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12 best cafetieres to brew your morning cup the French way

Take the plunge with these stainless steel, ceramic and glass presses

Bess Browning
Thursday 10 March 2022 10:21
<p>We paid special attention to whether these jugs kept our coffee steamy throughout the morning</p>

We paid special attention to whether these jugs kept our coffee steamy throughout the morning

The sweet aroma of coffee drifting through your kitchen in the morning is at its best when from a cafetiere.

Although many have turned to elaborate bean-to-cup or pod machines for their caffeine fix, the French press has remained a champion in the coffee market. They’re durable, easy to use, make affordable cups of Joe, they’re perfect for sharing with friends, and many of them look pretty stylish on your kitchen worktop too.

If you’re not familiar with the cafetiere, it is a large jug, which varies from glass to ceramic to stainless steel, with a mesh plunger to push unruly coffee grains to the bottom of the carafe – which means they don’t end up in your cup.

The art of the cafetiere is that, unlike the expensive cup from a cafe or straight from a machine, you make the call on how strong your coffee will be, using your preferred spoonful of ground coffee. So pop your coffee in, wait around three to four minutes and then take the plunge.

They come in a range of different sizes, from one cup to as many as 12 – but you’ll find that the “cups” they’re referring to are fairly small, not a large mug size. And of course, there’s a range of different prices too, so we’ve made sure to include a cafetiere for every budget.

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How we tested

We used one of our favourite independent coffee brands, Lost Sheep Coffee which produces bags of fresh ground coffee, especially for cafetieres, alongside beans and ground coffee for espresso machines and filter coffee. For testing, we used Lost Sheep Coffee’s get to the hopper (£7.95, Lostsheepcoffee.com) and El Salvador las mercedes (£9.50, Lostsheepcoffee.com) blends.

From the cafetieres, we were looking for a strong yet smooth and no-mess plunge, a non-dribble pour and a jug that kept our coffee warm through the morning. We also tested the durability of each product, whether it required a hand wash or dishwasher and how much mess it created. For each taste test, we waited around four minutes before pressing the coffee and pouring into a small cup. These are the hottest buys right now.

The best cafetieres for 2022 are:

  • Best buy – Barista & Co eight-cup core coffee press: £35, Whittard.co.uk
  • Best for busy households – VonShef six-cup cafetiere: £24.99, Vonhaus.com
  • Best for durability – ProCook double-walled stainless steel six-cup cafetiere: £29, Procook.co.uk
  • Best for big groups – Stellar double-walled 12-cup cafetiere: £79, Horwood.co.uk
  • Best luxurious design – Royal Doulton Coffee Studio 1.5litre: £48, Dunelm.com
  • Best ceramic – Le Creuset, 1litre: £62, Lecreuset.co.uk
  • Best for colour-matching sets – La Cafetiere Barcelona six-cup ceramic cafetiere: £35.29, Cookserveenjoy.com
  • Best for small kitchens – Dunelm’s three-cup coffee press: £14, Dunelm.com
  • Best for basic – John Lewis & Partners anyday eight- cup cafetiere: £10, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for coffee and tea drinkers – Barista and Co one brew 350ml: £26.99, Lakeland.co.uk
  • Best for smooth plunging – Judge eight-cup glass cafetiere: £39, Horwood.co.uk
  • Best value – ProCook eight-cup glass cafetiere: £19, Procook.co.uk

Barista & Co eight-cup core coffee press

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

This one ticked a lot of boxes for us. Firstly, it’s plastic free and sustainably made. Its copper design and attractive polka-dotted indents around the rim made it one of the best-looking cafetieres, particularly the glass ones which are so often laden with plastic. The knob on the lid was bigger than some of the others which meant pressing the coffee grains was easier and smoother, and the handle was the ideal size for pouring. The glass is dishwasher safe but the base, lid and filter will need handwashing. This is a great all-rounder for sustainability, aesthetics, pressing and cleaning, which makes it our best buy.

VonShef six-cup cafetiere

Best: For busy households

Rating: 7/10

This super stylish stainless steel cafetiere kept our coffee hot for a long time, yet its double-walled material means the outside, including the handle, stays cool to touch. We thought this was on the small side for a six-cup, but its pour and plunge were smooth and every component can go in the dishwasher.

We think this is a perfect option for someone who is busily working from home – your coffee will keep warm through the morning and it’s super quick to clean. It comes with a very handy measuring spoon which doubles up as a sealing clip to tightly fasten away your bags of coffee. The brand is currently offering a bundle promotion with Costa Coffee, where you can receive a discount on the ground coffee with every purchase too.

