My Review of the Bodum Caffettiera French Press Coffee Maker, with Tips & Photos

bodum french press pouring coffee

by Nigel Ong

The French press is a very popular way to brew coffee. Fans of them enjoy how simple it is to brew with one and the strong, flavorful coffee it makes. 

I regularly make my coffee with a French press, and my regular go-to is the Bodum Caffettiera, the original French press. It is one of those rather premium French presses; some people may not see the need to use one. Is it really better than other French presses?

In this post, I review my personal Bodum Caffettiera French press. I also discuss what I like and don’t like about it. Finally, I share some tips on using the French press better, based on my own experience.

About The Bodum Caffettiera

The Bodum Caffettiera French press is often dubbed the ‘original’ French press. The press is made of steel, glass, and plastic and is microwave and dishwasher-safe. 

It comes in three sizes, 12, 17, and 34 ounces. My version is the smallest, enough to brew three cups of coffee. You can also use it to brew tea.

all the parts of a Bodum french press caffetteria coffee maker

You can break down the Bodum Caffettiera into several major parts, the cradle, jar, and plunging mechanism:


The cradle is made of stainless steel and finished with shiny, chrome-like plating. The handle is made of high-quality plastic, finished in black. 

The cradle protects the glass jar inside and also provides a stable footing. Bodum uniquely bent the cradle at the bottom to turn them into legs. These legs also look like they will be good shock absorbers if you drop your French press.

Glass Jar

The jar itself is made of borosilicate glass. This means the jar can handle rapid temperature changes, especially when pouring hot water. 

Borosilicate glass does have one problem, they are not shatter-resistant. This may explain why Bodum put up some serious protection for it. 

Plunging Mechanism

The plunging mechanism consists of several parts:

Plunger Stick: This plunger stick is where everything connects to. You use it to press down the filter and separate coffee from the grounds. 

Wire Mesh: The wire mesh separates the coffee grounds from the water. You mount this in between the spring plate and the bottom plate.

Spring Plate: The spring plate ensures the wire mesh is pushed right to the edges of the glass jar, ensuring no coffee grounds escape the mesh. You mount them on top of the wire mesh.

Bottom Plate: The bottom plate helps to secure the wire mesh and spring plate. They are at the bottom of the assembly.

Lid: The lid is at the top of the plunger stick and functions as a last-ditch filter before the coffee flows out through the spout.

What Are The Pros Of Bodum Caffettiera?

There are many things I like about the Bodum Caffettiera. These reasons also explain why they are among the most popular French presses today.

Tough, Sturdy, Protective Cradle

I love the cradle. They are well-designed and solid enough to provide good protection. The cradle protects the glass jar from four sides, as well as the bottom too. 

Bodum also folded the bottom cradle to form legs stretching slightly from the jar, providing a solid base. The legs also have some flexibility, meaning it will be a good shock absorber if you drop your French press.

Easy To Clean

The jar is easy to clean. All you need to do is to drop in some smooth dishwashing liquid and sponge the jar down. Rinse and dry. As for the plunging mechanism, they can be easily removed, cleaned, and reassembled too. 

The cradle can be washed, but a regular wipedown with a damp cloth should be enough to keep it clean and in good condition. The Bodum Caffettiera is also dishwasher safe.

Unique Spring Plate Design

The spring plate on the Bodum Caffettiera is slightly longer than required. You may notice the odd shape of the spring plate when you place them side by side with a regular French press.

The additional spring circle helps to provide additional pressure and keep the wire mesh well attached to the side walls. You get a cleaner coffee with fewer sediment leaks. 

Good Build & Finish

There is a reason why Bodum is slightly more expensive than regular coffee gadgets. Their products are well made and finished very well too. 

The plastics are rounded on the edges and do not feel sharp. Tap on them, and they do not make sounds that remind you of cheap Chinese plastic. The steel cradle looks and feels premium. 

If you appreciate quality design and workmanship, you will appreciate the Bodum Caffettiera.

Good Spout Design

One major issue with many French presses is the spout. Some are very well designed, but they leak drinks or cause spills. Not with the Bodum Caffettiera.

