How To Use A French Press

How To Make The Perfect French Press Coffee

Equipment on counter top to make french press coffee

Unlock the maximum flavor of your brew when you use a French press. A French press coffee gives you the aromatic and flavorful oils that can make a good cup of coffee, great.

How To Use A French Press?

Like with all great-tasting coffee brews knowing how much coffee to use or adding in hot water at a specific step in the brewing process can make all the difference, and when it comes to the best French press coffee it is no different.

If you want to make your loved one a delicious coffee or even to treat yourself first thing in the morning when you wake up before everyone else and the house is still quiet, a pressed cup of coffee is the perfect way to start the day.

Unlike many other coffee-making techniques a French press coffee is pretty simple to pull together.

There is no hassling with figuring out how long to wait for the brewing to be completed or if you need to grind the beans more or less, an effortless full-bodied coffee is what French press coffee is all about.

Coffee Equipment

What You Need To Make The Best French Press Coffee

How To Use A French Press

a person preheating a french press to show how to use a french press
Step 1

Preheat The French Press

This step seems a little silly to beginner coffee makers and drinkers thinking that you will be adding hot water to your ground coffee beans later anyway, but this initial step is a crucial element to keeping your coffee hot. You want to pre heat your French press but, of course, it comes down to personal preference. Filling the French press with hot water, and boiling water if it is ready, essentially heats the press canister and when it comes time to add the coffee grounds and hot water they won't immediately start cooling down. Brewing coffee is an art that, while it can look complicated, when you break it down, is easy and a joy to make.

a bowl of coarse ground coffee to show how to use a french press
Step 2

Grind Your Coffee

While you have the time as your French press canister heats up slowly, you can grind your coffee beans in a coffee grinder, or using store-bought pre ground coffee works just as well.You ideally want to use coarse ground coffee as the ground coffee will sit immersed in the water and left to steep (immersion brewing), and it gives a stronger flavor.If you use finely ground coffee or even medium coarse grind coffee beans they will dissolve into the water rather than the flavor is extracted, thus resulting in a more diluted coffee brew.Side note: If you want to maximize the overall flavor of your cup of coffee then a course ground is your best option, and to get an even grind size it is recommended to use a burr grinder for overall coarse consistency. There are plenty of French press products on the market, and finding the collection that works for you can add to the décor elements of your home while still being functional. Win-win.

a person adding coarse ground coffee to a french press to show how to use a french press
Step 3

Adding The Coffee Grounds

Next, you want to pour out the once-boiling water which has slightly cooled but has retained its heat in the coffee plunger vessel, and add fresh hot water for your soon-to-be brewed coffee.As you add your coffee grounds to the carafe, no matter what type of coffee beans you prefer whether arabica or a lighter roast, making sure you have the right coffee-to-water ratio is key to a rich taste and a delicious cup of coffee.French press coffee for the most part uses 15 grams of water to one gram of coffee grounds. Using a scale will make this much easier.

coffee bloom shown for how to make coffee with a french press
Step 4

Create a Coffee Bloom

Check your water temperature is hot and add it into the press. Pour over the store-bought pre-ground beans or a homemade coarse grind blend you have on hand, and make sure you are wetting all the coffee grounds simultaneously. As you become familiar with how to use a French press you will taste the difference between regular coffee and great coffee. You are welcome to use filtered water for this method which only adds to creating the perfect cup, and will certainly leave you wanting more coffee. When you pour the 1st dose of water for your French press coffee you will begin to notice bubbles or the coffee grounds 'growing' in size, this is where the magic of blooming coffee happens. Your whole-bean coffee is changing from coffee grounds into a French press coffee sensation in front of your eyes, and soon you will be sipping your perfect cup of coffee.

a person stirring coffee in a french press to show how to use a french press
Step 5

Fill it Up and Stir

The second dose of water is where you fill up your coffee press and let the French press work its magic. French presses are one of those humble, yet reader-supported brew methods that have stood the test of time being introduced and the design patented as early as 1852.Now, stir the ground coffee beans to fully immerse them in the liquid to extract as much flavor as possible. Don't stir too vigorously as this can cause over-extraction and result in bitter coffee, not something you want to create in your French press. The metal mesh filter, unlike the paper coffee filters used in many other brewing methods, allows the coffee's natural oils to pass through into your cup. This extra boost of flavor and strength helps the coffee's taste shine through the oils. As avid coffee enthusiasts, we are always looking for the next best method to brew a cup of coffee, but the best coffee has been claimed to be a freshly brewed pot of French press coffee. Each to their own as the elders like to say, right?

a person pressing down on a  french press to show how to use a french press
Step 6

Let the Coffee Steep

This part of making French press coffee is where you need to let your coffee steep.Because a French press is so detail-oriented by how much coffee you use or seeing that medium grind size coffee beans aren't the best option, you begin to appreciate the French press process that much.Push the coffee plunger in just on the water line so the mesh filter is touching but not fully submerged. A mesh filter is highly recommended over a paper filter which essentially has too much resistance and prevents the oils from the coffee being drawn out adding a much-needed richness to your coffee during the brewing process.

a person pouring coffee into a coffee mug from a french press
Step 7

Pour The Coffee Into Your Mug

After your coffee has been steeping in your French press pot (waiting time of about 4 minutes) it is time to enjoy your coffee. Don't let your infused coffee water sit longer than this or it will become over-extracted no matter the quality of the beans you used. Press the plunger down to squash the coffee at the bottom, don't feel you need to force it flat as you have already been brewing the coffee to draw out its aromatics. If you press too hard the smart grind choice of beans that are coarse consistency will cause some bitter pieces to float through the filter and into your coffee. Pour the French press coffee into your mug or travel thermos to get the day started right. Ideally, any coffee brewed should not be left in the coffee press, leftover coffee will continue to steep and when you go back for a second cup it will be bitter from over-extraction. Rather than wasting any extra coffee brewed that morning, pour it into a flask and place it in the fridge for an ice-coffee pick-me-up mid-day drink when your engines are running on low. You can never have enough coffee I believe, and no cup of coffee should go to waste. Who knew discovering how to use a French press could be so fun and fulfilling? Your French press will soon become your go-to morning coffee-making option.

Coffee Questions:

Have more questions about French Press coffee?

In a nutshell, yes, French press coffee is stronger than regular pour-over coffee because of the mesh filter mechanism that allows maximum flavor. Also, it requires a longer brewing time because of the coarse grind and later needing to press it compactly.

Many people think that if they don't use filtered water or the water temperature at the beginning of brewing was not hot enough or too cold it causes a sour-tasting drink, but in fact, it all comes down to the short brew time.

You may not have thought about it or even considered using your French press for anything other than brewing coffee, and while a brew is always welcomed, you can maximize the efficiency and efficacy of owning a French press.

  • Frothed milk - Pour your milk into your press and move the plunger up and down till you get your desired milk frothiness, whether it be big bubbles or a creamy texture with smaller bubbles.
  • A cup of tea - Adding loose tea leaves to the canister and allowing it to steep is as simple as using a gooseneck kettle and waiting to boil water to pour over. Place the leaves in with the water, slightly push down the plunger to release the flavor for about 3 minutes, and enjoy a great-tasting French press-made cup of tea. Be sure to throw out the leaves and rinse the press immediately to prevent the leaves from staining the canister.
  • Pressed juice - This tastes as delicious as it is genius. Add some squashed fruits to the French press, softer fruits work much better like oranges or watermelon, push your plunger down and squeeze out all the goodness without the hassle of seeds or bits. The perfect cocktail creator, then simply throw out the fruit and rinse clean.