on February 11, 2013
I bought the mirror finish 44 oz. unit. I was told by a customer service rep at Frieling there will be a brushed finish available in Spring of 2013. I thought it might help with possible surface spotting, but I was not willing to wait.
First, this is a beautiful unit. The mirror finish is great, can be wiped clean with ease and is better than expected appearance wise on all counts. It has the feel of a quality tool with no area that suggests that short cuts were taken in the manufacturing process. It is shockingly simple with just the pot cylinder and the lid/plunger/screen assembly.
The 44 oz. quantity is the amount that reaches the very bottom of the V on the pour spout - possibly an unusable amount. I judge that approximately 42 oz. (about ½" below the bottom of the V) is close to the actual safe usable quantity if the bloom and screen depth, etc. are taken into account.
The Frieling customer service rep told me that pouring water just off boil into the pot at room temperature would yield 205 degree water in the pot. I later verified this with my thermometer. He suggested that the ground coffee could be added to the 205 water and briefly stirred to saturate it before putting the lid in place for brewing. I did this and verified a temp drop to 199 degrees during the four minute brewing time. I used this method for awhile then switched to putting the coffee in first and stirring after adding the water. Either method seems to produce a comparable result. There is no requirement of preheating the pot or trying to measure or estimate the temperature of the water to see if it is in the 195-205 degree brewing range.
While I have only been using the Frieling for a few days, it has produced an exceptionally good cup of coffee for me. I am experimenting with the coffee to water ratio to find the best result for my taste. I expect to use this unit for many years.
To address some of the cons that I have seen in other reviews:
1. French Presses are expected to have some amount of sediment come through the screen/filter. This unit has less than any other I have used. I was surprised by this. I am using a Baratza Encore burr grinder with medium coarse grind setting. I suggest that those who have remarked on having "grinds" in their cup not use pre-ground coffee, not use a blade grinder, move to a courser grind, pour the coffee only until the pot is almost horizontal, and if none of that works, contact Frieling customer service to see if a replacement screen is needed.
2. The lid can slip forward/downward slightly with a metallic clunk as the pot cylinder approaches horizontal while pouring even if you have your finger on the knob of the plunger rod. You can put your finger on the lid and prevent this, but the lid or escaping steam could warm your finger past the comfortable point. There is a permanent solution for this issue. I call it the 25 Cent Solution. I went to Ace Hardware and bought a little bag containing two 1/4L Beveled Bib Washers for 25 cents (item number 02-1076P). Any hardware store should have these. Initially I cut the washer and slipped it onto the plunger rod, however after a couple weeks it became loose fitting, so I unscrewed the screen assembly from the bottom of the plunger and slid the other washer (flat side down) onto the plunger rod (it fits tightly) and replaced the screen assembly. The washer can now be moved up or down the rod (it gets easier with a little break-in period) into position to hold the lid during a pour. I don't even have to touch the plunger or lid during a pour as long as the washer is positioned against the lid. The washer does not detract from the general appearance of the pot, in fact I think it kind of adds, and can be easily removed if needed. Perhaps Frieling should consider a factory installed custom washer.
3. The lid does not have a closure system at the pour spout of the cylinder. It has been suggested that this will cause heat loss that is bad for the brewing process. Please see this YouTube video: [...] for a comparison of the Frieling and other steel units that have spout closure. There was no significant difference in heat loss even after two hours.
Keep in mind that this pot should not be used as a carafe to store your brewed coffee for any prolonged time until it is served after brewing or it can become bitter. The coffee should be served after brewing is complete or poured into a heated or thermal carafe until it is served.
