This Affordable, Easy-to-Use French Press Doubles as a Cold Brew Maker and Streamlines My Morning Routine

published Apr 5, 2023
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Iced Coffee Pour
Credit: Stocksy | Emily Triggs

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a total coffee nerd and a huge sucker for all sorts of coffee gear, specialty beans, and brewers. The one part of the coffee game I’m not well-versed in, though, is cold brew. So, naturally, to flesh out my collection of coffee paraphernalia, I figured I should snag some gadget that would let me make hassle-free iced java. The problem is, I don’t really drink enough cold brew to spring for a dedicated brewer — though there are a bunch of great ones out there — but I’m always game for multipurpose brew tools, which is why I’ve been so into using the new French press I recently picked up. I’ve never been great at French press brewing, and since I’m not really into a lot of grit at the bottom of my cup of drip coffee, I’ve tended to stick to pour-over, Mr. Coffee machines, and espresso. However, I recently dialed in my process and found that this simple and super-affordable tool also makes a mean cup of cold brew.

The Utopia Kitchen 34 Ounce French Press Espresso and Tea Maker, when used for hot coffee, makes about a liter of French press coffee and works really well. It comes in all sorts of fun colors to match any kitchen aesthetic, and the triple filter system does a surprisingly solid job at keeping coffee grinds in your press — and out of your cup. It comes with a plastic measuring spoon, and is made from durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a sturdy plastic frame that makes pouring a snap. However, while that’s all well and good, I was really more interested in using this brewer for cold brew, and I have to say, it’s done an excellent job so far. 

When I make cold brew, I shoot for a six-to-one ratio of coarsely ground coffee to water, which leaves me with something that isn’t quite super-strong concentrate (if that’s your jam, shoot for eight-to-one or higher) but is still a lot stronger than your average cup of iced coffee. The press is super easy to use, and after I whack the grinds into the press, I just add my water, stick it in the fridge before I go to bed, and voila — a quick plunge of the press and there’s fresh cold brew waiting for me when I wake up with zero hassle. Since I’m usually a pour-over guy, this really helps streamline my morning routine and gets me out the door faster. 

Credit: Ian Burke

I also love that it does triple duty as a cold brew maker, traditional French press, and bulk tea brewer (just make sure you use loose-leaf tea!). That way I don’t have to keep three different gadgets in the house, which ends up saving a good amount of space in my cabinets. It also doesn’t hurt that brewing without a disposable filter is a more environmentally friendly option (Earth Day is right around the corner, people!). Plus, it’s super easy to clean: I just rinse it with hot tap water right after each use, then fill it with a little soap and hot water before pumping the press a few times and then rinsing out the soap. You can also take the whole thing apart if you want to deep-clean the individual pieces, which I, erm, totally do all the time. 

With over 5,400 five-star ratings, it’s clear I’m not the only one who’s into the Utopia Kitchen 34 Ounce French Press. “I’ve enjoyed this press for a few weeks now and had zero complications in achieving coffee nirvana,” one reviewer writes. “It really does its job … I really recommend this product for its price, durability, and easy operation.” So, for upgrading your coffee routine, switching from hot coffee to cold coffee, and saving a little time in the morning, you can’t go wrong with the Utopia Kitchen 34 Ounce French Press.