While many people enjoy the modern chic and sleek look of appliances, there are others who prefer a more old-fashioned type of décor. There’s nothing wrong with either preference, but it can sometimes be difficult to achieve a vintage aesthetic these days.
If you’re interested in creating a classical atmosphere in your home, you might be surprised to learn that you can at least partly achieve that goal with your coffee maker. We’ll show you how in this list of the best vintage French presses.
Best Vintage French Presses
Right away on our search for vintage French presses, this Francois et Mimi version caught our eye. We think it will catch yours, too, thanks to its clearly antique-inspired design.
With its sculpted handle and pointed plunger knob, this French press would look right at home in a classic-style kitchen. Furthermore, its gleaming stainless steel exterior is both durable and attractive.
At the end of the day, you even have the option of cleaning it up in your dishwasher. Making a fresh pot of coffee couldn’t get any more stylish and convenient.
- Capacity: 34 oz.
- Material: Stainless steel.
- Double-Walled Insulation: Due to its double stainless steel walls, the French press preserves the temperature of your coffee for a long time.
- No-Drip Spout: The spout is designed to prevent dribbles so you don’t end up with messy coffee splatters on your table or counter.
- Classic Design: There’s no denying the antique-like look of this gorgeous French press, which is perfect for vintage décor.
Read Also: Best Double Wall French Press
Secura is another company that makes beautiful stainless steel French presses. We think this one demonstrates a homey vintage quality nicely.
Although it looks classic, it includes features that make it conveniently modern. For one thing, the handle and plunger knob both use technology that ensures they stay safe to touch even when the press is filled with hot coffee.
For another, the filter on the plunger has an impressive three layers. You could even add an extra layer with the included bonus stainless steel screen, lowering the odds of grounds pouring into your cup.
- Capacity: 17, 34, or 50 oz.
- Material: Stainless steel.
- Three-Layered Filtration: Three layers of filtration means a smooth, granule-free cup of coffee time after time.
- Cool Handle and Knob: You can safely pour out of the press at any time because the handle and plunger knob remain cool.
- Dishwasher-Safe: When you’re finished brewing your coffee, just toss the press in your dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Bored of the look of stainless steel? Fortunately, vintage doesn’t have to mean stainless steel, as you can see from this retro Yakalla French Press Coffee Maker.
The glass and brown accents call to mind an older time. Plus, the scale lines on the outside of the press simplify the process of measuring out water and grounds for brewing.
As an added bonus, you’ll get a cleaning brush and measuring spoon with this French press. The cleaning brush makes it simple to clean it out after brewing, and the measuring spoon will help you precisely measure exactly as much coffee as you need.
- Capacity: 34 oz.
- Material: Borosilicate glass and stainless steel.
- Cleaning Brush: Includes a complimentary cleaning sponge brush that’s perfect for immaculately cleaning out the interior of the French press.
- Measuring Spoon: Comes with a measuring spoon so you can quickly measure out servings of coffee.
- Scale Lines: With scale lines painted on the press, you’ll always know precisely how much water to add.
Many people choose glass or stainless steel French presses to avoid plastic. If you’d like to see more examples of non-plastic French presses, you can take a look at our list here.
The Bodum Chambord French press is one that has inspired numerous others. You’ll find many like it on the market today that can be traced back to the design of this very model.
Its appearance is incredibly simple. It doesn’t need flashy patterns or accents to make a statement. Additionally, you can purchase it in multiple colors that each have their own charm.
- Capacity: 12, 17, 34, or 51 oz.
- Material: Plastic, borosilicate glass, and stainless steel.
- Color Options: Because it’s sold in several colors, there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for your home.
- Dishwasher-Safe: Save time on the cleanup phase by running this French press through a cycle in your dishwasher.
Le Creuset has created a well-deserved reputation for themselves when it comes to high-quality home stoneware. This stunning stoneware French press demonstrates that quality well.
On top of that, you really can’t get much more classic than stoneware. If you like the natural look and feel of handmade appliances, this French press is for you.
You can even get this impressive piece in either cerise or deep teal. This increases the visual appeal of the press, as you can choose the color that best matches your décor.
- Capacity: 34 oz.
- Material: Stoneware.
- Dishwasher-Safe: Don’t have time to wash up after brewing coffee? That’s no problem with this press, as it can safely go in your dishwasher.
- Handmade Design: The handmade design of this French press ensures that it is truly unique.
- Non-Porous Enamel Finish: The finish on this press is more than beautiful – it prevents the press from retaining odors from your coffee or becoming chipped with age.
