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Classic Chrome Cafetière
I love my coffee and at home I use a Bodum cafetiere, but at work we have a slightly more posh Classic Chrome Cafetière made by Le Cafetière for our caffeine hit.
Le Cafetière is a brand that makes French coffee press machines in a variety of shapes and sizes. They started making their cafetiere's in 1958, the designer and company owner being Faliero Bondanini. Originally Bodum and Le Cafetière worked together in the early 60's and 70's, however this partnership failed and they are now the two leading competitors in the French press market.
We have an 8 cup Classic Chrome Cafetière, you can also buy a 3 cup (£29.95), 4 cup (£35) and a larger 12 cup (£45). The 8 cup costs £39.95 from Le Cafetière's website. The item obviously comes boxed but it was already in my office when I arrived so cannot comment on this packaging, but from the price and glass contents I can guess it is well wrapped!
The 8 cup cafetiere itself has dimensions of 181 mm height x 96 mm diameter and this can hold up to 1 litre of coffee when full. The press looks very good quality and well make even from a distance. The main body of the press is made of a high quality borosilicate, heat-resistant glass and this has the Le Cafetière branding in fancy white lettering across the body of the press. The cup size of the cafetiere is also written below this.
The glass body of the press is encased in a stainless steel frame with four little legs to keep it standing upright. This design means that the glass does not come into contact with surfaces and so cracks and breakages are minimalised. This is one problem I have found with my own Bodum press, I do tend to knock it around a bit and it has ended up with some chips in the top of the glass. The press has a hard black plastic handle to serve your coffee with without having to touch the hot glass or steel.
The top of the cafetiere has a stainless steel filter and plunger that slots onto the top of the press comfortably. Overall the press looks stylish and modern for its classic design.
To use the press you simply pour in a good amount of your chosen ground coffee into the bottom of the press, I tend to put in 3 or 4 heaped tablespoons if I am making a whole 8 cup pot. Once in add your just off the boil water into the cafetiere and give it a quick stir to mix up the granules then add the plunger lid, placing the filter to the top of your coffee water level and leave to brew for a few minutes. Once your coffee has had time to settle you press the steel plunger and filter down to the bottom of the press. The filter catches all of the ground coffee and leaves you with your freshly brewed delicious coffee to serve.
The press lid has a filter pourer on one side and a heat seal on the other, so depending on how much coffee you are serving and when , you can serve a number of cups immediately and then seal the press up for later and it will keep your coffee hot and fresh for a time.
Cleaning the body and press of the cafetiere is very simple, you simply bin the coffee granules in the bottom of the glass and rinse off the excess grains using normal washing up liquid. The stainless steel and glass design makes this very easy to clean and keep looking good. Overall I am really impressed with this French press and would actually buy one of these over another Bodum when my personal press is in need of replacing.
With a traditional design featuring shiny chrome details, the La Cafetiere Coffee Maker is a pretty looking bit o' kit. This particular version is the three cup variety which has a current retail price of £22.96 from amazon.co.uk. To be honest, I feel that the price is a little steep, as the Debenhams version (which is very similar, or even identical) costs around £10 less.
Design / Specification
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The cafetiere's handle is constructed from a sturdy black plastic, which although thin, is nevertheless comfortable to use. The jug capacity is 350ml (12fl oz), and it's made from toughened borosilicate glass. This means that it's unlikely to crack when hot water is poured into it - and, touch wood, my one has survived without breaking in the couple of years that i've used it.
Use and Cleaning
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Making coffee in the La Cafetiere Chrome Coffee Maker is a simple process - firstly remove the plunger, then pour in your ground coffee. Now fill up the cafetiere with hot water and give it a quick stir. Pop the lid back on and wait for a few minutes. Finally push the plunger down slowly and your coffee is ready to pour. Cleaning the cafetiere is similarly easy - and predominantly consists of a general swilling with water. In my experience i've found that the plunger feels smooth when pushed down, and (although this may seem like a slightly dodgy statement) 'it isn't too much of an effort to get it back up (!)'.
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Although it's a pretty looking and effective device, the La Cafetiere Chrome Three Cup Coffee Maker is a little expensive when compared to some of its contemporaries. Take nothing away from its performance however, overall this is a quality product.
Over the years, I was never really a major coffee connoisseur, simply preferring my instant coffee in the office and at home. But last year, my kids bought this for me as a present, and all that changed and opened up a whole new world of coffee to me.
At first, having never used one before, I decided to do a little research on the web to see what it was about. Interestingly, this La Cafetiere Chrome Coffee Maker comes in a variety of capacities. This 3 cup version seems to be the smallest of the set and is classed as being 'ideal for 2 sharing' in the morning, or to have a couple of cups on the go in the office. Beyond this, the range expands into a 4, 8 or 12 cup variant. You can also get them in either of 2 finishes - chrome plated or 24 carat gold plated on stainless steel. Fortunately (unfortunately?!) my kids bought me the chrome version - otherwise we would be locking it away with the family silver!!
