6 Best Stainless Steel French Presses: In-Depth Testing Insights

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Last updated on August 21, 2023

6-metal-french-presses

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The journey to create the perfect coffee ritual begins with understanding your needs.

While glass French presses offer a stylish and mesmerizing aesthetic, they often fall short in terms of heat retention and durability.

Qualities that may be crucial in crafting your perfect morning coffee routine.

Luckily, technology for French presses is refreshingly simple, so finding a model that meets 90% of your requirements should be a breeze.

Our job is to get you to that 97-98% mark (after all, no product is perfect).

We personally tested the six stainless steel French presses that received unanimous praise on all major review sites. 

How our review differs? We’re refreshingly honest. 

In this article, you'll learn...

  • The trade-offs when you switch from a glass to a stainless French press. 

  • Three big insights we gained from testing six stainless French presses.

  • Our comparison of the six best stainless French presses based on style, size, filter, insulation, and resulting taste.

  • Some potential alternatives that we didn't test, despite their high reviews, and our reasons why.

  • Our testing methodology for each stainless French press model.

  • Answers to the most frequently asked questions about stainless steel French presses.
stainless-steel-french-presses

Table of Contents

The Tradeoff

glass-vs-stainless-steel-french-press-infographic

Let's face it; glass French presses are pretty.

They add a touch of elegance to your coffee-making routine and let you see how much coffee you've got left.

But here’s the thing: they're delicate, and a quick lapse in attention can easily lead to a broken press.

Just ask all the people who bought a replacement glass on Amazon. 

It’s also important to note that glass is a terrible insulator.

Which can mean lukewarm coffee if you’re someone who gets caught up in the morning rush.

So, if you're attentive to your French press and don't mind investing in a replacement glass every now and then, glass models aren’t going out of style any time soon. 

However, if you're keen on having your coffee stay toasty longer, avoiding the worry of breakage, and rocking that modern, stainless look, then stainless steel French presses are definitely worth looking into. 

Plus, stainless is a no-brainer if you plan on using it outdoors.

3 Must-Know Insights From Testing 6 Stainless Steel French Presses

In our testing process, we compared heat retention among stainless steel French presses and glass ones, evaluated their ability to filter grounds, and conducted a blind taste test between better-filtering and grittier presses. 

Here are the three biggest takeaways from our testing. 


#1 The Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Presses Stayed Hotter Longer

Yes, I know, a resounding DUH!

But if you prioritize keeping your coffee hot for as long as possible, it's worth noting that vacuum insulation actually makes a difference.

To put this notion to the test, we filled each of the six stainless steel French presses halfway with boiling water, closed the lid, and took temperature readings every hour (we also did a test every 5 minutes for 15 minutes to see how drastic the initial temperature drop was).

french-press-insulation-test-graph

Now, if you just want your coffee to stay hotter for longer than the typical glass French press, note that the water in all of the stainless steel models remained in the 177°-185°F zone after 15 minutes of sitting—plenty hot for us those of us who are enjoying all the coffee within the first 15 minutes of brewing. 

(For reference, the borosilicate glass French press was at approximately 160°F after fifteen minutes which is still above drinking temperature—150°F—but declining rapidly).

french-press-insulation-graph

#2 The Espro Was Significantly Better Than Other Models at Filtering Coffee Grounds

If you're a French press fan, you're probably familiar with the gritty texture that often comes with it.

french-press-top

The reason you find this with just about every French press on the market is because 95% of them have an almost identical filter design. A metal screen with holes of approximately 150-250 microns and a spring to create a seal around the sides.

The Espro, however, has a dual-filter system with smaller holes.– An outer filter with 76-micron openings– An inner filter with 58-micron openings Due to the smaller-sized filter openings, the Espro produces a cup of coffee with noticeably less sediment than its counterparts (validated through blind tastings).

infographic-french-press-filters

Five of the six metal French presses we tested had an average micron size between 150-250 microns. So, not surprisingly, these five models had a similar amount of sediment in the resulting cup of coffee. 

french-press-silt-test-graph

So, if you’re looking for the bold, aromatic flavor of French press coffee without the grit, the Espro actually does a fantastic job at providing this.



#3 The Budget Models Will Satisfy Most Coffee Drinkers

mueller-french-press

You’ll find at least 30 brands that produce stainless steel French presses for ~$20-30. The majority of these have surprisingly great reviews for one simple reason.

The technology is refreshingly simple: 

Double-walled stainless steel and a filter apparatus that the industry’s had over 100 years to fine-tune.

So, if you’re already a fan of French press coffee, have no qualms with a little bit of grit, and just want something that’s durable and retains heat better, the vast majority of the budget-friendly stainless steel French presses will get the job done.

My biggest tip when deciding between models?

Find a company that truly stands by their product. That way, if the French press isn’t up to your standards (or gives out early), you’re taken care of.

The easiest way to do this is to head to the customer reviews, find the “filter search” field and type in the term “customer service." This will expose all customer reviews having to do with customer service, which is usually very revealing.

We used this tactic in our research and found that the Mueller stainless French press had unanimously positive customer service reviews.

