Did you know IKEA makes and sells French presses?
I didn’t know they sold a French press until I stumbled on the UPPHETTA French press when I was browsing the kitchen wares section.
Given the price, I went into this review with low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. It does everything it’s supposed to do with a price that makes buying one for tea and one for coffee a reasonable idea.
Things to Consider Before Buying a French Press
French press is both the method for brewing coffee and the name of the tool that you use to brew it. It’s deceptively simple, with no LED screens or electricity needed outside of boiling the water.
All you need to make French press coffee is the French press; look for a sturdy, durable beaker made of metal or glass and a smooth plunger assembly, coarse ground coffee, and hot water. When you taste the exquisite brew it can produce, you would probably never guess that the brewing method is just a few steps.
Put the grounds into the beaker, add hot water to the correct ratio, leave it to brew, and then plunge it so all the ground coffee goes to the bottom and the coffee rises to the top.
It’s a great choice for people willing to learn a new method to turn good coffee into even better coffee without investing a lot in a new drip machine. Once you get the hang of the French press method, you’ll be able to make it first thing when you wake up.
A French press can be a manual alternative to a larger drip or single-serve machine for those who have limited space or share space with other people. The average-sized French press takes up about as much counter space as a large coffee mug and will look lovely on a desk or in a cubicle.
Consider a French press if you’re on a budget. It’s one of the most economical brewing methods for brewing coffee, tea, or even foaming milk and doesn’t require the purchase of paper filters, descaling, or specialty cleaning products.
The IKEA UPPHETTA French press Overview
IKEA’s UPPHETTA French press is available in two sizes: either a 13.5 ounce or 34 ounce beaker, made up of two pieces: either black or dark turquoise polypropylene and glass. The stainless steel plunger assembly, which sits inside the beaker and forms the lid, can quickly and easily be taken apart for cleaning.
Things We Like:
- Easy to clean and reassemble
- Beaker is durable and dishwasher safe
- Made of heat-resistant glass
- When the lid is closed, it keeps coffee hot
Room for Improvement:
- Just the essentials, no extras like measuring spoons are included
- The smaller size isn’t big enough to brew tea or more than one mug of coffee
- Not double-walled
Features & Benefits
Don’t let the low price and simple design fool you; this is a French press that, aside from a few setbacks that happen to many French presses, creates excellent coffee consistently.
The IKEA French press comes in two different sizes, small and large.
If you don’t drink a lot of coffee or prefer to brew by the cup, then the smaller 13.5 ounce beaker will be big enough for your morning brew while you check your email.
However, if you want to use this French press regularly for yourself and like to drink more than a cup a day, or you like to entertain, you may want to spend a few more dollars and purchase the 34 ounce beaker. It’s also great for brewing loose leaf tea and has enough room in it for the tea leaves to unfurl completely.
IKEA is best known for its affordable flat-pack furniture and products, but this little French press may be one of its greatest kept secrets.
The IKEA UPPHETTA French press has a very low price whether you’re buying it from the physical store or online, which may be its best feature. It helps forgive a few minor issues like having a small handle where more expensive French presses offer a better experience.
It lets you take a chance with manual coffee. Getting into a new brewing method can be expensive, especially if machines are involved, but you can adopt this simple method with little cost.
There is no reason for a basic French press to be expensive since it is just a beaker and a plunger, and except for slightly different designs, almost all French presses are the same. Buying either size of this French press will allow you to spend a bit more on your grinder and beans.
At this price, it would also make an excellent gift for someone getting into French press coffee; make sure you add in a measuring spoon and instructions since they aren’t included.
Easy to Take Apart and Clean
The French press can be taken apart and hand-washed, including the individual layers of the plunger assembly. A spotless French press without old oil or sediment will improve the flavor of the resulting coffee.
Although the information that comes with the UPPHETTA says it’s entirely dishwasher safe, it’s best to wash the plunger pieces by hand, especially the mesh filter, to avoid any breaks or tears in the metal.
The beaker, on the other hand, is durable enough and is entirely dishwasher safe.
For the price, it would be understandable if this French press was made with cheaper materials or didn’t last as long as a more expensive model, but IKEA uses good quality materials.
It uses a stainless steel mesh filter held in place by metal fittings rather than a paper filter. The metal should be cleaned thoroughly of oils and sediment after each use and before using it for the first time.
The stainless steel filter offers good single filtration and has a smooth plunge. Make sure not to force the plunger down and inspect the filter before each brew. After a few brews, you may need to adjust the filter, especially if you’re disassembling and reassembling the assembly for cleaning each time.
The beaker is constructed from solid glass and reinforced with polypropylene. Glass is an excellent conductor of heat and doesn’t have the same issues as plastics do with BPAs.
Since you may be using it every day, you should know that you can do a few things to ensure the glass has a long life.
Glass is susceptible to cracks and breakage by accidental bumps or falls, but stress cracks can also appear if the glass is shocked when boiling water is poured into a cold beaker. Avoid the shock by gently preheating the beaker with swirling hot water in it and dumping it out before the grounds are added.
A glass beaker helps to keep the coffee hotter, longer while the coffee brews.
A downside with the lower price of mass-produced products is that occasionally variances happen between products. You may find that the lid doesn’t fit tight enough, and the coffee seems to be cooling faster than you wish; use a coffee saucer or small plate to create a seal.
To help preserve the flavor and avoid over brewing, decant the coffee from the French press to another insulated container after brewing if it will be a while before you can consume the coffee.
Alternatives & Conclusion
This French press is affordable, durable, and brews good coffee. It’s barebones with no electronics and doesn’t boast any special features or extras like a coffee grinder, but it’s all you need to make good coffee.
The fact that it is so basic is one reason it’s an excellent suggestion for a newcomer to the French press method along with the cost because there aren’t extra features to have to come to terms with when you’re learning the principles of the technique.
If You’re Looking for…
A double-walled glass beaker
IKEA sells a second French press called the EGENTLIG that is more expensive, which features a double-walled beaker and a capacity between the two sizes of the UPPHETTA.
Double-walled French presses help to keep coffee hot without decanting, and you know that your coffee will sit after brewing; consider the EGENTLIG French press made entirely of glass except for the lid and plunger assembly.
French press on the go
Consider the Espro Travel Press. It can brew your coffee right in the travel mug utilizing a more delicate filtration system. This system prevents grounds from escaping into the coffee after pressing.
This filtration helps make cleaner coffee with less sludge from the first sip to the last.
The Espro travel press also boasts the ability to use optional paper filters during brewing to make the French press taste more like a pour-over coffee.
The UPPHETTA IKEA French press isn’t going to change the coffee world. However, despite its lack of extras, it is a simple, well-constructed manual press with such a low price tag that has the potential to open up the world of manual coffee-making and encourage more people to give the French press a try.
Consider the UPPHETTA when you’re buying your next French press for yourself or as a gift.