french press
You don't have to plug this device into any power outlet for your caffeine fix - a French press works at any time of the day, quickly and quietly. Image Credit: Pexels/Esmihel Muhammad

Grind, plunge and pour - that's how easy it is to prepare a full-bodied coffee cup in a French press. It's a simple tool that's the sum of a borosilicate glass beaker, stainless steel filter and plunger, ready at any time of the day as long as there's hot water available. This coffee maker is everything a coffee machine isn't - quiet, compact and energy-saving.

What makes French press coffee so special?

As a brewing device, the French press takes the cake for any coffee lover who has to rush through mornings. Your brew is ready in just four minutes, which is why it's our expert's go-to method at home. Rasam Adabi, a Dubai-based seasoned barista, and head of training and quality control at Coffee Market Innovations CMI Coffee, Abu Dhabi, explains why the press pot might be the coffee maker you're looking for.

"The French press works with a plunger that has a strainer made of steel. You're not using a paper filter so most of the minerals end up in your cup. This process of extraction makes the coffee more flavourful and gives it more body, which is the [coffee's] movement between your tongue and the ceiling of your mouth," said Adabi.

Swish around a mouthful of French press coffee, and you'll immediately notice its thicker, heavier consistency compared to a drip brew. It's also the most consistent method of brewing coffee, so you can always expect a reliable cup to start the day with, adds Adabi.

French press is versatile enough for latte or milk-based coffee drinks, too. Simply heat up and froth milk on the side, before adding it to your coffee cup.

How do I make the perfect coffee in French press?

french press
Allow some time for blooming, which lets your coffee grounds release trapped carbon dioxide for a better-tasting cup. Image Credit: Pexels/Yaroslav Shuraev

A coffee press can seem intimidating if you're used to automated brews that take care of the temperature and extraction for you. With this hands-on approach, timing can make or break a balanced cup. Even the amount of water warrants special attention from the brewer.

Your first step is letting your coffee grounds bloom or pre-soak inside the press beaker. "I recommend using 14 to 16 grams of coarse grind coffee. You can add 28 to 32 grams of hot water for the blooming process. Blooming is done to remove the bad gasses from roasting by pouring water that's double the weight of the coffee used. Then, we let it sit for 30 to 40 seconds," explained Adabi.

Once your coffee has bloomed, add in the rest of the water. "The total amount of water will depend on the amount of coffee used. I follow a ratio of 1:15, so for every gram of coffee, I pour 15 grams of water. After blooming, pour the rest of the water all at once and wait for another 30 seconds. Then, stir the cup with a warm spoon so as not to affect the temperature," added Adabi.

Next, fix the plunger on the top of the press, but don't plunge yet. You have to let the grounds steep for three to four minutes, and then push the plunger down slowly. "Pour out your coffee immediately. Don't let it sit inside the press any longer, since the extraction process will go on and on, and make the coffee bitter," our expert advised.

Medium-roast beans should do well with any water temperature between 88 to 94 degrees Celsius. If you're fond of light roast, water as hot as 96 degrees Celsius works, too. To get the precise temperature, consider getting an electric kettle.

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Find the best options for French press coffee makers below, starting with Adabi's tried-and-tested brand. You're just in time for Amazon's Appliances Carnival sale for more discounted coffee makers. Get your caffeine fill today with an Amazon Prime membership to get free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: Hario 1-Piece Glass Coffee Plunger for 4 Cups, Clear

Pros

  • Stainless steel holder and heatproof glass
  • Great for brewing both coffee and tea
  • Makes up to four cups
  • No plastic parts

Cons

  • Cleaning the mesh and other interior parts can take time

Japanese manufacturer Hario makes durable coffee presses, with Adabi going on his third year without any cracks or damage to his device. In this one-piece glass coffee plunger, you can prepare up to four 150ml cups of joe. It has a clean stainless steel makeup, from the filter mesh to the frame and handle, and sports a heatproof glass beaker that can withstand temperatures of up to 120 degrees Celsius. Hario suggests pre-warming the coffee maker by pouring in hot water and pouring it out to maintain the right temperature. The Hario Bright J is also an excellent tool for tea infusions. Reviewers note that the glass is thicker than most presses they've owned, while others say they've had theirs for over 10 years and counting. Even ordinary coffee grounds taste delicious via this tool, they add.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh17.

