Food

Save yourself from bad office coffee with a desk-friendly French press

I’ll admit I often feel like a snob whenever I brew my own coffee in the office. When I whip out my bag of organic Peruvian coffee ground from my local food co-op, I can feel my turtleneck inching up around my neck and my nose tilting ever-so-slightly higher into the air.

But hey, it’s not my fault! The coffee in the office is so bad it’s almost undrinkable! I can't stand the burnt-bean water from a machine that also serves powdered hot chocolate ... and I know I'm not the only one out there. So I descended into the taboo lifestyle of office snobbery and I became that guy with the French press.

The cute Bonjour French press is ready to go on Nick's desk!

Whenever someone new walks by my desk, they are usually astounded to see the cutest little French press they’ve ever seen. The one I have specifically is the plastic version of the single-cup press from Bonjour. I’ve gotten everything from “Oh my god, that’s so adorable!” to “Oh, you’re that guy.” But in the end, I usually offer them some coffee and that desk visitor will admit it’s been a pretty good investment.

So not only does a cute, desk-friendly French press make great coffee, it can also lead to good relationships with fellow contemporaries, giving you something to sit, relax and chat about ... like how bad the office coffee really is!

Bonjour Unbreakable Plastic French Press, $18 (normally $30), Amazon

I used to have the higher-end glass version of the Bonjour, until my other half took it to work and broke it. So this little guy is my temporary replacement until the new carafe comes in. But this version is actually pretty durable! I did drop it once and laughed at my initial panic when it just kind-of bounced back up (since it’s made of plastic).

It’s easy and economical to use, contrary to the popularly-held belief that French press coffee is some daunting task that only those who bathe in diamond water are able to experience. Sometimes at home, I find that making coffee with a French press is easier than using a traditional machine — and it tastes better too!

The flavor is richer and the whole experience is more aromatic. Making coffee this way extracts more flavor from the beans, giving you a bit more bang for your buck. I never would have thought that Folgers could taste gourmet with the right water-to-coffee ratio — but in a French press, it does! And filter coffee tends to trap a lot of the good stuff, which is what makes French press coffee so rich and wonderful.

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Consumer Reports says the top-rated coffee maker is...

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So if you’re tired of the usual Keurig brew, this is a great way to get a wonderful cup of coffee and a bunch of new office friends. And who knows, maybe you'll even score a promotion when your boss notices how sophisticated you are.

For more cup-size coffee brewers, here are more top-rated desk-friendly coffee makers on Amazon.

Bodum BRAZIL French Press Coffee Maker, $20 (normally $22), Amazon

Nearly identical to the Bonjour coffee maker, this Bodum French press is only $20 and has 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon. It comes in green, red and black, is incredibly easy to use and makes coffee in only four minutes.

SterlingPro 8 Cup Coffee Maker, $24, Amazon

This french press has over 6,000 reviews on Amazon and is a #1 best seller on the site. Users love it because the glass is heat-resistant and it can also be used to brew tea!

Chemex Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker, $43, Amazon

Chemex brewers have developed somewhat of a cult following for their sleek design and great tasting pour-over coffee. One Amazon reviewer exclaimed, "I've been through a lot of coffee makers, and hated them all till now. My biggest issue has always been cleanup! I'd leave coffee-grounds in, be too lazy to clean it up later, get mold growing in the coffee maker's reservoir, and on and on.

"The Chemex solves all these problems and makes a stunning cup of coffee. Making the coffee takes a bit longer, as you basically have to spend about 5 minutes or so watching and pouring ... however, it's fun to do! I actually look forward to the task."

For something a little more affordable, Bodum actually sells a pour over coffee maker that has a permanent filter and is only $20.

Secura Stainless Steel French Press, $25, Amazon

Guaranteed to last for a long time, this stainless steel coffee maker has a 5-star rating on Amazon and over 3,300 positive reviews! It's dishwasher safe and comes with a cool-touch handle for easy use.

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