How to Use a French Press: Ultimate Guide to Delicious Coffee

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You might be surprised to learn that nearly 83% of Americans drink coffee daily. That’s a lot of coffee! If you’re one of those coffee lovers, you might be interested in learning how to use a french press to make a delicious cup.

French press coffee makers are an excellent way to make fresh, flavorful coffee. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

This article will show you how to make a delicious cup of coffee using a French press coffee maker. We’ll also share tips on choosing the best beans and grinding them for the perfect brew.

So, whether you’re a coffee novice or a seasoned pro, we think this article will be helpful. So let’s get started!

What is French Press Coffee?

French press coffee is a type of coffee brewed by placing ground coffee in a carafe or pot, adding hot water, and allowing the mixture to steep for several minutes. The plunger is then pressed down, forcing the grounds to the bottom of the carafe and separating the coffee from the grounds. The result is a rich, full-bodied coffee with a strong flavor.

What do you need to make French Press Coffee?

1. A French press coffee maker

There are a few key reasons why you need this coffee maker to brew french press coffee. First, the press allows you to immerse the coffee grounds in water for an extended time, resulting in a richer flavor. 

Second, the press helps to filter out sediments and impurities, producing a smooth cup of coffee. Finally, the press gives you greater control over the brewing process, allowing you to adjust the strength and flavor to suit your taste.

2. Ground coffee

You’ll want to start with a coarse grind when making French press coffee. In this instance, the coffee will be excessively extracted, resulting in a bitter flavor. On the other hand, if the grind is too coarse, the coffee will be under-extracted and taste weak. 

The best way to find the perfect grind is to experiment and see what works best for you. Keep in mind that the grind can vary depending on the type of coffee beans you’re using. In general, though, a coarse grind is an excellent place to start.

3. Hot water

To brew a perfect French press coffee, you’ll need water that’s around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just shy of boiling, so if you’re using a kettle on the stove, be sure to let it cool for about 30 seconds before pouring it over your grounds. 

How long does it take to make a French press coffee?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to make French press coffee, the answer is that it depends on how you like your coffee. The ideal time for making coffee at an espresso machine would be about four minutes, but if you want to make your favorite cup, you might need a little longer than five minutes. 

It’s possible to experiment and determine the exact coffee you like, so starting at 4 minutes and then adjusting is a good idea. Depending on how strong you want your coffee, how much water you use, and other factors, the perfect brewing time for you could be anywhere from 4 to 5 minutes. So don’t be afraid to experiment until you find your perfect cup of french press coffee.

So you want to make the perfect cup of coffee using a French press? It’s actually not as difficult as you might think. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying a delicious cup of joe in no time.

Step 1 – Heat water

If you’re looking to make the perfect cup of coffee, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, start by heating your water. Coffee is roughly 92% water, so using water with a shallow mineral content can really benefit the taste. 

Aim for a water temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, just heat the water until it’s boiling. The boiling water will help to clean or heat your press before brewing.

Step 2 – Measure coffee and grind it

The second step to making the best french press coffee is to measure the beans. A good rule of thumb is to use two tablespoons of coffee per cup of water. Once you’ve measured your beans, it’s time to grind them. 

The grind size is crucial because it determines your coffee’s strength. Since you use a French Press, you’ll want to use a medium-coarse grind.

How To Grind Coffee for a French Press?

You will want to use a coarse grind to grind coffee for a coffee press. This will give you a nice, rich cup of espresso with plenty of flavors. If your coffee has already been ground, you can still use it, but it won’t be quite as fresh or flavorful.

What’s the right grind size for a French Press?

The grind size is slightly coarser than what you would use for drip coffee. If the grind is too fine, the coffee will be over-extracted and taste bitter. If the grind is too coarse, the coffee will be under-extracted and taste weak. Start with a medium grind and adjust as needed to find the perfect grind size. An excellent place to start is with a setting that’s halfway between drip coffee and coarse grind.

Step 3 – Preheating the French Press (optional)

If you’re wondering whether heating your French press will affect the flavor of your coffee, the answer is no. Heating the paper does nothing to improve the flavor. However, if your press has been neglected for a while, these steps may remove dust and debris that could impact the taste of your coffee. 

