on September 18, 2006
Okay, to some the idea of using a French press coffee maker is a little too precious, bordering on snobbishness. I used to be in that boat until a few hours ago. Tonight on a whim, I purchased this Bodum French press. Now I should warn you readers that it is generally NOT a good idea to test out your shiny new french press when you are getting home at 10:30pm on a Monday after spending way too much money at Target when you just ran in to get "dog food". I write this review so heavily caffienated that I will probably stay up until dawn tonight re-organizing my closets or alphabetizing my CD collection or doing some other useless task. Despite being a daily coffee drinker (of the muddy variety the office's Bunn machine churns out), one cup from the french press has knocked me into the stratosphere, and that alone is worth giving this product 5 stars.
My caffiene overdose aside, this press produces the best coffee I have ever had at home, and it truly rivals or surpasses coffee I've had at coffee houses. It's slightly more involved than using an automatic maker, but not difficult at all. The unit itself is pretty sturdy, and looks lovely.
French press coffee is a great alternative to using those smaller 1-2 cup automatic drip makers. Being single, I've gone through my share of those, and the coffee they make alway seems about ten times worse than the coffee from a normal-sized drip maker. If you like to make a large pot of coffee and drink it throughout the morning, I would suggest picking up a good quality carafe or thermos to keep the coffee warm.
-Best tasting coffee you'll ever have at home, period.
-Strong, full bodied flavor
-Pretty easy to prepare
-Impress your friends with your snobby european coffee-making ways :) (looks good on your counter too)
-Great for making small amounts of coffee, for one or two people.
-Priced about the same as a ho-hum auto drip coffee maker with no extra bells and whistles, yet makes coffee a million times better.
-More cleanup than using a automatic drip maker
-No heating element to keep coffee warm. Use a thermos/carafe if you want to sip several cups over a few hours.
- 8-cup capacity is based on a 4oz beverage size. Not really a "con" but something you should be aware of. If you had a large group you were making coffee for, it might get a little tedious to be constantly making a fresh batch of coffee.
Couple other notes: Coarsely ground coffee is recommended. This is no problem for people that already buy whole bean and grind their own, but it will be an extra step for some people. Also, I recommend picking up an Aerolatte milk frother if you want to make truly effortless cappuchino. I find that there's plenty of time to warm some milk in the microwave and froth it up while the coffee brews for 4 mintues. A $20 Aerolatte milk frother + $24 french press = coffeehouse coffee at home, whenever you want it. That's really a tiny investment for coffeehouse quality java!
I also purchased a smaller 1-cup Bodum press to take to work. Tomorrow I plan to smile smugly while my co-workers chug down the crap that comes out of the Bunn machine. If my boss is really nice, I may let him use it too. Maybe.
on June 17, 2003
I previously owned a (much) smaller version of this press, which made an excellent cup of coffee. But that was the problem. It only made a CUP of coffee. I usually have two, and what if others want coffee? It takes a while, going one cup at a time.
Needless to say, I upgraded to this larger press, which makes about 3 times more coffee. It makes the best coffee ever - I could never go back to a junky old drip coffee maker after this. Yeah, it's more work than a drip coffee maker, but really, would you rather have quick, easy coffee that tastes bad, or a delicious cup of coffee that takes 5 minutes more?
Using this is like steeping tea - you boil some water, grind some coffee beans (I hope you're grinding your own coffee beans!) and pour the water over the coffee grounds to let them steep for 4 minutes. Then you push the knob down, which filters delicious coffee into the water and leaves the grounds at the bottom of your pot. Then, voila! You've got about 3 cups of yummy coffee, depending on to what extent you water your cup down with cream and sugar.
If you're one of those people who just CAN'T WAIT for their coffee, you'd be better off getting a typical drip coffee maker. But if you love coffee, and want it to taste as good as it possibly can, you have to buy this press.
on December 14, 2003
A french press is one of the best methods of brewing coffee at home. I have never liked the "drip method" machines like Mr Coffee which, in my opinion, produce a very bland cup of coffee. Some reviews have mentioned the extra effort involved in comparison to a drip machine. This really is not a big issue. You have to boil the water separately and remember to press the plunger down when the coffee has finished brewing. The clean up is about the same.
