Take the plunge and make a better cup of coffee with these stylish and convenient cafetières
If you want a simple way to make a decent cup of coffee, the best cafetière is an excellent tool to have in your kitchen arsenal. Also known as a French press, a cafetière merely requires you to spoon in your ground coffee, top up with boiled water, then place the filter lid on top and leave for a few minutes before plunging it to take the grounds to the bottom. The coffee is then ready to pour and drink.
The best cafetiéres have a sturdy plunger and base. They should leave you with pure, ground-free coffee, and they should be easy to pour from. Different models will come in different sizes and materials, and more expensive versions will even have double-insulated walls so your coffee stays hot for a really long time.
With so many cafetières available, which one should you choose? That’s where we come in. Our round-up brings you the best cafetières on the market, to cater for all tastes and all budgets. Don’t forget to take a look at our buying guide as well, to find out what to look for before splashing out.
Best cafetière: At a glance
- Best classic cafetière: Bodum Chambord French Press | £31 (1L)
- Best double walled cafetière: John Lewis Double Wall Steel cafetière | £25 (350ml)
- Most stylish ceramic cafetière: Le Creuset Stoneware cafetière | £65 (1l)
- Best glass cafetiere: Barista & Co Plastic Free cafetière | £27 (350ml)
- Best small cafetière alternative: Barista & Co One Brew | £18 (350ml)
How to choose the best cafetière for you
What types of cafetière are there?
Most cafetières have two main parts: a cylinder or beaker and a filter that fits tightly inside the cylinder, which is attached to the lid by a pole running through, with a plunger at the top. Push down when the coffee is ready to drink, and the filter pushes down on the coffee grounds, leaving you with grounds-free, tasty coffee. The filter is usually stainless-steel wire or nylon mesh, although more traditional ones can be made of cheesecloth (though this is rare these days).
What features should I look for?
Consider what you want the cylinder to be made of, with options including plastic (good for the clumsy), glass (the most common), stoneware (good for modernists) or stainless steel (keeps coffee hotter for longer). Double walls are great if you want your coffee to stay hot for much longer periods or, if you want your coffee on the go, consider a travel version with a sealable lid – a bit like a Thermos with added coffee-making powers. Don’t forget washing up: many of today’s cafetières have dishwasher-friendly parts.
What size should I buy?
Cafetières come in different sizes and they can be measured in litre size or by cup size. The 350ml version makes one large mug, two smaller mugs or three cups. You can also buy ones that make six cups, which are usually 650ml in size. The one-litre versions are a good family size or for entertaining as it makes about eight cups. Nowadays you can get everything in between, too, from four cups right up to 12 cups. We’d always suggest going for slightly bigger than you’ll need as most of us are used to big coffees, and you might be surprised at just how small one cup is in the cafetiére world. With this in mind, and to be precise, we’ve specified the sizes of the cafetières in our roundup below in mililitres and litres.
What kind of coffee should I use and how much?
Most people prefer a coarser grind for a cafetière as finer grounds brewed in a cafetière can taste a bit bitter. That’s because cafetières bring out the strong and intense flavour of coffee. If you prefer fragrant coffee, look for African coffee, which is fruity and light but doesn’t tend to be mixed with milk. South American coffee is darker and nuttier, and if you like your coffee with a serious kick, go for dark roast coffee – the cafetière will bring out the bitter intensity.
As for how much you use, it will depend on the strength of coffee and the strength you personally like your drink. As a rough guide, use 6g (about three tablespoons) of coffee per 100ml. If you’re a real coffee lover, be prepared to try different coffees, grinds and brew times to work out your favourite blend.
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The best cafetières you can buy in 2023
1. Barista & Co Plastic Free Cafetière: Best glass cafetière
Price: From £27 (350ml) | Buy now from Amazon
The plastic-free design of this cafetière from Barista & Co makes it a great sustainable choice for a guilt-free brew. It’s made primarily from glass with steel components and looks very stylish indeed. What’s more, it’s available in a wide choice of colours including natural steel, black, copper and teal.
Prior to reviewing, we were a little sceptical about the glass beaker handle but in testing, found it very sturdy and easy to pour with. A few other handy features include ml measurements on the side of the beaker and a 360 degree cylinder filter, meaning you don’t have to align it with the spout. The only tiny niggle worth mentioning is that the lid has a rather loose fit on the beaker, but this doesn’t impair plunging or pouring in a huge way.
Key features – Sizes available: 350ml, 1l; Cylinder: Glass, stainless steel; Double-wall: No
2. Bodum Chambord French Press: Best classic cafetière
Price: £31 (1l) | Buy now from Amazon
When you think of cafetières, you probably think of Bodum, and with good reason. The company has been making French presses for decades since it created the original Chambord in the 1950s. Several design tweaks later, but exhibiting the same craftsmanship as was evident in the original, the modern Chambord is a thing of beauty. The steel frame and lid are plated several times over so it stays shiny through intense use, while its brewing system remains reliably simple and secure.
