One of the most traditional ways of making coffee is to use a French Press. My first experience of a French press coffee maker was when I was on a business trip in Dublin some 25 years ago.
Many hotels and restaurants there were using this method of serving their coffee in what was simply a glass pot ( cafetiere) that I had never seen before.
At that time it did seem to be all the rage, and although a little strong, tasted very fresh and darned good. Although common place nowadays, back then it was a bit of a novelty and I am always intrigued by the way things work.
This one looked like a pretty simple method and it tasted a lot better than the instant coffee that I had been used to.
To this day I still like to make my coffee this way as I do enjoy the taste and perhaps even because I am a little nostalgic.
What is the Best French Press Coffee Maker?
The best french press is the Bodum Chambord 8 cup, which is made from heat resistant borosilicate glass, has a chrome plated frame, a patented safety lid and stainless steel filter parts.
For those of you have a bit more time then we have done a full buying guide below, which will help you make the best buying decision that you can. You can click on any of the titles below to go to an individual section.
Why Pick and Use a French Press?
If you are a bit of a coffee nut like me you like to try out different methods of making your favourite brew. Having a machine opens up the many types of coffee that you can make, but sometimes it is nice just to be able to try some of the older fashioned methods.
No matter which method you opt for, the secret to fresh tasting coffee is to buy a coffee flavour and taste that you like. Always try to buy beans and grind them for the freshest taste. Old coffee or coffee that has been exposed to the air will just not taste good no matter what brewing method you prefer.
If you don't have the time to grind beans then a vacuum pack of pre-ground coffee works well in a French Press but make sure that it has been ground specifically for a French Press. This brewing method needs to have a medium to coarse grind so as the water can flow through the grains.
What Type of Grinder is Perfect for French press Coffee?
I have done a full article here on the best coffee grinder for a French Press, so feel free to check that one out. The bottom line here is that you want to avoid fine grains as they will pass through the filter in a French press. A burr grinder is ideal for making coffee grounds for French Press coffee.
If you would like to know how to use one of these then I have done a full coffee making guide for French Press beginners which you can read by clicking here.
Top 5 Buyer Rated French Press Coffee Makers
By quite a long way Bodum is the biggest named brand for French press coffee makers. The majority of hotels, cafes and restaurants offering this type of plunger made coffee will use a Bodum.
All Bodum French presses look elegant, are highly practical, offer a high quality product, and are considered to be inexpensive.
There are of course many other brands now competing in this market and they have brought with them a variety of different styles so Bodum do not have this market all to themselves.
Some of these other brands are Grunwerg, Andrew James, Osaka and VonShef.
French Press Sizes
French Presses come in different sizes and they can be measured in litre size or by cup size. The 350 ml is a popular choice and this will make one large mug or two smaller mugs or 3 cups.
You can also buy ones that make 6 cups and are usually 650 ml in size. The 1 litre is better for a family size as that makes about 8 cups so also ideal for those of us who like to entertain.
Glass or Stainless Steel?
The most traditional styles come in glass and will have a stainless steel base, plunger and lid. Sometimes these are made of chrome. The more modern and contemporary choices are made from stainless steel with no glass and look more like a coffee pot.
Here are the top ten picks based on buyer ratings and reviews:
Choice No 1 - The Bodum Chambord
This is a classical choice and the one that you will find in almost every hotel, restaurant and indeed most homes in the United Kingdom.
It has quite literally sold in its thousands and remains a very popular choice with many UK buyers.
It comes in different sizes such as the 0.35 litre and the 1 litre and the bigger it is, then the more it will cost.
The 350 ml costs around £15 and the larger 1 litre will be around £20. For those who prefer cup sizes this model comes in 3 cup, 4 cup, 8 cup and 12 cup.
Its features include:
- It is made from heat resistant borosilicate glass (Great heat resistance)
- Has a chrome plated frame which looks classic and is easy to keep clean
- The filter parts are made from stainless steel
Choice No 2 - Grunwerg Cafe Ole - 8 Cup Cafetiere
This is a 1 litre or 1,000 ml French Press and has a very stylish design as you can see from the image. Like the Bodum above, this is a preferred choice and mainly this comes down to a better price of around £12-15 for a full sized press.
You will notice that this model has a more contemporary style and look to it with the highly polished chrome finish.
The glass container is made from Pyrex and we all know how well that can stand up to heat. It is robust but like any French Press the glass is the part that you have to be careful with.
Thankfully with this one replacement glass is available to buy separately should it get damaged or broken. It uses a stainless steel mesh to do the filtering and it is also easy to clean.
Choice No 3 - Bodum Brazil Coffee Press
This is a slightly different choice from the Bodum brand and is the Brazil style model. As you can see from the image in this one the brand has moved away from the chrome or stainless steel look and gone for a darker richer look.
This is not a look that I personally like but some people do prefer this. For an average price of around £15 it is certainly good enough value for money. This choice will then in my opinion come down to personal choice of styles.
It is available in black, green, red or white so an ideal range of colours if want a French Press that matches into a coloured kitchen. The Bodum branding on this is very noticeable and anyone who knows their coffee will know this is an excellent brand.
As one buyer expressed: "I have always loved Bodum products and this red cafetiere goes with my new kitchen and makes me happy every time I use it, which is every day."
Choice No 4 - Kichly Double Wall French Coffee Press
This press is made from 100% stainless steel
It is a 1 litre press (8 cups)
It also has a steel double wall coffee press so no need to worry about cracks or rust
This is a very sturdy and well made press so can easily be used for commercial purposes like in restaurants or hotels
It removes all grounds from your coffee giving you an amazingly smooth cup of coffee
It will make 8 cups (4-5 mugs of coffee)
It also disassembles easily and is dishwasher safe
Choice No 5 - Bodum 10683-01 Kenya French Press Coffee Maker
This press is made from heat resistant borosilicate glass
It is a 0.5 litre press (4 cups) so ideal for a couple or a smaller family
It has a black frame, a safety lid and stainless steel filter parts and from the very popular Bodum brand.
This one is also available as a 3 cup or an 8 cup
The frame also protects the table or any other surface from the heat of the press.
So that is a round up of the top 5 French Press coffee makers currently available in the UK market. You can also buy French Presses suitable for travelling and camping and you can read about those by clicking here.