A French Press is one of these really simple tools that allow you to brew a delicious cup of coffee in quick way, anytime and anywhere. When using a french press, you’re keeping all the oils from the beans in your cup, which gives you a really bold and flavorful cup of coffee. But what’s the best way to make a great cup of coffee using a french press? We’ve posted some graphics and videos before explaining how to make a french press pot, but this post is our definite guide.
Like any other brewing method, with French Press, many factors will affect the result of your coffee:
- Your coffee grind: of course, fresh is better. But also, the coffee grind has to be the right consistency.
- Amount of coffee: now you got the grind right, you have to add the correct amount of coffee.
- Water temperature: the optimal temperature for brewing coffee is about 200F to 205F. That’s water just off the boil.
What You’ll Need:
A French Press:
We’re assuming you already have a French Press. If not, then we highly recommend looking at Bodum’s french presses. They’re the most popular and a personal favorite. Bodum has a wide range of presses to choose from, in different styles to suit every taste.
How To Choose the Right French Press?
Apart from aesthetics, the first thing you’ll have to decide on is the capacity of the french press. How many cups will you be brewing? French presses are available in sizes of 2-cups, 4-cups, 6-cups and up to 12-cup (12 cups is about 51 oz).
Design wise, there are many to choose from, however, the interior remains the same (all stainless steel):
There’s the glass with plastic shell and handle. Glass with stainless steel shell or full stainless steel body.
Which one to choose is completely up to you, of course, you’ll still get the same result. We recommend the stainless steel french press over others only because it’s more durable (doesn’t break) and it keeps the temperature of your coffee longer.
Grinding your beans fresh makes a lot of difference in the quality of coffee you’re brewing. Coffee grinders can be expensive, but you don’t have to invest in a large grinder if you’re only grinding to brew using French Press. There’s a number of inexpensive quality grinders that you can choose from:
A manual burr grinder is highly recommended here. With a few twists, you’ll have fresh ground coffee ready to brew. The only downside to a manual grinder is that it can get tiring after a while.
Your second option would be to get a blade grinder. This isn’t recommended over a burr grinder, but if you’re on a budget, it’ll do.
This is where you’ll measure the right amount of coffee ground. You’ll need about 7 grams of coffee for each cup you’re brewing.
You can use a simple digital scale for this, or you can use a scoop with a built-in scale. The Hario scale pictured above features a built-in timer which is quite helpful in all brewing methods or even kitchen uses in general.
How To Brew Using a French Press:
Now you have all your tools ready, here’s how to do it:
- First thing you’ll want to do is rinse your french press with hot water. This is crucial in helping to maintain the right brewing temperature once you add your coffee and hot water.
- While the press is pre-heating, measure the right amount of beans. If you’re grinding 8-cups, you’ll need about 56 grams of coffee.
- Start grinding your beans. You’ll want the coffee to be coarse for this.
- Discard the water you used to pre-heat your french press. Add the coffee and add the boiling water. At this point, you’ll want to add only have way up. This will help saturate the coffee evenly, which gives you a better flavor.
- Let the coffee sit for about a minute, after that stir the coffee and add more water all the way to the top.
- Let the coffee continue to steep for an extra 3 minutes.
- Once 4 full minutes are up, gently press down the plunger.
Now you’re all ready to enjoy your cup of coffee!
- Some people recommend refrigerating coffee beans to keep them fresh. NEVER do that. It will stale your coffee in no time, actually. Always keep your beans at room temperature.
- If you’re using a glass french press, it’s recommended that you use a wood stirrer instead of a metal spoon, just so you don’t accidentally break the glass.
- Don’t want to grind your own beans? Your best option then is to buy fresh beans that have just been roasted from a local coffee shop and have them grind it for you. The idea here is that you don’t want to use beans that have been roasted months ago, this changes the quality of coffee and will certainly result in a bitter cup.
Bodum has always been famous of their french press pots. But they’re also increasingly becoming popular for their great pour-over pot. In this post, we will be highlighting the difference between these two to help you choose the right product for you.
Bodum French Press, How Does It Work?
Whether it’s Bodum or another French Press brand, the method of french press works the same (although the quality of Bodum pots is hard to beat!). French press, which is also known as press pot or plunger coffee, is very simple method of brewing coffee, which is probably why it’s a favorite among many coffee lovers.
The French Press is made of a simple pot with a lid that has a filter attached to it. When you fill your pot with your favorite coffee ground, add hot water and leave it to steep for a few minutes. When your steeping time is over, all you have to do is press down your filter, which holds the coffee ground at the bottom of the pot and lifts all the coffee brew up.