What is it? Well it is a sort of 'mechanical' coffee maker. The container itself is a heat resistant glass beaker with enough capacity to hold enough water for 3 cups of coffee. There is a plunger/metal filter arrangement that sits inside the beaker, with a central rod on the back of it running up through the top metal chrome cap. The beaker itself is held in a chrome framework that in turn has a large black handle out of the side. So it basically looks like some sort of fancy designed, very stylish large coffee cup, and all that for around the £20 mark on the web
Using it is a kind of a whole new concept in coffee making. For years I was just using my standard Nescafe or Kenco instant coffee - spoonful in a cup, a little milk and pour in the boiling water. But with this cafetiere, you don't use the classic instant coffee. Now you start moving into the world of ground coffee types - Jamaican, Columbian, Italian, French, and all the variants therein - and that opens up a whole multitude of different coffee flavours and strengths. You just put a couple of spoonfuls into the beaker (varying the amount of coffee to suit the strength you want), pour in the boiling water and put the lid on with the plunger bit at the top. Now the idea is that you leave it like that for a few minutes to allow the coffee granules to release the flavour, where the amount of time left to soak will determine the strength of the final mixture. When ready, push the plunger down, squeezing all of the granules down into the bottom of the beaker, leaving you with a nice beaker full of coffee. The whole mixture strength bit becomes a bit of an art as you vary how much you put in and how long you leave it to soak for, but eventually you will master your perfect strength. But in the aspect of making coffee, this cafetiere does this really well. The process on making the coffee is simple enough - once you get the hang of it and know how to control and make the various strengths and mixtures etc.
Any negative points for this cafetiere? Well, yes. One real point of note is that this is marketed as a 3 cup cafetiere, and many would read that and think that that would mean 3 normal cups or mugs of coffee, as my family apparently did when the bought it. Hence I said earlier that it was 'classed as being ideal for 2 sharing'. However, in my opinion, the capacity is more designed for 3 small cups, almost like espresso size cups, or just the one (and perhaps a bit more) big cups. So for me on my own, this is ideal for just me in the office (and that's where I do use it), but as a cafetiere for a couple of people, it's not very practical because of the very limited capacity - unless you just want your expresso shots in the morning - and that lack of capacity is a bit of a disappointment.
In summary, it looks stylish, works well and makes great coffee, and opens up a whole new world of ground coffee flavours to you to experiment with. So for those qualities alone, I would have given it 5 stars. But that little '3 cup' marketing ploy is a bit disappointing, and looking back, I would probably have gone for the 8 cup version to ensure that the wife and I could at least share a couple of normal sized cups of decent coffee together in the morning. So that lack of capacity and marketing ploy issue just taints what is otherwise a great cafetiere. So only a 4 star recommendation overall.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
This product was purchased for me as a gift so I am not sure what the exact cost was. You can get similar cafetieres for £10-£25 depending on what you want to pay; they are available from department stores and also online retailers such as amazon.
This cafetiere is the classic plunger style coffee maker. It has a chrome lid and outer rim that holds the glass beaker. It is an attractive little thing so you won't be ashamed of having it in your kitchen. All cafetieres are very much alike but I do prefer the look of the metal ones rather than the plastic ones. It is down to personal preference of course but the metal cafetieres look sleeker and more durable than their plastic counterparts.
Note on the size:
I have read a few reviews on here and on other websites complaining about the size of cafetieres. When a cafetiere is listed as a 3 cup, it means 3 espresso type cups not regular cups. It often causes confusion as most people don't drink tiny cups of coffee but prefer the regular size. This 3 cup cafetiere makes enough coffee to fill 1 normal cup. I am the only person who drinks coffee in my house so it is enough for me but if there is more than one person wanting to use it in your house, get a bigger version.
How to use the cafetiere:
The amount of coffee you put in the cafetiere is really up to you but I put 2-3 tablespoons of ground coffee beans in the beaker. Then top it up with nearly boiling water, I just fill it up to the top of the metal frame so that it doesn't overflow when I put the plunger in. Give it a quick stir and place the plunger on top, you don't push down yet just leave it resting on the top of the coffee. Leave it for 3-4 minutes depending on how strong you want your coffee and then plunge. Then pour it into your coffee cup and enjoy!
Washing the cafetiere:
It is pretty easy to wash, the beaker can be removed for cleaning or if you're lazy like me just rinse it out whilst it is in the frame. The bottom part of the plunger device unscrews so you can clean it as well, there are 4 different parts that screw onto the main rod. It is easy enough to take apart but at the same time, it screws on tight enough so that it won't come off when in use.
