How To Use French Press: The Ultimate Guide

How To Use French Press

There’s nothing more satisfying than a freshly-brewed cup of coffee and the French press makes it seem even better.

Begin your day with a cup of excellent coffee from the French press. Making French press coffee is surprisingly easy. While this may look like a complicated process, it’s really quite simple.

I'm sure that many of you may not know how to use a French Press. Well, you're in luck because this article will tell you everything from the basic steps of the process to the reasoning behind it.

What is a French Press?

What is a French Press?

To start, the French Press is a device used for brewing coffee. It is simply a glass beaker protruding out of a long handle. The plunger that acts as the lid also helps filter out the grounds. Not only is this easy to use, but it’s also very easy to clean.

Now, let’s move on to the most important part of your morning coffee. That’s the beans!

The Beans: For the perfect French press, you'll want coarsely-ground Arabica beans. If you're not sure how to tell if they're coarse enough, simply pinch them between your fingers.

If you can rub them through to the other side, they’re perfect for your French press. The lower the roast number of the bean is, the more bitter it will be. Therefore, it’s a good idea to choose a medium roast for the best taste.

Latest Posts About French Press Brewing

How Does A French Press Work?

How Does A French Press Work?

The French Press steeps coffee grounds and hot water in a beaker. After you are done steeping Pour the liquid into a glass while pressing the metal filter at the bottom of the beaker to remove any remaining grounds from your drink.

The metal mesh filter in the coffee pot allows oils and fine particles to pass through it. This gives the coffee a “thick body.”

This process of gradually boiling water and coffee which includes slowly lowering the heat and stirring in between is called Brewing.

Immersion brewing is a simpler way to make coffee. You just put some ground coffee in the bottom of the pot, mix it with water. You’re at risk for over-extraction if you grind the coffee too finely or leave it too steep for too long.

The French press is divided into two main parts:

  1. The lid, plunger, and filter
  2. The beaker, base, and handle

The lid, plunger, and filter

French press filters coffee beans to make a stronger, more flavorful brew. The metal mesh filter is placed in the bottom of the coffee pot over the coffee grounds and grinder.

The lid holds it in place. This helps prevent spills and messes while not allowing any fine particles to get into your cup.

The plunger also functions as a brewing stopper. It’s a weighted lid that sits on top of your coffee grounds, covering them with water to brew a strong cup of coffee.

The weight of the lid causes it to close, holding your grounds in place while keeping them out of sight.

The beaker, base, and handle

The beaker is made of a glass or ceramic cylinder that’s used to add coffee grounds and water together. The long handle makes it easy to hold without sloshing the coffee around, and the glassworks as a thermal barrier.

Heat goes through the beaker, heating the water, and then up through your cup, making it a portable way to make coffee.

To ensure you brew excellent coffee every time, you need to understand how to take apart and clean your french press.

A monthly inspection should be done, as it is very helpful. It is more than just a rinse-out process.

Before We Begin: Choose The Right French Press

Before We Begin: Choose The Right French Press

It will be hard to make excellent coffee if you only use a low-cost, low-quality french press. You might think it’s a good idea to go for the cheapest option, but it won’t really be worth it when you have to replace it in 6-9 months.

A "cup" is smaller than a typical mug of coffee, and the standard press pot size is between 4 and 8 cups. Just remember, a “cup” is much smaller.

Generally, you have a list of four types of options: Small, Large, Metal, and Electric

  1. Small french press – If you’re the only one using your coffee press and it’s somewhere between 3-4 cups, this is a good option.

  2. Large french press – If you have a bigger family or you’re drinking coffee for many different people, then this is the best option for you.

  3. Metal french press – It’s made with a thick metal casing that helps insulate the heat and keep your press warm. This type of french press offers different types of filters including gold and platinum.

  4. Metal French press – It is bigger, well-insulated, and durable. You can go for this if you live in a clod area.

  5. Electric / Boil + Brew French Press – It has automated features that allow the coffee to be ready when you are. This won’t affect your coffee taste, but it will save you time and effort.

What You’ll Need To Make French Press Coffee?

There are many things that you need to make a French press coffee. That’s why we will break it down in this guide to make your life easier and more efficient.

1. Coffee Grinder

Coffee Grinder

A coffee grinder is an important tool for making a French press. This will help make sure that your beans are ground to the proper consistency, to ensure that they brew evenly.

As a general rule, the closer you grind your beans to the time of brewing, the more flavorful and aromatic your coffee will be.

2. Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

The type of coffee beans can dramatically change the flavor of your French press brew. In general, use coffee that has been roasted at least four weeks before you are going to brew with it to prevent the coffee from tasting bitter and sour.