Because when using French Press the coffee ground remains in the pot, usually the taste of the coffee is bolder than that made using Pour-over. If you prefer a bold, full bodied cup of coffee, you’ll enjoy the results of French Press.
Bodum Pour Over, How Does It Work?
Compared to the French Press, the Pour-Over pot is a relatively new addition to the Bodum family. Preparing coffee following the Pour-Over method is an increasingly popular trend among coffee lovers. Although it requires more time and a more precise procedure, many people still find it very enjoyable (myself included!).
The basis of pour-over is brewing coffee on a cone which lets the coffee drips slowly. There are different types of pour-over cones, there are the small cones that can be placed directly on your mug like the famous Hario V60, or you can use a decanter where the cone is placed on top of it and your coffee drips into the serving decanter, like Chemex or the Bodum Pour-over pot.
With the Bodum Pour-over, you get a glass decanter with a reusable cone filter. You will add the coffee ground to the filter then you’ll have to slowly pour your water over a course of a minute or two, you’ll notice that the coffee will start to slowly pour down into the decanter. Here’s how it works:
Pour over coffee results in a lighter and cleaner cup of coffee. As the coffee ground remains in the top filter, you’ll notice that the coffee brewed is oil-free and less bitter or acid in taste.
Which One Should You Go For?
Eventually, it all comes down to how you prefer your coffee to taste:
- If you want a strong cup of coffee, more on the bitter side, and with all oily flavors of the coffee ground in-tact, then French Press is the way to go.
- For a low acid, clean and crisp cup of coffee, Pour-over is definitely the way to go.
If you’re a fan of French Press coffee, you probably brew a pot of press on a hurry, pour the coffee into a travel mug and go on with your day. There’s actually a better way to do it if you want a great cup of French Press on the go, and that is by using a French Press travel mug, which is basically a lighter version of the French Press made to make your morning routine easier.
A French Press travel mug works the exact same way as a pot, so there’s no complications there. Simply add the coffee, pour in hot water, let it sit a bit and then press and go!
Here are our top 3 picks for the best rated French Press travel mugs you can buy today:
Bodum Insulated Stainless Steel Press Mug:
- Excellent for brewing coffee or tea on the go.
- Stainless steel body.
- Silicone sleeve wrapped around the mug for an easy grip.
- Vacuum sealed, double walled insulation keeps your drink’s temperature for a long time.
- Lid is spill resistant and has the plunger built into it.
- 15 ounce capacity
The Bodum press mug is available in many fun colors (for the lid and silicone grip), and also available as a plastic non-stainless steel version. But we highly recommend this one over the plastic one for more durability.
Planetary Design Desk Press Stainless Steel French Press:
- Vacuum sealed stainless steel press mug.
- 20 oz capacity.
- Mug handle.
- Plunger in a separate lid – requires lid switch before use.
- Available in different colors.
Asobu The Hot Press Vacuum Insulated Cup:
- Vacuum sealed, keeps drinks hot for 6 to 8 hours.
- 16 oz capacity.
- Built-in plunger, no need to switch lids.
- Available in many colors.
Which Of These Press Mugs Should I Buy?
We’d highly recommend the Bodum press mug as your first option for it’s cool design, the silicone sleeve around the mug is a winner. Although it’s insulated and it won’t have a hot body, it will keep it from accidental slips. The second choice would be the Asobu press mug, it is similar to the Bodum, but lacks the grip sleeve. Our least favorite would be the Planetary Design mug due to the fact that is has two lids, one with the plunger and another for covering the mug, but it still comes highly recommended by many customers.
Many people search for a stainless steel coffee maker that doesn’t include any plastic parts, worrying about hot water coming in contact with those plastic parts might lead to an undesirable taste.
When searching for the term stainless steel coffee maker, you’ll probably come across two things:
- A regular plastic/stainless steel housing with vacuum stainless steel carafe.
- Or a full stainless steel body with a vacuum stainless steel carafe.
Here’s an example of a full stainless steel coffee maker:
The KRUPS KT600 Silver Art Collection: a full stainless steel body 10-cup coffee maker with stainless steel thermal carafe (which you can learn more about here).
Before you get too excited, this machine, and probably all machines, still have plastic interiors. Truth is, there are NO drip coffee makers that contain no plastic parts at all. So, what do you do if you want to produce coffee without using any plastic parts? You have a few options….