The 6 Best Stainless Steel French Presses

***IMPORTANT*** Keep in mind that, when we refer to the size, volume, or capacity of a French press in this article, we’re talking about the amount of coffee that the container was designed to make. 

That means a 24 oz French press is designed to brew 24 ounces of filtered coffee.

So, if the official specifications on the product page lists a different volume, they may be talking about the total liquid capacity of the container, whereas we’re giving you the amount of drinkable coffee you’ll actually brew when using it! 

coffee-graph

1) Pricey Solution for Sludge-Free Sipping    

Espro P6  

espro-p6-french-press

Espro P7 

espro-p7-french-press
P6P7
Size (amount of coffee you can reasonably brew in this press)32 oz (4 standard mugs of coffee)32 oz (0.95 L) or 4 standard mugs of coffee

18 oz (0.53 L) or a little over 2 standard mugs of coffee
Color OptionsMatte Black

Brushed Stainless
Matte Black

Brushed Stainless

Cranberry

White

Aegean Blue

Polished Stainless
Approximate Price~$11532 oz: ~$150

18 oz: ~$120
Difference in Component MaterialPlastic Handle

Plastic Plunger Top
Metal Handle

Metal Plunger Top
Dishwasher Safe?NoNo

The Espro has a dual-filter system featuring apertures (filter holes) that are about half the size of those found in standard French presses, yet still larger than the openings in common paper filters.

So, you essentially still get that rich, velvety French press coffee with far less sediment and inconsistency in texture.

But . . . let me be clear.

There is still silt.

Just way less than usual.

Our 5 blind tasters all agreed that the Espro French press coffee was “lighter,” with some even noticing differences in flavor. So, if you're a French press fan who wants a cleaner cup, the Espro seems to be the only model that nails it (bummer, I know).

Now, to be honest, the Espro is stupid expensive.

They know they've cornered the market, and they're making you pay for it. 

On the bright side, the design is simple, and you can replace the filter every now and again (around $20 on Amazon and the Espro website), so you don’t have to worry about paying the price twice. 

Also, the Espro French press is not vacuum insulated (why, Espro, why!?).

Some negative reviews mention the coffee getting cold too quickly. For reference, the Espro performed similarly to the other double-walled (non-vacuum-sealed) vessels in terms of heat retention. In short, it retains heat better than glass but worse than vacuum-insulated stainless steel. 

If you’re curious about the difference between the P6 and P7 models, there are just some slight changes (non-functional changes). The P7 offers 18 oz and 32 oz options (volume of actual coffee it makes), whereas the P6 only offers a 32 oz. The P7 also has ametal plunger top and handle, more color options, and the shape is slightly different (rounds out a bit at the top).

Pros:

  • Sleek and stylish
  • Excellent filtration

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Lacks vacuum insulation

Compared to the other brands: 

  • The Espro stands far above the rest when it comes to filtering coffee grounds.

Best for: 

  • The Espro Stainless Steel French Press is best for coffee drinkers looking for an extra-smooth mouthfeel, delivered in a classy container (and for whom price is not an issue). 

Worst For:

  • Those looking for a budget-friendly stainless steel French press that will keep their coffee hotter for as long as possible.

2) Stylish Design and Superior Insulation (also Pricey)


Fellow Clara French Press

fellow-clara-french-press

Size (amount of coffee you can reasonably brew in this press)24 oz (0.71 L) or 3 standard mugs of coffee
Color OptionsMatte Black
Matte Black with Walnut Accents
Approximate PriceMatte Black ~$100
Matte Black with Walnut ~$135
Dishwasher SafeNo

The two main selling points for the Fellow Clara…

Its beauty.

Its vacuum-insulated design.

Both reviewers and I love the aesthetic of the Fellow Clara. Whereas many of the stainless steel French presses will get tucked away in the cupboard, this one deserves a seat at the barista table. 

Especially the walnut-accented model.

The vacuum insulation also put this model significantly above its competitors in terms of heat retention. 

3-cup-french-press-insulation-test-graph

So, if looks and heat insulation rank high on your priority list, it's tough to rival the Fellow Clara.

The filtering mechanism is unique in that it has a rubber seal around the sides (instead of the typical metal spring).

french-press-plunger

This is important for those who particularly hate the noise/feel of the stainless spring rubbing up against the stainless walls of the French press. Depressing the Fellow Clara plunger is smooth and silent. 

However, our silt test showed that it left a similar amount of grit to the standard filtering mechanism (and Clara validated this by telling us that the micron rating is 200, which is pretty typical for French presses).

Now for the potentially bad…

This French press is expensive (comparable to the Espro).

$100 for a very simple, all-mechanical machine is a steep price point for most of us.

Also, one of the company’s biggest selling points is providing two volume-markings on the inside of the French press (one for the coffee grounds and one for the liquid level). But both are basically impossible to see and only provide measurements for one water-to-coffee ratio (14:1-15:1).

All that to say, we firmly believe the value of happiness is immeasurable, so if this purchase brings you joy, we don’t think the price should hold you back.

french-press-interior

It’s important to note that you should be careful when cleaning the outside of this unit. Similar to the Coffee Gator French Press, the rough exterior will begin to chip away if scrubbed or dropped. 