ProCook double-walled stainless steel six-cup cafetiere

Best: For durability

Rating: 8/10

A tall and sleek cafetiere with stunning curvature around the lid, this one is made from a mirror finish stainless steel and the high quality shines through. Again, this has a double-walled insulated design so the coffee stays hotter for longer and we noticed it stayed warm for a good few hours. We loved the look of this one and while it was one of the heavier products, including both the plunger, lid and jug itself, it is definitely the most durable.

Stellar double-walled 12-cup cafetiere

Best: For big groups

Rating: 9/10

The ultimate party pleaser. Bring the Stellar 12-cup cafetiere out to the table at the end of the night and your guests will be thrilled. This one has a unique, argon-welded spout made for dribble free pouring, which we were keen to try out. It really worked – there wasn’t a single splash. The press glided through the jug a lot better than the other two stainless steel options we tested and the filter worked well to eradicate any grains, even from the 12th and final cup. This one is dishwasher safe too, although you’ll need to make a fair bit of room for it.

Royal Doulton Coffee Studio 1.5l

Best: Luxurious design

Rating: 9/10

We loved the design of this French press – tall and sleek with a grey, dip-dye colouring and a cream lid with a stainless steel knob – it could even double up as a vase. The plunger was incredibly smooth and not too fiddly to dismantle for washing. It was a slightly thinner ceramic so didn’t keep warm for an elongated time, but its 1.5l size makes it a great option to serve straightaway to a group of friends gathered around the coffee table.

Le Creuset, 1litre

Best: Ceramic cafetiere

Rating: 9/10

It’s the kitchenwear we all desire – the Le Creuset range has been superior since its inception almost 100 years ago. We were lucky enough to try out the Le Creuset stoneware cafetiere. The gorgeous jug is available in a rainbow of different colours and the bright coloured enamel and the classic, three-ringed rimmed top and stainless steel knob make it instantly recognisable as the famous French brand. It kept our coffee warm for well over an hour and the pour was flawless. Although one of the heavier products, it is still fairly easy to handwash as it has just the two components. Plus, the stoneware is scratch-proof.

La Cafetiere Barcelona six-cup ceramic cafetiere

Best: Colour matching sets

Rating: 7/10

We loved the glossy coating on this one and its short and wide stature. It has a lovely, chunky handle and its pour is slightly different from the rest, making for precise pouring. As with the other ceramics, it’s quite heavy but a perfect centrepiece for the kitchen table. It is also part of the really attractive Barcelona collection, which means you can match your cafetiere with a set – teapot, mug, cups and saucers are all available.

Dunelm three-cup coffee press

Best: For small kitchens

Rating: 7/10

This teeny tiny, three-cup cafetiere from Dunelm is pretty stylish for its £14 price tag and it came equipped with a measuring spoon. It felt sturdy and poured nicely but might be pushing it for a three-cup. It’s not dishwasher safe, but it was really easy to handwash.

John Lewis & Partners anyday eight- cup cafetiere

Best: Basic cafetiere

Rating: 8/10

John Lewis is known for its upmarket products, but some may not know about its fantastic Anyday range which has a catalogue of essentials at affordable prices. This is one of a number of products in the range and despite its inexpensive price, it seemed hardwearing as the glass and plastic appeared strong, and it poured and plunged well. For a basic cafetiere, this is perfect.

Barista and Co one brew 350ml

Best: For coffee and tea drinkers

Rating: 7/10

For something a bit different, this snazzy device acts as both a cafetiere and a tea infuser, so if you drink both throughout the day, this is for you. It’s compact so it’s a good one to take on the commute and into the office, and it was really easy to clean, despite any coffee grains or tea leaves lingering. It doesn’t keep the water warm for too long though, but it’s ideal for a one brew wonder.

Judge eight-cup glass cafetiere

Best: For smooth plunging

Rating: 8/10

This industrial-looking cafetiere comes in metallic colours, copper and silver, and had the smoothest plunging of all of the cafetieres we tried, and was more true to its eight-cup sizing. While the outer shield is metal, the handle stays completely cool and it has a non-dribble pour. The whole product is completely dishwasher safe too making it very easy to clean.

ProCook eight-cup glass cafetiere

Best: Value

Rating: 8/10

Unlike a lot of the glass cafetieres, this doesn’t have the usual clunky plastic casing – instead it’s pure glass with a stainless steel lid and knob. It looks great and, even better, it’s double walled like its stainless steel counterparts, meaning our coffee stayed hot a lot longer than some of the other glass cafetieres we tried. And at just £19, it’s a real bargain.

The verdict: Cafetieres

There are hundreds of cafetieres on the market and it was tough to whittle down the range to our favourites. It is best to first choose the material you want before making the purchase. What suits your needs, budget and style?

If you’re going for a ceramic, the Le Creuset is worth splashing out on and while the stainless steel options don’t look as aesthetically pleasing as the ceramic, they keep your drink warm for such a long time. That’s why the Barista & Co coffee press topped our list because of its all-round high quality.

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