4. It has been noted that this is an expensive coffee pot. I think about it differently. The purchase price is higher than some coffee makers. However the cost of a 40 oz. pot of coffee made with this unit is about 65 cents using (Yes I know, non-gourmet) Costco Columbian beans ($236 annually for 1 pot/day), The result is comparable to Starbuck's Pike Place Roast and is a joy to drink. A 6 oz. cup of Kuereg coffee (made in a machine of comparable price) runs 50 to 60 cents ($438 annually for two cups/day) and to me tastes poor by comparison. A grande Starbucks Pike Place Roast runs $2.11 with tax ($1,540 annually for two cups/day) and it has a very good flavor. While I could choose a $40 Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker recommended by CR, the taste would without doubt not be as good, the machine would have a limited life expectancy and cost about the same $219 annually. So, to me, the pleasure I get in the morning from the coffee produced by me and this inanimate object is worth the difference in the cost of the starter kit. I also enjoy the morning ritual.
I say 5 Stars.
on June 6, 2014
Fearing my trusty old Bodum Chambord 1 liter glass French press would not survive a planned summer adventure, I purchased the Frieling stainless steel 44 ounce insulated coffee press. Wow, what a lucky turn of events! For the first several days after its arrival, it sat on the counter intimidating me as I made coffee in the old glass press pot. Something about not being able to see the contents in the pot inexplicably bothered me. Well, from the first day I used the Frieling stainless steel press pot, I have loved it.
Though purchased primarily for its unbreakability, I have come to like it for other reasons. First, my coffee tastes better. I cannot say for sure why this is so. Perhaps, because the water temperature is more stable during steeping in the insulated pot compared to the rapid heat loss from the uninsulated glass pot? I just do not know why, but my wife agrees that the coffee tastes better. Secondly, the cleanup is quicker and easier. Frieling says all parts are dishwasher safe and no disassembly required. I was skeptical about the "no disassembly required" part. But, examining the plunger assembly, it appeared to be made to very close tolerances with little opportunity to trap coffee grounds. So, I used it twice a day for almost a month, washing it by hand, before I disassembled the plunger assembly for the first time. There was a very minute amount of coffee, a few flecks, trapped in the filter screen between the other two components of the plunger. Those few flecks may have gotten trapped at some point when the plunger assembly was not screwed tightly together. In any case, it was inconsequential. Third, I like the additional capacity of the 44 ounce pot. By brewing 36 ounces, I get two full 16 ounce mugs of nice clear coffee with only a bit of fine particulates in the last sip.
Even trying to come up with a negative point or two for balance, the only thing I can think of is subjective. The stainless steel press pot just does not look like a French press should! As attractive as the polished stainless steel pot is, for traditional looks, my now retired old Bodum Chambord French press beats it all to pieces!
Though what I am about to say may have been my imagination and is definitely not an issue, I would feel like I was holding back information not to mention it. On the first day or two of using this pot, I thought, or at least wondered if, I detected a slight metallic aftertaste. Besides being subject to the power of suggestion like anyone else, I am extremely sensitive to slight odors and tastes. After the first use or two, I could detect absolutely no metallic aftertaste.
If you are still messing around with a traditional French press, treat yourself to a high quality, insulated, stainless steel coffee press like this one!
on November 17, 2013
What follows is a long-winded review, read this around bedtime if you are having trouble falling asleep! ;-) For those seeking the Reader's Digest version - overall, I think the Freiling French Press, though expensive, is the best French Press money can buy. I have tried offerings from 4-5 other French Press makers, including Espro and Bodum, and the Freiling IMHO has the highest quality build, has the best heat retention capability during the brew cycle, and will be the most durable long term due to its 100% 18/10 stainless construction - no plastic parts here!!. It is one of the very few 100% stainless French Presses you can find - plus it also a very attractive vessel to boot! I actually leave it out on my counter due to its good looks!! There are many good reasons why the Freiling French Press are the best sellers, and why reviews here on Amazon are so plentiful and positive. Amongst those reasons are quality, reliability, consistency and durability.
Do realize however, that just because you spend the money and buy a Freiling will NOT guarantee you will automatically start making great coffee - as with any French Press the method is more important than the tool! You must pay attention to ALL of the variables involved in correct coffee extraction procedures - if you want the best coffee possible with a French Press, it is all about the process - assuring correct brew temperature, you use freshly ground beans, you are using an adequate grinder that grinds to consistent texture, and more!! Below I offer some tips to assuring a great cup of coffee with the Freiling, those may help in your pursuit of the perfect cup!!
