If you’re a fan of French press coffee (and seriously, how could you not be!) then you know the rich, robust flavor profile that comes from this mighty, little device. No other way of brewing coffee tastes quite like it and it keeps us coffee lovers more intimately involved in our brew, which we love. Are all French presses created equally though? Ceramic, glass, stainless steel French presses – how does one choose?
To answer this question, a few key qualities come to mind. For example, have you ever considered if the material of your French press affects the flavor of your brew? Probably not. Yet, a metal press has a greater chance of being reactive and changing the flavor of your coffee. No thank you. Another big consideration for French press lovers is heat retention. We’re all looking for the perfect press that will keep our favorite beverage warm for more than a few minutes.
Among the four heavyweights in the French press arena, we set out to determine which type meets our needs best. Let’s compare the glass, stainless steel, ceramic, and combo presses:
These presses have that traditional look we love. The glass is the perfect material for hot brewing because it doesn’t alter the flavor of the coffee. The downsides are that it doesn’t retain heat for more than a few minutes and it tends to be a shatter risk.
The metal press is really popular right now. The industrial look is appealing and so is the heat retention. A quality stainless steel French press can keep contents warm for at least a half hour. They are also very durable. The issue with the stainless steel press that many people overlook is that even though it is stainless steel, it can still react with the acidic coffee to produce an off-taste. Why do you prefer a coffee mug over a travel mug? The flavor!
This is the new kid on the block and we like the chic look of the ceramic French press. The ceramic press comes in many rich colors and and it’s fun to have a little piece of art on display. One caveat is the weight of these presses. These are solid and therefore a bit heavy. They are also fragile and when combined with the weight, accidents are a little too easy.
Glass & Stainless Steel
We have found that this little star checks all of our boxes. First, the glass liner is the best material for brewing coffee without any added flavors – glass doesn’t leech or alter. The glass isn’t left unprotected in the combo design. The stainless steel frame makes this press durable, which makes it great for travel. The glass and metal design has a modern feel that looks great in a contemporary home. Heat retention isn’t an issue with this double-walled design. Overall, the glass and stainless steel combo French press gets our vote as the best style for a coffee lover’s needs.