Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Are you a fragrant coffee lover but don’t have the budget or space for a professional portafilter? Then you should take a closer look at the French Press, also known as a press pot. Many die-hard coffee fans swear by the taste of the hot drink from the French Press. But which types are there? Which material is best for good coffee? In our French press test 2022, we present the best and latest models from the respective categories in more detail. We also give you important tips and tricks on how to make coffee properly in a French press. Whether it’s a French press with thermo function, a model made of stainless steel or glass, with us you’ll find the best press jugs on the market.




The most important facts

  • The French Press allows you to brew your morning coffee without additional coffee filters or electricity.
  • The stamp pot is available in three different materials. Here you should make sure that they always insulate properly.
  • The French press made of double-walled glass is particularly suitable for beginners. They are a little cheaper. In addition, you can see whether you are pressing the coffee down completely and do not have to rely on your feeling.

The Best French Press: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a French press

What is a French Press?

A French Press is a coffee maker that uses only water and coffee powder to make aromatic coffee – without a power supply or coffee filter. It also serves as a serving pot.

With a French Press, the coffee grounds are pressed down by means of a plunger, at the end of which there is a filter. The stainless steel Groenenberg French Press we tested comes with instructions for making the perfect coffee, a transport bag and replacement filters.

The French Press originates, as the name suggests, from France, where it was invented around 1850. The French Press has several names under which you can find it on the market. For example, it is also called a stamp pot, press pot, coffee press, Bodum pot or cafetière. The French Press consists of several parts. The classic plunger jug consists of a jug and a movable plunger that presses the coffee grounds downwards. A metal sieve is integrated into the press plunger, through which the coffee particles are filtered.

Did you know that the French Press is patented by an Italian? It was invented in France around 1850, but patented in 1929 by the Italian Attilio Calimani.

Who is a French Press suitable for?

A French Press is suitable for every coffee lover. The simple handling and easy cleaning of the French Press makes it one of the most popular coffee makers. If you don’t have much time but still don’t want to miss out on your coffee, you can also use a French Press – it takes about four minutes to prepare. The special preparation method produces a particularly intense coffee flavour. So if you prefer something milder, you should take this into consideration.

Bodum French Press im Test

Perfectly suited for one-person households is the French Press from Bodum that we tested, made of glass, stainless steel and plastic. Inexpensive to buy and yet reliable in operation, it produces pretty much exactly the amount of coffee that gets singles going in the morning.

However, those who enjoy the aroma of coffee are well advised to use this coffee preparation method. The metal filter in the French Press prevents the oils contained in the coffee from being filtered out. This allows a particularly aromatic flavour to develop.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a French Press compared to other coffee makers?

Of course, in addition to the many advantages, the French Press also has some disadvantages that you should consider before buying. We have compiled a brief overview for you here:
Advantages
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Many different sizes and designs
  • Space-saving
  • Suitable for preparation while camping or travelling
  • Does not require a coffee filter or power supply
  • Cost-effective
Disadvantages
  • Can break easily
  • Coffee particles may remain in the coffee

For which drinks is a French Press suitable?

However, the French Press does not have to be reserved just for making coffee. The filter in the French Press also filters tea, of course. But that is not the only thing a French Press can do. It is also possible to froth milk with the press jug, as it is called in German. By moving the strainer up and down, a light milk foam can be created for a cappuccino, for example. But you can also make cold coffee, called Cold Brew, very easily with the French Press. All you need is a little patience and preparation.

What are the alternatives to a French Press?

Coffee can be made in many different ways. Each method has its own unique taste.
Type Description
Pour Over Method (hand filter) Probably the most classic preparation method. It is simple and quick. The taste is characterised by strong aromas.
Chemex Similar to the hand filter, the coffee is poured through a paper filter. However, the Chemex is a design classic. In addition to the clear coffee aroma, it is definitely the appearance that counts here.
AeroPress A very controversial method. However, the short brewing process and the material (plastic) make it a perfect travel utensil.
Karlsbader Kanne This pot, like the French Press, does not need an extra paper filter. Because it is made of porcelain, the aromas of the coffee are fully appreciated.

No matter which of these preparation methods you choose, they all require no electricity.

Decision: What types of French press are there and which one is right for you?

So if you’re looking to buy a French Press, there are now 3 alternatives to choose from.

  • Stainless steel French press
  • Ceramic French Press
  • Glass French press

With all French press jugs, you have the choice between double-walled and single-walled. The procurement of the different jugs has its advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes a stainless steel French press and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A French press made of stainless steel basically has only advantages. It keeps hot longer, cannot break and is (mostly) not made of any plastic.

Advantages
  • Almost indestructible
  • Better insulated
  • No plastic used
Disadvantages
  • Can scratch
  • No see-through

But a big disadvantage with the stainless steel French Press is that it is opaque. When you press down on the plunger, you can’t see if the filter is sitting straight up and the coffee powder is completely pressed down.

Coffee Gator French Press im Test

Attracts attention not only in bright pink. The Coffee Gator French Press is certainly one of the most robust French presses on the market today and makes enough coffee for a whole family (or a small office) in one go. A small container for transporting freshly ground coffee is also included. In addition, the French press has a thermo function. Definitely a favourite of our editorial team.

What distinguishes a ceramic French press and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Similar to the metal coffee press, the insulating properties of the ceramic French press are very good. However, this also poses a danger: For the preparation process, the insulation is very good because the hot water stays really hot and so does the coffee. However, it is better not to leave the finished coffee in the pot for too long. Since the coffee powder remains in the French Press even after the plunger is pressed down, the coffee can become very bitter after a while. You should therefore enjoy the coffee from the French Press quickly.