To start, fill the glass with half a cup of water. Put the top onto the pitcher, then lift the plunger. Swirl hot water inside to loosen the old coffee dust. Next, remove the bottom of the beaker to drain the liquid into the sink. 

And that’s it! Now you can brew a fresh pot of coffee without worrying about any off-flavors.

Step 4 – Combine ground coffee and hot water

Prepare your cups – it’s time to make some coffee! First, pour the ground coffee into the bottom of the beaker and give it a light shake until the mixture is evenly balanced. Then, once you have the right amount of water at the perfect temperature, add it to the press in one slow and steady pour. 

Hot water will help everything get wet quickly and start brewing. Now all that’s left is to wait for your delicious cup of coffee!

What’s the proper French Press ratio? (Coffee to Water ratio)

When it comes to brewing coffee in a French press, a specific ratio of coffee to water needs to be followed to achieve the perfect cup. That ratio is 1:1, meaning for every gram of coffee, there should be one gram of water. While this may seem like a lot of water, it’s necessary to achieve the proper extraction and flavor of the coffee bean.

Additionally, using too much or too little coffee can impact the final taste of the coffee. Too much coffee will make it bitter, while too little will make it weak and unsatisfying. Using the proper ratio and adjusting accordingly based on personal preference, you can create the perfect press coffee every time.

Step 5 – Stir and time the steepest steps

Once you’ve ground your beans, it’s time to stir the grounds for about 2 minutes until they’re thoroughly wet. Next, place the top on the cup and pull out the plunger to help keep the coffee hot. Finally, set a timer for 4:00 and enjoy your coffee while you wait.

Step 6 – Deal with the crust

When the timer is up, remove the lid and check to see if there’s a crusty surface. This happens when coffee grounds form while the coffee is steeping. Gently stir and use your spoon to break up the crust. Almost everything will drop back into the beaker. The spoon will help you remove the crust from the bowl before removing it from the food.

Next, remove the coffee grounds and any remaining liquid. This process can slightly change the end coffee’s flavor – sometimes for the better, sometimes not. It all depends on how you like your coffee!

Step 7 – Press and pour

Now that you’ve followed all the steps and waited patiently for your water to reach the perfect temperature, it’s time to get brewing! 

First, place the top on the tin and gently hold the plunger to a low level. It is fine when a plunger drops below the floor almost without resistance; it is okay.

Alternatively, the grind is too fine when you push the plunger on top. When the plunger has reached its base, place the brewed coffee slowly in the French Press and enjoy! The perfect cup of coffee is only a few minutes away – so sit back, relax, and savor the moment.

Step 8 – Save the last drop

You might wonder why you should avoid pouring out the last 10% of your brewed coffee. The answer is simple because that last bit will be full of silt. When coffee grounds are brewed, they release a lot of their soluble compounds into the water. 

However, the insoluble compounds – like silt – stay behind in the coffee grounds. That means the last bit of coffee in your beaker will have a higher silt concentration than the rest.

And it’s not just the beaker you need to worry about – the same goes for your mug. So next time you finish brewing a pot of coffee, resist the temptation to drink that last sip. It might not look like much, but it’ll be packed full of silt and other insoluble compounds. Trust me; it’s not worth it!

Choose the right French Press

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right French press, such as the press size, the material it’s made from, and the type of filter.

If you’re looking for a small French press, the Bodum Chambord is a good option. It’s made from durable borosilicate glass and has a stainless steel plunger and filter. The Chemex Classic Series is another good choice if you’re looking for a small coffee maker. It’s made from heat-resistant glass and has a wood collar and leather tie.

If you’re looking for a large French press, the Bodum Pavina is a good option. It’s made from double-wall borosilicate glass and has an insulated lid. The Frieling Stainless Steel is also a good option if you’re looking for a large coffee maker. It’s made from stainless steel and has a silicone gasket and heat-resistant plastic handle.

When choosing a French press, it’s essential to consider the size, material, and type of filter. If you’re looking for a durable glass coffee press with a stainless steel plunger and filter, the Bodum Chambord is a good option. If you’re looking for an insulated large coffee maker, the Bodum Pavina is an excellent choise.