Just as important - do realize that the Freiling is a BREWING vessel ;-) and not a STORAGE carafe. You will see in the reviews that some complain the Freiling does not keep their coffee "hot" for hours - the coffee should only stay in the Freiling for around four minutes to brew, you will need a nice storage carafe to keep it hot thereafter!! Those that keep the coffee in the press with the grounds after the four minute mark are destroying the taste. Moreover, even if you transfer the coffee out, and remove the grounds and then use the Freiling as your storage vessel - you would be much better served purchasing a separate carafe to store the coffee when done. The Freiling is NOT an ideal storage carafe. (For example - I use a Zojirushi glass lined carafe for my needs).
***End of Reader's Digest version - now on to the details!!
Here is what I like about the Freiling Press:
- Double Wall carafe construction - this is both ideal and necessary for the ever-so critical heat retention during your preheating and steeping phases. The method I employ can hold brew temps between 195 and 204 throughout the entire steeping / brewing phase, and I could never accomplish that with other presses made of glass, plastic, etc. Some have claimed that the Freiling is vacuum sealed in addition, but it is not - it is double walled and that is it. *** Note - I typically keep my brew temps around 200-202 degrees - please Google "SCAA recommended coffee brewing temperatures" for some background on correct temps to brew / extract coffee**
- 100% 18/10 stainless - beautifully finished, but it is more than just good looks - the thick stainless assures the press will last for a long time and it will aid in heat retention already mentioned. It is durable and virtually indestructible if used with any modicum of care and not dropped daily on the tile! My 33oz Freiling is 3 years old, and it operates like the day I bought it. Plus, it still looks good also - other than a couple of minor scratches to the polished stainless exterior.
- Top / Plunger assembly comes apart for thorough cleaning. You get a sense of the attention to detail and the cost it takes to make a Freiling press when you disassemble the constituent parts that make up the top / plunger. It wreaks of quality through and through... the fact it can be disassembled, and remains 100% stainless is no small feat, and a testament to the quality - and why it costs so much. Consider what it takes to be able to deliver this assembly - and why competing press makers don't!
- Double walled top / lid - I already mentioned the double walled carafe - but the fact the lid is ALSO double walled construction is worth calling out- again, the competitors don't even approach this and even make their tops / lids out of PLASTIC says it all.
- They are darned nice to look at! Let's face it - they are an attractive vessel.
Here is what I don't like about the Freiling:
- Price - this one is more of a whine ;-) and not anything wrong with the product, but hey, I can still not like it! Bottom line is I would still buy it again.. To make it less painful, I got this 44oz version for $98 here on Amazon - it was in my cart for over a year in the $125 range, and when I saw the price drop temporarily I jumped on it!
- The top on my 33oz version had a weld seam failure around the hole where the plunger is inserted - causing the top to fill with water that I could not get back out. HOWEVER, Freiling sent me a new top when I asked with no hassle... it was a "one-off" problem and don't expect it to happen on my other Freilings.
- I can't think of anything of substance I DON'T like about the Freiling - if you learn how to use it, perfect your method then this is the top of the heap when it comes to French Press. It is the best tool for the Press job IMHO.
In addition to this 44oz Freiling Stainless Press, I have owned the 33 oz Freiling Stainless Press for a few years and have used it almost daily to make my morning coffee (except for the once a week I use my Technivorm drip brewer). Therefore, I do have experience with Freiling's presses, and understand how to best utilize them to squeeze out the optimal cup of coffee. So, why did I buy the 44oz Freiling when I already own the 33oz? For one, that extra cup on some days makes a difference ;-) and second I think the Freilings are cool, have grown attached to them and see absolutely nothing wrong with owning two different sizes!! Lol. So there it is...
