Bodum Brazil French press – could a $30 French press really be among the best?

I put the Bodum Brazil French press to the test

Bodum Brazil French Press on a table with a cup of coffee beside it
(Image credit: Home Grounds)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The simple design of the Brazil makes it an attractive and affordable option for those shopping on a budget. The eight cup capacity claim is a bit of a squeeze and the plastic feels a little cheap, but this is incredible value nevertheless.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Excellent value

  • +

    Brews delicious coffee

  • +


  • +

    Filters well

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Measures one cup as 4.25 oz

  • -

    Plastic build doesn't feel as durable

  • -

    Awkward lid

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

There's a lot of beauty to Bodum's Brazil French press. Even though it was designed in the 80s, it has a distinctly squat, modern aesthetic. It's incredibly popular online and has been for nearly fifty years. So, what's their secret?

Whilst some of the best French presses are crafted from double-walled, premium-grade stainless steel, Bodum's opted for a different route. It's easy to be a little cynical about this – the borosilicate glass carafe and BPA-free plastic frame is cheaper to produce – but packed with useful features, but it's incredible helpful to be able to see your coffee as it brews. 

An attractive, affordable, effective French press is hard to come by, so I wanted to triple-check that the Bodum Brazil has earnt its stellar reputation. I took put it to the test against Bodum's iconic Chambord French press, as well as the other market-leading models. Here's what I thought.


Bodum Brazil French press

(Image credit: Bodum)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dimensions9.4 x 9.5 x 12.75 inches
Weight1 lbs
MaterialsStainless steel, plastic, borosilicate glass
Capacity34 oz


Bodum Brazil French Press

(Image credit: Future)

There's minimalistic packaging and then there's Bodum's. You'd be surprised at what some brands do with plastic and polystyrene, but Bodum has it perfectly. The Brazil arrived in a carboard box. That's it. No plastic, no nothing. I had to peel off one sticker and lift the plunger out to extract the paper instructions and coffee scoop from inside the carafe and that was it. The cardboard box is completely recyclable and very compact, so you won't be filling up the garbage.

On the countertop, this looks classic. The minimalistic design would look good in a range of homes, in a range of colors, and sizes. I like it in the black, but red seems to be the most popular option. 

Whichever colorway, the Bodum's simplistic design is useful, because it means you can watch your coffee infusing in the water, which is a mesmerizing process. 

Who would it suit?

Bodum Brazil French Press

(Image credit: Future)

The Bodum is a great entry-level French press. It's easy to use and close to impossible to make anything but a delicious coffee in. The 34 oz carafe offers reasonable capacity, although calling it an 'eight cup coffee maker' is a bit of a stretch. A 4.25 oz coffee is more like a warm-up than the main event in most homes.

Obviously, the price is attractive, especially for those shopping on a budget. It's often in the sales too, so is worth waiting for. However, if you're looking for an investment French press, there are more durable, more premium options on the market. They might not have the useful, transparent carafe that the Bodum does, but they also might keep your coffee warmer for longer.

What is it like to use?

Bodum Brazil French Press brewing

(Image credit: Future)

Bodum gives you instructions for brewing, but you don't need them. It's incredibly straightforward, even if you've never used a French press before. However, I had a quick flick through their basic guidelines and saw that they have a few serving suggestions, which it can never hurt to try.

I used Bodum's coffee scoop to see how my coffee would taste if it was brewed the Bodum way. A scoop of coarsely ground coffee, measured according to Bodum is 0.4 oz (which is 11.5 grams). If you follow the general rule for French press coffee, this makes a 5 oz cup, which is on the small side, but isn't unusual.

I started with just one scoop, so I could see how the Brazil brews single servings. The instructions suggest steeping coffee for four minutes. However, I peeped at the glass carafe and thought the coffee could do with just one more minute. After five minutes, I took the plunge, filtering my coffee and pouring it into my cup.

Bodum Brazil French Press with cup of coffee

(Image credit: Future)

The outside of the carafe had warmed a little, so I was concerned that the coffee might not be as hot as it should be. However, when I measured it, my coffee was 188 degrees, which is a reasonable temperature and very drinkable. It was smooth and rich, but as I got to the bottom there was some sediment. I couldn't see any coffee granules, but the sediment would have definitely given my cup some graininess if I stirred it up. If this really bothers you, I have a top tip: use a spoon to scoop off the top of your coffee before plunging. You'll get less micro sediment when you decide to push the plunger in.