Pros:

  • Elegant finish + smooth plunge Steep price  
  • Top-notch insulation (hot coffee for longer)

Cons:

  • Steep price  
  • Requires a touch of extra care to clean 

Compared to the other brands: 

  • The Fellow Clara really shines when it comes to insulation and arguably has the classiest aesthetic.

Best for: 

  • The Fellow Clara Stainless Steel French Press is best for coffee drinkers who prefer to enjoy sipping on something nice and warm over the course of a few hours… and look á la mode while they’re at it.

Worst For:

  • Those looking for a sturdy stainless French press (i.e., something that won’t get scratched up with a bit of rough handling) that is also gentle on the wallet.

3) Superior Insulation, Lifetime Warranty, and a Bit of Grit


Stanley Vacuum-Insulated French Press

stanley-french-press

Size (amount of coffee you can reasonably brew in this press)~36 oz (1.06 L) or ~4.5 standard mugs of coffee
Color OptionsHammertone Green
Cream Gloss
Limestone
Polar
Matte Black
Maple
Rose Quartz Glow
Approximate Price~$70
Dishwasher Safe?Yes

With over a century of creating ironclad drinking equipment, Stanley definitely deserves some attention for its French press.

It’s durable, vacuum insulated, and has that unique Stanley design that makes you feel like you're out in the wilderness (even when you’re not).

Plus, it’s an absolute giant (which naturally has its pros and cons).

It pours four-and-a-half (8 oz) mugs (yup, we tested it), so it's great for entertaining guests or serving the masses on a camping trip.

different-amounts-of-coffee-in-containers

It also held temperature considerably better than the similar-sized Espro model (no shock here as the Espro isn’t vacuum insulated).

graph-of-french-press-insulation-test

Now, let's talk about the potential disadvantages of the Stanley French press.

The most common complaint (and pretty much the only one) is the amount of grit the Stanley lets through. The filter spring doesn't hold as tightly against the inner walls as the other models on our list. This could potentially lead to a larger proportion of coffee grounds slipping through the sides. 

With that said…

We tested it side-by-side with the Coffee Gator model (whose filter does have a noticeably tight fit to the French presses’ walls) and found a very similar amount of sediment.

paper-coffee-filters-test

In this Silt Test, the Coffee Gator had 0.1grams more coffee grounds than the Stanley

Now, this testing isn’t ironclad. 

You can see below that trial 2 of our silt test with the Stanley was weirdly higher than trial 1.

french-press-silt-test-graph

Which is kind of a conundrum. 

But we have a theory.

One reviewer mentioned that they bypassed the sediment issue by stirring the French press before steeping. 

This actually makes sense.

Einstein's tea leaf paradox suggests that stirring particles tend to centralize rather than spread to the outside. Applying this idea to a French press, it might be possible that stirring before steeping can help minimize the sediment passing through the filter's sides. 

All in all, if you're after a bigger French press that's a champ at keeping things hot and comes with a lifetime warranty to boot, you can't really go wrong with Stanley. But be warned: if you're already not-too-thrilled about the amount of grit in your usual French press, the Stanley model may not be the French press for you. 

Pros:

  • Super-sized + sturdy
  • Unparalleled insulation 


Cons:

  • Basic Filtration 

Compared to the other brands:

  • The Stanley quickly jumps out from among the rest for its high-volume capacity and superior insulation. 

Best for:

  • The Stanley Stainless Steel French Press is best for coffee drinkers who want to take their coffee on the go; this press will keep you and your friends warm and hydrated (or at least caffeinated) all day long—great for campers. 

Worst For:

  • Those who really prefer a smooth mouthfeel and slightly more modern aesthetic (though we think the Stanley has a pretty cool look).

4) Simple and Effective Coffee Brewing—No Frills Needed


Mueller Stainless Steel French Press

mueller-french-press

Size (amount of coffee you can reasonably brew in this press)24 oz (0.71 L) or 3 standard mugs of coffee
Color OptionsStainless Steel (shiny)
Approximate Price~$30
Dishwasher Safe?Yes

You’ll find the Mueller company on countless reviews we’ve made.

They have solid prices, their products get notoriously positive reviews, and their customer service is some of the best we’ve ever seen on Amazon.

The Mueller stainless steel French press has over 30,000 Amazon ratings, and it’s maintained a 4.7/5 stars (as of 04/22/2023).

You could say it’s stood the test of time.

No, it’s not vacuum insulated; no, it doesn’t filter coffee as effectively as the Espro (but neither do any other French presses on our list), but it checks all the boxes for someone looking for a nice, predictable cup of French press coffee.

Not to mention, all parts are completely dishwasher safe, and there’s no exterior paint to strip over time.

Downsides:

If you have high expectations, this French press may let you down. The engineering isn’t perfect.

For example, there is a 1-liter volume line that goes above the spout level. In other words, you should never fill your coffee to this level as it will overflow and cause a terrible mess.

Some slight oversight in engineering, no doubt.

There are also some random complaints of the handle detaching over time. However, I’m fairly confident you could reach out to Mueller, and they’d make things right.