2. Best Classic Press: Bodum Iconic French Press Chambord Coffee Maker

Pros

  • Dense mesh filter that strains as well as paper filter
  • Extracts flavourful oils and acids
  • Eight-cup capacity
  • Easy-to-hold polypropylene handle
  • Timeless design

Cons

  • Has some plastic parts

Or, brew your first French press in the iconic Chambord by Bodum. Inspired by the carafes of yesteryears, Chambord's classic design elevates the kitchen in an instant. It's a one-litre carafe that's made of non-stain, heat-resistant borosilicate glass, framed in durable stainless steel. The mesh filter extracts the coffee's aromatic oils and subtle flavours for maximum body. You can prepare up to eight cups in one go so the entire pot can be passed around at breakfast. Reviewers love the steel filter in this press for straining grounds well and keeping all solid bits inside the carafe. Many vouch that the end result is tastier than a drip cup.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh17.

3. Best Thermal Press: Stanley French Press

Pros

  • Rugged body unlike fragile glass
  • Makes and keeps coffee hot for four hours
  • Cold beverages stay icy for 24 hours
  • Stainless steel mesh filter

Cons

  • Plunger makes an unpleasant steel-on-steel scraping sound

Glass French presses don't make the best companion on a bumpy ride. But if you want the same convenience and full-flavoured taste of a plunger coffee outdoors, then you have an excellent option in this Stanley French press. It's a 1.4-litre insulated coffee press, complete with its own plunger and stainless steel mesh filter. Thanks to the double vacuum insulation, your coffee maintains its temperature for up to four hours after the initial brew. Take it to the campsite or bring it along on your next hiking trip - the Stanley French press is made rugged to survive harsh conditions. A little coffee sediment is expected at the bottom of your cup, but that's the norm with coffee presses. Many reviewers confirm the long-lasting toasty temperatures inside the pot. It's also easier to clean than glass carafes.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and two years for Dh25.

4. Best for Durability: Secura Stainless Steel 18/10 French Press Coffee Maker

Pros

  • Durable, all-steel sturdy construction
  • Double-walled insulation for keeping coffee hot
  • Safe for dishwasher
  • Has good weight to it

Cons

  • Metal can slightly alter the taste of your brew

Although not transparent, an all-steel construction has a higher chance of surviving a dishwasher cycle. The Secura French press is double-walled to retain heat longer than single-wall steel carafes, with a cool-touch handle. It features the same three-layered steel filter to trap coffee grounds, allowing oils and flavours to pass through. Choose from various capacities, all the way to 1.5 litres; our pick is a sizeable 500ml beaker for two large cups of coffee. There are no plastic components, say reviews, and buyers love how much sturdier it is, as they no longer have to deal with breakage. Metal carafes can, however, slightly alter the taste of your coffee. The insulation also receives five stars from slow coffee drinkers.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh17.

5. Best for Grounds-Free Coffee: Espro P3 Plastic and Glass Coffee Maker

Pros

  • Two very fine mesh filters trap all coarse grounds
  • Thick borosilicate glass beaker
  • Prevents brew from over-extracting
  • Produces a clean cup of coffee

Cons

  • Doesn't pour out all of the coffee at the end
  • Plastic exterior

For no gritty, coarse grounds in your cuppa, you need the Espro P3 coffee maker. You'll have to compromise on the plastic casing, but the P3 uses an extra-thick borosilicate glass for added warmth and durability. As for the filter, it features a different kind than our preceding picks. This French press plunges your coffee through two micro mesh filters of varying densities, and seals the excess liquid and coffee grounds, using a tight silicone barrier. This air-lock technology prevents your brew from over-extracting and turning bitter inside the pot. The result is smooth, grit-free coffee that tastes the same even on your third cup. Reviewers' only qualm is that the filters trap a good amount of leftover coffee along with the grounds that can make a cup strong. Some pour out the remainder through a paper filter. Since it traps so much of the sediment, clean-up is naturally more time-consuming, as well.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and two years for Dh33.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.