What We Like
Affordable, fair price
Modern, lightweight design
Easy-to-grasp rubber knob
Outer sleeve insulates and protects glass carafe
Smooth plunging action
What We Don't Like
Some grounds slip through filter
Few size and color options
Can easily tip over
Using a French press—like the KONA French Press Coffee Maker—is one of the easiest ways to brew a delicious morning cup of joe. This coffee-making technique is known to better extract acids and oils from the grounds, resulting in a rich, delicious brew. These devices also take up less space than traditional coffee machines and don’t require electricity or paper filters—making them a great choice for small homes or travel. However, the traditional French press consists of a glass carafe that is breakable, and the plunging system can be challenging to master and keep clean.
With its plastic outer sleeve, KONA’s (relatively inexpensive) model is meant to prevent chips and dings as well as insulate the contents. We tested the modern, design-forward device to see how well it held up to the competition and whether its lower price meant we had to sacrifice quality.
Design: Modern and lightweight
Rather than metal, a protective plastic frame cradles the KONA French Press Coffee Maker’s glass carafe. The ear-shaped plastic handle strays from the classic D-shape of many French presses. Though it felt fun and fresh, the design was a little too much for our taste; however, it may very well appeal to certain buyers. You can choose between red or black plastic, but only one size is available: 34 ounces.
Because the framing and lid are plastic, the overall weight of the KONA French press is on the lighter side. This could be seen as a positive because it makes the unit more portable and durable, or a negative since it’s easier to tip over. We found the rubber knob at the top of the plunger easy to grasp, a major upside for users with limited mobility.
Performance: Straightforward and effective
The KONA French Press Coffee Maker comes with clear instructions and is super simple to use. Thanks to the glass carafe, we could watch our grounds steep, and the large handle and rubber knob made it easy to hold steady as we strained the brew. It’s possible for some grounds to make it past the filter and end up in your coffee cup, but it’s not so common that we would consider it a design flaw.
Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best coffee tools available online.
Cleaning: A bit of elbow grease is worth it
To prevent bitter residue from tainting your coffee, you’ll need to clean your French press after each use, which means disassembling the machine to wash it properly. With most coffee presses, including the KONA French Press Coffee Maker, this requires unscrewing the plunging arm from the cross plate, mesh, and spiral plate and cleaning each part separately. The whole process took us no more than a few minutes, including reassembly. Alternatively, you can just put all the pieces in the dishwasher; the KONA is dishwasher-safe.
Price: An inexpensive option for great coffee
While there are cheaper French press coffee makers on the market, this model from KONA offers high-quality elements at a very reasonable price—around $30. This makes it a great entry-level product for first-time French press users or a lovely gift for newlyweds or even college students.
It’s possible for some grounds to make it past the filter and end up in your coffee cup, but it’s not so common that we would consider it a design flaw.
Competition: Price sets it apart
Bodum CHAMBORD French Press Coffee Maker: The Bodum CHAMBORD offers a more classic design than the KONA French press. In a direct price comparison, the KONA model is marginally cheaper than its Bodum counterpart, so if you’re shopping exclusively based on price, this may be your deciding factor. However, both models make excellent cups of coffee, so you can’t go wrong either way.
Frieling Double-Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker: If you’re looking for a hefty, beautiful French press, the Frieling Double-Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker boasts a gorgeous opaque stainless steel construction. Its double-wall carafe keeps coffee warm for longer, but we found the plunger tougher to manage. The fact that we couldn’t see what was going on inside the carafe was a bit unsettling, and the price is more than double that of the KONA French press.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best french press coffee makers.
- Product Name KONA French Press Coffee Maker
- Product Brand Idylc Homes
- Price $35
- Weight 34 oz.
- Product Dimensions 5.7 x 9.6 x 5.2 in.
- Color Red and black
- Material Stainless steel, glass, plastic, rubber
- What’s Included French press and coffee measuring spoon