Try a variety of different flavors, however; you may find your favorite happens to be the one brewed in a French press.

3. Water

The best-tasting coffee in the world came from the best-tasting water! Use high-quality water and you'll get a better flavor. Mineral-rich, hard water will produce the best cup of coffee than the soft waters.

4. The French Press

What? You thought it was just going to be a French press?

Despite its name, the French press is not exclusive to France. The French press is used to brew coffee and tea. With this coffee brewing system, you can brew up to 34 ounces of hot or cold beverage.


The filters that you will need are a strainer, a fine mesh filter, a metal mesh filter, and a cone filter. Each mesh type interacts with the beans differently, producing different flavors of coffee when brewed in the French Press. Experiment with each of these to find your favorite one to use.

6. Coffee Measure

Coffee Measure

This is the most important part of making your coffee in a French press. Once you have ground your beans, you need to measure them into the cup in order to have just the right quantity for one cup of coffee.

Too much coffee will give you an overly strong, bitter drink, while too little will give you a very weak and sour brew.

7. Coffee Spoon

Is a coffee spoon the same as a teaspoon?

After you’ve measured out your coffee, you’re almost done! The last thing to do is stir the coffee in a circular motion. This will produce more of a “bullet-time” hit than a nice slow swirl. Also, stirring the beans will cause them to release their essential oils, which make the brew richer and mellower.

French Press Coffee To Water Ratio

Coffee Measure Cup

There’s no one-size-fits-all ratio. The amount of water you use in your coffee will depend on the type of bean you’re using and the personal taste.

For example, if you like stronger, bolder coffee then add more water. However, if you want to achieve a milder-tasting drink then you'll need less.

Most experts recommend that you add 4 oz of water per 1/2 cup of coffee beans, but we suggest you experiment with your brew and make adjustments until you get the mix that works for you.

Grind your beans just before brewing so they have time to release their oils as well. If your coffee is still too strong, try adding more coffee or adjusting the amount of water used next time around.

The Secret to a Great French-Press Coffee

If you want to optimize your brewing process and get the best possible coffee out of your French press, then you need to make sure you’re doing everything right.

Here are the top 6 tips that will help you create a great brew every time.

  1. Put water in the French press before you put in the coffee. After the coffee cools down, it will make a huge difference in the flavor of your drink.

  2. Put two cups of water into your French press for each cup of coffee. Since not everyone needs the same amount of coffee, this will ensure that each coffee pot is going to have enough liquid to brew just right.

  3. Use enough beans for all your cups (unless you’re brewing a stronger or weaker brew). If you’re trying to make a lower-grade coffee, then you’ll need fewer beans and more water. If you’re trying to make a stronger brew, then use more coffee and fewer beans. This is true if your water is too hot or too cold as well; you’ll need enough liquid to cover the grounds, which will produce the best results for your French press.

  4. Stir in a circular motion with your spoon to release the oils and aromas that were trapped in the grounds. Making sure your grinds are at just the right size will help them release these flavors and aromas.

  5. When your pour coffee into the French press, put it in as slowly as you can without spilling any of the coffee. Once it hits the bottom of the cup, give it a quick stir to ensure all of the coffee is evenly distributed. To ensure that you get maximum flavor and aroma, try sipping from each end of the French press before pouring any more coffee. You’ll be amazed at how much better your coffee tastes.

  6. Rinse the metal mesh filter with hot water and let it sit for about a minute. This will keep your coffee tasting fresh and not bitter as the metal mesh is working to remove some of the oils from the beans.

How To Make French press Coffee?

It is very simple to make perfect french press coffee. You need to follow these steps and in a few minutes, you will have a cup of delicious coffee.

Step By Step French Press Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat Your Press

This is the most important thing to do. Preheating your press will help keep your coffee warm, and it will also help to flavor it.

Step 2: Grind Your Beans

If you are going into the French press with ground beans, be sure to grind them immediately before brewing. 
This makes sure that the consistency of your beans is just right for brewing in the French press. The finer you grind your beans, the more flavorful they will be (especially when made in a French press).

Step 3: Measure Your Water

The water will determine the strength of your brew, so be sure to get your measuring cup just right; too hot and it will scorch your coffee, too cold and the coffee won't brew properly. It should be between 200-205 degrees F.

Step 4: Insert Your Filter

There are a couple of ways to use a filter when making French press coffee in the press. The cone filter has a handle that is used to let the coffee through (its holes are round) and the mesh filter has a handle that is used to push all of the coffee through (the holes are square).
However, if you are using a metal mesh, the lid should be on top of your cup and the metal mesh should be placed underneath your cup. If you do this, make sure that you do not use soap in your press because it will damage it.