One customer wrote that Mueller replaced their entire French press despite it being out of warranty.

The Mueller French press is also double walled, not vacuum insulated, so it will stay hotter longer than a glass French press but not as long as vacuum-insulated models (see tests below for details). 

So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly French press for one to two people that’s shiny, easy to clean, and offers peace of mind with a solid company, the Mueller French press is definitely worth considering. 

Pros:

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Great price 

Cons:

  • A few minor design flaws  
  • Not vacuum insulated 

Compared to the other brands:

  • The Mueller undeniably shines when it comes to customer service, and it beats the other brands in terms of price too.   

Best for: 

  • The Mueller Stainless Steel French Press checks all the boxes, best for coffee drinkers who are looking to make the switch from glass to stainless steel for the first time and want a trusty, classic option without a price barrier. 

Worst For:

  • Savant French press coffee drinkers looking for an ultra-refined coffee-drinking experience.  

5) The Indestructible Coffee Solution


Coletti Boulder Stainless Steel French Press

coletti-french-press

Size (amount of coffee you can reasonably brew in this press)28 oz (0.82 L) or ~3.5 standard mugs of coffee
Color OptionsStainless (rough)
Approximate Price~$60
Dishwasher Safe?Yes

The Coletti Boulder French Press is a heavy, rugged bomb shelter of a French press.

The edges are sharp, the welds are far from hidden, and it has that rough, brushed-looking #3 stainless steel finish. Not to mention, it weighs about double that of the other French presses we reviewed (minus the Stanley). 

In short, it’s a tank.

So, if you like the rugged look and don’t mind a few blemishes on the stainless, the other features of this French press line up pretty well with most.

A few potential downsides:

The filter mechanism features a silicone seal just below the spout (image below).

coletti-french-press

Presumably, this seal was designed to help keep heat in and coffee from sneaking past the spring below it.

While I was impressed by the idea (since most of the other French presses lacked this feature), it ultimately just made the top more difficult to get off (especially when the French press is cold), such that anyone with arthritic hands should steer clear (my mom could barely get it off).

Also, a good percentage of people thought the Coletti model would retain heat better. It is not vacuum sealed (only double walled) and so retained heat similarly to the other double-walled French presses we tested.

french-press-insulation-test-graph

So, if you like the rugged look, drink your French press coffee within the first hour of brewing, and have some grip strength to get the lid off, the Coletti Boulder has a distinct appeal.

Ah, and the company is owned by veterans, and a percentage of profits go to the charity of their choosing. A commendable business model, no doubt.

Pros:

  • Super durable + sizeable
  • Good price for a press that will likely last a lifetime. 

Cons:

  • Difficult to open  
  • On the heavier side 

Compared to the other brands:

  • Advertised as a “campers French press,” the Coletti Boulder is most notable for its durability. 

Best for: 

  • The Coletti Boulder Stainless Steel French Press is meant for adventures, best for coffee drinkers in action who need to bring a reliably good cup of coffee with them wherever they may go.

Worst For:

  • Anyone who may have arthritis or just sensitive wrists, and for those who are mainly looking to add something elegant to their collection.

6) Stylish, Affordable, and Brew-tiful


Coffee Gator Stainless French Press

coffee-gator-french-press

Size (amount of coffee you can reasonably brew in this press)24 oz (0.71 L) or 3 standard mugs of coffee
Color OptionsBlack
Gray
Orange
Pink
Silver
Approximate Price~$45
Dishwasher Safe?No (paint will peel over time)

Customers regularly expressed their admiration for the look of the Coffee Gator French Press, particularly highlighting its sturdy exterior, elegant design, and the unique alligator emblem. 

We agree.

The design is versatile in that the Coffee Gator can fit seamlessly into a modern-style kitchen or a rustic campfire setting.

In terms of functionality, the Coffee Gator comes with a lid and filter mechanism similar to what you’d find on most French presses. 

Nothing unique there. 

Now for the potentially bad.

Ironically, the vast majority of the negative customer reviews came from people who were upset about the quality of the coffee canister that comes with it. Many of them noted how it would make a much better paraphernalia jar than anything.

The next most common negative response was the rough outer layer peeling away over time. 

The rough exterior—one of the most appealing qualities of this French press—is actually the reason this model is NOT dishwasher safe.

This isn’t a problem for someone like me because I have no trouble quickly hand-washing my French presses. With that said, I understand how this could be an issue for those who enjoy the convenience of using a dishwasher.

Also, they recommend only washing the inside. Even hand washing the outside, over time, can apparently remove the exterior layer.

One more note, customer service has yet to return any of my messages on Amazon, Facebook, or their email (which may be out of service).

Update: Customer service did eventually get back to me via Facebook after I sent them a follow-up message (probably just a minor hiccup).

Pros:

  • Unique aesthetic + color options
  • Familiar functionality

Cons:

  • Delicate finish (needs to be hand washed)
  • Customer service is questionable

Compared to the other brands:

  • The Coffee Gator is probably the choice that is the most fun! Where else can you find a high-quality French press in hot pink or bright orange?!

