Interesting toy that gets people's attention but doesn't come close to an AeroPress for single cup.
Positive Product Points
I bought the Bistro Mug Press for the purpose of being able to take my french press experience with me without worrying about the bulky and fragile nature of the glass Chambord pitcher. The Mug Press is perfect for that purpose. It is small, simple, and durable and people in the office think I am some kind of mad coffee scientist.
Negative Product Points
The product produces a decent cup but it is very gritty and not so easy to clean. The body of the coffee is a little thin even with some stirring.
The first time I used this, I was a little unsure what to do. The directions are pretty straight-forward but I knew I would have to experiment to put it to its paces. The first cup was very weak. I realized quickly that the plunger was pretty useless and I needed to stir the coffee grounds in order to extract the flavors. In a french press, the coffee grounds are completely immersed and reasonably distributed. However, the grounds in the mug press are compacted leading to an uneven extraction.
The most surprising aspect of the mug press was the amount of grit that was came into the coffee - much more than you would normally expect from a french press. I've been using a press pot for years so I'm no stranger to a little sludge at the bottom of the cup but the grit factor for the mug press is 5 times what a french press produces - leaving a gritty feeling on your upper lip as you drink. I've tried different grinds but all produced the same results (more or less).
One of the downsides to the mug press is clean up. If you have large hands like me, you're going to need some kind of bottle cleaner or other tool. It makes quite a mess in the sink which can be an issue if you are using this at work or another public place. You also have 4 separate pieces to clean which can be a challenge if multiple people are trying to use the sink.
For what it is designed for, the mug press can be a cute accessory to take with you on trips but in no way could I imagine anyone using this as their primary coffee maker. I should note that a couple months after I purchased the mug press, I purchased an AeroPress and I haven't used the mug press since. There isn't anything the mug press does that the AeroPress can't do better.
Since I bought this at Target, there isn't much to say except that this was a very typical shopping experience. I was shocked, however to see such as specialty device at Target.