I’ve owned a lot of coffee-brewing paraphernalia over the years. But there are only two devices I keep coming back to. The first is an Aeropress, which I use to make espresso for that quintessential Saturday brunch treat, the espresso martini. The other is a $25 French press / cafetière / plunger / whatever you want to call it. Not just any French press, though. Mine’s made of cool steel, keeps coffee hot, and reliably results in a warm and fuzzy feeling each morning.
I know, some people don’t consider the French press a sufficiently bourgeois method of coffee preparation. But some people also think Bob Dylan can sing. Some people think it’s okay to board a subway car before all disembarking passengers have disembarked. Heck, some people think the coronavirus is a punishment from god (or that Trump isn’t.) These are the same sorts of people who dismiss the French press and buy pre-ground coffee. They’re not to be trusted.
What makes the Muëller Stainless Steel Coffee Plunger superior to the glass-and-plastic plungers found on gift tables at housewarmings or shotgun weddings? First, the double wall insulation and exterior of 310 stainless steel. That means it keeps the contents hot while the outside stays cool. It also means you can’t crack it when you stir it with a garden-variety metal spoon as found in any kitchen drawer — rather than with the plastic monstrosity of a stirrer invariably included with glass variants (and which any reasonable person immediately loses.)
Stainless steel also looks better than glass. It feels better than glass. It doesn’t get scratched like glass does. It makes it immediately, visually clear if you haven’t cleaned it with sufficient vigor. You can take stainless steel camping. As per Muëller’s notes, its French press is “drop proof, rust proof, and probably bulletproof (be nice).” Glass has its place. The casing of a French press just isn’t one of them.
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What else has earned the Muëller 4.8 out of 5.0 stars from 4,960 reviews on Amazon, you ask? Everything about it suggests it can endure daily use. There are no flimsy mesh filters here. No plastic shafts or screws. And did I mention, no glass? Nope. Everything is metal, including the dual mesh filters. You can take it apart, shove it in the dishwasher, or scrub it like the toilet of an apartment you’ve just moved into, and it keeps on trucking.
Does everyone love Muëller's work? Of course not. One of paltry selection of one-star Amazon reviews in particular is worth a look. Courtesy of a faceless reviewer who goes by “Patriot,” it contends the provenance of Muëller’s wares is actually China (while also conceding the company says as much on the box), that this is nonetheless misleading when the company's name alludes to “Germany or Austria,” and that factories in communist countries are subpar. I suspect Patriot doesn't own a coffee grinder. Or, if they do, it's one of those small, bladed disappointments with nary a burr in sight.
I also suspect “Patriot” is a bot. Failing which, I suspect they returned this coffee plunger well before they tried it, and well before they reached the end of the marketing materials where Muëller proudly says its products are “European Engineered” while still promising an “American guarantee.”
If you can’t rely on an American guarantee what’s the point of even getting up in the morning? I’ll tell you what: It’s so you can have a “lifetime of java pleasure” — Muëller’s words, not mine — from a stainless steel coffee plunger with Austrian build quality, engineered in Europe, and built in the greatest manufacturing nation the world has ever known: China. Use it with Rwandan or Guatemalan beans and savor the true taste of freedom only a global supply chain, Amazon, and Muëller can deliver.