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Stainless steel isn't stainless
on July 14, 2012
I bought this press because of the amount of good reviews, and because it is fully stainless steel with no plastic components present.
I drink tea all day long. All day long. I have bags and bags (and cans) of loose leaf tea all over the place and I didn't want to deal with a tea pot + tea infuser combination because the reviews for glass tea pots and infusers are iffy at best. They break, they're delicate, and I'm not sure how clumsy I am.
This product began to form black rust between the mesh basket and the plunger after one week of use.
Yes, I do wash it and dry it by hand. There's absolutely no reason for it to rust, or at least, rust this early.
If it isn't designed for making tea or coffee around five times a day, then there should be a warning somewhere or it really isn't as extravagant of a product as the company and reviewers make it out to be.
In fact, the company has not replied to my e-mails. I actually planned to buy one of the larger versions if they were willing to back up their product, explain a flaw in manufacturing and send me a replacement part (since it is only rusting in one specific area.)
I assume they did not tighten the bolt properly and water is trapped inside and causing the black rust that I can't get rid of no matter how many times I scrub and pick it away.
I am really glad that I bought it while it was on sale. It's not worth the money.
I began using the carafe as a cup because it keeps my tea hot/warm for about twenty to thirty minutes longer than a normal cup, and no longer use it as a press (to avoid consuming the black rust.) Shortly after, it began to rust (or tarnish) on the inside of the carafe. They also still have not replied to my e-mail.
I wrote this, after getting attacked by Frieling fan-boys (or workers) in my comments;
After a lot of research in an attempt to find out why my Frieling product rusted, I came to the conclusion that this stainless steel press is no more delicate than glass. Why? Because of the brushed interior. From Wiki:
Brushed or dull polished metal is metal with a unidirectional satin finish. It is produced by polishing the metal with a 120-180 grit belt or wheel then softening with an 80-120 grit greaseless compound or a medium non woven abrasive belt or pad.
The brushing gives the metal a distinctive look, as it retains some but not all of its metallic lustre and is given a pattern of very fine lines parallel to the brushing direction. It can be compared to metal covered with small scratches all running in the same direction.
Commonly brushed metals include stainless steel, aluminium and nickel. Brushed finishes are popular in both small appliances and whiteware, and feature in architecture and automotive design. The Iconic Gateway Arch and DeLorean DMC-12 are both clad in brushed stainless steel.
Brushed finishes typically have a detrimental effect on corrosion resistance. In particular the brushed texture limits the ability of fluid to bead on the material surface. In the case of stainless steel the grooves of the finish can accumulate chloride ions which break down the chromium oxide passivation layer, enabling rusting to occur.
Stainless steel stains. If it is scratched, then the scratched area will begin to rust or stain and you will have to buy a special stainless steel cleaner to repeatedly use on the surface to remove any residue of rust or stains. That means you're dishing out extra cash to keep your stainless steel from polluting your coffee or tea after every use if you just so happen to scratch it. Brushed finishes are more prone to rusting, as explained above.
The basket for this Frieling makes scratching the finish very easy. I knew from the beginning that the nails-on-chalk-board sound it made every time I pushed down or pulled up was going to ruin the brushed finish on the inside of the carafe. What I didn't realize was that the 'stainless steel' would become tarnished afterward. The strange part is that I pressed very carefully in an attempt to avoid the noise altogether, so you would think harming the finish would be nearly impossible. Maybe, my Frieling was a bad apple. The finish might have been done poorly while others were done up to standard.
WHAT I LEARNED WHEN RESEARCHING BLACK RUST:
After every use and after every cleaning, a black rust or residue would show up in one specific area. The thickest part of the shaft, between the basket and plunger. I can only fathom that it wasn't assembled tightly and water would sneak into the bolt that holds the basket and shaft together. I researched black rust and found out that it is actually a good form of rust that protects rather than destroys. Is it healthy to drink? Probably not. I wouldn't want to risk it.
Besides the fact that the product has proven to be problematic, their customer service is dead or they just don't care. I purchased the product in May and e-mailed them around June in an attempt to get a new plunger and basket. The press was clearly flawed and I think I deserved a new one, but the silence only suggests that they don't stand behind their products. They only screwed themselves out of making more money; I honestly wanted to buy one of the larger Frieling presses after realizing how small the one I bought was, and I was hoping that I received a rare bad apple.
I'm not an expert and I'm only stating what I've learned on websites; it CAN stain. It DOES stain. I have purchased new french presses but haven't owned them long enough to give anyone a better suggestion. I'll let you guys know later if I have another bad experience.
If you read the comments, someone says rust is red. Rust isn't always red. I researched this. Black rust apparently is a good thing and defeats the purpose of my original complaint (even though it is probably still unhealthy to consume black rust,) yet the company didn't have the courtesy to explain this to me in a reply e-mail. To be honest, they probably wouldn't have even known what black rust was. I just did the work for them.
The same person also made a review and said not to put tea inside of stainless steel. If you read the product description it actually advertises toward loose leaf tea drinkers. "KEEPS HOT DRINKS HOT AND COLD ONES COLD: It's not just for coffee. Our French Press line is perfect for brewing loose tea or even cold beverages like water, milk, ice tea and juice. In the mood for something cold? Use the pitcher to serve water, milk, iced tea, juices." Tea did not cause this problem, and it is also less acidic than coffee if that was his reasoning behind that excuse.
Someone also says that these presses don't have a finish. It says in the product description that there is a mirror and brushed finish. I personally believe that the brushed finish interior was the flaw here and the reason why the basket scratched it so easily. Mirror interior would've allowed a smooth glide of the basket with no rough friction to form scratches.
Take this as you will. I'm only trying to help. Everything could have a simple explanation and I could be incredibly wrong, but with no response from the company, I'm left to try and figure everything out for myself.
**I also want to add that I have a stainless steel stove top water kettle made by OXO and I always leave water in it. There's always water sitting in the kettle waiting to be heated and it never is empty. Never. I don't give it a break. It has NOT rusted at all. There's no discoloration or tarnish. I also have a stainless steel rice cooker that I know is scratched from me hitting it with forks and spoons to move rice around and there's NO rusting. I leave rice in the cooker to soak in water overnight. If it wanted to rust then it had many opportunities to do so.
BRUSHED INTERIOR WAS A BAD IDEA. Mirror interior would've been the intelligent way to design this carafe. The basket clearly scratched the brushed finish and caused it to rust. If I force the basket roughly against the exterior there is no noise, nor do I notice any visible scratching. I would probably buy a Frieling again, if they were to ever offer mirror finish interior, just so I can have a stainless steel french press (and I don't know of any other company who offers them.) Until then, they're not worth my money; I will not buy a product prone to scratching and rusting.