You are looking for a stainless steel French press, and you want to know which one is the best. Not an easy task, because most of the brands on the market are pretty good. You will need some serious decision making to choose one. But that a good thing, isn't it?
Why is Stainless Steel Better than Glass?
If you used a French press in the past you probably know all the flaws of a glass pot. Unhappy press pot customers complain about these:
- The glass breaks with sudden temperature changes
- The glass breaks if handled improperly, (it’s way too fragile)
- The worst thing is that coffee gets cold too fast. You have to make sure you pour and drink on the spot.
The stainless steel French press coffee maker fixes the flaws of the regular press pot. Keeps coffee hot, prevents breaking the glass, allows long steeping.
Most of the stainless steel press pots are made of polished steel, are very sturdy and have a double wall for extra insulation. They just look gorgeous in any kitchen, and it is particularly hard to destroy one. I’d dare to say indestructible.
To break it, you’d have to make it a mission. The double wall will insulate the brew and ensure coffee stays hot for longer. Typically an insulated metallic press pot maintains the temperature 4 times longer than the glass ones. I never timed it but it seems about right… Moreover, there is no need to preheat the pot before brewing. The glass beakers break with thermal shock when you pour the hot water too fast. With metallic pots, you can pour the water as fast as you want.
All parts of a stainless steel French press coffee maker are dishwasher safe, so you don't have to worry about cleaning it manually.
Comparison Table - Frieling vs Espro vs Bodum vs Secura
OK, so you probably knew all of these, and you are actually looking for a review. We have a comparison of some of the most popular stainless steel French press coffee makers. This will give you a good idea of which one to purchase.
Frieling Stainless Steel French Press
Frieling is a wonderful press pot, and it is one of the most popular coffee makers on Amazon. With thousands of pleased customers, there is no doubt this choice is one of the best.
The unit comes in five dimensions, for various family needs. The smallest size holds 8 ounces, for the small kitchen setup. The largest is a 44 ounces pot, good enough for brewing in an office setup. Frieling comes in two finishes, brushed and polished. Choose the one that appeals most to you.
The company prides itself with a two-stage, dual screen, for a perfect filtration. Your coffee will be properly filtered, and no grounds will pass into your cup. We have a full review of the Frieling here.
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
Secura is a relatively new product on the market, but it's a great contender. The press pot looks gorgeous, with a clean design, made with quality stainless steel. The unit has the same features as the big names, but at a fraction of a price.
The Secura press pot comes in two sizes - 34 oz and 50 oz. It also comes in two colors, a polish finish, and a matte black. The pot is a double wall for great insulation.
The filter is a two-step stainless steel mesh, very efficient. It is one of the best filters on the French press market. The manufacturer also includes a bonus filter with the unit.
There is no need to grind extra-coarse. Using a good grinder, and using our French press brewing guide, there will be no silt or grits in your coffee, and you will not waste so much coffee.
The lid seals completely the pot, during the brewing, in order to insulate perfectly. The lid has a shallow side that can be aligned to the spout for pouring.
Overall a great product at half of the price you would pay for a Frieling. It's Amazon's choice for the category, so you know this is a great choice.
Espro French Press
Espro is a Canadian company that took the French press concept and improved almost every aspect of it. We have a full review of it here.
With three size options, 8, 18, and 32 oz., Espro is probably one of the best products on the market. The press has a special filter in two stages, different from the Frieling one. The unit also has a double lip seal, which ensures that coffee grounds cannot escape into your coffee. The twist shut lid ensures perfect insulation and easy pouring when coffee is ready.
Espro is the most expensive of the bunch, but if you can afford it, is totally worth the price.
Bodum Columbia Coffee Press
Bodum Columbia is the stainless steel variant of the famous French press maker. With a rounded body design, it looks different than Frieling. The coffee maker has a polished finish, made from high-quality stainless steel. If it's Bodum, is great.
The Columbia from Bodum comes in three sizes, 17 oz., 34 oz., and 51 oz. The lid is twist-shut, a great feature that improves the insulation and makes it easy to pour after brewing.
The screen is one stage, but has a silicone ring that prevents scratches, and improves the filtration.
How to Use a French Press
We wrote a detailed tutorial on the subject, you can check it here. For the time-pressed coffee lover, here is the concise version:
- Ensure the equipment is clean
- Pre-warm your pot
- Grind coarsely your favorite French press beans
- Measure 3 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee and dump it in the pot.
- Pour hot water over the grinds, (194-200 degrees F)
- Stir in to ensure all the grinds are wet
- Cover with the plunger
- Steep for 3-5 minutes
- Press the plunger to the bottom, and pour into cups
Get a Great Grinder
A great grinder is a must for French press coffee makers. With a poor grinder, the grounds will be uneven, all possible sizes, from coarse to powder. That means a lot of grounds will get through the screen/filter. With a good grinder, the grounds will be of the same size, ensuring a clear cup.
If you read a French press brewing guide other than ours, you were probably advised to grind coarsely. I am not saying that this is bad advice, it's just playing safe. And in coffee making playing safe leads to brewing an average cup of coffee.
There are two reasons everybody says to grind coarse. One reason is the bad filtering, the other reason is the amount of fines in the coffee.
If you have a decent grinder, that will produce a consistent grind size, you won't have too much fines. Combine that with a decent screen filter and you solved both problems. Oh, one more thing, when you push your plunger down to filter your coffee, don't push it all the way down to the bottom. Leave an inch, this will contain all the sediment that makes a cup murky.