Kitchen Tips

Best Portable French Presses [Testing & Review]

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Best for Office Use – Kohipress |4/5

KohiPress_coffee_maker SEE @ AMAZONWhen we pulled these out of the box, it was clear that the Kohipress was made by people who care about style. The Kohipress is a tall, thin, black cylinder with a little curve bulging out near the top to give you a comfortable place to put your hand. The look is sleek and sophisticated. The screw-on lid has a latching cover that swings back to reveal a drinking hole and a concealed vent hole for easy sipping. Below the lid, the filter sleeve screws onto the main body of the cup. The filter sleeve is solid with a very tightly fitting gasket. At the bottom is a metal filter with a unique spring-loaded secondary gasket that seals off the part where the grounds sit. parts of kohipressBrewing was a bit of a pain. Like far too many companies, they eschew giving actual quantities in favor of vague instructions. The max fill line marked in the container was at 16 ounces, so we first tried that. The result was disaster, with hot coffee spilling all over the table.

I later tried again with 12 ounces, and a little coffee still spilled out while pressing. 12 ounces is probably the right amount of coffee for this unit, but the gaskets fit so tightly that I think there’s always going to be coffee trapped in different spots that’s going to get squirted out. The tall and narrow design also makes it difficult to maneuver everything around. It’s tricky to pour the grounds from the grinder container in there neatly, and getting a spoon in for stirring is awkward. It also takes a fair amount of force to press, which is tricky since you don’t want to seal off the whole opening, but there’s not much room for your hand to go that doesn’t block it.The flavor on the coffee was reasonably good, and the secondary gasket performed admirably. Even at 2½ hours in the cup, the coffee never became overextracted. As a bonus test, after drinking all the coffee, I rinsed the cup out, then added water. I tasted it immediately and after a five minute rest and found no coffee flavor. That seal really does a good job. Temperature retention was also good, dropping from 189° to 155° in 30 minutes.

kohipress coffee temperatureOnce the coffee is brewed and the full unit is assembled (and wiped clean of the spilled coffee), it works great as a travel mug. It’s easy to handle, the lid is easy to drink from, but prevents spills when latched, and it fits anywhere. Cleanup was a mixed bag. Everything rinses right out, but hot coffee trapped between the insert and the cup spills out when disassembling the unit. On the whole, the Kohipress is brilliant but flawed. It’s ambitious in its design, especially with the extremely good pressure valve that seals off the coffee, but the tolerances are too tight to be completely practical. Press it in the sink at home and shake your head at the problems, then enjoy a great travel cup on the road in style.

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