One of the benefits of having a coffee website is that occasionally people send you free things in exchange for publicly sharing your opinion. Recently Cafe Deluxe sent us one of their 1 liter French presses, and we’ve enjoyed testing it over the last couple of weeks.
The first thing we noticed when we unpacked the Cafe Deluxe French Press was the smart design. The stainless steel lid is sleek with a low profile and polished enough to see your reflection. The handle is plastic, but overall there are more metal parts than most French presses in its price range. The build quality is decent, although it is clearly a mass-produced import.
To put the Cafe Deluxe to the test, we brewed up some El Jigual, Colombia from Irving Farm Coffee Roasters. We’ve enjoyed this coffee with the Hario V60 and the Aeropress, and we wanted to see how this French press would highlight the coffee.
Our Go-To Recipe
Our go-to French press recipe is modified from James Hoffmann’s in The World Atlas of Coffee. It varies depending on the coffee we’re using, but we usually start with a 1/14 ratio, a coarse grind, and a five minute steep time. After a minute we use a wooden spoon to break up the crust, but are careful to not stir up the rest of the slurry. Just before five minutes we use the spoon to skim any grounds that are floating on top. Just like our cold press recipe, we don’t plunge the filter more than an inch or two.
The resulting brew was sweet with a viscous body. The acidity was somewhat subdued, but the mouthfeel was surprisingly clean until those last few gritty sips. After repeated uses, we feel like the cup quality is comparable to Bodum’s, although the mesh filter is less durable.
The Cafe Deluxe French Press is a handsome, functional press pot at a reasonable price. Although our favorite French press remains the Espro Press, aspiring home baristas looking for an entry level option would do well to choose Cafe Deluxe.