Dark, rich, and intense, classic French Press coffee is delicious. With more ground particles in solution than regular drip coffee though, this potent yet often gritty beverage isn't for everyone. Equipped with a unique double filter, the $60 (roughly £45 in the UK and AU$80 in Australia) Espro Press P5 solves this problem by sifting out residual coffee grounds with satisfactory results. It's quite a capable cold brew coffee maker as well, thanks to a dual strainer that's just as adept at filtering chilled java as it is when handling piping hot joe.
Like any French Press, the Espro Press P5 is a cinch to use and consists of just a few parts. These are a glass pitcher, a metal cradle and attached plastic handle to hold it, plus a steel lid and plunger assembly.
The P5's genius though lies in its plunger design. Instead of the usual flat perforated plate that sits at the end of a metal rod, at the foot of the Espro Press' plunger is a big basket filter.
Really two interlocking mesh baskets, one inside the other, the filter functions as a tight sieve. A silicone gasket at the filter's top prevents coffee liquid, and solid coffee bits, from escaping filtration. The result, French Press coffee which is outstandingly clean without sacrificing the beverage's signature strength and big flavor.
To make cold brew you add slightly more grounds than you use for hot coffee and cool water instead of hot. You also let the coffee brew in the fridge overnight and drop the plunger in the morning to filter.
The cold brew drink I made, while not super concentrated like what you get from the Oxo Cold Brew Coffee Maker, Toddy or the Filtron, had a smooth and pleasing coffee taste yet still packed a punch. Refractometer readings of my cold brew had a TDS (total dissolved solids) percentage of 2.2 percent -- a little higher than drip but less than the Oxo (5.4 percent), Toddy (4.7 percent) and Filtron (4.6 percent).
You do pay a premium for the P5's impressive coffee-making abilities, about $30 more than similarly styled press products from Bodum and $20 more than dedicated cold coffee brewers such as the $40 (roughly £30, AU$55) Toddy and $40 Filtron. That's why I recommend springing for the $60 Espro Press P5 only if you love French Press above all and only occasionally enjoy cold brew. Cold Brew addicts will be better served by the less expensive Toddy, Filtron and $50 (roughly £40, AU$65) Oxo.