Best for: 

  • The Coffee Gator Stainless Steel French Press is best for coffee drinkers who want to add a bit of color to their lives without sacrificing any of the quality. Even if you pick the gray, you know you’re getting a quality French press that will do the trick every time.  

Worst For:

  • Those looking for an upgrade in a specific area, like heat retention or filtering performance. The Coffee Gator does a great job, but it doesn’t top the charts in these arenas. 
coffee-graph

Noteworthy Stainless French Presses We Didn’t Review

Bodum Stainless Steel French Press

bodum-french-press

The Bodum Columbia Stainless Steel French Press is another model that has received high reviews, similar to the six French presses we tested.

Here are some key points about this French press:

  • Available in 17 oz, 34 oz, or 51 oz (this is apparently the volume of coffee it actually produces. Not the full volume of the carafe). This translates to approximately two, four, or a bit over six (8 oz) mugs of brewed coffee, respectively.


  • At a glance, it appears to be a solid, straightforward French press.


  • It's not vacuum insulated but does feature double-walled construction, which provides better insulation than glass (but is not as effective as vacuum insulation).


  • The most common complaint from users is that some of the parts feel "cheap" or low quality.

While we didn't review the Bodum Columbia ourselves, it's worth considering if you're looking for a stainless steel French press with solid reviews and a simple design. 


Secura Stainless Steel French Press

secura-french-press

The Secura Stainless Steel French Press has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and we were very close to purchasing it for our own testing. We ultimately decided to review the Stanley model due to its vacuum insulation, but the Secura model is about $20 cheaper and still boasts strong reviews.

Here are some key points about this French press.

  • Boasts an impressive average rating of 4.8/5 stars with over 6,500 ratings (as of 04/30/2023).


  • Offers different capacity options: 17 oz, 34 oz, and 50 oz (actual finished coffee volume), roughly translating to two, four, or six (8 oz) mugs of brewed coffee.


  • The most common complaint, albeit rare, was that the coffee didn't stay hot for long enough, which may be due to the lack of vacuum insulation.

Freiling Stainless Steel French Press

frieling-french-press

The Frieling Stainless Steel French Press is another model that has garnered impressive reviews.

Here are some key points about this French press:

  • Features all-metal construction with no plastic components.


  • Comes with double-walled insulation, which provides better insulation than glass but is less effective than vacuum insulation.


  • Offers a handful of different sizes (but some are consistently out of stock).
  • Has a notably high price point, which may be a consideration for some buyers.


  • One rare but noteworthy complaint is that the lid has no "closed" position, which can cause coffee to spurt out when first depressing the plunger.

BonJour Stainless Steel French Press

bonJour-french-press

BonJour is a well-known French press brand that has produced several different styles, most of which have received good reviews. However, it seems that their stainless steel model didn't quite hit the same mark.

Here are some key points about this French press:

  • The stainless steel model has relatively poor reviews with a common complaint about the unit "dribbling."


  • While the exact meaning of "dribbling" is unclear, the frequency of this complaint suggests it's a notable flaw, worth considering.

Testing and Comparing Stainless Steel French Press Models

Disclaimer: Please note that these tests offer a partial glance at the reality of things. The results should be taken with a grain of salt, as there are variations in individual experiences.


Sediment Test

In our quest to assess the filtration efficiency of various stainless steel French presses, we conducted the Silt Test. We ran this same test two times with each French Press.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of our methodology:

1

Step 1 

We weighed and recorded the weight of six standard drip paper filters.

2

Step 2 

We put 25 grams of the same coffee in each French press.

3

Step 3 

We added 375 grams of boiling water (208°F where we are) to the coffee grounds in each French press.

4

Step 4 

We stirred the coffee grounds and water with a spoon in each French press.

5

Step 5

We let the coffee steep for 4 minutes in each French press.

6

Step 6

We very gently depressed each plunger and carefully poured the coffee into a paper filter that rested over a strainer.

7

Step 7

After a few days of drying, we weighed the filter paper again.

In this way, we were able to subtract the initial weight of the paper filters and compare the resulting weights of the silt remains, the heaviest weights reflecting which presses allowed the most sediment to pass through their filtration systems. 

coffee-filter-sediment-testing

French Press Micron Ratings (Sediment Test Continued…)


IMPORTANT:
Please note that the micron ratings provided in this table are averages supplied by the manufacturers and, as such, should be considered approximate values. We advise taking these figures with a grain of salt due to potential variations in the actual filter hole diameters.

A micron, also known as a micrometer, is a super tiny unit of measurement in the metric system - just 0.000001 of a meter. Imagine the thickness of a single human hair, then slice that into about 70 parts. Each of those tiny slices is approximately a micron!

In a French press, the filter's micron size, or the size of the filter holes, tells us the size of particles that can pass through. If your filter's holes are 100 microns, for instance, particles larger than 100 microns will be stopped, while particles smaller than 100 microns will make it into your brew. 

In short, the smaller the micron size, the more particles your filter will catch. 

We reached out to each company to find out the respective sizes of their filters (again, these are most likely rough averages but they correlate pretty well without data. Compare this chart to that of the bar graph below for reference).

