French presses are a longtime favorite among coffee-making aficionados because they provide a low- cost, simplified way of brewing a full-flavored pot of coffee with a built-in filter. The all-in-one simplified functionality of this unique style of coffee maker makes it more portable and convenient than modern coffee machines, many of which require an electrical source and paper filters for proper operation. If you're ready to enter the world of French Press coffee making but you're not sure where to start, comparing the different sizes is a good way to begin your research. With that said, here's an overview of the most common sizes:
Understanding French Press Coffee Cup Sizes
You might think you know everything when it comes to determining or converting fluid volume measurements, but coffee cup volume isn't measured the same as other fluids. This is because coffee maker measurements have been adjusted by the industry to accommodate the coffee machine standard size and coffee cup volume.
You're probably one hundred percent sure that 8 oz equals one cup of coffee, but to reflect the fact that drinking 8 oz of coffee is more like drinking two mugs, coffee machine makers refer to one cup of coffee as 4 oz. Thus, when you are reading about French Press sizes, keep in mind that a two cup coffee maker really only makes approximately 8 ounces, or slightly less since the full pot can contain the listed capacity but the brewed amount winds up being slightly less. To help you understand the coffee cup pot size further, here's a short list of a few common French Press sizes along with their corresponding measurements in ounces and liters:
- 3 cups (11.8 ounces or 0.35 liters)
- 8 cups (33.8 ounces or 1 liter)
- 12 cups (50.7 ounces or 2 liters)
As you can see, it's important to consider the differences in the way regular cups and coffee cups are measured when determining which size French press to buy. Ideally, you want to choose a model that can make enough coffee for you and the other people in your home that usually have a cup or two along with you. The best way to make sure you're buying a large enough coffee maker is to compare the measurements to the dimensions of the mug that you typically use and use a division of two to find out how many of your personal mugs you can fill with the capacity of the French press coffee maker.
1 Cup French Press
If you've been wondering are all French presses the same, you might be surprised to learn that the size can actually affect the flavor of the coffee being brewed. A large French press will typically be filled with more fluid then a smaller French Press, which means it will take more time to heat all of the coffee. As a result, a small French press that only brews one cup provides two distinct advantages of faster brewing times and potentially more potent coffee due to a smaller amount of water being used. Of course, a one cup French press is also ideal for someone who usually only makes coffee for themselves. Finally, the last distinct benefit of using a one cup French press is that it makes the exact amount of coffee needed to match your coffee cup dimensions, and therefore it helps you conserve coffee.
2 Cup French Press
A two cup French press is the ideal choice for a couple or someone who knows that they will need an extra cup on standby. This is one of the most popular choices for single business professionals because most people know that one cup of coffee for the entire day is never quite enough when you've got a lot to do. If you're looking for a small French press that will give you just enough to make coffee for two people, the two cup French press would be your best bet.
3 Cup French Press
The 3 cup French press is probably the most popular among the average coffee drinkers of the world because it brews enough to satisfy the java cravings of a married couple or small group, and for the individual it leaves enough in the pot to give you a cold coffee later on. The 3 cup French Press is also commonly referred to as a 12 oz French Press due to the measurement rules mentioned above. If you have decided that a 3 cup French press would be ideal for your coffee-making needs, you can start the comparison by conducting a web search for the "best 3 cup French press" and go from there. That's a quick way to continue your research after using this guide to become familiar with the various French Press sizes that are available on the market.
16 oz French Press
The 16-ounce French press can brew about four cups of coffee and is an ideal size for a pair of heavy coffee drinkers, someone who uses a large mug or thermos, or even for individuals who don't mind re-heating some leftover coffee rather than making a new pot. The 16-ounce bodum French press is about half the size of the bodum French press 1 liter coffee makers. Below we'll discuss the difference between the standard French press and the bodum variety.
17 oz to Liters
The 17 Oz French Press makes roughly a half a liter of brewed coffee, which comes out to about two to four cups could you be able to drink, depending on the size of your mug. That should answer your question if you were wondering "0.5 liters equals how many cups". This makes it a common choice and also gives it a similar capacity to a standard coffee pot.
50 oz French Press
If you have a large family or household with three or more people who drink coffee, or you frequently make coffee for the people in your office or organization, a 50 Oz French press would be an ideal selection. Another less commonly seen size would be the 51 oz French press. Larger French presses are also ideal for campers and travelers because they can fill up multiple thermoses in the larger travel mug size.
Bodum French Press Sizes
The primary difference between a bodum Brazil French press and its standard counterparts can be seen in the housing that holds the glass carafe as well as the glass and steel components themselves. They're advertised as having "taste-free" glass and metal parts, which means that the coffee press itself won't impart any additional flavors into your brew. Many who have tried the difference will tell you that bodum French presses make cups of java that taste purer and more flavorful.
Another difference between bodum French presses and others is the zero-waste design which ensures that all the flavor-imparting oils stay in the coffee instead of accruing on the sides of the coffee maker and within the filter. The bodum design’s prevention of oil and grind residue also makes it easier to clean.
The 1-liter bodum French Press is considered to be the standard size, so this is the kind that you'll see most often in the kitchen of bodum coffee drinkers. It is advertised as making approximately 12 cups of coffee, but that number is only accurate when you're using small coffee mugs. If you use a larger travel mug or thermos, it will make closer to 4 to 8 mugs.
This is the most expensive kind of bodum French press, and some would say it's not always worth the extra expense since it only makes a half liter more. However, if you regularly make coffee for large groups or you prefer to have a pot full of cold coffee in your refrigerator, and you don't mind splurging to have a larger coffee maker, this size might be worth your consideration.
Some Extra Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Your French Press
Now that you know about the main sizes and types of French press coffee makers, here are a couple more tips to keep in mind:
Use Coarse Coffee Grinds - Since the French press uses an integrated metal coffee filter, it's best to avoid using finely ground coffee unless you don't mind getting some of the grounds into your cup. Using a very coarse ground coffee blend will serve two purposes - keeping your mug coffee grounds-free, and helping you press more flavorful oils out of the coffee due to the surface area of each grind being larger.
Choose Small French Presses for Faster Personal Brews and Large French Presses for Groups and Cold Brews - Small French presses are ideal for those who are on a budget and would like a faster coffee making process. On the other hand, larger presses are best for offices, large families, and individuals who prefer to make one pot and then store the leftover coffee cold.
With the advice given above, you should be able to start your French press comparison with the basic knowledge needed to make an informed buying decision.