Bodum ‘Chambord’ French Press: A Review

I am a coffee lover through and through. I’ve been consuming (and loving) cups of joe for so long that I honestly can’t remember my first taste of the stuff. As much as I enjoy grabbing an iced latte or caffè macchiato from the local coffeeshop, it’s often nice to brew a good old fashioned cup of coffee right at home. This being said, one of the most essential kitchen items I could ever own is a coffeemaker. Over the years, I have purchased so many different coffeemakers. I have (several) standard 8-cup coffeemakers, a standard single serve brewer and one of the very popular systems that use the disposable coffee pods. Although they are all amazing in their own right and make excellent cups of coffee, sometimes you just want simplicity.

After becoming frustrated by the need to constantly purchase paper coffee filters, coffeemaker filtration replacements and coffee pods, I decided that it was time for me to get back to basics. I recalled my first rendezvous with French presses and thought, “Hey, I should look out for a new one of those!” You see, back in college, I had acquired a french press. It was a really small stainless steel one, which would have suited my needs perfectly. The only problem was that I had no clue how to use it and I was far too impatient (also read as lazy) to figure out how it worked. In the years following that experience, I learned the proper way to use French presses and the benefits to using them, but by then, I’d lost my original unit. However, I recently ran across the most beautiful Bodum french press while browsing around the Bloomingdale’s website. Of course, I had to buy it.

I’ve been using Bodum’s ‘Chambord’ french press for the last few weeks now. I have enjoyed using it so much that I decided to do a proper review on it. So whether you are someone who wants to learn more about specific french press models or a coffee aficionado who is interested in changing up their brew game, I hope this review helps answer some questions and accurately illustrates why this french press is worth owning.


 

 

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Features

Though Bodum carries several items with the “Chambord” styling, my specific french press is their 8-cup model with the copper framing. It retails for $50, but you can definitely get it for less if you shop around and take advantage of retailer’s homeware sales. Upon purchase, the box comes complete with the french press unit, an instruction booklet and a convenient plastic spoon to help you measure out the perfect amount of coffee for your brew. This sturdy, BPA-free french press is comprised of three major parts: a glass beaker, a chromed steel frame and the plunger top (with mesh filtration).

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The beaker is made of thick, dishwasher safe borosilicate glass, which means that it is quite strong. It can hold its own against variable temperatures and it shouldn’t give you any problems with staining. Even though I am still mindful of the beaker being breakable, I’m usually not worried about it shattering if I accidentally hit it against something. The beaker’s spout is really well formed, so I never have problems with spilling or splattering while pouring my coffee into a mug. Thanks to the glass canister, my coffee tastes pure and is free of any flavors that filters or plastic parts may inadvertently add to a brew.

As for the frame, it is very well made. I can’t imagine it bending without a considerable amount of force, so I definitely think it will last for years to come. The handle is very comfortable while gripped and is securely attached to the frame with large, matching copper-toned screws. The plastic of the handle (and plunger strainer) is polypropylene. Due to this type of plastic being resistant to excessive water absorption and warping from high heat, it is quite suitable for use in the dishwasher.

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The plunger top features a three-layer mesh filtration ring and a built-in pour strainer to ensure that your coffee is free of stray coffee grounds. The top spins smoothly, enabling you to open and close off the strainer vent with ease.

 

Aesthetics

Bodum carries several french press designs, ranging from casual and understated to striking and elaborate. As someone who equally values efficiency and aesthetics, the ‘Chambord’ is the perfect balance of the two. This particular style reminds me of those that were used back in the forties and fifties. Simple, sleek and sophisticated, I love how it makes a fashionably modern statement without compromising its classic and slightly minimalistic design. The copper frame appealed to me more than the chrome simply because it looks a bit more elegant; pictures can’t fully capture its warm luster.

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Though I wouldn’t say that this particular style is necessarily fancy, it could definitely be a french press that you specifically saved for special occasions. It is absolutely perfect for having guests over for coffee or breakfast. The ‘Chambord’ would be a beautiful asset to any table setting. I would definitely recommend the copper color to anyone who is looking for a traditionally styled french press, but with a bit of flair.

 

Capacity

This model has a 34 oz. fill capacity. Just to clarify for anyone who might not be aware, when they say that this is an 8-cup model, please be advised that it does not have a fill capacity of 8 cups. When you fill it with water, the most it holds is 34 oz.

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I am personally able to pour two and a half servings of coffee when I use standard sized mugs. You could definitely get “8 cups” out of it if you used traditional tea cups or espresso cups. This being said, I think this particular size is ideal whether you are serving several people or just yourself.

 

Operating The Bodum ‘Chambord’ French Press

Operation is super easy (check out my french press how-to). The ‘Chambord’ brews a great cup of coffee every time and I never have any problems using it. When I first took the french press out of the box to wash it, the beaker did have a snug fit inside of its frame, making it a little hard to remove. However, the frame loosened a bit after I washed it. Ever since then, I’ve had no trouble at all sliding the canister in and out of the frame. The same applies to the plunger. The filtration ring really hugged the inside of the canister the first few times I used it, but it became more fluid over time.

