This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
I’ve started every morning the same way for the past 15 years—with a pot of French press coffee. Even when I had to wake up early to open the cafe, I would shuffle into the kitchen and put the kettle on the stove before I did anything else. Even when there’s more coffee waiting for me at work, I need the ritual to get my brain into gear for the day.
Everything about this French press works exactly how it’s supposed to and every pot of coffee I’ve brewed with it showcases how well-engineered it is.
My first French press was the classic Bodum Chambord, which I used for years without earnestly looking for an upgrade. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is my mantra when I find a piece of kitchenware that I like. But the problem with the Bodum was just that—the glass beaker would consistently crack and shatter. I kept replacing the glass every time it happened. There just wasn’t another French press I liked using more than the Bodum. Even after testing multiple models, most had the same issues or were much flimsier, so I saw no reason to upgrade. But then I tried Fellow Clara French press and never looked back.
Fellow Clara French Press
Heavy-duty build quality
Double-walled and insulated
Produces great coffee
Costs 3 to 4 times as much as other French presses
The first thing I noticed about the Fellow Clara was its stylish, modern design. Where most French presses showcase a classic and elegant look that hearkens back to the 1950s, the Fellow has a minimal design with a full matte black finish. It sticks out in the world of French presses and has the look of a premium product.
The Fellow press is also built like a tank. The beaker is made completely of thick stainless steel and the handle is attached firmly. The lid, plunger, and filter are made of mixed materials but are still very sturdy. And because of how sturdy it is, it’s safe to travel with. I’ve flown with a handful of different French presses and have gotten home to find shattered beakers and bent metal. That hasn’t happened with the Fellow, and I don’t think it’s likely to.
My favorite thing about the Fellow Clara is that everything about it feels like it was designed with intention and precision. It’s like the Ferrari of French presses.
On top of all that it makes a mean pot of coffee. It’s double-walled, so it retains heat better than most presses. This helps maintain consistency during the brewing process, which leads to a more balanced extraction and a better-tasting cup. The Fellow also produces a really clean cup of coffee compared to other presses. The filter forms a tight seal along the inner walls of the beaker, and the filter itself filters out more of the super-fine grounds and sludge common to French Press coffee.
My favorite thing about the Fellow Clara is that everything about it feels like it was designed with intention and precision. It’s like the Ferrari of French presses. The lid and filter fit perfectly in the beaker. I can tell from how plunging the filter feels that there aren’t many fine particles making it past the filter and the clean final cup confirms it. Everything about this French press works exactly how it’s supposed to and every pot of coffee I’ve brewed with it showcases how well-engineered it is.
I’ve had my daily French press routine locked in for 15 years now, and I don’t intend to stop drinking coffee any time soon. After years of using glass-beaker presses it was time to upgrade to something sturdier, and the Fellow Clara is built to last.
Material: Stainless steel, plastic, optional walnut wood handle. | Dimensions: 4.53 in. x 6.69 in. x 7.87 in. | Capacity: 24 oz. | Dishwasher Safe: No
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Dylan Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based writer who specializes in spirits, cocktails, and coffee with hands-on experience visiting distilleries and bars all through the US, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean. He is also a long-time hospitality professional who has hands-on experience tending bar, opening cafes, and working in specialty coffee.