Chambord and Brazil are not only exotic sounding destinations, but two great methods of brewing a delicious cup of coffee.
The Chambord and Brazil are both specific models of the iconic French press coffee pot, whose roots date back to the 1920s.
In the 1940’s, a Denmark-based housewares company called Bodum was born. Bodum has since created their own versions of the French press, including both the Chambord and Brazil.
Over the decades, Bodum has created a variety of products, and has specifically produced over 100 million French press coffee pots.
Regardless of the company’s growth and success, their focus has always been on functionality and aesthetic details.
The French press is just that:
A beautiful and practical product that has remained unchanged since its creation.
Making your morning coffee in a French press gives you an experience easier than making drip coffee and one that feels a bit fancier at the same time. The ease and classy feel of this brewing system makes the French press popular with all types of coffee drinkers.
Today, we’ll be exploring:
- The French press
- How a French press works
- The Chambord model
- The Brazil model
- Similarities of the two models
- Differences between the two models
- Which is best for you
What is a French press?
The classic French press is an environmentally friendly 3-piece system that brews a consistent cup of coffee in style. The user-friendly brewing system consists of a few simple parts:
– Glass beaker
– Stainless steel or plastic lid
– Plunger with an attached mesh metal filter
It is important to note that the glass used for this design isn’t just ANY glass.
The particular glass used in Bodum French presses is called borosilicate, and was developed by a German glassmaker in the late 19th century. It has been used by Bodum since they started making this product.
Borosilicate glass has a chemical makeup that gives it unique characteristics such as:
– Temperature shock resistance
– Microwave safe
– Dishwasher safe
– Cloud resistance
– Scratch resistance
Other industries that use this type of glass include:
Health & Science: Laboratory glassware and implantable medical devices
Lighting: Flashlight lenses and high intensity discharge lamps
Other: Aquariums and telescopes
The stainless steel parts are also constructed in a multi step process that gives them durability, strength, functionality and beauty. These pieces can be washed either by hand or in the dishwasher, and each element can be taken apart for cleaning purposes. As with other metals, they are not meant to be used in the microwave.
How does a French press work?
When preparing to make coffee in your French press, there are a few key tips to follow to ensure an amazing cup of coffee every time:
– Fresh coffee beans
– Coffee grinder
– Hot (not boiling) water
It is imperative to grind your beans fresh before every use, and not use pre-ground coffee, which tends to be too fine. The grind of the bean itself should be coarser than drip coffee. It works best to “pulse” the beans in the grinder, and check them every few seconds, until you’ve reached the desired texture.
Once you add your freshly ground beans to the beaker (roughly one heaping tablespoon per cup of coffee), slowly pour hot water over the beans, and stir carefully. Carefully place the lid (with attached plunger) back into the beaker right above the coffee. The beans and water need 3-4 minutes to do their magic. 4 minutes is the “magic” number, as the coffee will have achieved the ideal potency, while maintaining the integrity of the flavor.
Set a 3-4 minute timer, as the brew time goes by quickly. The overall product is sensitive to time fluctuations.
Pour leftover hot water into your mug to preheat it, and discard it prior to pouring your coffee. This will keep your coffee warmer longer in your mug.
Once the time is up, carefully press (this is where the term comes from) the plunger down to the bottom of the beaker. This will push the grounds to the bottom of the beaker, leaving you with a velvety smooth cup of coffee on the top, ready to be poured. Occasionally, there will be some yummy crema on top of your freshly poured cup too.
Because this method uses a metal mesh filter instead of a traditional paper filter, grounds tend to find their way through the top of the filter, which in turn causes more residual bean matter at the bottom of your cup. This is the charming part of the coffee it produces: the tiny bean fragments create a creamy (and sometimes a tad gritty) texture during your last sip.
Today, we’ll discover two different varieties of the French press, the Chambord and the Brazil. We’ll delve into the similarities and differences between the two products. Along the way, we’ll figure out which is a better fit for your lifestyle.
With its roots dating back to the 1950’s, the Chambord’s timeless and sleek design has remained unchanged. The Chambord beaker is made using the aforementioned scratch resistant glass called borosilicate, which holds up to temperature shock and fluctuations. In addition, this material does not retain odors, giving your coffee flavor consistency.
The stainless steel parts go through multiple chrome plating processes to obtain their quality and durability. The stainless steel details have also remain unchanged, giving the pot its iconic flair.
The smallest version of the Chambord is the perfect size for your cup of coffee in the morning, while the largest version makes up to 8 cups, making it a great option when you’re entertaining a crowd.