How To Make Coffee Without The Use of Any Plastic: (Alternative Coffee Brewing Methods)
Quick note: We get many emails telling us that some of the products recommended by us do contain plastic (as obvious from the photos). Well, yes, some products may contain plastic parts on their EXTERIOR. The plastic does NOT come in contact with hot water or coffee on the inside of the coffee maker, and that’s why we’ve qualified them as plastic-free coffee makers.
You can use a stovetop moka/coffee maker. They’re all stainless steel, no plastic parts at all. But of course, it’s pretty manual and no fancy features. See our favorite stainless steel stovetop coffee makers here.
Use a French press. It’s also very manual, but easy and quick to use. And most importantly, no plastic parts! Click here to see the best french press pots you can buy.
You can use a stainless steel coffee percolator which has no plastic parts in its interior at all (some plastic parts out the exterior). There’s an electric or stovetop option, it’s nice and quick, although the method itself is old, the new percolators have been updated to meet a modern user’s expectations.
A Chemex glass coffee maker, which is a manual drip coffee maker. Click here to learn more about the one pictured above.
Or you can use a ceramic drip pour-over coffee maker. Click here to learn more about the Hario ceramic dripper pictured above.
A Syphon Vacuum coffee maker is also an option, but requires some expertise.
As you can see, if you’d like your coffee without the use of plastic, you’ll have to go back to basics. We highly recommend a Hario Dripper or a French press as a fast and easy way to make delicious coffee, followed by the stovetop coffee maker and the percolators.
Best Stainless Steel Double Wall French Press With No Plastic Parts:
As we’ve already recommended french press as an alternative coffee brewing method, most press pots are made of glass with plastic exterior. Although that does not affect the taste of the coffee as the plastic does not come in contact with it, many people would still prefer that their pot does not include any plastic at all.
Why Choose a Stainless Steel French Press?
- a stainless steel french press is slightly more expensive than its glass/plastic counterpart, but it is more durable, it doesn’t scratch or break.
- It is double-walled, so it keeps your coffee hot for a longer period of time.
- It’s more stylish.
Here are our favorite stainless steel French Press Pots:
Frieling Polished Stainless French Press:
- Available in few sizes: 8 oz, 17 oz, 23 oz, 36 oz.
- Insulated interior – retains heat 4 times longer than a regular press.
- Mirror finished on the outside, brushed finish on the inside.
- Dishwasher safe.
Bodum Columbia 8-Cup Stainless-Steel Thermal Press Pot:
- 8 cup capacity thermal french press by Bodum. (available in other sizes)
- Double-walled insulated interior. Keeps coffee hot for 2 hours.
- Polished mirror finish exterior.
- Twist shut lid.
- Includes coffee scoop.
- Dishwasher safe.
Francois et Mimi Stainless Steel Double Wall French Coffee Press:
- Fully stainless steel, holds up to 36 oz.
- Double walled interior.
- Brushed stainless steel finish.
- Available in other sizes.
Bodum’s french presses have always been of the MOST popular ever among the world. Actually, everything Bodum makes is known to be of the best quality in addition to beautiful and simple design.
So since Bodum happens to have the most popular french presses, and many people seem to have a lot of questions about them, we’re dedicating this post to answering these questions to help you buy the best Bodum french press for you.
In This Post (Click to Jump):
Introduction to Bodum French Presses:
How Does a Bodum French Press Work?
French press is by far the easiest and quickest way to brew a cup of coffee. How it works:
- Scoop in the amount of desired coffee (medium coarse grind – amount depends on number of cups).
- Pour in hot water, stir.
- Let it sit of a few minutes then press down the lid.
When you press the mess filter down, it presses the coffee ground down, stops it from steeping, and brings the coffee up.
What Sizes Are The Bodum French Press? What Is The Largest Bodum French Press?
Lucky for us, Bodum makes french presses in all sorts of sizes, materials and colors. Bodum’s french presses are usually available in these sizes:
- 12 oz – 3 cups
- 34 oz – 8 cups
- 51 oz – 12 cups
However, the calculation for these cup sizes is based on 4 oz cups, which is the standard cup size in Europe. So, if you’re using a standard mug size in the US, which is between 8 oz to 12 oz, a 3-cup Bodum press would make a little over just a mug for you. This is important to keep in mind when choosing the right size for your need.
Colors and material of the french press depends on the model/collection of the french press, which will get to in a bit…
Is Bodum French Press Dishwasher Safe/Microwave Safe?