Is it any good?:
I have had this cafetiere for over a year now and after initially serving me well it has recently let me down. The mesh in the plunger is letting more and more coffee beans into the main body of the beaker once the plunger has been pushed down. I must say it has undergone heavy use in the past 4-6 months due to university work (more work = more coffee) but I did think it would last a bit longer. From what I have read of other cafetieres, this is a common problem, they all seem to have a limited lifespan. It was good while it lasted but now I am on the hunt for another cafetiere, I need my daily home brewed Starbucks!
Also posted on ciao under the username shabbating
I paid £10 for this little 3 cup cafetiere in Waitrose. Being part of the John Lewis group, i also notice it is available there, so i guess they are the main suppliers.
Mine isn't chrome, it is black plastic lid, 3 cup glass jug and a black handle. I seem to remember that the black version is slightly cheaper than the chrome one.
I opted for black as i think chrome is notoriously difficult to maintain. It gets those smudge marks that are a nightmare to shift.
My little black cafetiere is very attractive. It looks smart. I only wash it in the sink, not a dishwasher. A quick swish and it is mostly clean, so it still looks lovely having used it for about 6 months.
It is also pretty tough glass. I've knocked it a few times and waited for it to shatter before my eyes, but it hasn't. No chips or anything.
Whatever the advertising, in my world, this isn't a three cup cafetiere! I can only associate this inapproprate sizing with someone suggesting 3 inches is 6 inches, if you get my meaning! I get one mug full out of my cafetiere. If you have tea cups rather than mugs, you'd probably just get 2 cups. I guess that the sizing comes from Espresso cups, as you'd probably get 3 of them from this!
This has become my Saturday and Sunday morning treat. I don't have time to faff during the week. But on a Saturday morning, i have my nice cafetiere coffee and everything starts out right in the world!
I add 2 scoops of coffee to my cafetiere. I like strong coffee, so i have strong blends and this is just about right for the size of the cafetiere. The scoop is provided.
Check the coffee you buy is suitable for cafetieres as some of them are just for filters.
For a cafetiere novice...
You put 2 or 3 scoops of coffee in the assembled cafetiere. Add boiling water. Not quite to the top, leave a gap. Stir (use a plastic spoon or you could break it!). Wait...
Plunge after about 3 or 4 minutes.
Pour into your cup, mug, bowl or whatever you drink your coffee from!
It is a good idea to take the plunger apart every so often. I don't do it every time, although i am sure there are some domestic goddesses who do. Just wash all of it with warm, soapy water. Top Tip, wash the plunger and glass on their own, otherwise all of your other dishes will end up with grains of coffee on them, it is a bit like sand and can get everywhere if you're not careful!
This is a good little machine. A little bit too small really, but i do get my lovely mug of coffee on the weekend.
It looks smart, is pretty robust and as easy to use as a knife and fork!
If you live alone, this will do you nicely. If you're lucky enough to share your coffee passion, buy a bigger one, 'cos this just won't do the job!
I own the twelve-cup La Cafetiere Chrome Coffee Maker, and have always found it to be extremely reliable as well as being very stylish. However, as I rarely have cause to use a cafetiere with such a capacity, I most often use its three-cup counterpart.
Although this product is advertised as having a three-cup capacity, it will only serve three small cups of coffee. Thus, I would not recommend you purchase this model if you are looking for a cafetiere that will cater for three coffee lovers simultaneously. When I am working on a project and need a little pick-me-up I frequently fill the cafetiere for my own use, and can get two mugs of coffee out of it. It is also useful for breakfast time when I am preparing drinks for two individuals with more modest requirements.
The glass jug is reasonably weighty, so when you add enough water to fill the device you will need to exert caution when lifting it. The durable glass is framed by a chrome surround, which is both stylish and functional. The 'dome' is ribbed for aesthetic purposes, and the 'head' of the plunger fits snugly into place without any room for movement. The mechanism is smooth and the process effortless, which is what you would expect from a product in this higher end price range.
When the cafetiere is placed on a surface it will not cause any marking, as the glass cup is raised, so the device stands on four 'feet.' This prevents condensation accumulating on surfaces when the contents are hot. Similarly, the mesh within the plunger device is very high quality, and the perforations so small that very little coffee debris will transfer to your cup when the coffee is poured.
The machine is very easy to clean. The glass cup merely requires swilling, and while the plunger is slightly more troublesome being as you may need to scoop some coffee particles from its surface, if this is done reasonably soon after use it does not present much difficulty.
This is a very stylish product fashioned from high quality materials. Because it is so well made it will serve you well for many years. I have always treated my cafetiere with care, and do not put it in the dishwasher. It has only sustained a moderate amount of surface wear, but nothing that detracts from its overall appearance. Other options for the La Cafetiere Chrome Coffee Maker include the four-, eight- and twelve-cup varieties.