In the ongoing quest to brew a perfect cup of coffee at home, some manufacturers are making electric coffeemakers that mimic the manual French press machines preferred by many aficionados. But leave it to Bodum—a long-time player in traditional French presses—to come out with a true electric French-press coffeemaker, complete with the popular plunger. We just added it to our Ratings of coffeemakers of this type.
Cleverly, the Bodum Bistro Electric French Press 11462, $60, doesn’t automate the entire process. It leaves the important last step, pushing down the plunger, for purists. Here’s how it works: Fill the reservoir on the right-side of the machine with up to 17 ounces of water, then add ground coffee to the carafe on the left and snap on the lid. Once the hot water has soaked the grounds, remove the carafe from the warming plate and replace the lid with another that includes a built-in plunger. After four minutes of steeping time, gently push the plunger down to trap the grounds prior to pouring.
You might like the way the coffee tastes, and we found the pitcher balanced and easy to hold. But we weren’t enamored with the rest of the process. Both lids required aligning tabs with slots to keep them in place and we needed to wiggle the pitcher around to get it off the warming plate. And it’s not exactly a cinch to clean. The Bodum comes in a number of bright colors including the lime green one we tested, red, white, and black.