Finally, some pointers / things to think about as you pursue the "perfect" cup of coffee:
- Make sure and pre-heat your Press and storage carafe in advance - don't put your coffee / boiling water into a cold French Press; and don't put your finished product in a cold storage carafe!!! (google it, this affects the taste). At a minimum, use hot tap water to pre-heat, which usually gets to 130-140 degrees. Personally, I use boiling water to pre-heat - you can boil it on the stove, or perhaps use something like a Zojirushi hot water kettle / boiler that is ready in advance when you wake!
- Use fresh beans, and grind the beans right before use. Coffee beans are best within two weeks of roasting, and most store bought beans can be MANY weeks old by the time you buy them. If you can find a local source for your beans that are fresh, do it. You will notice a marked improvement in your finished product.
- Buy a decent quality grinder. The $20 blade grinders are just not good enough for French Press - it needs a consistent, coarse grind. At a minimum, I recommend a Capresso Infinity for around $70, then use the "Coarse" settings, dialing it in to where you eliminate 95% of the sludge in your cup. I use an Orphan Espresso LIDO hand grinder ($150), and alternate that with a Capresso Infinity. You can also get a Baratza Virtuoso if you want to spend more! The grind is CRITICAL - it needs to be the correct coarseness - but more importantly needs to be CONSISTENT. Consistency is the main challenge for most cheap grinders on the market.
- Assure your steeping / brewing temperatures are in the 195-204 degree range. This is not my own recommendation, this is the "proven" range for the best coffee extraction. Invest in something like a Thermapen, or a cheaper temperature probe, that allows you to test the water temperature while steeping. Another critical step to success. For my brewing, I stay in the 200-202 range typically during the four minute brew cycle. *** Note - please Google "SCAA recommended coffee brewing temperatures" for some background on correct temps to brew / extract coffee**
- Depress the plunger SLOWLY when it is time, doing it too fast will cause sediment. Also, if the plunger seems to get "stuck", lift it ever so slightly, then depress again!
- Fill the water level BELOW the spout depression / line in the carafe when filling for brewing / steeping. This will help guarantee less grounds in your finished product.
To summarize - now that you have spent the $$ on a top of the line French Press, consider getting a good grinder that can consistently grind on a coarse setting without a lot of "fines" in the grind; considerr purchasing a good temperature probe (like a Thermapen to check your temperatures of different components throughout the process to find what needs tweaking; consider getting fresh coffee beans. This will give you an even better cup in the end... also, search the web for you tube videos, etc on different processes, find out what works best for you. Once you experience a "perfectly" executed cup of press coffee, you will be hooked!! ;-)
Thanks for reading, and best of luck in your choice!
on December 15, 2013
To be honest, I hesitated over the cost of this French Press, but I had to have an unbreakable press for work as I keep it in a drawer, so I took the plunge. I've used it every day at work for two months now and I have to say I have no regrets with the purchase. Unlike glass presses, this press "feels" top notch. Everything about it says "quality". From the smooth action of pressing the filter down, the minimal amount of grounds that occasionally get through, to the ease of clean-up. And it looks nice sitting on my desk. When my glass press eventually breaks at home, I will replace it with this one. In case you're wondering, I teamed this up with an electric kettle to get my boiling water.
on January 15, 2013
-Won't break like our old Bodum french press
-BIG! Couldn't find another french press this size and we like a lot of coffee!
-Easy to clean. With our Bodum french press it was such a pain trying to keep coffee grinds from getting between the glass and the plastic outer piece
-The coffee stays hot a long time!
-Grinds in the coffee! People love that this french press has no plastic parts and therefore won't degrade over time, but I think that plastic seal around the outside of the plunger piece is key to keeping the grinds out of the coffee. I inevitably find myself spitting out a couple of grinds from each cup... very disappointing :(
-The lid doesnt stay on... okay, it doesn't completely fall off or anything, but when I tip it to pour a cup of coffee, the lid pulls up a little. And since the metal gets really hot, you can't hold it closed with your fingers. However, I think this might be due to inconsistency in the product, to some extent-- my parents own the same french press and have no trouble with the lid coming off. Our lid just doesn't seem to be as good of a fit.
