The french press was the very first brew method I discovered and explored with. It seemed like a good, well-rounded investment, and it was. My college roommate and I first experimented with a generic brand press that was owned by my buddy’s parents, and we quickly discovered that we each wanted one of our own desperately. I ended up buying a red Bodum Brazil 8-Cup French Press.
The Bodum Brazil French Press
The Bodum Brazil is a press pot that has withstood the test of time and is now one of the most respected french presses in the world. The specialty coffee community is in love with it and its sister model, the Bodum Chambord, because they are both simple to use, and very effective in producing a great cup of coffee.
The Brazil itself is made up of a glass carafe, plastic casing, a metal rod, and a filter which is two layers of mesh. The glass will last a long time unless you’re careless. In the event of it breaking, Bodum sells replacement carafes all over the place, but they’re slightly expensive. So be careful with the glass by not using metal spoons or carrying it with slippery hands.
The plastic does a fine job and is very heat resistant. The lid connects to handle in a strange way that doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s no inconvenience. The metal rod connects the plastic sphere above the lid to the mesh filter. This allows the filter to be pressed down easily and evenly from above. And that’s a brief summary of the french press!
How The Press Works
The french press uses the immersion method for brewing. This basically means that the water and coffee grounds maintain contact throughout the brewing time.
The alternative would be the pour over method, where the water drips through immediately instead of staying. Using a french press creates a bold, well-rounded cup of coffee and is preferred by many.
After allowing the coffee and water to sit for a time, the mesh filter is pressed down, discontinuing the steeping process and separating the grounds from the final drink.
My preferred brewing recipe goes like this:
- Collect 20g of coffee (coarsely ground)
- Measure 340ml of water (hot)
- Combine in the press and set a timer for 4:00
- After 1:00, gently stir the grounds at the top that form a “crust” to ensure every coffee ground is well-saturated for an even brew
- After 4:00, gently push down the plunger and pour out your fresh coffee
For a more in-depth look at our french press brewing process and additional tips, check out our French Press Guide.
Which Size: 12, 34, or 51 Ounce?
This model of french press has a few options for size. This is how I generally help people decide which one to buy.
- 12 Ounce — A small press that’s only for one person. This will make a single cup of coffee, and no more.
- 34 Ounce — This is the “standard” french press size, capable of making anywhere from 1-3 cups of coffee. Get this if you’d like to be able to make a pot for a couple friends every now and then.
- 51 Ounce — This extra-large press makes up to 5 cups of coffee in one brewing session, but it’s bulky as a result. Get this if you’re brewing for the whole family, but if you’re just making coffee for 1-2 people at a time, it’s probably overkill.
Let’s Talk About The Aesthetics…
I’ll be the first to admit that the Bodum Brazil is not the most impressive thing to look at. The bright red of the plastic probably wouldn’t make it in any modern design magazines (the black might) – you’re more likely to find an ESPRO Press or a POLIVIAR press among the most aethstically-savvy.
Still, the Brazil french press has its charm. It’s simple, unassuming, and fits nicely in the average kitchen that leverages a black or red-filled design.
If you need a press that’ll make you feel supurbly sophisticated each morning, you might want to opt for a more expensive model. But if the down-to-earth appeal of the Bodum Brazil – and the matching price tag – fit your fancy, you can’t beat this french press at the intersection of function, value, and quality.
As a brew method, the french press is amazing, and I suggest it to anyone who’s getting into specialty coffee. To take advantage of this incredible method, I strongly recommend Bodum’s Brazil French Press.
The usable design, durability of the parts, reasonable price, and reputation of Bodum as a great business make the Brazil french press an excellent buy.