Some tips for getting the most out of this machine. Always use coarsely ground coffee. I've found a 9 second burst with my grinder works best. You'll have to experiment. I also gently shake the grinder while using it. This results in a more even grind. With this approach I have very little sediment in my final cup.
Allow the boiled water to cool for a minute before adding to the grounds. This seems to produce a less bitter cup. Finally, stir the grounds and water with a chopstick or similar. Let the coffee brew, then press the plunger down *slowly*.
If making more than one cup per person, store the extra in a vacuum flask. The coffee cools very quickly if left in the press.
Always clean your grinder. Oils accumulate very quickly resulting in increasingly bitter coffee.
on October 3, 2008
A friend loaned me this great coffee press. It's the best coffee brewing system I've found, but more time consuming to use and clean up. Please note also that 8 cups is wildly optimistic. That's four-ounce cups. I real life, you get about two good 10-12 ounce mugs of coffee.
At the time I ordered, the item was described on Amazon as having a glass beaker, but the one I received was plastic.
Some may prefer this because it's unbreakable; I was disappointed. I specifically wanted the glass one because I trying to avert plastic's that might leech chemicals into food. The plastic version also differed in that filter screen was held together with some plastic components, whereas the glass version uses all metal parts (with the exception of the lid).
I ended up returning the item (which sours the whole on-line shopping experience) and buying a glass version at a local retailer instead. One where I could verify I was getting the glass version that I desired. I'm very happy with it and use it daily.
So, if you want to order this item from Amazon, please double-check that your getting what you want.
on February 12, 2014
The item looks great and classy. So I rinsed it in preparation for the first use (to brew some tea, which I prefer to coffee), put some tea in it, poured boiling water, and inserted the piston or whatever it is called slowly and carefully, as is advised in the neat manual you'll find in the bottom of the glass container.
Imagine my surprise when I decided to pull the piston upwards, and could not do so without applying an inordinate amount of force, and eliciting the proverbial glass-scratching sounds. Upon closer examination, it turned out that the metal mesh is not even, and snags on the glass when pulled upwards; more so once it expands a little when immersed in hot water. When cold, it is just about possible to pull it out without the sounds, but once it gets marginally hot, the problem repeats.
I attempted to even out the mesh, but to no avail. Furthermore, what could be a complicating factor came to light: the spring which rounds the circumference of the piston, used to flatten the mesh against the glass beaker, is in one place overlapping, resulting in slight bulge, which in turn causes additional distortion of the mesh.
Perhaps, my item is defective (I'd suspect it would hardly have the stellar reviews it sports otherwise), but this is of little consolation to me as I reside OCONUS and shipping the item back for replacement\refund (if such is offered) would prove prohibitively expensive and burdensome.
- looks great, feels great
- reminded me of the joy of macro photography, and made me learn how to upload user images to amazon to illustrate my problem with it
- mine is practically unusable as the mesh snags on the glass, requiring force to pull it out, which is clearly not meant to be that way
- too expensive, considering the above
on January 10, 2003
Anyone who says a drip coffee maker is easier and faster is A) Lazy, B) wrong, and C) NEVER cleans their Mr. Coffee!
This is a GREAT thing ... makes GREAT tasting coffee with none of the bitterness of a dirty Mr. Coffee ... and takes just a minute to clean up. If you love coffee, buy this! The coffee REALLY tastes MUCH better and cleanup is really NOT bad!
Simply boil or microwave the exact amount of water you want, pour in your coarse ground coffee, pour in the HOT water, stir and wait a few minutes (the longer you wait, the stronger it will be), press the bugger down, and drink a GREAT cup of coffee.
BTW - Most coffee makers CANNOT get the water hot enough to brew quality coffee and release all of the flavors. This does not have that problem since you pour boiling water over the grounds.
on March 24, 2007
I had never used a French press prior to purchasing this item. When researching this type of coffee maker, I found that almost all reviewers gave French presses high marks for the coffee they produce.
