Replacements: Coffee French Press

Occasionally I will see posts on French Presses in Buy Nothing and on my neighborhood’s social media sites. I’ve also been contacted by neighbors and friends on these when they break. Posts are usually up because the carafe, which is the glass beaker insert, has broken and the owner doesn’t know what to do with the rest of the French Press.

If part of your French Press breaks, check the manufacturer’s website to see if there are replacement parts. The “spare glass,” beaker, or carafe are usually the easiest piece to replace. Now depending on the brand and size you choose, replacing parts may cost near the same as the whole original item but keep in mind that by only buying what you need to replace you are not wasting or causing the need for all the other new parts to be manufactured, or the remaining parts you have to be trashed or recycled.

We use a Bodum French Press in my house. We were looking for one that had good reviews (we check Wirecutter before making most purchases) and as little plastic parts as possible, especially plastic that would come in contact with the hot coffee. We also wanted one that carries replacement parts so as part of our research in preparing to purchase we made sure there were replacements for all the main parts. Our favorite local coffee shop that sells beans and all coffee accessories, Anderson’s, does sell a French press and while we try and shop local, we’ll purchase elsewhere for health reasons (i.e. less plastic parts), so we ordered this from Bodum.

I normally would not already have a backup in place, but we have one now for three reasons: 1) COVID happened and there were a few times during the first year where the supply chain was interrupted/delayed, 2) we really got into coffee during COVID and with the frequency of use (at least once daily) on the off chance that we broke a beaker, we didn’t want to go days without coffee while we waited for a replacement, and 3) I’m a bit clumsy and impatient and there is strong possibility I will be going to fast on day and knock this on the counter and break it.

We are in the gift-giving season right now and if you have a coffee-lover in your life, a replacement/backup for their preferred coffee making style may be a great gift idea. You may also want to include a gift card to their favorite coffee shop, a bag of their favorite beans, a special flavor, or a sweetener to round out the gift. If your coffee lover prefers drip or pour over coffee consider a fabric or metal reusable filter to go with one of these ideas.

Now if you really do break a French Press beyond repair, consider which is the most prominent remaining material: plastic or metal, and drop it in the respective Hard Plastics or Scrap Metal bin at the City of Austin Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center or your local recycler. So if it’s mostly a plastic French Press it goes in Hard Plastics and if it’s a mostly metal French Press it goes in Scrap Metal. Glass should be separated out: wrapped carefully, labeled “glass,” and put in your trash cart. If your press/frame broke and you don’t want to repair or replace it and you still have the glass beaker for example, consider posting the usable remaining pieces (including the brand and model number/name if you can) on Buy Nothing, Nextdoor, your local marketplace, etc.

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