French PressMicron Rating
Espro~76 Microns (outer), ~58 Microns (inner)
Coletti Boulder~150 Microns
Mueller~180 Microns
Fellow Clara~200 Microns
StanleyUnknown
Coffee GatorUnknown

Upon analyzing the results, we found that five of the six French presses had pretty similar outcomes.

This consistency can be attributed to the fact that, as per the information provided by the manufacturers, these French press designs all utilized a standard metal mesh with a micron rating of between 150-250 microns. Consequently, they all filtered the coffee grounds relatively similarly

QUICK NOTE:


It seems like the Coletti Boulder filtered a smidge better than the other four French presses (excluding the Espro). But, it's probably such a tiny difference, the average taster would find it imperceptible. Keen to see if this difference really matters? We're game for some coffee science! Drop a line in the comments below and we’ll do some more blind tastings!

french-press-silt-test-graph

The Espro French press model stood out from the rest due to its unique double-filter system, which resulted in a more effective filtration of the sediment. The Espro model features two filters:

  1. An outer filter with a 76-micron mesh

  2. An inner filter with a 58-micron mesh

Remember: the smaller the micron size, the more efficient the filtration (because less sediment passes through).


Insulation Test


IMPORTANT: Please note that the graph featuring all French presses shouldn’t be relied on too heavily. Larger volumes of boiling water will naturally retain heat for a longer period, making it seem like the bigger French presses retain heat better.

So we’ve created charts to compare the French presses of similar (if not equal) volumes for a more accurate comparison.

Now, let's dive into the insulation test we conducted. Here's how we went about it:


  1.  We filled up each French press halfway with boiling water (208°F).

  2. We closed the lids on all the French presses.

  3. We recorded the temperatures every 5 minutes for 15 minutes (using glass and stainless French presses) and then every hour over a 4-hour period (using only the stainless French presses).

This test aimed to measure the heat retention ability of each stainless steel French press as well as a standard glass French press, giving us an idea of how well they can maintain the desired temperature of your coffee. To make our analysis more reliable, we compared the results of French presses with similar volume capacities.

All French Presses Compared

(Recorded every 5 minutes for 15 minutes)

Bodum GLASS (24 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp195.9179170.2161.9
Temp change16.98.88.3
Fellow (24 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)199.7190.9185.3180.8
Temp change (°F)8.85.64.5
Coffee Gator (24 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)199.9190.7184.4179.6
Temp change (°F)9.26.34.8
Mueller (24 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)200.6190.7185.1180.1
Temp change (°F)9.95.65
Coletti (28 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)198.8189.5183.3177.6
Temp change (°F)9.36.25.7
Espro (32 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)199.2190.2183.5177.6
Temp change (°F)96.75.9


All French Presses Compared

(Recorded every hour for 4 hours)

***We gave the glass French press a pass on hourly temperature checks. Why? Well, in just 15 minutes it was already trailing a chilly ~20°F behind the stainless models. However, if you’re interested in seeing how the glass carafe holds heat long-term, drop us a comment at the bottom of the page.

0 Hours1 Hour2 Hour3 Hour4 Hour
Stanley202.1172.9156.7144.6135.1
Fellow Clara201.9169.8151.7138.5128.8
Coletti201.3158.3134.9119.1107
Mueller201.2156.5132.2116.4105.6
Espro202.1156.2132.4117.3106.8
Coffee Gator201.7150.212510998.7


24-28 oz French Presses (finished coffee volume)

(Recorded every 5 minutes for 15 minutes)

Fellow Clara* (24 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)199.7190.9185.3180.8
Temp change (°F)8.85.64.5
Coffee Gator (24 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)199.9190.7184.4179.6
Temp change (°F)9.26.34.8
Mueller (24 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)200.6190.7185.1180.1
Temp change (°F)9.95.65
Coletti (28 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)198.8189.5183.3177.6
Temp change (°F)9.36.25.7

Vacuum Insulated*


24-28 oz French Presses (finished coffee volume)

(Recorded every hour for 4 hours)

0 Mins1 Hour2 Hour3 Hour4 Hour
Coffee Gator201.7 (°F)150.2 (°F)125 (°F)109 (°F)98.7 (°F)
Mueller201.2 (°F)156.5 (°F)132.2 (°F)116.4 (°F)105.6 (°F)
Fellow Clara*201.9 (°F)169.8 (°F)151.7 (°F)138.5 (°F)128.8 (°F)
Coletti201.3 (°F)158.3 (°F)134.9 (°F)119.1 (°F)107 (°F)

Vacuum Insulated*


32-36 oz French Presses (finished coffee volume)

(Recorded every 5 minutes for 15 minutes)

Espro (32 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)199.2190.2183.5177.6
96.75.9
Stanley (36 oz)
0 mins5 mins10 mins15 mins
Temp (°F)199.9192.2187.1182.6
7.75.14.5


32-36 oz French Presses (finished coffee volume)

(recorded every hour for 4 hours)

0 Hours1 Hour2 Hour3 Hour4 Hour
Stanley202.1(°F)172.9(°F)156.7(°F)144.6(°F)135.1(°F)
Espro202.1(°F)156.2(°F)132.4(°F)117.3(°F)106.8(°F)

Espro vs French Press With Standard Filter – Taste Test (5 Blind Tasters)

In a blind tasting experiment, we compared the resulting coffee of the Espro French Press (filter with smaller holes) to the Mueller French Press (filter with standard holes) using Peet's French Roast coffee. 