I've been very pleased with how the unit works. If you're used to using a drip coffee maker, you may be surprised at the amount of sediment you will find at the bottom of your cup. You will not, however, find any coffee grinds. The strainer does an excellent job of keeping these in the coffee maker and out of your coffee.
For my tastes, I found that I use far less coffee than the instructions recommend for preparation. I use two even measures using the scoop provided with the press. The coffee produced is rich and flavorful, meeting all my expectations.
Cleanup is really not a problem at all. I place an open paper towel over the drain of the kitchen sink. After pouring the coffee into a carafe, I add a small amount of water to the press to re-suspend the grounds. I then pour them onto the paper towel, which keeps the grounds from going down the drain and causing problems.
I recommend this French press for anyone who enjoys a great cup of coffee!
on October 1, 2002
This product has a number of negative aspects to it, particularly if you're accustomed to the Mr. Coffee style makers. You have to boil water separately. You have to use a coarse grind of coffee. You have to manually pour the water into the container, stir, wait five minutes, and then manually press the plunger to the bottom of the container. Cleaning the coffee press involves considerably more than tossing a paper filter in the trash and rinsing out the basket. The coffee press will not keep your coffee warm for you.
The one thing it has going for it is the ability to make one of the finest tasting cups of coffee you've ever had.
If you value convenience over quality, if you typically get your coffee out of a can, if you actually like coffee made according to the directions on the side of the can, if you ever drink instant coffee, this is not the coffee maker for you.
If you're willing to sacrifice time, convenience, and economy for the sake of a wonderful, rich cup of coffee, you will not be sorry about purchasing this coffee press.
on September 30, 2004
Having discovered French Press coffee a year ago I bought the Bodum Columbia Insulated French Press, which I love. However spare parts are not readily available for that line yet. So I started shopping for a press that I could get spare parts for. I have also read that a glass press can produce a slightly more complex flavored cup of coffee because the coffee will cool slightly while brewing. So I picked this press out based on my past happiness with Bodum products. I am the only coffee drinker in my house so I decided that I did not require a large 12-cup press. I also knew that I would not drink all that coffee before it became too cool. This is my first 8-cup press. I will spare you a review filled of reasons why you should use a French press to make coffee and instead tell you why you should buy this French press to do it! So here I go.
Durability- This press is composed of a glass beaker that lifts out of the metal-banded handle assembly. It has a metal lid that is polished to a beautiful mirror finish. Also has a metal plunger rod, metal filter and metal filter ring and cross filter base. However it has a plastic shoulder nut (my one complaint, although I was able to get a metal replacement from Bodum at no cost). The way the plunger assembly goes together is simple and can be assembled easily by hand. First the plunger rod is fitted through the hole in the lid. Then the shoulder nut is screwed onto the rod. Then the large metal ring with round holes and a spring around the edge goes on. Beneath that the fine metal filter then beneath that the cross filter base. The rod screws into the cross base and secures everything up against the shoulder nut. This description may seem somewhat complex however it is very simple in practice and fool proof. The plunger lid assembly is quite sturdy and durable. The metal-banded handle assembly, which holds the beaker, is also sturdy and polished. The handle is a very hard plastic and comfortable to grip and hold. Fully assembled you have a durable (for glass) press that can easily stand up to daily use. I use mine daily with no problems at all.
Ease of cleaning- This press easily disassembles by hand and can be completely cleaned with little effort. I soak mine in hot soapy water after every use then rinse clean and towel dry. Proper cleaning is critical to maintaining consistent coffee flavor. A dirty coffee maker will taint coffee with bad tastes. This press cleans very easily, much easier than my old drip machine did!
