How To Use A French Press: The Easiest 5
Updated: November 17, 2021 by Owen Richardson
There is nothing better than starting your day with a nice cup of coffee that will keep you awake for most of the day. For some, the best coffee comes from an actual coffee machine, but for others, it is better to be more involved in the coffee brewing process. If you belong to this second group, then learning how to use a French press could be the best thing for you!
French presses are a great way to brew a cup of coffee within minutes. You might think that brewing coffee with the press involves some complicated method, but it does not. In fact, it is very simple to make coffee using the French press as long as you know the steps you need to follow!
I want to use this guide to tell you everything that you need to know before using a French press for the first time. If you follow my advice closely, I am sure you will fall in love with the press and will forget all about other coffee machines. So if this appeals to you, get ready, and lets get right into the detailed guide!
Tools And Ingredients Needed For French Press Coffee
- French Press Obviously youll need a french press to make this coffee! I use a Bodum Original 12 oz press. This brand is very well liked overall and Ive had this one for a long time. If you treat it well, your french press will last years. This recipe will work perfectly with a larger or smaller press too.
- Filtered Water To make really great tasting coffee, you want to use quality water. I use water that was filtered in a Brita Pitcher to make this coffee. Bottled water will work as well.
- Coffee You will want to start with whole roasted coffee beans and grind them yourself, or use coffee beans that have been pre-ground to a coarse consistency.
Is French Press Coffee Stronger
Yes and no. Because the flavor is more intense, you might perceive your coffee to be stronger when brewed in a French press. And sometimes, French press coffee is stronger since the sediment continues to extract in your cup. But ultimately, your grind and coffee-to-water ratio will determine the strength of your coffee.
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Why Do We Love French Press Coffee
There are so many reasons. We gravitate towards making French press coffee most mornings at Fit Foodie HQ because it is a way to brew really good coffee for more than one person at a time.
We prefer a pot of French press coffee over a coffee machine because we have a bit more control over water temperature, how long the coffee brews, and it is usually the perfect amount of coffee for 3-4 people.
Did You Know You Can Use French Press For Other Things Besides Brewing Your Coffee
Frothing milk – I love making cold foam using French press for my latte’ simply warm the milk and pump until its frothy and enjoy with your espresso based drinks
Brew loose leaf tea – Just add desired amount of tea, hot water, and let it steep. Press and enjoy.
Use it as a drink mixer if you dont own a proper cocktail mixer
Steep and brew cold coffee and tea
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How To Make French Press Coffee
There are a million ways to geek out over coffee. But in the end, what were after is a hot, delicious cup of coffee to see us through the morning. A simple pleasure.
French press is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to make great coffee. Learn the essentials: heres how to make a pot of great French press coffee.
Does Any Coffee Work With A French Press
Yes, you can essentially use any type of coffee bean to make French press coffee. However, a lot of people who tend to drink French press coffee often say that the best coffee is made with coarsely ground medium or dark roasted beans. This type of bean is generally oilier, which makes the coffee taste a bit better!
However, this can also be connected to personal preferences. If you are new to French press coffee, I advise you to not be afraid to try out different things before you decide which type of coffee beans you like best.
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Factors Of Good Press Pot Coffee
If theres one thing that you need to take away from this how to, its this. Dont skimp on your grinder.I get really irked at comments I see online, in alt.coffee, even in our consumer reviews section that say things like its good enough for a french press these are people talking about a blade grinder, or even the cheaper burr grinders like the Pavoni PA or the Braun KM30. I say to that: bull shite.Lets think about something here. What is it about press pot coffee that makes people think the grind should be more forgiving? The bigger size of the grounds? The steep time? No, none of that. Theres nothing in press pot coffee brewing that will allow for a crappy grinder to produce the same results that a good grinder can produce.
Can You Use Preground Coffee In An Aeropress
You can absolutely use preground coffee in the AeroPress. While freshly grinding a roast is always best, you cant beat the convenience of preground beans when it comes to backcountry backpacking and if youre short on time.
If you are using preground coffee, try to make sure the roast date is recent. Preground coffee that is more than one week old might start to taste stale.
Remember, even 10 seconds of exposure to air will begin to degrade great beans!
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How To Use A French Press
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Start the day off right with the perfect cup of French press coffee! Making French press coffee is a lot easier than you think. You dont have to be a coffee genius to produce the perfect cup of coffee in under 15 minutes.