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When I’ve used coarse ground coffee (as you should with any french press), I’ve never had any trouble pressing the plunger down. Even though the holes of the mesh filter are really small, it can and will clog if you use an inappropriate grind-size. Despite knowing better, I will admit that I have used finely ground coffee in this a few times. It didn’t give me too much of a fuss, but the plunger was much more difficult to press down. On one occasion, it refused to go down at all—it was simply too clogged. That being said, make sure to use a coarse grind! You do not want to risk damage to the unit or injury to yourself simply because you were trying to force the plunger.

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The filtration of this french press is really good. Never once have I had a granule of coffee end up in my brew. The filtration ring is quite efficient and ensures that the coffee grounds stay at the bottom of the canister where they belong. This was true even when I used finely ground coffee (I repeat—please don’t do that), so it shows just how good of a seal the filter ring has around the canister walls.

 

Cleaning The Bodum ‘Chambord’ French Press

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Once you are finished brewing, cleanup is actually very simple. Despite this french press being dishwasher safe, I simply hand wash it with warm water and mild dish soap before allowing everything to air dry. I don’t always take the filtration ring apart, but when I decide to, all you have to do is unscrew the outer plate from the plunger stem. The mesh and plates separate from each other, making it easy to wash everything. When they’re done drying, just pop them back onto the plunger and you’re ready to go!

Everything cleans up and dries perfectly each and every time. If you do happen to have water spots after drying, they easily wipe away with a clean, soft cloth as though they were never even there. The glass and frame continues to look brand new even after several washes. I had originally worried about the frame getting scratched, but there isn’t a scratch on it yet!

 

Added Benefits

The thing that I love most about french presses is how convenient and useful they are. First of all, they are portable. You could easily tote the ‘Chambord’ around and make coffee anywhere that offers hot water. This would be great for anyone who loves camping, ‘glamping’ or any derivative of the two because you don’t have to worry about power cords.

Not only is this french press easy to use, but it is environmentally friendly as well. Unlike standard coffeemakers that produce waste via disposable filters and pods, french presses only require coffee grounds and water. This particular model is no exception. The mesh filter can be used over and over again, only to be replaced if necessary.

Looking for a way to de-clutter your counters and free yourself from bulky coffeemakers? This french press has a very small footprint, making it super easy to find the perfect home for it in your kitchen or just about anywhere else you’d like to make coffee! You can easily tuck it into a corner, display it on a shelf or hide it inside of a cabinet when it’s not in use.

Additionally, this is very economical to use. Outside of the coffee itself, there is nothing you need to repurchase in order to use it (unless something inadvertently breaks). However, accidents do happen. From new beakers to mesh filters, Bodum offers the replacement parts you need—just in case misfortune strikes.

Another thing that I love about this product is that it can be multi-purpose. Even though the french press was originally designed for the brewing of coffee, you can use it to brew loose leaf tea as well! As long as you ensure that your french press is well cleaned in between uses, you should be able to preserve the delicate and distinct flavors of your coffee and tea.

 

The Downsides

Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about this french press. However, when I consider the potential downsides to using any french press opposed to a traditional coffeemaker, the only thing I can say is that you can’t reheat unused coffee once its cooled off. Most traditional coffeemakers allow you to keep the pot hot in case you want a refill, so this is a feature you can’t benefit from while using a french press.

Obviously, you can still pour any remaining coffee into a microwave-safe mug (which I sometimes do). Some people think that coffee should never be reheated once it cools, while others think it is perfectly fine. I personally don’t mind having to reheat my coffee if it is necessary, but to be honest, the coffee can stay warm up to 20 minutes if you keep the straining vent closed in the interim. Outside of this not-so-troublesome fact, I have zero complaints.

 

Final Thoughts

I am really happy that I went ahead and bought this french press because I’ve been loving it. Although you can certainly purchase one for considerably less money, I do believe the quality and styling of this particular french press provides excellent value—even at full price. Bodum has been in the housewares business since the 1940’s, and they have been making and selling french presses for more than forty years. Their craftsmanship and attention to design is phenomenal, so I can definitely see why they are a leader in french press manufacturing. I’d love to purchase additional items from them in the future.

No matter what size or color you settle on, I highly recommend Bodum’s ‘Chambord’. When people say that the french press is known as ‘the coffee lover’s brewing method of choice’, I have learned why it might be so. French presses are convenient, easy and effective. Anytime I want a cup of coffee, it’s right there ready to be used. I don’t have to dig around in my cabinets for paper filters or worry about plugging anything in. Not only that, but I’ve been enjoying the tastiest cups of coffee. The need to use coarse ground coffee has encouraged me to experiment with new makers and origins of coffee, which has been a most positive experience. I do believe I’ve been converted!

If you happen to have any questions about this product, feel free to ask down in the comment box below. I’d be happy to help out! ’Til next time…stay golden.

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