The plastic lid controls the fluid flow, and the spout can direct the coffee out nicely. When you tilt your French press to pour or to stop, the spout controls coffee flow convincingly, with no leaks or spills.

Comes With A Spoon

My Bodum Caffettiera comes with a plastic spoon/scoop. It measures 0.25 oz (7 gm), enough to help you brew a single serving of coffee. 

You can use the spoon/scoop to take up enough coffee grounds to brew your cup of joe. If you are using beans, you can place enough beans into the grinder and brew enough cups of coffee you need. 

Easy Replacement Parts 

The best thing about buying from Bodum is the replacement parts. If you need only parts of your French press replaced, you can order them directly from Bodum

This spares you the problem of discarding your French press just because you break the glass jar or have a broken plunger stick.

What Are The Cons Of Bodum Caffettiera?

Nothing is perfect with the Bodum Caffettiera. As much as I love mine, I, at times, do find some issues annoying. 

Here are some, and decide for yourself if these shortcomings are a total no-no for you:

Handle Can Be Flimsy

The Bodum Caffettiera is nicely designed but sometimes not very functional to me. The rounded handle can be a little flimsy to hold onto at times, especially if you have a larger hand like mine. 

I usually have to put in some effort to ensure I hold the French press safely when pouring. 

Metal Cradle May Scratch The Glass Jar

The glass jar is made of borosilicate glass, which is temperature and scratch resistant. However, whenever I slide the glass jar in and out from the metal cradle, I cannot help but feel that I am scratching the glass jar.

I notice smaller scratch marks on my jar as I use it, and the lines look like they are caused by the metal cradle. This may be uniquely my issue, but it may be something you want to know.

Lack Of Volume Markers

Finally, the most annoying thing is the lack of volume markers. This can be an issue, especially if you want to ensure you pour the right amount of water into your French press. 

I regularly have to use my regular cup, which I know to be roughly 180ml, to measure my water volume first. I’ll first pour my hot water into the cup before pouring it into the French press. 

I can live with the annoyance by telling myself the hot water helps to warm up the cup before I pour the coffee in. However, this may be unacceptable to you.

Tips When Using Bodum Caffettiera

I have used the Bodum Caffettiera for over a year and have made some mistakes. I have also figured out some ways to make the coffee taste better. 

If you decide to pick up one for yourself, consider these tips when you brew with the Bodum Caffettiera next time:

Press Slowly

One issue with the French press is the pressure. At times, when I was rushing to go out, I may end up pressing too hard, causing pressure to build up. 

The coffee then shoots out from my French press, spilling onto my clothes and burning my skin.

I would advise you to press your Bodum Caffettiera gently and slowly to give space and time for the pressure to escape through the wire mesh.

Clean Jar With Non-Abrasive Cleaners

The glass jas is made of Borosilicate glass, which is scratch resistant. However, this does not mean you want to use abrasive cleaners to clean it. Glass jars are nice when they are not scratched, so you want to keep it that way.

A regular dishwashing liquid is all you need to clean the jar. If you need some abrasive power, baking soda should be more than enough.

Wipe and Clean The Cradle

I used to wash the cradle with the glass jar initially. However, I noticed that the cradle has more nooks and crannies, which eventually become a bit gunky over time from the moisture. 

Since then, I have removed the glass jar from the cradle before washing it. As for the cradle itself, I only wiped it down with a damp microfiber cloth to clean it these days.

Measure Before Pouring

Since the Bodum Caffettiera does not have a volume marker, it can be hard to judge how much hot water you should pour into the jar. It may be useful to have a way to do that first.

I use a regular cup that I have measured the water volume correctly as a guide. You can also do the same. If you are the super accurate type, there’s always a glass beaker.

bodum caffettiera french press coffee maker

Who Is The Bodum Caffettiera For?

Bodum Caffettiera is a gateway to finer coffee gadgets. It works well and is designed and finished to a high standard. You certainly do not feel like you are using a flimsy French press with the Bodum Caffettiera. 

It, however, does cost a little bit and may not be for everyone. This means it suits those looking for finer things and does not mind spending some extra cash to get it. 

It also brews great coffee, which will work well for most coffee lovers. If you are a coffee geek, you may also appreciate Bodum Caffettiera.

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