We love starting the day off with a cup of coffee and a little something sweet, too! Check out some of our favorite morning sweets like these Oatmeal Banana Cookies or Healthy Chocolate Muffins!
Before We Begin: Choose The Right French Press
Youre going to have a hard time making great coffee if you use a cheap, crappy press pot to brew. Its tempting to go for the cheapest option, but will it really be worth it when you have to replace it in 6-9 months?
The standard press pot size is between 4 and 8 cups. Just remember, a cup is much smaller than a typical mug of coffee. Many companies count a standard cup as a meager 4 oz.
In general, you have small, large, metal and electric options:
- Small french press if its just you and maybe a friend or loved one using it on a regular basis. Typical sizes include 3 and 4 cup presses.
- Large french press These 8 to 12 cup behemoths are meant to pacify a crowd of coffee seekers and can produce several cups of coffee in a single batch!
- Metal french press Are more durable, and seem to retain heat better than glass. Choose if you live in a cold area.
- Electric french press For the lazy. These units heat the water, brew the coffee, and keep it warm after its ready!
Youve probably heard about the ever so popular Bodum Chambord an iconic looking thing which is made in three different sizes: 3, 8, and 12 cups. They generally have glass beakers with a stainless steel base and handle. The two smaller options even come with an unbreakable beaker option!
However, Perfect Daily Grind recommends trying out French Presses made out of other materials .
You may also want to subscribe to some of these amazing coffee-brewing channels.
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So What Does French Press Coffee Taste Like
French press is an immersion brewing method, which means the coffee grounds are totally submerged in hot water throughout the extraction process and generally arent removed.
Unlike with brewed coffee from a drip maker, where the liquid passes through filter papers, this is a direct brewing method. Since nothing comes between the coffee and hot water, its fuller bodied than any of the indirect methods, with the boldest coffee notes rising to the fore.
Of course, the risk that goes with that reward is excessively bitter or sour French press coffee. Usually, this is only a problem with coffee beans whose flavor profile is literally dead in the water. Yes, Im looking at you Dallmayr.
For all these reasons, its unsurprising that when comparing the usual portion sizes in each case, French press coffee contains a lot more caffeine than espresso. If youre curious about the science and calculations behind that, check out my full report How Much Caffeine Is in Your Coffee?
Dont get me wrong. That doesnt mean that floral aromas and subtle background notes get drowned out in a French press. It all depends on your brewing technique and choice of roast. So, lets dive straight into the details of how to use a French press.
How To Use A French Press To Make Coffee
This recipe is sized to make 2 cups of coffee. You can easily adjust it to make more or less depending on your needs. Ill explain all of the details of the proper ratio of coffee to water further down on the page.
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Pop Out The Coffee Grounds
The AeroPress coffee maker is ridiculously easy to clean. Simply unscrew the cap, and press the plunger further to pop the coffee grounds out.
Rinse the AeroPress using some hot water to remove any leftover grounds and coffee oils. All this takes less than 30 seconds!
Enjoy your sweet, clean cup of coffee!
The Basics Of Great French Press Coffee
It took me a while to warm up to French press. I have been brewing it since shortly after college, when a roommate and her boyfriend gifted me my first French press and a little blade grinder. But, while I brewed it almost every day, I found it bitter and murky for my taste. Eventually I switched to the speedy Aeropress, which gives a clean, robust cup of coffee quickly.
But then I married a man who has this eerily amazing habit of bringing me coffee in bed. His brewing method of choice is the French press, and he won me over. Its not just having coffee in bed that has turned me into a devotee of French press . Turns out that my method had been missing one key element all those years: The right grinder.
Did you know that coffee and sleep go together? Watch the video!
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Which Press Makes The Best Coffee
Theres no clear answer to whether youll get the best coffee from an AeroPress or a French press, since it is all down to your personal taste and preferences. If you prefer a coffee that is hearty, full-bodied, rich, and aromatic and dont mind some coffee fragments at the bottom of your cup, then a French Press might be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer your coffee milder and less intense and want a clean cup without any grinds at the bottom, you will probably prefer using an AeroPress.