Read Also: Best Unique French Press
Are you searching for a French press with a bit more style? We think this Poliviar French press could be a perfect fit for you, then.
The beaker is made from stainless steel, but you probably couldn’t tell due to the paint job. From a distance, you could easily mistake it for something painstakingly handcrafted from ceramic.
This rustic look is completed by the use of a handle and plunger knob made from teak wood. However, looks aren’t the only reason why the wood is so useful. Another benefit to the wooden handles is they don’t transfer heat like metal or glass do, so you can safely touch them while pouring fresh coffee.
- Capacity: 34 oz.
- Material: Stainless steel and wood.
- Teak Handle and Knob: The teak plunger knob and handle lend a rustic feel to this French press.
- Multiple Colors: You have several colors to choose from, giving you more options to find something that appeals to you.
- Double Wall Insulation: With its double-walled design, your hot liquids are kept at a stable temperature longer.
Important French Press Parts
Plunger and Lid
If it weren’t for the plunger and lid of your French press, it would just be another pitcher. This is the star part when it comes to brewing coffee.
After a period that usually lasts from 4-6 minutes, you press the plunger knob gradually down. This causes it to descend inside the beaker, capturing your floating coffee grounds with its filters and driving them to the bottom.
Almost all plungers and filters are made from stainless steel. This is for the best, as stainless steel is resistant to rusting.
Your beaker is the other important aspect to the simplistic French press. After all, it’s the container that allows your grounds to steep.
There are a few qualities that might set it apart from the average pitcher. For instance, it should have a wide pour spout designed to prevent spills and possibly measuring lines internally or externally. Furthermore, the material it’s made from could have a huge impact on your brewing.
How to Choose the Right French Press for You
We said just above that the material of your French press is crucial to daily use. That’s a statement we’ll stand by, and we’ll explain why in more detail here.
There are a small handful of common French press materials: stainless steel, ceramic, glass, and plastic. Every material has its own benefits.
Stainless steel is the toughest type of material to choose. In other words, if you want an unbreakable French press for travel or just to be cautious, stainless steel is likely your best bet. It’s also great at maintaining the warmth of your coffee because it’s often well-insulated.
Ceramic is another solid choice. If you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind French press, you may want to consider it simply because of finishes used on ceramic that beautify it. It doesn’t hurt that these presses are often made by hand and fired at high temperatures for increased durability, either.
Glass looks appealing and fits in with the vintage theme. What’s more, it allows you to see inside the French press, so you can tell with nothing more than a look how much coffee is left. However, it’s also more fragile than the other materials.
If you’d think plastic would be the most common material for French presses simply because of how cheap it is, you’d be surprised. You’ll find plastic French presses occasionally because they’re affordable and won’t shatter, but this isn’t the most popular material out there.
Have you ever been disappointed by your freshly made, steaming-hot coffee going cold too quickly? Then what you’ll need to look into for any prospective French press is its insulation.
Material could come into play in this regard. Stainless steel with double walls is a popular design for French presses because it seals in the heat.
Ceramic is also oftentimes insulated with non-porous finishes. Because these finishes don’t have tiny holes in them, the warmth of your coffee is preserved for longer than many other alternatives.
Glass is quite possibly the worst material when it comes to insulation. If you want your coffee to stay hot for as long as possible, we’d suggest considering other materials. On the other hand, if you’re going to drink it up quickly every time, there’s no reason why you couldn’t go with a glass press.
In this list, we chose to define vintage as how the French press looks. We hand-selected models that we felt had a look reminiscent of bygone eras, suitable for classical-style settings.
However, even by that definition, you have plenty of options to choose from. If there’s a particular color or design you’re looking for, you absolutely should take that into consideration.
Read Also: Best Yellow French Press
French presses might make brewing coffee easy, but there’s one big drawback to them: they often leave gritty coffee grounds in your drink. For that reason, most French press fans are familiar with the process of always leaving the last sip of coffee, as it’s typically full of silt.
To prevent this from being a regular occurrence, you should pay attention to the filtration design of each French press. As a rule of thumb, you can consider more layers of filters to be better. A single mesh filter could be fine, but two is even more thorough.
Vintage doesn’t have to mean dysfunctional or purely decorative. We hope we demonstrated that with the high-quality French presses on this list.
In our opinion, the clear winner is the Secura French Press Coffee Maker. Aside from looking stylishly old-fashioned, it’s insulated to lock in the heat of your coffee and it comes with an extra filter. Stack the filter on top of the other mesh screen to lead to consistently smooth cups of coffee whenever you need them.