This latest incarnation has a hinged lid and a spill-resistant silicone seal that holds the coffee in the pot if you accidentally knock it over. It presses using an efficient three-part stainless-steel mesh filter, is dishwasher-safe, and will keep your freshly brewed coffee hot for at least 10 minutes.
Key features – Sizes available: 350ml, 500ml, 1l, 1.5l; Cylinder: Borosilicate glass; Double-wall: No
3. Barista & Co. One Brew: Best small cafetiere alternative
Price: £18 (350ml) | Buy now from Amazon
While it’s not a french press at all, strictly speaking, Barista & Co’s One Brew deserves a spot in our roundup. The brewing process is actually very similar. Rather, the main difference is the omission of the cafetière’s all-important plunger. Instead, the One Brew’s silicone seal and stainless steel filter ensure that no grounds escape into your cup.
As Barista & Co. claims, the One Brew is actually a four-in-one brewer, working just as well for cold brew, loose leaf tea and iced tea as it does for regular hot coffee. While this is true, it’s not a perk that’s necessarily exclusive to the One Brew. In fact, there’s nothing to say you can’t make tea with any of the cafetiere’s on our list.
However, if you find cleaning that filter a bit of a fiddly chore, then the One Brew definitely does have one up on the french press as it’s very easy to clean. As the name suggests, you can only make one cup at a time, but if this isn’t an issue, you’ll be pleased with its neat, minimalist design.
Key features – Sizes available: 350ml; Cylinder: Glass; Double-wall: No
4. John Lewis Double Wall Stainless Steel cafetière: Best double walled cafetière
Price: £25 (350ml) | Buy now from John Lewis
A double walled cafetiere such as this one is a good investment for two reasons. Firstly, it’ll keep your coffee hot for longer (perfect for lazy mornings) and secondly, it’s made from a sturdy stainless steel which, compared to glass, is much less likely to crack or break. The thickset handle also feels sturdy when in use and the entire thing is dishwasher safe too.
This cafetière comes in two sizes: the standard 3 cup (350ml) pictured above or an 8 cup (1 litre), which will set you back an extra £10. If you often share a cafetière with friends and family or just drink a lot of coffee, we’d definitely recommend going for the 8-cup version.
Key features – Sizes available: 350ml, 800ml, 1l; Cylinder: Stainless steel; Double-wall: Yes
5. Le Creuset Stoneware cafetière: Best ceramic cafetière for style
Price: £65 (1l) | Buy now from John Lewis
The Le Creuset option is a handsome one. The thick-walled, ceramic coffee pot insulates beautifully to keep coffee hot for lingering debates around the dinner table and has a durable stainless steel filter and plunger, along with chrome detailing. It’s also available as a smaller, 350ml version and the range of colours for both is vast and you can match against other pieces in the Le Creuset range of kitchenware.
Your choices include pastel pink, almond, flint and the more traditional volcanic orange, just to name a few, and like all Le Creuset stoneware, it’s scratch-resistant and a breeze to clean.
Key features – Sizes available: 350ml, 1l; Cylinder: Stoneware; Double-wall: No; Guarantee: 10 years
6. Stelton Theo French Press: Best stoneware cafetière
Price: £74 (800ml) | Buy now from Amazon
Minimalist and modern Scandinavian designs lend themselves well to cafetières. This one is designed by Francis Cayouette for the Danish label Stelton and makes a nice change from the usual glass and steel. There’s more than a hint of Asian influence going on here, particularly with the stoneware and bamboo, making it one to display with pride in your kitchen – and there are handle-less cups, a sugar bowl and jug to match if you fancy having a set.
Don’t panic about the bamboo lid getting ruined – there’s a plastic barrier between the lid and coffee, but whatever you do don’t immerse it in water to wash up as it’s as absorbent as it looks.
Key features – Sizes available: 800ml; Cylinder: Stone; Double-wall: No
7. Stellar Matt Double Wall Insulated cafetière: The most striking and shiniest cafetière
Price: £38 (325ml) | Buy now from Amazon
This Stellar cafetière has a gorgeous polished stainless steel finish and is available in a huge range of sizes, from three cups right up to a whopping 1.4l. It’s more durable than glass-carafe French presses, and we love the smooth-action plunger.
You can buy replacements for the filter in the unlikely event that it ever wears out. The double wall works a treat for keeping the coffee hot, which is fabulous if you want a cup to last you through reading the newspapers. The design is simple, striking and shiny and will go with all manner of kitchen decors.
Key features – Sizes available: 325ml, 900ml, 1.2l and 1.4l; Cylinder: Stainless steel; Double-wall: Yes; Guarantee: Lifetime