Ceramic vs Glass French Press Coffee Maker. Which is Better?

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In making a good brew of coffee without the expense of a machine a French Press is one way that a lot of people enjoy. But what’s best… a ceramic or a glass French press? Here I look at the pros and cons of ceramic vs glass French press coffee makers to help you decide.

Best ceramic french press

The following table displays a selection of some best ceramic French press options, for you to compare.

ItemTypeShop*

EDITORS PICK
Ceramic French Press Coffee Maker. With Natural Bamboo. BPA-FREE. Modern Design. Food Safe. 4-Cups Capacity. Matte Dark Gray. by Vianté
Vianté

Bamboo handles
Modern look
BPA-FREE
4 cup
View!

Chantal Stoneware French Press with Stainless Steel Plunger and Lid, 16 ounce capacity, White
Chantal

Stainless steel lid
2 cups

View!

Made With Love Matte Black 32 ounce Ceramic Stoneware Coffee French Press
Made With Love

Oak wood lid
4 cup

View!

Le Creuset Stoneware French Press, 34-Ounce, Artichaut
Le Creuset

Glazed look
4 cup
View!

Ceramic French Press with Bamboo Sleeve - 400 ml (Black)
Daybreak Young

Single serve pot
1 large cup or mug size
Bamboo sleeve
Stainless steel filter
View!
*at Amazon

A ceramic French Press will hold the heat for longer and is less susceptible to thermal shock than fragile glass types. But there’s something special about the glass French Press…

What is a French press?

A French press is a device for brewing coffee. In some parts of the world, e.g. New Zealand and Australia, it is called a coffee plunger.

The names ‘press’ and ‘plunger’ come from the way the coffee is made. A French press (AKA coffee plunger) is a cylindrical pitcher with a press (or plunger). Ground coffee beans are added to the unit and boiled water poured over them. After brewing for a few minutes, the press is then used to extract a full-flavored coffee brew.

As a critical part of the appliance, the press pushes the coffee grains to the base separating the ground beans from the brewed beverage that’s then ready to serve direct from the press. Something else: In a French press, you can also make perfect tea!

Why are French press coffee makers made of glass?

I’ll give you that glass is the most common material used in French Presses. Manufacturers use glass in these devices because it is affordable and appeals to many who enjoy seeing the brewing of coffee and the contents through the clear walls of the pitcher.

Glass is also the traditional look with these coffee makers and has a place in history, especially with the classic design of the French press, namely the Chambord classic. Tradition has a certain influence on buyers.

Glass is also easy to clean and you can conveniently see whether the press has been adequately cleaned or not. But more over, there is just something gratifying about seeing the coffee brew through a glass French press while waiting to be served.

Are ceramic French presses better?

The advantages of pure ceramic in cookware also hold true for ceramic coffee plungers (AKA French presses). I wrote about these great properties in my article comparing ceramic with other cookware materials.

The main beauty of ceramic here is that it retains temperature well and is robust. The beverage will stay hot for much longer when contained in ceramic than in most other materials including glass. And, not only will you be confident your coffee will remain hot for longer, but you’ll also feel assured that the brew is not likely to leak or suddenly gush from a fragile unit.

Glass has advantages, as mentioned above, nonetheless it is quite fragile. Glass does not travel well. And a glass coffee press will crack more readily than a ceramic one with rapid temperature change.

I’ve unfortunately had this happen to me where the glass cracked after I inadvertently added post-boiling water to a French press that was sitting on a cold stone countertop. Tip: Always place your French press on a cork mat or something similar to avoid the possibility of damage from thermal shock.

Bottom line — Does type of French press matter?

French press types include designs made from ceramic and glass (as well as stainless steel). They all have advantages and disadvantages and each bring a certain appeal to the kitchen and table. The most common material is glass, which is more affordable, but alas, the easiest to crack and has poor heat retention. Ceramic is certainly a worthy option to consider.

The best ceramic presses are made from natural materials, such as clay that has been fired at high temperatures and then glazed. The ceramic design is a way of keeping your coffee hot for longer more so than other types of French presses. It resists thermal shock and is more robust than the fragile glass types.

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