All Bodum french press pots are dishwasher safe. Is it Microwave safe, though? Firstly, I’m not quite sure why you want to microwave a french press. Re-heating coffee that way only leads to terrible tasting brew… now I got that out of the way. The glass beaker of the press can be safely microwaved, you’ll have to take it out of the plastic or metal part of the press. That is not recommended though, it is much easier to simply make another batch of coffee.
Which Bodum French Press Is The Best?
Here are the top rated Bodum French Press Pots. We’d recommend you get a 34oz 8-cup pot which allows you to make more or less cups easily in case you’re having coffee on your own or with someone. However, all french press pots you’ll see are available in different sizes.
Bodum Brazil 8-Cup French Press Coffee Maker:
- A simple french press available in three colors: red, black or green.
- Patented safety lid prevents spilling and splashing while pressing.
- All parts are dishwasher safe.
- Brews 1 Liter, 8-cups of coffee.
Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker:
- 8-cup Bodum French Press, CHAMBORD collection.
- Stainless steel frame, heat resistant handle.
- Heat and scratch resistant borosilicate glass beaker.
- 3 part stainless steel mesh filter for the best extraction.
- All parts dishwasher safe.
Bodum Columbia 8-Cup Stainless-Steel Thermal Press Pot
- 8-cup thermal press that keeps coffee hot for up to 2 hours.
- Double-wall, insulated stainless steel pot with polish steel finish.
- Large cool-to-touch handle.
- Twist Shut lid.
- 3-part stainless steel mesh filter.
Comparison Between Bodum French Press and Other Brands:
Torn between two french presses? Here’s a quick comparison between Bodum and other brands. Actually, we’ll start off by comparing two Bodum models then we’ll get into other brands:
Bodum BRAZIL vs. CHAMBORD French Press – What’s The Difference?
- Filter: Both have the same 3-part stainless steel mesh filter.
- Frame: Chambord has a stainless steel frame with heat resistant handle. The Brazil has a plastic frame.
- Style: Chambord has a classic style while the Brazil has a modern style and available in many bright colors.
Bodum French Press vs. Sowden Softbrew:
A comparison between these two is not even valid, as they’re not the same:
- The Bodum Chambord is a press pot coffee maker while the Sowden Softbrew is not.
- The Sowden Softbrew uses a filter basket inside the pot to brew and steep coffee. It does NOT have a press/plunger.
- The Bodum pot presses down the coffee ground after steeping using the mesh filter.
- The Sowden Softbrew is a porcelain (ceramic) pot, while the Bodum french press is made of glass.
Bodum vs Mr Coffee French Press:
The Mr. Coffee press might be cheaper than Bodum’s but you’ll be giving up on a lot of quality. The glass of the Mr Coffee press is not as good or durable as Bodum’s. And many customers have reported that the filter, which doesn’t seem to have a mesh, falls apart rather quickly after a few uses. We certainly do NOT recommend Mr. Coffee’s press just to save a few bucks. The Bodum press, for slightly more, should last you long years without any issues.
Frieling vs Bodum Thermo French Press:
Now this is a truly fair comparison between two similar products. Both are of great quality, here’s what they have in common:
- Both are thermo press pots, keep coffee hot for hours (2 hours in Bodum’s case)
- Insulated double-walled stainless steel construction.
- 8-cup capacity. Available in other sizes.
- Both dishwasher safe
It is a fair competition between these two, they’re also about the same price. I’d prefer the Bodum pot for it’s Twist Shut lid, which is safer. But the design of the Frieling pot makes it great for other uses as a pitcher for milk or juice. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that so flavors don’t mix later on.
Common Questions About Bodum French Press Pots:
Is My Bodum French Press Dishwasher Safe?
Bodum has made the majority of its french press pots using materials that are dishwasher safe. The safest way to clean your Bodum press in a dishwasher is to dissemble the filter and plunger and keep the pot in top rack (you don’t have to separate the plastic handle from the glass, though).
Is My Bodum Press Microwave Safe?
Yes! You can easily reheat your coffee in the microwave using your Bodum press. But of course, take out the lid and plunger and only place the pot in the microwave, since the lid is where the metal parts are, it’s not safe for the microwave. The rest of the press is totally safe to use in a microwave.
What Materials Does Bodum Use In their Presses?
Bodum is known for its use of Borosilicate glass as the body of all their presses. This type of glass is known for being resistant to temperature changes (does not shatter easily with sudden change of temperature), it doesn’t cloud or stain easily and has an overall strong composition.
If the french press has a plastic handle or base, then it’s definitely BPA-free.