Advantages
  • Almost indestructible
  • heat storage particularly good
  • no plastic used
Disadvantages
  • Ceramic can discolour
  • No transparency
  • Very heavy

If you want to make an investment in your coffee enjoyment, buying a French press made of ceramic or stainless steel is a great choice. Thanks to the good insulation, the coffee is very hot.

Le Creuset French Press im Test

Genuine ceramic from France: The French Press from Le Creuset impresses with its high-quality workmanship and unique design.

What distinguishes a French Press made of glass and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The big advantage of a glass French press is that it is much lighter than the other two. It is also easy to clean and the glass does not discolour.

Advantages
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Not indestructible
  • Doesn’t keep warm as long

However, the frame of glass stamp pots is often made of plastic. If you want to buy a plastic-free product, you should pay particular attention to a metal socket. In summary, it can be said that the glass French press is more suitable for beginners. The price factor is not too high and you can see what happens to your coffee.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate French presses

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible stamp pots. The criteria you can use to compare French presses include:

  • Insulation
  • Size
  • Material
  • Design

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Insulation

You should pay attention to how well insulated the French press is so that the coffee can be kept warm for longer.

To create the fullest possible coffee flavour, the pot should be preheated.

If it is well insulated, it will stay warm even after the “preheating water” and coffee powder have been replaced and can therefore work perfectly. There are double-walled insulated French Press models in which the coffee is kept warm for several hours. These are ideal for trips or travel. Nevertheless, the coffee should not remain in the French Press for too long, otherwise it can become bitter. At this point, it is worth considering buying a separate insulated jug in which the coffee can be kept warm.

Size

Here it depends on how many cups of coffee you want to make. If it’s just one cup in the morning, the smallest French Press is suitable. If you want to prepare your coffee for many guests, a 1L press pot is worthwhile. Choosing the right size is a common mistake. If there is not enough coffee powder in the jug, there will be a gap between the sieve and the base when the plunger is pressed down. This causes the coffee to be drawn on and the finer coffee particles to be washed up.

Material

The material of the individual parts, but also the material of the entire French press, plays an important role when buying. In addition to the types of French press presented here, there are also individual subgroups of the respective materials. For example, porcelain and earthenware are a sub-type of ceramic. The material of the press plunger should also be considered. There are both metal and plastic stamps. However, a metal stamp is more robust than a plastic one and usually lasts longer. You should also pay attention to the workmanship of the individual parts of the French press. They should be of high quality and sturdy so that you can enjoy them for a long time.

Design

Especially with French presses, design is an important criterion. After all, it should integrate well into your kitchen and fit into the overall picture. Because here too, the eye is always decisive. For example, Le Creuset offers many different colours and designs of French presses. Since the French Press is available in many different designs and colours, you are of course free to choose and can certainly make the right choice for your home.

Facts worth knowing about the French Press

Which coffee should I use for the French Press?

If you want to prepare your coffee with a French Press, the choice of coffee is particularly important. With this preparation method, the aroma is particularly important, which is why the coffee should also be of a high quality in order to take full advantage of all the benefits.

Of course, you can still buy your coffee from the supermarket if you like the taste that way. However, we always recommend buying freshly roasted coffee. In the end, however, you should decide according to your personal taste.

Which coffee grind is necessary for preparation in the French Press?

The grind is very important for the different preparation methods.

Try out what you like best and which coffee is right for you.

If the grind is too coarse, the coffee tastes slightly acidic. If it is too fine, the coffee particles cannot be held by the filter. A medium, slightly coarser grind is therefore essential for a French press. Unfortunately, most pre-packaged ground coffees are too fine. It is a good idea to grind the coffee yourself or to ask at a roastery. You can grind the coffee beans quite simply with a normal coffee grinder. These are also available as electric versions.

What ratio should the coffee have to the water?

We recommend that you always pour in the specified amount of water. Here we list an approximate guideline of how many grams of coffee go into the different sizes of French press:

water in L amount of coffee in g
0.35 20-21
0.5 28-30
0.75 45-47
1 60-65

How do I make coffee with my French Press?

When preparing your coffee with the French Press, you should also keep a few things in mind to make the perfect coffee. We have provided you with a brief guide on how to prepare your coffee:

  1. Grind the coffee: First you have to grind the coffee fresh. We have already explained which grind is the right one. We can say that a grind of 7, comparable to coarse sea salt, is ideal for the French Press.
  2. Add water to the coffee: The water should have a temperature of 95 °C. If the water is too hot, the coffee will not brew. If the water is too hot, the coffee will become bitter. Either measure the temperature with a thermometer or let it cool briefly in the kettle.
  3. Stir: Stir the coffee again so that everything is well distributed.
  4. Keep to the brewing time: Let the coffee brew for between three and six minutes, depending on how you like it best. You may have to experiment a little at first to find the best brewing time for you.
  5. Pushing: After the coffee has been brewed, push the plunger down until it touches the surface of the water. Now slowly press the plunger down.

It is best to divide the coffee between your cups afterwards. It should not be left in the French Press for too long, otherwise it will become bitter. If you don’t want to drink the coffee all at once, pour it into a thermos flask. This way the coffee stays warm and nothing can happen to it.

How do I clean the French Press?

Cleaning the French Press is just as easy as making the coffee. All parts can be easily disassembled and cleaned. In the following video you will learn what you should pay attention to when cleaning the French Press and how to do it most easily:

Is the French Press really environmentally friendly?

The French Press does not require any additional waste and is therefore the most environmentally friendly method of preparation next to the Karlovy Vary pot. If you also make sure that the holder or the head of the plunger is not made of plastic, you will also have dispensed with environmentally harmful substances.

Did you know that the French Press method even received an award? It was voted the most environmentally friendly coffee maker in the 1980s.
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