I sure think it makes the best coffee but it doesn’t offer a lot of versatility in the specialty drink dept.
Depending on your level of sophistication you can make a really great coffee that is either strong or weak or anything in between with a french press.
You can easily play with brewing times to optimize your preferred level of flavor extraction and you can even switch up the brewing temperature if you find certain temps just don’t produce the flavor you’d like.
In fact Howard Schultz, president of Starbucks back in 2012 was quoted as saying his Bodum french press made “the best cup of coffee known to mankind”.
This made headlines seeing as though Starbucks is a leader in coffee but doesn’t even serve french press coffee to their customers!
Now, having said that french press coffee is amazing but you can’t use the coffee produced to make any drinks featuring espresso. The coffee is simply not potent enough.
Personally I use a french press about 50% of the time and a stovetop espresso maker the other 50% of the time.
Once in a blue moon I’ll use my drip coffee maker but these days that is infrequent to say the least. I haven’t used the drip coffee maker since I did that video demonstrating the proper way to clean a coffee maker.
Stovetop espresso is not true espresso but it’s darned close and its the easiest way to get a good “shot” for non-pros. In fact many people that own $1,000 espresso machines still have trouble making shots as good as I get out of my super cheap Bialetti because many fancy machines take talent and skill to operate.
Long story short, if you drink basic coffee and don’t care about latte’s and the gambit of drinks based on espresso then a french press coffee maker is the way to get the best coffee possible.
There’s not a ton of differences in french press pots either. Outside of insulation and size the main difference between pots is style and build quality. You can see our French Press store to see some of the many of the most popular french press coffee makers sold today.
Having though about this post for a while now though I’ve done even more research…
Does A French Press Make The Best Coffee?
Coffee lovers know that there are 101 things that make a good cup of coffee. Well, 101 may be too much. The point is, you need effort to make one cup of good coffee. The major requirements to make a good cup of coffee include good beans, roast, grind and water temperature. For espresso shot, you need to add a key element – pressure.
Coffee shops and gourmet cafes go through lengths to perfect the art of brewing coffee. It’s make or break. One wrong move in the brewing process can change the taste of coffee dramatically. It is also during the brewing process when specialty coffee shops inject their best-kept secret to make their signature coffee concoction.
While we love visiting coffee shops and reciting our favorite cup of coffee to our friendly barista, there’s something really ethereal with brewing your own coffee at home. There’s something magical, romantic and even practical with the idea of making your own cup.
This is the reason why several coffee makers, brewers and all sorts of kitchen equipment that help you brew coffee at home with ease. One of the most popular choices is the French press.
Reasons why a French Press can Make the Best Coffee
Lifehack shared six reasons why French press can make the best coffee. It’s worth looking into and if you have been using a drip machine for a long time and shifted to French press, you will really notice the difference.
- French press retains the flavor and aroma that coffee is known for. Paper filters used in almost all coffee makers take out the flavor and oils. Just like in any good food, the fats and oils hold the flavor and when heated, the flavors burst out. French press allows you to enjoy the flavor and the tiny coffee ground that goes into your cup adds to the great tasting coffee up to the last drop.
- French press allows steeping. Just like with any good tea, to get the full body flavor, taste and aroma of coffee, allow it to steep for up to 4 minutes. Steeping allows water to penetrate the cells of the coffee grounds and get it ready for extracting the coffee when pressed.
- French press gives you a full cup. Everything is in the cup. All the flavors and aroma are extracted to make one of the best homemade coffee.
- French press saturates all the coffee grounds. Unlike with a drip machine or percolator, the hot water just passes through the coffee grounds. With the steeping process of the French press, you know that all coffee grounds are penetrated with water. When you add the pressure of the plunger, you extract real coffee goodness.
- French press can help you make espresso. With the right coffee roast and grind, you can recreate your own espresso at home. If you love espresso to the moon, you’ll love owning a French press at home.
To ensure that you make the best coffee using a French press, you need to remember two things:
- Use a coarse grinder. The French press uses a mesh wire to separate the liquid from the coffee beans. To get a better coffee and more flavorful cup, ensure that you use a coarse grinder. If you are getting ground coffee from a store, tell the barista to make it coarse ground.
- Exert a steady pressure. When pushing the plunger down, exert a steady pressure all the way down. Others suggest that you push the plunger halfway down to remove any air inside. Then pull up the plunger and push down with one steady stroke.
French Press Pros and Cons
French press is undoubtedly a good addition to your kitchen equipment if you love making great coffee at home. But it has its fair share of pros and cons.
- Requires no pouring skills.
- Allows precise control over steeping time.
- Brews up to eight cups at a time.
- No filters needed.
- Produces a good cup of coffee.
- Grounds and coffee sludge can end up in your cup.
- Cleaning up is messy.
Best French Press Brands/Models
If you are shopping the market for a new French press, Spruce Eats recommend the following models and brands. Go check it out.
- Bodum CHAMBORD French Press Coffee Maker – Special features: Can make up to 12-ounces of coffee. Has a heat-resistant borosilicate glass carafe with a plastic handle and base. Easy to clean.
- Bodum BRAZIL Coffee Maker – Special features: Can make up to 34-ounces of coffee. Perfect for a small family. Affordable French press model. All parts are dishwasher safe.
- Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker – Special features: Sleek design with full stainless steel body. Insulated carafe, perfect for serving coffee at the table for breakfast, snack or when having a coffee party at home. Full length handle to avoid slipping. All parts are dishwasher safe.
- KONA French Press Coffee Maker – Special features: Very durable, perfect for busy family that fears glass and any breakable items. Has 12-ounce and 34-ounce models. All parts are dishwasher safe.
- Le Creuset of America Stoneware Petite French Press – Special features: Has a nice heft and maintains temperature, so it’s ideal for keeping your coffee warm. It’s also safe for use in the freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher, so the carafe can be used for much more than coffee.