Francois et Mimi Double Wall French Coffee Press, 12-Ounce, Stainless Steel
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- Stainless Steel
- Holds 350mL, or 12oz
- Dribble-proof spout
- Dishwasher Safe
- Double wall feature keeps liquids hot longer
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Enjoy fresh coffee every day with this elegantly designed French coffee press. Product features a no-drip spout and the individual size accommodates one standard coffee cup.
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I reported it as "defective" and Amazon was gracious enough to refund it. But I've had enough of the Bodum glass carafe, and decided to try out the stainless steel variety. And while at it, getting the insulated double-walled one made eminent sense. So I clicked around Amazon looking at what's available. These F&M (Francois et Mimi) coffee makers stood out by their ridiculously low price, compared to the others. Are they for real? Can this be a scam? Should I pay a $40-50 premium for one of the others?
This is Amazon, and Amazon pampers its customers. If I get this inexpensive one, I reasoned, the most I risk is paying the return postage because I don't like it. That's still way cheaper than the up-front $40-50 premium. So I bought this insulated 12oz F&M press; in fact, I got it "used like new" from Amazon's Warehouse Deals, for an amazing $13.59, when the exploded Bodum replacement glass carafe listed for $15.18!
And boy did I luck out. This is a high quality all-stainless steel product, precision manufactured to the Bodum Chambord size standards. Yes, my old (now spare!) Bodum plunger works perfectly in it; and while some later-model Bodums have plungers with cheap plastic parts, this F&M press is ALL well-machined stainless steel. Makes fabulous coffee (no better and no worse than the old Bodum glass). So, had I paid the $60-90 price of one of the other brand-name presses, I'd have been a fool.
Not only well constructed, it insulates for real. I have this infra-red thermometer, with which I measured the inside and outside temperatures of this press right after pouring in the boiling water and stirring. The fluid inside registered at around 185f; the outside registered at the ambient temperature of 72f.
Interestingly, neither the F&M press nor its cardboard box display the "Made in ..." info. I suspect it comes from the same factory (China? Malaysia?) that makes those expensive brand-name presses. I imagine them running the same production line after hours. But it IS a quality production line. Stainless steel is not easy to manufacture and requires some hi-tech machinery. This is no cheap knock-off; it's the real McCoy at a bargain price. I love it, and know that I have a coffee maker that'll last the rest of my life (plus a spare plunger-lid from the old Bodum).
I don't know anything about Frielings, but I can tell you that I have thoroughly enjoyed this press since the day it arrived. It makes about 4 cups of coffee (enough to fill two large mugs, which tides me over for the afternoon). It keeps coffee reasonably warm for a while, but if you are making coffee to drink several hours in the future, you may want to consider having a thermos on hand. Cleanup is pretty easy - I tap out as many grounds as I can into the garbage, then rinse out the rest before wiping it down with soap and water. The filter assembly twists off easily, and separates to allow thorough cleaning.
Overall, I love this press - unlike the automatic drip coffee makers, it allows me to clean every piece thoroughly, gives me more control over brew time and temperature, and it contains NO PLASTIC. Unlike the stove-top percolator that it was purchased to replace, it allows me to make coffee that doesn't taste burned (I can even use unheated water - this works if the coffee is ground on the finer side, and of course, it means that I have to heat the coffee separately). It looks great, and the wide base has prevented a number of spills so far!
I was looking for the following qualities in this press:
1. All-metal construction and durability
2. Decent price
3. Easy to use and clean
4. GOOD COFFEE!
So far, it fits the bill!
BUT...I have one complaint that may have steered me away from this product. The lid does not fit tightly into the top of the carafe and there is no seal to keep heat inside. The bottom of the lid has a slight bevel on the bottom on one side that you turn toward the spout to allow for faster pouring. But you don't need to turn it, as the portion of the lid that extends into the carafe does not even extend into the carafe lower than the bottom of the spout, resulting in a large air gap which nullifies the insulating properties. You will NOT have hot coffee for more than 20 minutes, no matter what claims the manufacturer or other reviews say. Some people's perception of hot is really...not. And, surprisingly, even with this design flaw, which I'm sure was intentional to accommodate larger volume inside the carafe, you will only get 2 cups of coffee at a time, albeit EXCELLENT coffee. In short, this is well made, and makes great coffee, but it will not keep coffee hot or fresh any more than a standard glass beaker style press. And it will only make a quantity you will want to consume immediately anyway.
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