Glass vs Stainless Steel vs Ceramic French Press | Which Material is Best?

French Press is obviously one of the best ways to prepare a rich and full-bodied cup of coffee at the ease of home. Using French Press is very easy; everyone can make a perfect cup of coffee using this method.

But when it comes to buying a French Press, it is not a very straightforward process as French Presses are available in different materials like Glass, Stainless steel, or Ceramic. Also, French Presses are available in a range of different prices i-e from 20 to 200 dollars. 

Most people get confused about whether to buy an expensive French Press or a cheap one and what material is best for French Press.

Although, all the materials can brew a perfect cup of French Press as long as the construction material is reliable and the filters are adequate. But there are some advantages and disadvantages of a certain material over the other.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of Glass vs Stainless Steel vs Ceramic French Press. So, you can easily choose the right French Press that matches your needs.

Glass Vs Stainless Steel Vs Ceramic French Press Coffee Makers

glass vs stainless steel vs ceramic french press

Glass French Press coffee makers are affordable but they can break easily, Metal French Presses are strong and sturdy but you can not visualize the brewing process, and the taste changes to some extent with time, Ceramic French Press coffee makers are beautiful but are very expensive.

But the one thing is common all can a make a perfect cup of French Press coffee. Let’s dive into pros and cons of each material.

Pros of Glass French Press

Glass French Presses are the most abundant ones as they are affordable and readily available. Whenever I think of a French Press, the first thing that comes to my mind is a glass jar with a plunger assembly, and it might be the case with you. The glass French Presses have the following benefits over the others:

  • They are affordable in price. You can buy a well-functioning glass French Press in a range of 15 to 40 dollars. Although, expensive glass French Presses are also available with better functionalities and more durable design. But you can easily get an adequate French Press in an affordable range.
  • The best thing about glass French Press is that you can visualize the brewing process. It is a very satisfying and alluring experience to see how the color of coffee changes with time. And if you are the one who doesn’t consider steeping time and can easily tell when the coffee is prepared by just noticing the color. Then you surely want to go with a glass French Press.   

Cons of Glass French Press

I personally like a glass French Press more than stainless steel ones because glass looks more classic and gives a more pleasurable taste experience. But there are also some cons associated with glass French Press coffee makers. 

  • The first one is obvious; the glass can shatter easily, and they are not as strong as the stainless steel ones. So, you have to take special care of them, and you can’t take them easily on camping trips.

But nowadays, most of the French Presses are made of borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass is mechanically stronger than normal glass. And also, most of the good glass French Presses are encased in a metal housing, giving them additional strength. 

  • Another disadvantage of the glass French Press is that it does not retain heat for very long. The glass French Presses are perfect if you drink your coffee just after finishing the brewing process. But if you want to keep it and drink it some later part of the day, the glass French Press is not a perfect choice. It’s better to store coffee in some insulated mug instead.

My recommendation is never to buy a glass French Press cheaper than 17-20 dollars as they use very thin and fragile glass. This glass can break easily and also does not retains heat. 

Pros of Stainless-Steel French Press

Stainless steel French Press coffee makers are very also very popular, and some people actually prefer to have metal French Press instead glass or ceramic ones as it has the following benefits:

  • Metal French Press is very strong and sturdy, and you can’t easily break one easily. That’s why travelers and campers prefer to choose Stainless steel French Press as their travel partner instead of glass or ceramic because the latter ones are not very strong and can break easily. Moreover, metal French Presses are also very lightweight and portable.
  • Metal French Press retains heat for longer than a glass French Press. And you can also easily find a double-walled insulated French Press. These insulated French Presses can keep your drink hot for at least a couple of hours. 

If you live in an area where the temperature is low, you must preheat the Metal Carafe first. Otherwise, the temperature of the water will fall instantly when you pour in the boiling water, and the extraction of coffee grounds will not occur at the ideal brewing temperature.

Cons of Stainless-Steel French Press

Metal French Presses are strong and sturdy and can easily last for a lifetime, but there are also some cons of stainless-steel Cafetieres. 

  • Many coffee snobs complain that metal affects coffee taste, and I second that claim. Metal actually alters the taste of coffee slightly. But if you are not a coffee enthusiast and do not follow your coffee religiously, there’s nothing to worry about. Most of the people I know don’t actually notice any difference in the taste of coffee from the Metal French Press.
  • With metal French Presses, you will miss the captivating visual experience of the brewing process. And also, you will have to measure the water before pouring it into the carafe. In most of the Glass French Presses, there are markings on the carafe for precise water filling. You will miss that feature in metal French Press coffee makes as the carafe is not see-through.

If you want to buy a Stainless-steel French Press, then you must choose an insulated one. You will find an excellent insulated French Press in the range of 30 to 50 dollars.

Pros Of Ceramic French Press 

Ceramic French Presses are not quite common. I think the main reason is they are pretty expensive than the glass and stainless-steel French Presses. The pros of Ceramic French Presses are: 

  • The best thing about Ceramic French Press is its exquisite design. Ceramic Cafetieres are best if you want to enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen. They look fascinating and are the best option if you want to brew French Press coffee with style. Moreover, if you are going to gift someone a French Press, you must make sure that it looks adorable, and for that, there is no better option than a Ceramic Press.
  • Ceramic material does not retain any tastes or odor from the previous brew. That’s why coffee prepared in Ceramic Presses gives the most pleasurable experience. I have tried Le Creuset French Press, and I was surprised with the pleasant and smooth taste of the coffee. Ceramic does not react with any food acids or alkalis and hence remains best for a lifetime.
  • Moreover, the Ceramic material is completely eco-friendly and is a green alternative to other materials. There is not even a trace of heavy metals present in Ceramic; this makes Ceramic the healthiest and most environmentally friendly choice.

Cons of Ceramic French Press

Although there are many advantages of Ceramic French Presses, they can indeed make a most pleasurable cup of coffee. There are also some cons:

  • The main disadvantage is they are more costly than the glass and Metal French Presses. You have to spend 60 dollars or more if you want to buy a good Ceramic French Press. They are also very heavy, so they are certainly not suitable for traveling purposes.
  • Although Ceramic material is more reliable and stronger than glass French Press, it will certainly break if you drop it from the height of your kitchen counter. And if you break a glass French Press, you will only make a loss of 15 dollars or less as you can easily replace the glass Carafe. But if you damage the Ceramic French Press, you will lose 60 to 70 dollars as the Ceramic carafes are also not readily available. 
  • Ceramic material retains heat for less time than insulated metal French Presses but certainly longer than a glass French Press. If you live in a colder place, you have to preheat it before brewing coffee, and preheating a ceramic carafe takes a lot of time. 

Which French Press should you buy?

I have mentioned all the pros and cons and Glass vs stainless steel vs Ceramic French Press coffee makers in detail. It will surely help you in making an informed buying decision. I have also given the links to the articles having reviews of the best French Presses available in every material. 

In the end, I just want to make three points:

  • If you are a design-conscious person and want the best from your cup, go with a Ceramic Cafetiere.
  • If you often take your French Press for camping or on other voyages, go with a Metal French Press.
  • If you want a classic design at an affordable price without compromising the quality of coffee, go with a Glass French Press.