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My less than 1 year old glass French Press broke down today. There's a small circular piece of the glass which came off at the bottom. After doing some research, it looks like glass French Press breaks regularly. I've seen some stainless steel version, are those more solid and make good coffee? If not, should I keep buying glass versions every year?

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The glass ones are a scam. They are so thin, they just break on the first decent knock, even the big brand ones. It's like trying to make soup in champagne flute, stupid! –  TFD Sep 11 '11 at 21:31
    
We recently got a stainless steel french press and I'm a convert. –  mghicks Oct 17 '11 at 2:28
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Thierry,

Stainless steel French presses work fine. In fact, you can construct a French press out of any chemically inert material: stainless steel, class, ceramic, high-temperature plastic, enameled copper, even marble, and it will make perfectly good coffee. I myself have a collection of porcelain and stoneware presses. What material you choose is really a matter of aesthetics and how you use the press.

All of that being said, my experience is that high-quality glass carafes do not break regularly unless you drop them (which is, admittedly, an issue). I'm wondering if you bought a cheaper carafe with inferior glass, like one from Ikea. I have a Bodum which is at least 8 years old.

Also, for brand name presses, you can usually buy replacement carafes, since breakage (due to dropping) is a frequent issue. Sometimes the replacements cost as much as a whole new press, but you should at least check it out.

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Stainless steel is great. Better yeat get the double walled vacuum ("Thermos") flask type. They work great and keep your coffee hot for longer. And the don't break when you knock them –  TFD Sep 11 '11 at 21:29
    
+1 for stainless steel. I too broke a number of glass ones, so coughed up $70 for a nice stainless one, and it's worked great for years. Paid for itself pretty quickly. –  user7378 Sep 12 '11 at 1:28
    
@user7378: True. The only problem is that you can't look through stainless steel to see how the color and strength of the brew are developing. BUT, if you're clumsy or prone to breaking things, stainless is a wonderful thing. –  BobMcGee Sep 13 '11 at 5:19
    
BobMcGee have a valid point. I have a Bodum that is broken on several places now, but it won't discourage me from buying a new one. –  daramarak Sep 14 '11 at 11:40
    
@FuzzyChef Is marble really a good idea? Coffee is acidic, and marble is known to deteriorate from acids. Won't that affect the flavour? –  daramarak Sep 14 '11 at 11:42
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There are also "unbreakable" poly-carbonate beakers that you can get for french presses. I'd also agree with FuzzyChef that the quality glass beakers don't break very often - I carried mine around in a backpack for 5 years of school, and it lasted 5 more years after that. It was only after dropping it on a tile floor that it finally broke.

The plastic replacement beaker has so far lived up to its shatterproof claim, but even with a silicon plunger, it does accumulate scratches that the glass version didn't suffer from.

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