A 16:1 water-to-coffee ratio (a ratio that is well-accepted by the French press community) was used, and each coffee was brewed at around 200°F with a 4-minute steep time. The coffee was initially consumed black, and participants tasted the samples whenever they felt it was ideal (temperature-wise). One of the tasters was later offered cream to make the coffee more similar to his usual preference.

The majority of the tasters (4 out of 5) preferred the Espro French Press, citing its smoother flavor, lighter taste, and reduced astringency. On the other hand, the Mueller French Press was described as more astringent, full-bodied, and richer by some tasters.

Interesting Fact

One of our tasters, who originally preferred the Espro coffee, then changed his mind once he added cream. This is likely due to milk’s ability to balance some of the astringency from the additional sediment in the Mueller sample.

Overall, the Espro French Press emerged as the more popular choice among the participants.

Based on our results, it can be inferred that the Espro French Press, with its smaller micron filter, provides a smoother and lighter coffee experience. This will be more appealing to those who prefer a less astringent and more refined taste in their coffee.

In contrast, the standard-filtered Mueller French Press seems to produce a more robust, full-bodied, and richer coffee with a heavier mouthfeel. This could be an attractive option for those who enjoy a stronger and more intense coffee flavor, especially when adding cream or other additives to their brew.

To conclude, both the Espro and Mueller French presses cater to different preferences in coffee taste and texture. The Espro French Press is ideal for those seeking a smoother, lighter experience, while the Mueller French Press is better suited for those who appreciate a more intense and full-bodied coffee.


Tasting Notes:

Taster 1

Espro

  • Roasty, chocolate, ever so slight toffee/dark fruit.
  • Chocolate, almost caramel
  • No astringency, like at all

Mueller

  • Also chocolatey, slightly more astringent.
  • Floral, zesty, bitter orange peel

After putting his preferred cream in, he said, “Mueller took the cream better.”


Taster 2

Espro

  • Smoother flavor, smoother mouthfeel

Mueller

  • More mouthfeel, more particulate
  • Intense flavor, more drying

Taster 3

Espro

  • Slightly harsher/more astringent
  • Maybe burnt?
  • Thinner body
  • 2nd runnings?

Mueller

  • Soft, nutty, less acid 
  • More grounds present, French Press?
  • More full-bodied and richer 

Taster 4

Espro

  • Smooth also
  • Tastes slightly lighter
  • Maybe a bit of nutty taste, earthy
  • Possibly a little acidic

Mueller

  • Smooth
  • Not super bitter, though slight bitter aftertaste
  • Slightly burnt flavor, but not in a bad way

Taster 5

Espro

  • Smoother
  • I prefer this 

Mueller

  • Stronger taste, particularly the aftertaste 
  • Bitter on the tongue afterward

Conclusion

Stainless steel French presses are an excellent alternative to glass for certain occasions. When heat retention and durability are your top priorities, stainless steel is undoubtedly the way to go. Ultimately, we hope that whichever French press you choose, it adds a little extra joy to your morning coffee ritual. Enjoy your brew, and happy sipping!

Michael 


FAQs

Glass vs Metal French Press

Glass French presses let you see the brewing process, but they can be a bit delicate and might not hold heat as well. On the other hand, stainless steel French presses have a sleek design, are more durable, and keep your coffee warmer for longer, offering a more practical option for everyday use.


How to Use a Metal French Press

Using a metal French press is just like using any other French press out there. Though preferred brewing methods may vary, the most popular one goes like this:

  • Grind your coffee beans to a medium-coarse level and place them in the French press.

  • Boil water and measure the volume for a recommended 15:1 water-to-coffee ratio (you can always adjust later). Here’s a water-to-coffee calculator that can easily help you with whatever volume you prefer.

  • Pour the boiling water into the French press.

  • Allow the coffee to bloom for ~30 seconds (this is where CO2 will begin to release from the coffee grounds). 

  • Mix the coffee grounds and water with a spoon to ensure a uniform extraction, and then place the lid on.

  • Let the coffee steep for a recommended 4-5 minutes.

  • Depress the plunger gently and pour the coffee carefully.

  • Enjoy!
  • How to Clean a Stainless Steel French Press

    Cleaning a stainless steel French press is fairly straightforward, but there's one major perk compared to cleaning a glass one: you don't have to worry about breaking it!

    This added durability makes the process much easier. Plus, if you're the type to aggressively dump out the grounds like some of us do, you can say goodbye to the stress of the glass detaching from the metal rings (which can happen with presses similar to the standard Bodum glass French press).

    Here's a simple step-by-step guide to cleaning your stainless steel French press:

    • Empty the coffee grounds: Be cautious when disposing of used coffee grounds, as they can cause plumbing issues if dumped down the sink. We recommend finding a nice garden bed or compost pile to add them to. If that's not an option, mix the grounds with a little water and dump them in the trash, ideally with enough absorbent items to soak up the liquid.