Pros and cons of using a French press

There are a few pros and cons to using a French press that you should consider before making your decision.

Some of the pros of using a coffee maker like this include the following:

  • It is easy to use – just add coffee and hot water, stir, and press.
  • It limits the contact time between coffee grounds and hot water, resulting in a less bitter cup of coffee
  • French press is relatively inexpensive
  • French press coffee is typically richer and fuller-bodied than other methods
  • The plunger on a French press traps the grounds at the bottom of the pot, which means you don’t have to worry about them making their way into your cup

Some of the cons of using a French press include the following:

  • It can be more difficult to get a consistent cup of coffee
  • It can be more challenging to clean than other methods
  • The mesh filter can allow more sediment in your cup of coffee


So, there you have it! Now you know how to use a French press like a pro. Remember to heat your water to the right temperature, add the coffee grounds, let the coffee brew, and then press down slowly. 

Serve and enjoy! With a bit of practice, you’ll be making delicious coffee at home in no time.


How much coffee should I use in my French press?

Generally, you should use about two tablespoons of coffee per cup of water. However, this can vary depending on your personal preferences.

Can I reuse the coffee grounds from my French press?

Yes, you can reuse the coffee grounds from your French press. Just make sure to let them cool first, so they don’t overcook.

What is the best way to clean my French press?

The best way to clean your French press is to disassemble it and wash each piece separately. You can also use a mild detergent if needed. Then, rinse each piece thoroughly before reassembling your coffee maker.

Do I need to use a particular type of coffee for my French press?

No, you don’t need to use a particular type of coffee for your French press. Just make sure to use a coarse grind, so the grounds don’t end up in your cup.

I’m having trouble getting a consistent cup of coffee with my French press. Any tips?

Try preheating the pot with hot water if you use a French press. This will help to ensure that your coffee is extracted correctly. You can also experiment with different grind sizes and brewing times to find what works best.

Is a French Press easy to use?

Yes, it is easy to use. Just add coffee and hot water, stir, and press. The plunger on a French press traps the grounds at the bottom of the pot, which means you don’t have to worry about them making their way into your cup

How long do you brew coffee in a French Press?

The general rule of thumb is to brew for four minutes, which can be adjusted to taste. If you want a stronger cup of coffee, brew longer. If you prefer a weaker cup, brew for a shorter time.

Can you use regular ground coffee in a French Press?

Yes, you can use regular ground coffee in a French press. However, it is essential to note that the grind size will impact the taste of the coffee. If the grind is too fine, the coffee will be bitter. If the grind is too coarse, the coffee will be weak. It is best to experiment with different grind sizes is best to find what you prefer.

How long should coffee be set in a French Press?

This is a question with no definitive answer, as it depends on your personal preferences. However, we recommend letting the coffee steep for 3-4 minutes before pressing the plunger down.

What is the ratio of coffee to French press?

Again, this is a matter of personal preference, but we recommend using one tablespoon (7 grams) of coffee per cup (237 ml) of water. Also, be sure to use freshly ground coffee beans for the best flavor.

How much coffee do you put in a French press for 2 cups?

For 2 cups, you would use two tablespoons (14 grams) of coffee.

How do I make iced coffee with a French Press?

We recommend using cold brew concentrate to make iced coffee with a French Press. To do this, simply grind your coffee beans as usual and add them to the coffee maker. Then add cold water, stir, and let the steep coffee overnight in the fridge. In the morning, press the plunger down and add your concentrate to a glass of ice.

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Lorena is a writer and coffee lover who has been researching and writing about coffee for over five years. She has a passion for learning about all aspects of coffee, from how it is grown and harvested to the different brewing methods used around the world. Lorena’s goal is to share her knowledge with as many people as possible, and she does this through her writing on the Brew Coffee Daily. In addition to articles, Lorena also writes coffee reviews, offering readers an unbiased look at different brands and roasts. Whether you’re a coffee novice or a seasoned pro, Lorena’s writing will give you a new perspective on this beloved beverage.

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