Overall: Seems like a very well-made product and we don't have to worry about the glass breaking, but I can't get over the coffee grounds in my coffee :(
on August 21, 2013
This thing is built like a tank! I bought it after I got tired of replacing the glass in my 12 cup French Press. By now, I believe it has paid for itself by not having to replace those glass carafes every week or so.
I highly recommend this product.
on August 21, 2013
I am seriously wondering if the world of metal French Press coffee makers is so competitive that there are actually trolls on these reviews! I got so worried and frustrated reading about all of the supposedly terrible product defects that I came very close to just buying a thermos. I'm so glad I went ahead and bought this!
So, to clarify a few points: there are NO holes in this French Press where there shouldn't be; the screen has a VERY tight fit, slides easily, and I get way fewer grounds now than I used to; all parts are metal, no plastic at all anywhere; this pot is large enough for my husband and I to each have more than one mug; and -- here's the big one-- it TOTALLY keeps my coffee hot! I don't know what product you are coming from, but if you are switching from a glass French Press to this, prepare to be delighted. My coffee is so much hotter when I first drink it and I can actually walk away from the pot for over an hour and still have hot coffee. And let me tell you, I don't do the whole thing of pre-heating the pot. Who has time for that?! I just make the coffee like I always do and it stays warm for over an hour. I did try pre-heating it with hot tap water once, and that did significantly extend how long the coffee stayed hot, so that trick definitely works; I just don't need my coffee to stay that hot for that long. I you do, go for it!
I waited 6 weeks to post this review because I wanted to make sure there wasn't some sort of sneaky problem with the product, but so far, just excellent. Moving over from a glass FP, the three things that took some getting used to: 1) the sound/feel of the plunger going down is a bit grating (metal on metal); 2) the plunger works so well that I have to get the old grounds out with a rubber scrapper (I can live with that!); 3) it's much heavier than a glass FP (but not in a bad way. Just takes adjusting.)
Bottom line: a great cup of hot coffee, and plenty of it.
on March 28, 2013
This Frieling French Press has turned my mediocre coffee beans into a great cup of coffee. I am coming over from pour-over coffee brewing and I can honestly say that this Frieling French Press has produced the best cup of coffee I have ever made!
After boiling my water (filtered water by zero water filter) and waiting for the temperature of the water to drop to around 202 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured with my digital thermometer, I poured the water to within 1 inch from the spout, stirred, and then placed the lid on, and after approximately two minutes, stuck my digital thermometer into the coffee (thru the opening of the spout)and got a reading of 189 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point I was a bit disappointed and thought that I should of preheated the french press by filling it with hot water first and then dumped it before filling it again. But, after the four minute steep, I poured my first cup of coffee and any worries/regrets about the temperature drop instantly evaporated after I experienced a great cup of coffee...actually it was as near a perfect cup of coffee as I have ever had...thank you Frieling and Amazon...
on September 19, 2013
Bought one of these all stainless presses after my last glass one shattered while pouring the hot water in. No such problem with this one. Best thing I have done since tossing out the last drip machine I had several years ago with all its plastic parts that made the coffee taste.... well, taste like nasty drip coffee. If you have been raised on drip coffee and don't think there's a difference then beg or borrow off a older relative a stovetop percolator (not one of those horrid aluminum ones, stainless and glass only please) and make a pot with that to compare. What comes out of a french press is not unlike coffee from a perk - strong, pure, the way its supposed to be. There's a little learning curve with percolators and presses, its not fill, press a button and stare off into space like a drip machine, but what a difference in the cup. Its a matter of personal taste but I believe presses are quicker, easier, and make better coffee than other methods. Before you know it you may be one of us fanatics grinding your own beans....
on September 26, 2013
The design is beautiful, it cleans easily, keeps the coffee hot for a very long time, and works perfectly. Great product. Even bought another one as a gift.