3 Best French Presses, According to Food Network Kitchen
We tested 10 French presses to determine which brewed the richest, smoothest pot of coffee.
Coffee is such an integral part of our lives — Americans alone drink about 400 million cups per day. For many of us, it’s a daily habit as automatic as brushing our teeth or bathing. Given coffee’s constant presence in our lives, it makes sense to ensure that your daily cup is as good as it can possibly be. Along with buying a type of coffee you enjoy, choosing a brewing method that suits you and then having the right coffee maker matters.
Devotees of the French press say this brewing method yields a richer, more aromatic result, since the metal filter and steeping time allows more of the coffee’s natural oils in than paper filters used in other methods. Plus, microscopic grounds in the finished coffee give you a more full-bodied brew.
Brewing with a French press is more complicated than simply pushing a button on an automatic coffee maker, so if you’re going to do it you definitely want the best pot you can get. We found that the quality of different French presses varied greatly. All of our favorites were made from stainless steel — we found the glass and plastic ones less sturdy and the one made from stoneware was beautiful but lacked the thoughtful design of other models (and yet it was on the expensive side). In the end, there were three that stood out from the crowd. Here are our favorites that ensure you can brew without hassle, enjoy your cup and clean with ease.
If money is no object, go ahead and splurge on this one. It’s as elegantly designed as it is sleek and yielded us the smoothest cup by far thanks to its double filter system. Though other models have double filters, the ESPRO P7 has a patented design with deeper microfilters that twist and lock together. As effective as the filters are, they’re also simple to use, disassemble and clean. Also, with most French presses, instructions advise you to remove the coffee as soon as it’s brewed to keep it from getting bitter, so you would have to transfer it to another insulated pot if you weren’t using it all right away (the pot makes four 8-ounce cups), but this model states that it's okay to leave the coffee in the pot. We tasted it after 30 and 60 minutes (along with taking the temperature), and, as promised, the coffee was still smooth rather than bitter.
With double-wall construction, this pot is sturdy and durable. After warming the 34-ounce pot with hot water as the instructions indicated, the coffee stayed hotter than any other pot we tested. Though the pot was hot, the handle and knob at the top with touchably cool. The brew itself was rich and very smooth, thanks to two layers of stainless steel filters. After brewing and enjoying the coffee, disassembly was simple and all the parts were dishwasher-safe. This is a nice-looking French press that does its job well and looks good doing it.
This one isn’t wildly different from the Secura. In fact, the two are so alike you could choose one over the other based on which design you prefer (though, to be fair, even that is similar). The Mueller is also stainless steel, also 34 ounces, also kept coffee hotter than other models (aside from the Secura by just a few degrees). The Mueller comes with a small stainless steel canister to hold coffee grounds, which is a bit small for home use but might come in handy if you are camping or on vacation. Double filters yield smooth coffee, and a cool handle makes it easy to pour. After you’ve finished your coffee, this pot is simple to take apart and you can toss all the parts in the dishwasher.
How We Tested
We purchased 10 well-reviewed French presses. We followed the instructions included in each one and brewed a full pot, using the same coarsely ground coffee for each. (We bought organic beans at a local coffee shop, D’Amico Coffee, and asked them to grind it coarse for French press.) After plunging, we poured a cup and sipped to evaluate the flavor and smoothness. We noted when finishing the cup if there was additional sediment or grounds in the bottom. We let the press stand on the counter with the cover on and took the temperature of the coffee after 30 minutes and then after 60 minutes using an instant read thermometer stuck into the center of the coffee.
We poured out the remaining coffee, removed the grounds, disassembled the press and washed all the parts according to the instructions, noting how easy (or not easy) it was. We used a dishwasher when the instructions indicated it was safe to do so and hand-washed otherwise. Then, we reassembled the press and noted if it was easy to do that or not.