I tried brewing a fuller carafe, so made enough coffee for three people. However, I was caught out by the Bodum Brazil's lid. It slots in in just one specific position. If you have your filter raised up, it's hard to place the lid onto your carafe, so you'll have to adjust it. Whilst this makes the steeping process a little less than simple, it's a compromise I'm willing to make for an affordable French press.

I followed the same process and ended up wanting to give the coffee another minute to steep again. The results were similar too. Even brewing bigger batches the results were smooth, bold, rich, and flavorful. The Brazil could take light, medium, and dark roasts and extract them perfectly. The results might not be as crisp as a pour-over's but they're nonetheless impressive.

Cleaning, storage, and maintenance

Bodum Brazil French Press cleaning

(Image credit: Future)

Bodum are brilliant at making their French presses easy to clean. All the filter parts can be unscrewed and placed in the dishwasher. However, I like to wash mine by hand, so that I know I'd gotten rid of every pesky coffee ground that might get left behind.

The Brazil is easy to store and keep clean. It's low and sleek, so could sit in deep drawers and small cupboards. Even better, this is beautiful enough to keep out on the countertop, so you've got plenty of options available. 

How does it rate online?

Bodum Brazil French Press carafe

(Image credit: Future)

The Brazil has over 18,000 reviews on Amazon and has maintained an impressive 4.5 stars. It's an incredibly popular French press. People complement the affordable, attractive design, saying that it's easy to make a deliciously smooth cup of coffee. Most customers said that this could more than cater to their busy homes, not only for capacity and for flavors, but for easy clean-up too. One of the Brazil's biggest selling points is the value. Lots of reviewers said that they didn't think there could possibly be a better French press at the same price point. 

I found a few customers who had smashed their glass carafe, or who found the plastic build to feel a little cheaper than Bodum's other models. Essentially, the biggest fault that people can find with the Brazil is its durability, which, for $30, is what you can reasonably expect.

How does it compare?

Bodum Chambord French press next to the Bodum Brazil

(Image credit: Future)

I tested this directly next to Bodum's most iconic French press, the Chambord (available at Amazon). You can see in the image above that the Chambord has a more elegant, premium aesthetic, but that doesn't make the Brazil any less attractive. It just looks more modern.

If you're looking for a smaller French press, the Brazil's squat design is the better option. You can enjoy the same capacity with more reasonable dimensions and a more portable shape. Neither model is a brilliant insulatior, because the carafes are borosilicate glass, but the Chambord delivered slightly smoother results. When I compared the sediment left in my cup at the end of enjoying coffee, I found the Brazil had left more behind, so I could enjoy less of the coffee without the graininess.

Compared to my go-to, the Alessi 9094 French press, available at Alessi, the Brazil is lighter. This makes it easier to hold, but it also makes it feel less premium. However, it filters just as well. The carafe owes its lightweight design to the plastic body, which does feel cheap and not quite as durable as the stainless steel carafes, but it still doesn't feel like a budget option. 

Should you buy it?

Bodum Brazil French Press with coffee in

(Image credit: Future)

If you're on a budget, you can't do better than the Bodum Brazil. It's $30, makes a deliciously smooth cup of coffee, and is easy to use. Sure, it's not built to last for a whole lifetime, but it's nevertheless excellent.

How we test

Fellow Clara French Press next to the Stanley and Zwilling

(Image credit: Future)

At Homes & Gardens, we have an established process for how we test our French presses, so that we know we are being as thorough as we possibly can be, ensuring you get to know everything you need to to brew a delicious cup of coffee.

Aside from making notes on aesthetics, our team uses every French press review to make a single cup of coffee as well as brewing a full carafe. We check consistency in flavors, smoothness, and temperature so that we know how versatile each French press is. 

On top of testing the basic functions of each French press, we also look at what it's like to clean and store, so that you know everything you could possibly need to before adding one of these to your coffee set up. You can visit our dedicated page for how we test coffee makers if you'd like to know more about the process.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.