Does Bodum Sell Replacement beakers for their French Press?
Yes, definitely. If you happened to accidentally break your press, you’ll be able to buy a replacement for the body, or any other part, over on Bodum’s website.
Common Questions About French Press Brewing:
Is French Press Bad For You?
Coffee, in its natural state (not too much sugar, creamers or flavoring) and in moderation, is great for your health:
- it helps the body to recover quickly, which is why it is usually recommended after heavy work outs.
- it protects agains diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s
- it improves energy levels and helps be more productive.
- It contains many essential nutrients.
There are many health benefits to coffee that you can refer to here.
So, why does French Press coffee get a bad rep for being bad for your health? The only reason is that using a press to make coffee, it doesn’t filter out the oils from the coffee, which might lead to the risk of raising your cholesterol levels. But if you don’t consume a lot of it, you shouldn’t worry about it.
How Many Scoops of Coffee To Use in a French Press?
You need to know the size of the French Press you’ll use before you decide how much coffee to put in. According to brewing guides, the best ratio to work with is 1:15 of coffee to water. This means that you use 1 gram of coffee or 2-3 tablespoons in every 15 grams of water or one cup of water.
Therefore, if your French Press can hold 8 cups of coffee, you’ll be required to use 8-10 tablespoons of coffee and 860 milliliters of water.
Why Does French Press Coffee Taste Better?
When making french press coffee, the coffee grounds steep in water for a few minutes before pressing the plunge. This causes the oil present in coffee ground to be released and the stay in the brew. This results in a bold and flavorful cup, and that’s pretty much why a lot of people prefer this method for brewing their coffee.
What Kind of Coffee Do You Put in a French Press?
What matters when making a tasty coffee is the grind. For this reason, It is advised to use coarse and even ground coffee. Therefore, no matter where you buy your coffee from, and whichever blend or roast you go for, all you need to do is ensure that you get the grind size correctly. Other than that, it’s all up to your taste buds.
How Can I Make French Press Coffee Stronger?
As said earlier, the ratio of coffee to water should be 1:15. This means that for every one cup of water, you use 2-3 tablespoons of coffee. This gives your coffee a good taste. However, to make it strong, you need to change the ratio. For instance, you can decide to use the 1:8 ratio of coffee is to water. This means that you use more coffee and less water than when preparing the usual French press coffee.
Another thing to try is to make your coffee steep for a longer time before you press down the filter.
How Do I Keep My French Press Coffee Hot?
One of the downsides of using a glass french press is that it doesn’t keep the coffee hot for too long. To ensure your French press coffee remains hot for a lot time, buy a double walled stainless steel french pot. The insulation in such pots is excellent for keeping the temperature of your coffee for a long time. They are also more durable and less likely to break.
Another thing to try when using a glass french press is to rinse it with hot water before brewing (do the same for your mug, too). Now this does not keep your coffee hot for too long. Not as long as a stainless steel pot, at least, but it does help.
Can I Use a Paper Filter with a French Press?
Honestly, it’s not necessary to use a paper filter in your French press. In fact, the only essential items are coffee and water. However, you can use the paper filter if you feel like it. When you place the paper filter in your French press, it sieves fine deposits and produces coffee with a good flavor.
However, some nutrients, oils, and antioxidants present in the coffee will be lost, since they are left in the filter paper. Nevertheless, since all the grounds and sediments are left in the filter paper, you’ll get a cleaner cup of coffee
To use a paper filter with your french press, you’ll have to buy a disc shaped filter, usually sold for use with percolators, but many customers have suggested that it works fine for a french press, too.
Why Is My French Press Hard To Press?
As said earlier, you must ensure that you use the correct grind with your coffee. Using the wrong ground size will not only result in a bad cup of coffee, but will also make the process harder.
If you feel like you’re pressing too hard for the french press filter to go down, this means that you’re using a grind that is too fine and the water is finding it hard to pass through. This is why coarse coffee is recommended for french press, because water passes through it easily, making the pressing process easier.
Type Of Coffee Gear
- Espresso Machines
- Single-Serve Espresso Machines
- Coffee Grinders
- Coffee Pod Organizers
- Tips and Info
- Coffee Makers
- Pour-Over Coffee Brewers
- Pour-Over Coffee Tools
- Single-Serve Coffee Makers
- French Press Pots
- Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
- Dual Boiler Espresso Machines
- Electric Milk Frothers
- Electric Water Kettles
- Stovetop Moka Pots
- Vacuum Siphon Coffee Makers
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