The four size variations of the Bodum Chambord on the market today are:
- 12 oz.
- 17 oz.
- 34 oz.
- 51 oz.
As the Chambord is a timeless piece, its 4 classic color choices follow suit. The color applies to the pot’s lid, frame and handle, and includes the following choices:
The Brazil came about in the 1980s and is the budget friendly cousin of the Chambord.
Its craftsmanship is comparable to the Chambord, but its design takes a few shortcuts. The Brazil’s lid, bottom frame and handle are made of a BPA-free polypropylene instead of stainless steel.
With its smaller version being close to half the cost of the Chambord, the Brazil’s prices start close to $17. In comparison to the Chambord, the Brazil comes in fewer sizes as well: 12 oz., 34 oz. and 51 oz.
In addition to different sizes, the color choices include:
The color options give users the option pick a color that matches their personality or the color scheme of their kitchen, and again will appear on the lid, frame and handle of the Brazil.
When deciding between these two French press options, it’s important to note their similarities:
– These two French press pots use the same coarse grind and four minute steeping process to brew coffee.
– Both pots make great decor on your countertop or on an open shelf when not in use.
– Clean up with either French press option is simple because the parts can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher.
– The press itself does not require an electricity source, just hot water. That means if you have a heat source to warm
up your water, you can enjoy a great cup of coffee.
– Replacement beakers and mesh screens can be found online on the Bodum website, Amazon, Sur La Table, Crate and Barrel
and other specialty retailers.
– The mesh screen is interchangeable between different types of French presses, as long as the diameter is correct.
– Size availability
– Color choice
– Price point
– Aesthetic differences
Which is best for you?
Comparable to other coffee systems, the French press is a budget friendly option due to its simplistic nature.
As the materials and craftsmanship are the most notable similarities in these two products, the final verdict comes down to your personality as the final consumer.
The Chambord has been labeled as “Classic”, “Practical”, “Sleek”, and “ImPRESSive”
The Brazil has been described in consumer reviews as “Simple”, “Durable”, “Economical”, and “Modern”
If the taste of your coffee is your deciding factor, either option is great.
If aesthetic is your goal, let your style be your guide.
The main difference between the Bodum Chambord and the Bodum Brazil is the price. That really is the essence of it. A quick check of the current prices of these two French presses shows that the 12 oz. Chambord is priced at around $30, while the similarly-sized Brazil is priced at $15. So, of the two, you can consider the Chambord to be the higher end version offered by Bodum, while the Brazil is more of an entry level product.
This difference in price reflects in the way the two French presses are constructed and designed. So, for instance, when you look at the Chambord, you’ll be seeing a product which has more shiny surfaces, where the body and the lid are made of steel and glass. Other parts of the product have a matte black kind of finish. The overall effect is a product which exudes a lot of class. The Chambord looks sleek in a very timeless way. You may be paying more for this product, but you will also get a sense that you’re getting more for your hard-earned cash.
This is in contrast to the Brazil. Since the product is less expensive, Bodum also made it a point to adjust the look of the French press to convey a different impression. Instead of shiny stainless steel surfaces, you’ll be seeing a press that is made more of polypropylene. Instead of going for a sleek look, Bodum chose to make this product more colorful, and more fun. You could say that it would appeal to people who have more playful personalities, or who don’t mind having a French press with bright colors. There is a black version of the Brazil. But it also comes in red, lime green and white colors.
So this means that before you can make a choice between the two products, you will need to have a look at both, especially the Brazil, in order to judge whether the product will work within your space. If you plan to put it in a kitchen with mostly stainless steel appliances and surfaces, a lime green Bodum Brazil might stick out too much.
Another possible consideration is that the Chambord offers more sizes to choose from. More specifically, the Brazil only has 12 oz., 34 oz. and 51 oz sizes. The Chambord has these as well, but it also comes in 17 oz. version. So if a 3-cup French press isn’t large enough to handle your coffee-making needs but 8 cups is a bit too many, you might have to go for the 4-cup Chambord version. There are also smaller differences such as the fact that the Chambord has a more curved handle while the one on the Brazil is more angled.
If you want the look of shine or need a different size, then check out this page for the Bodum Chambord.
In the end, the decision that you make will be based more on the importance of a lower price as well as whether a classic-looking French press is important to you. If you’re okay with something a lot more colorful, a lot more playful, then the Brazil is your thing. However, if a sleek and classic look are what you are looking for, then shine it up with the Chambord.
Petty? A bit in our opinion.