Ease of use- This press is used as any French press. Drop your grounds in, add water off of boil, let grounds steep for 4-5 minutes then slowly press the plunger down. Pour and enjoy. If you make more than you will drink right away then pour it into a separate insulated thermos. I leave my coffee in this until I have it drank. With the lid turned to close the spout this coffee stays warm enough for me for a half hour. Face it; the first cup will be too hot to drink right away. The second will be hot but drinkable. The third will be warm. This makes 2-3 coffee mugs. Great for a single drinker who likes 2 or 3 mugs at a time, like me. Or great for 2 light coffee drinkers (a mug and a half a piece). Coffee will always be best the sooner is it consumed after brewing is completed. In this press or any press/coffee maker.
Overall quality- For around $30 this is a fantastic value. Like I said above I was leery of the plastic shoulder nut which could wear after multiple assemblies and disassemblies, but I was able to get a metal replacement at no cost making this a much better value. All in all a great investment in better coffee drinking and piece of mind. I also like the ability to get spare parts if I should ever need them.
In closing I really love this press it holds up to daily use and maintains it great classic looks. Makes great coffee and is perfect for a single coffee drinker who likes 2 or 3 mugs of coffee as I do. It's smaller size than my 12-cup press makes for easier cleaning and handling. I am very happy with this purchase and for $30 you cannot go wrong. I recommend this to you highly! Whether you are new to French press coffee making or like me wanted a smaller easier to clean daily coffee press. I still love my 12-cup for parties, but this press is my personal daily coffee maker of choice. I love it!
on December 25, 2005
Mmmmmh...Smooth & Rich java. I read all the reviews on the 8 & 12 cup stainless steel models, plus all the reviews on the glass model. I put "French Press Coffee Maker" on my Christmas list, and based upon my inability to choose between the 8 & 12 cup stainless presses, Santa brought me both. Unbeknownst to me, my daughter got me the glass version...so now I have all 3! Although I thought the stainless models would be preferable for both their insulating & unbreakable properties, now that I have all 3, the glass model is my favorite, because it's gorgeous! The chrome plated stainless steel housing is gleaming, the glass has a clarity and delicacy that is just stunning, and overall it's lighter weight, and just plain more comfortable, in my opinion, for the feminine hand. Plus, you can see how the coffee is brewing (color) during the 4 minute brew process. The downsides of course are 1) probable eventual breakage of the glass carafe, but they're readily available, and easily replaceable, and 2) that there's no insulation...but French Pressed coffee (or any for that matter) is best consumed as immediately as possible. I love the stainless models too, because (of course) they do keep the coffee very warm and*or borderline hot, depending upon your individual interpretation of those terms, for at least 30 minutes to an hour, they're virtually unbreakable, and they are also stunningly beautiful...very contemporary, and at the same time, timeless in design. All 3 models come with a measuring scoop (8 cup models take about 8 level scoops, and produce about 3 large mugs of coffee, or perhaps 4 more conservatively sized (smaller) cups. The 12 cup model is 50 percent larger, so figure approx. 5 or 6 cups with the larger stainless model (good for company where you want to serve more people at once). I also got a very inexpensive Procter Silex electric kettle to super heat the water superfast, it works great! Also, Santa brought me the matching sugar & creamer set. It etails for $20 for the set, go ahead & splurge...you'll own your French Press for perhaps a lifetime, and the sugar*creamer set makes for a stunning table display. It matches perfectly with both the stainless and the glass models. Tips...water is supposed to be "just off the boil", and I found the electric kettle just perfect. Secondly, this is hot stuff, keep away from children's reach! Thirdly, after emptying the grinds, a simple rinsing and soft cloth drying is all that's needed after use. Lastly, you do need fresh ground coffee. Trust me on this. When you see and taste that delicious, smooth, cup'o'joe with a very fine oil slick on top (fresh oils from the freshly ground beans!), you'll never be happy with canned, drip brewed, stale coffee again! I find the French Presses equal in ease of use to my old Drip coffee maker (which, incidentally, is in perfect working order, and is now in the garbage). I'll post this review on all items mentioned (8 & 12 cup Stainless Steel French Presses, Glass Carafe French Press *called the "Chambord", and the matching sugar*creamer set. Happy shopping!