Ratio Of Water & Coffee For French Press
The instructions below make 32 ounces, a common size of French press that makes about four servings. But what if you want to make more or less? Heres a general guide to proportions by volume. Note that coffee beans are measured before grinding.
- 1 serving 1 cup water 2 tablespoons coffee beans
- 2 servings 2 cups water 1/4 cup coffee beans
- 4 servings 4 cups water 1/2 cup coffee beans
- 8 servings 8 cups water 1 cup coffee beans
Measure the coffee beans.
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You Want To Use Coarse Grounds
Pre-ground coffee is ground to a size that works well with drip coffee makers, but its not so great for french presses .
The small grounds get stuck in the fine mesh filter – and sometimes they just slip right through. This creates a lot of sludge in your cup and can make it difficult to press down the plunger.
A coarse grind size keeps grounds from clogging or passing right through your filter, while still delivering a stellar cup.
French Press Coffee Faqs
Why is my French Press Coffee Weak?
There could be two issues. First, you may not have let the coffee steep long enough. Make sure to use a timer to brew for at least 4 minutes. Also, weak French Press coffee could be due to the wrong grind. Typically weak coffee would come from coffee beans that were ground too coarsely. Make sure you have a medium coarse ground next time.
Can you use already ground coffee in a French press?
You should not use ground coffee that you use in a drip coffee maker in a French Press. The coffee is ground too finely, will plug up the filter and likely result in muddy, gritty coffee. Instead, grind your own beans or buy coffee that has specifically been coarsely ground for the French Press.
Should You Stir French Press?
Yes, give the coffee/water mixture a brief stir before putting the lid on. This helps the coffee grounds to get fully saturated with water and gives a better brew. If you skip stirring youll end up with clumps of coffee that never touched water, so you will have weak coffee. You only need to stir once though. Stirring often is not recommended as it can disrupt the steeping process.
Why cant I stir my French Press with a metal spoon?
Because the coffee press is made of glass, you want to be careful not to cause any damage to it. A plastic or wooden spoon is more gentle than a metal one, so you wont accidentally scratch the glass.
How do I clean my French Press?
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#step : Press The Plunger And Pour
Slowly press the plunger downwards and gently pour the brewed coffee from your French Press to your coffee cup or mug. Ensure that you do not pour the last few drops of your brewed coffee in the cup, they have the highest level of concentration and can change the taste of your coffee in the cup.
Enjoy your lip smacking coffee made from a French Press coffee maker!
A lot of avid coffee drinkers say that once they start brewing coffee in a French Press they cannot drink coffee from anywhere else. Thats the thing about French Press! The taste you get of the coffee made from it is exceptional as it holds the essential natural oils and acids from the coffee grounds in your coffee, which is rare with other coffee machine especially those which use paper filters. If you have any thoughts or queries on how to use a French Press, please write to us in the comment section below.
Start With Fresh Coffee Beans
To brew a fresh cup of coffee, you need to start with fresh coffee beans. If store-bought coffee beans simply don’t cut it for you, order from a local roaster for delicious coffee beans. Before you even get out your French Press, check the expiration date of the coffee beans. Sealed coffee beans usually remain fresh in the pantry for about six months. In the freezer, sealed coffee beans can remain fresh for up to two years.
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Whats The Right French Press Ratio
There is no one-size-fits-all ratio. There is a huge spectrum of tastes and preferences, variations in coffee beans, differences in roasts, etc. that can make each batch of coffee entirely different. So start with a ratio, and then adjust from there based on how it tastes.
RULE OF THUMB Use a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water. For every one gram of coffee you need 15 grams of water, which is about 3 tablespoons of coffee for 1 cup of water. Start here, as this will be on the weaker side, so you can always add a little more coffee if you find it to weak.
Below, youll find a French Press ratio calculator + chart.
How to use the calculator: First, click the red number under how much coffee do you want to brew in fluid ounces? and enter your number. Refer to our table above if you need to:
Next, click the red number under how strong do you want your coffee? It has a range for strength, from 1 to 7.
- 1 = Strong
- 7 = weak
An example If I have a 3 cup coffee maker, and I want to make a strong brew, Ill enter 10oz. for the amount of coffee I want to brew, 1 for the strength, and the calculator will give me a ratio of 1:10. The calculator will tell me exactly how much coffee and water to add, in customary and metric units. Cool!
|51 oz / 1500ml|