Step 5: Pour Your Water and Coffee Beans

Pour your water slowly, letting it come directly down to the bottom of the mesh filter (or metal mesh) and then back up to the top of your cup.
Then put the coffee beans in your press. You can put some coffee beans on top and some underneath, but don't do too many or they will become wet and you'll get a mess.

Step 6: Close the Press

Close the press and let it close completely. Some presses have a little hole in the bottom of them, but if you don't have one, be sure to use a lid that fits around the top (such as a silicon lid or a ceramic lid) so that your coffee will not get any water on it.

Step 7: Brew Your Coffee!

When you are ready to make your French press coffee, take your handle and gently push down on top of your cup and lift up slightly. 
This will open the top of your press. Then, pour in the coffee and let it brew for 2 or 3 minutes. If you see bubbles coming through, then you have brewed it long enough. Pour your coffee into a mug and enjoy!

Is coffee better in a French press?

While there is a lot of debate on which type of coffee maker is the best, it’s all personal. However, the French press is great for those who like their coffee strong and flavorful. It’s also great for those who don’t have a lot of room in their kitchen because they are pretty small and they make just one or two cups of coffee at once (which is often enough for most people).

Is French press coffee unhealthy?

The short answer is yes. If you’re not careful, you can end up ingesting a lot of acid that is released into the coffee as it brews. However, this is much less likely when using beans that have been roasted and ground than it is when using beans that are still in their green state.

What coffee works best in a French Press?

There is really no wrong type of coffee that works best in a French press; however, you should stick with medium to dark roasts. This will ensure that the acidity of the beans are not too overpowering. It’s also a good idea to stick with high quality blends to ensure that you get the most out of your brew.

What is the best temperature for French press coffee?

There is a lot of debate on the best temperature for French press coffee. Some say that you should brew your coffee at around 200 degrees F., while others say that you should go even hotter (as high as 205 degrees F.). This will depend on how much time you want it to brew. Allowing it to come to a boil will bring out the most flavor and it will also ensure that all of the oils in the beans are released.

Why is it hard to push down my French press?

The problem that can come up when you are trying to push down the French press is that the metal mesh filter (or metal mesh) will make it very heavy. Just be sure to try and push down on top of your cup (and not in the center of the press), gently. This should get you through.

How many teaspoons of coffee should I put in a French Press?

For 8 cups of coffee, you can use 1/2 teaspoon per cup. This is the standard amount that most people use.

How do I get the best French press coffee results?

Make sure that your grounds are finely ground. If they are not, they will not brew properly.

Do you Stir French press coffee once it steeps and why?

Yes, you stir your French press coffee once it has steeped for about 15-20 seconds to get the most flavor and best texture.

Can I make iced coffee with my French Press?

Yes you can. You just need to allow your coffee to cool down first and then place ice cubes in a carafe or pitcher. Then, pour your hot coffee over the ice cubes and let it cool down into your desired temperature. You can also add sugar or other sweeteners if you want it sweeter.

Why is my French press coffee so bitter?

Make sure that you are using coffee that is not bitter and that you don’t steep it for too long. Steeping for more time is not good for coffee in general.

Why does my French press coffee taste weak?

It is important that you use the right amount of coffee and that you grind it to the right texture. If you grind it too fine, you may find that your flavor will be weak. If you grind it too coarse, then your coffee may be bitter.

Should you boil water for French press?

While boiling water is not essential for French press, it is absolutely essential if you want to make the best coffee. Boiled water should be used when you are brewing your coffee so that the flavor of your coffee will be as good as possible.

How do I get my French Press to bloom?

Firstly, warm up your French press for about 30 seconds. This should be enough to heat the water that you will later put in your French press. If you use cold water, it may affect the taste of your coffee. Additionally, after that, add a scoop of coffee into your French press and let it brew for about 30 seconds.

What kind of coffee is best for French Press?

I’d recommend buying coffee that is light in color and body, such as a mild medium roast. The darker the roast, the more acidity it will have; but if it is not bitter, then you may want to try it.

Final Thoughts

What is another way to say final thoughts?

With this classic French Press, you don’t have to worry about waiting for boiling water like with regular methods because the device does all the hard work, thanks to powerful resistance coils and a vacuum seal.

You'll never need filters or paper cups again! Simply scoop up your grounds, pour hot water in through the bottom tube, stir it well with your special little stick (that comes with each French press), and enjoy a fragrant cup of coffee.

So now you know how to use a French press! I hope you all enjoyed reading this article as much as we did writing it.

Truly, the French press is one of the most versatile pieces of brewing equipment you can have in your kitchen. I'd love to hear what you all think about it, so make sure to leave a comment below!

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