French Press is a simple brewing tool that is one of the favorites among coffee drinkers around the world.
But today, when shopping for this French-style coffee maker, there are multiple variations in the design to choose from.
And one of the most fundamental ways in which you can categorize different types of French Press is according to the material it is constructed from, with metal and glass French Presses being the two most popular options.
Whether you are shopping for your first French Press or looking to replace an old one, the question of which one is better for you is probably brewing in your mind.
Read on to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each type so that you can make a confident decision about which one is a better fit for you.
What Is The French Press And Why To Use It?
The French Press is a popular manual brewing method widely accessible in most retail stores. Its popularity comes from an extremely easy way in which you can brew a tasty cup of coffee.
To make coffee using the French Press, all you need to do is just add coarsely ground coffee to the brewer, pour in hot water, let it steep for 5 minutes, push the plunger down, and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee.
This fool-proof method requires no filters, no complicated setup, or constant attention paid to the brewing process to produce a flavorful robust cup of coffee that the French Press brewer is known and loved for by coffee drinkers all around the world.
Buying A French Press: Glass Vs Metal?
You’ve finally decided to try out French Press or upgrade your old one, but the decisions don’t stop there. Which one is better, a glass or a metal French Press?
No need to panic. I am going to break down all the key differences between the two and go over the pros and cons of each type so that you can confidently decide which one is a better fit for you.
Glass French Press
A glass French coffee press is the common classic choice that people typically imagine when you mention the French Press.
While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest glass model option on the market, these French Presses are made of thin glass and are very easy to break.
The more fragile models can be harder to clean because of the high risk of breaking them, which is why investing in a top-rated French Press, such as Bodum, made of thicker resistant glass that will increase the longevity of your brewer, is crucial.
Most good quality French Presses are made from heatproof glass, which means they aren’t easy to break and can last you for years.
But since the glass is not indestructible, it is likely that you’ll see your French Press cracked eventually.
Arguably, one of the biggest advantages of a glass French Press, and also the main reason why the fans of the glass version of this brewer will never switch to the metal one, is that you get the visual pleasure of seeing the coffee brewed in real-time.
Seeing what’s happening inside the brewer can enhance the coffee-making experience, which is something you can only get from this best glass coffee percolator.
- Classic elegant look
- Affordable option
- You can watch the coffee brewing
- Doesn’t need to be preheated
- More prone to breaking
- Doesn’t keep your coffee warm for very long
Metal French Press
If durability is a concern for you and you’re looking for a sturdy French Press that will last you for a long time, it is a good reason to select stainless steel French Press over the elegant glass model.
The increased durability also makes this version a great travel companion that you can throw in your luggage or a car and take with you on your trip without having to worry about breaking it.
Although it needs to be preheated to brew a balanced cup of coffee, it also preserves temperature better than the glass version.
The biggest downfall of the metal model is that you miss out on the visual aspect of the brewing process and you won’t be able to see what’s happening on the inside even with the best stainless French press.
It comes with a higher price tag but with its increased longevity, the investment can potentially save you money in the long run by reducing the risk of having to replace it because of breakage. This is why most specialty cafes opt for the best stainless steel cafeterie.
Most models today are constructed from 18/8 or 18/10 stainless steel, which contains chromium on the inside, which makes the material non-reactive to the coffee, thus having no effect on the taste in your cup.
Some stainless steel French Press coffee makers’ reviews report that they’ve observed a difference in taste, which can be caused by improper cleaning. Make sure you pay attention to cleaning and scrub your stainless steel press with hot soapy water after every use.
In this category, there are also some brewers, such as Bodum stainless coffee press, that have advanced features such as being double-walled and vacuum insulated to keep your coffee hot for hours while staying cool to touch.
Bodum stainless French Press also features a unique plunger with smaller holes that filter more sediment out of your cup as well as stop extraction after plunging and prevent your coffee from turning bitter if you leave it there for longer.
- Extreme durability and longevity
- Keeps coffee hot for longer
- Portable and travel-friendly
- Can include advanced features
- No visuals - you can’t see what’s happening inside
- Preheating required
- Higher price
Which One Is A Better Fit For You?
When it comes to the ease of brewing and the taste of coffee, there is no winner between the two and both the metal and glass French Press will produce a similar cup of coffee. That’s why the decision comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle.
If you’re looking for a brewer that you can take on your adventures and be confident that it won’t break, or you want to make sure that the coffee stays hot throughout the whole morning, the metal French Press is a better choice for you.
While if you appreciate watching your coffee being brewed inside your French Press, plan to mostly use it at home and typically drink the coffee way before there is a need to worry about it getting cold, a glass french press will suit you perfectly.
Alternatively, you can explore further options such as a ceramic French Press that will perform well in retaining heat and won’t absorb flavors. But more on that another time.