel, it is safe for the dishwasher and rust resistant.
We thoroughly enjoyed using the Magicafe during our testing. It was great to test the product without fear of it breaking. We found it easy to keep coffee grounds out of your mug, and the plunger worked well in our full-scale use. The Magicafe earns major points for being easy to put in the dishwasher. Other presses require that you disassemble the various pieces before placing in the dishwasher.
Since the Magicafe is stainless steel, it does weigh more than most small french press systems out there. It comes in at 1.23 lbs, which is fine for kitchen use. Others have mentioned it may be too heavy to take camping (you can find our camping french press picks here). That said, if you’re in an RV or van, the Magicafe is still probably great. You’ll benefit from the fact that it’s nearly indestructible as well.
Best Design – Brillante Small French Press
This is one of the harder-to-find french presses, but is well worth a close look. Sporting a unique design that includes glass, plastic, and cork, this mini french press will stand out to visitors in your kitchen. Not only a mixture of materials, it also has two mesh screens. One is on the plunger, which is typical of all french presses. This has a second one at the spout, which helps trap any runaway coffee grounds. We loved this feature, even though grounds don’t usually bother us.
We found the usability of the Brilliante small french press similar to other french presses we reviewed, with a few quirks. Like others, the plunger comes apart for thorough cleaning. One thing we noticed is that the screw holdings the filter and plunger together is not threaded, so it can come loose during use. We like both the handle and cork bottom. The cork bottom especially, since it helps the press stand upright, and acts as a cushion if you place it on a counter too quickly. We noticed when setting it down that the cork works well in addition to looking good!
The Brilliante comes in at a similar price to other mini french presses, and we highly suggest trying it out. It also stands out since it’s a design that’s unique to the 12 ounce variety. Most manufacturers make the same press for multiple sizes, but not the Brilliante. At around $20, you can’t go wrong with this item, especially if you only drink a single cup of coffee per day.