What to look for while buying a French Press (6 points!)

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Johny Morrisson

Buying a French Press is a tedious process. If you are a beginner, then there is a chance that you will buy the wrong coffee maker for yourself.

You could end up with a French press with a delicate carafe, prone to shattering within a mere month. Or perhaps the filter system proves inadequate, delivering a cup of coffee plagued by excessive sediment at the bottom. Such experiences can quickly sour your perception of this brewing method.

What to Look For In A French Press

In this guide, I will tell you what to look for in French Press and 6 important things you must consider before buying a French Press.

1. What material is best for a French press?

You can find French Press Coffee makers in three different materials:

  • Glass
  • Stainless Steel
  • Ceramic

Glass is the best and most popular choice for French Press Coffee Makers. It’s very affordable and makes your coffee brewing process visually appealing.

However, not all glass is created equal. Always choose a French Press made from borosilicate glass. This strong material excels in heat retention and durability, outperforming standard thin glass that shatters easily.

Stainless Steel French Press coffee makers are also quite popular. They are strong and can last for a lifetime. If you buy a Metal French Press, you should ensure that it is double-walled and insulated.

Double-walled insulated French presses excel at retaining heat, ensuring your coffee stays warm and flavorful for extended periods. Their sturdy design makes them ideal for travel. Some coffee enthusiasts complain that metal degrades the taste of the coffee, but it’s not the case with everyone.

Ceramic French Presses are uncommon and come with a higher price tag compared to glass ones. Yet, these Cafetieres are both attractive and functional.

Ceramic Carafe is stronger and can retain heat longer than a Glass Carafe. They also make a great coffee cup as Ceramic material does not react with any food acids and does not retain any taste or odors from the previous brew.

In short, all material has their pros and cons, but one thing is common: they all can deliver a perfect cup of coffee.

2. what size French press should you get

French Presses are available in a range of different sizes from 8 oz to 60 oz.

An 8 oz French Press is perfect for personal use and a 50 oz French Press is perfect for brewing 6 to 8 cups.

The standard size of a cup of coffee is anywhere between 6 to 9 oz. The table below will help you choose the suitable capacity French Press coffee maker.

CapacityNo. of cups
8 oz1 cup
12 oz1 to 2 cups
17 oz2 to 3 cups
27 oz3 to 4 cups
34 oz4 to 5 cups
50 oz6 to 8 cups
Capacity of French Press coffee maker

3. Lid of the Carafe

Some French Press coffee makers have a very loose lid that does not fit perfectly on the top.

It causes two problems.

  • It results in unnecessary heat loss during the steeping time as the heat can easily escape from the open spaces.
  • Pouring coffee becomes a challenge, requiring you to firmly hold the lid in place to prevent leaks from the gaps.

So, while buying a French Press coffee maker, you must ensure that the lid fits perfectly at the top. And if it has some kind of seal, that’s perfect. The seal will prevent the leakage of coffee while pouring, and also, there will be minimal heat loss.

4. The filter assembly

The best thing about the French Press brewing style is that you don’t need any kind of paper filters. And the only filters involved in this brewing process are metal strainers attached to the plunger.

This allows you to have a rich cup of coffee full of oils and flavors from the grounds. You can also use paper filters with French Press if you want, but they are not necessary.

The filters of some French Presses are not good, and they do not precisely filter out the grounds. This way, you will end up with a cup of French press coffee with too many sediments in it

So, while choosing a French Press, you must make sure that the coffee maker has an ultra or microfiltration system capable of keeping away all the coffee grounds from your cup.

5. The Cost of a Good French Press

While buying a glass French Press, you must look for anything between 20 to 40 dollars. Never look for something cheaper than 20 dollars as it will be very fragile.

You can buy a good stainless steel French Press in the range of 30 to 80 dollars. Non-insulated steel French Presses are cheaper, but they are not worth it.

Ceramic French Presses are expensive, and you can find a good Ceramic Press if you have a budget of over 60 dollars.

6. Choose the right brand

Don’t fall for unpopular and cheaper brands while choosing French Press, even if you are getting a very good deal.

You may get a French Press from an unpopular brand at a very good price, but I am sure that it will not offer very good quality.

In glass French Presses, Bodum and Café de Chateau are very good and reputable brands.

In stainless-steel French Presses, Frieling and Mueller will be the best option.

Espro is also a very good glass and stainless steel French Press brand, but it is relatively expensive.

In Ceramic French Presses, Le Creuset or Chantel are the best brands.

Our Recommendation

Café de Chateau and Bodum Chambord are excellent Glass French Presses available at affordable prices; they can make a great cup of coffee. However, if you are looking for the strongest glass French Press then go for Espro P5.

Mueller and Secura are good Metal French Presses on a budget. If you are looking for something better, then go for Freiling double-walled French Press.

Le Creuset is the best option for Ceramic material. It is strong, beautiful, and has an enamel finish, and it can make a great cup of coffee for you. 


What accessories do you need for a French Press?

You’ll need a burr grinder to get your coffee beans perfectly ground fresh. And an electric kettle for heating up water to the perfect temp.
You can use a stovetop too, but electric kettles are quicker and most have temperature controls. Other handy extras are a timer so you can get your brew time just right, and a scale if you want to geek out on exact coffee-to-water ratios.
Check out my guides on:
Best French Press Burr coffee grinder
Best French Press Kettle
Best French press coarse coffee grounds

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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