    • Disassemble: Take apart the plunger and filter components for a thorough cleaning; (I do this about every four uses).

    • Rinse: Rinse all the parts, including the stainless steel body, plunger, and filters, under warm water to remove any remaining coffee residue.

    • Wash: Use a mild dish soap and a sponge or brush to clean all the parts. Stainless steel French presses are often dishwasher-safe, so you can also place them in the dishwasher if you prefer (DO NOT do this if the stainless is painted or, of course if the manual indicates that the press is not dishwasher safe).

    • Dry: Gently dry all the components with a soft cloth or let them air dry before reassembling.

    • Reassemble: Put the plunger and filter components back together, and you're all set for your next coffee brewing session!

    What’s the Largest Metal French Press?

    The largest French press available appears to be the SterlingPro 1.75L (59 oz) model (59 oz is likely the full volume of the carafe, not the amount of coffee it makes). In our tests, we tried the slightly smaller Stanley French Press, which is about 10 ounces less (full carafe volume) than the SterlingPro, and it yielded around 36 ounces of actual brewed coffee—that’s four-and-a-half (8 oz) mugs of coffee. 

    Considering the SterlingPro's larger capacity, you can expect it to produce approximately five (8 oz) mugs of coffee, making it an excellent choice for serving bigger gatherings or for those who just can't get enough of their favorite brew.


    What’s the Best Metal French Press for Camping?

    Choosing the best metal French press for camping depends on your camping style and personal preferences. To withstand the elements, we recommend selecting a French press with vacuum insulation and solid construction. Here are a few options to consider:

    • Stanley 48 oz French Press: If you want something larger, vacuum sealed, and backed by a lifetime warranty, the Stanley 48 oz French press is a fantastic choice. It’s buildt to last and can reasonably serve 36 ounces of brewed coffee—that’s about four-and-a-half (8 oz) standard mugs of coffee.

    • Fellow Clara: The Fellow Clara French Press is also vacuum insulated and boasts a sleek design. However, it's not as heavy-duty as the Stanley and may show signs of wear more quickly.

    • Coffee Gator: The Coffee Gator’s aesthetics and build make it seamlessly fit in with the camping vibe. However, if you’re looking to keep the coffee hot for as long as possible, it lacks vacuum insulation and will cool faster than others. 

    • Single-Serve Camping French Presses: If you're looking for a single-serve camping French press, there are plenty of vacuum-sealed options available with good reviews. While we didn't personally review these, here are a few models worth checking out:

    BruTrek OVRLNDR
    Espro P0
    Bodum Travel Mug


    Is There a Starbucks Metal French Press?

    It appears that there were several metal Starbucks French presses in the past, but they've become difficult to track down these days. If you're interested in finding one, we recommend checking out websites like eBay or Etsy, where you might find a vintage or pre-owned Starbucks French press. Additionally, online thrift stores or second-hand marketplaces occasionally have these items available.


    Should I Get a Metal Spoon for My Metal French Press?

    Unlike with glass French presses, breaking a metal French press with a metal spoon is impossible. Keep in mind, however, that while your metal French press is made of stainless steel, it's not entirely scratch-proof. Be gentle when stirring and handling the interior of your French press to minimize the risk of scratches or other cosmetic damage.


    Does a Metal French Press Impact Flavor?

    A small proportion of people report a change in flavor when using a metal French press, although many others, like myself, don't notice any difference. The impact on flavor, if any, would likely be subtle and highly subjective, depending on individual taste and sensitivity. Ultimately, you won't know whether a metal French press affects the flavor of your coffee until you give it a try and see how it suits your taste buds.

    If you've previously noticed a change in flavor when using stainless steel appliances, it's probable that you'll encounter a similar experience here. 

    Is There a Stainless Steel French Press Made in the USA?

    After a lot of research, we’ve found it quite challenging to find stainless steel French presses made in the USA. Even many brands with an "American" feel to them often manufacture their products in countries like China.


    Is There a Coleman Stainless Steel French Press?

    It appears that Coleman did produce a stainless steel French press for a short time, but it's no longer being manufactured. If you're interested in finding the Coleman French Press, websites like eBay and Etsy are good places to look for second-hand or vintage items.

    To help you with your search, here are a few links that might point you in the right direction:

    Please note that the availability of these items may change over time, and you might need to keep an eye out for new listings or auctions. Happy hunting!


    What About a Stainless Steel French Press Travel Mug?

    There are several stainless steel French press travel mugs on the market with promising reviews. While we plan to conduct a personal review on travel-mug French presses, for the time being, here are some potential candidates worth checking out:

    1. JavaSun French Press Travel Deluxe Coffee
    2. Bobble French Coffee Press with Insulation
    3. ESPRO P0 Ultralight French Press 
    About the author, Michael

    Michael spends his days eating, drinking and studying the fascinating world of food. He received his Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis and spent much of his time at the school brewery. While school proved to be an invaluable experience, his true passion lies in exposing the hidden crannies of food for the cooking laymen.