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How to make perfect French Press Coffee - Brew Guide and Tips

Bottom line: French Press Coffee takes a bit more work than some other brewing methods, but we're sure that you will agree that it's worth it.

Gear we use:
Fact: A French press, also known as a cafetière, сafetière à piston, Cafeteria, press pot, coffee press, or coffee plunger, is a coffee brewing device patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929.

For more info, please read: Wikipedia, How to Brew


While French Press Coffee is the easiest, least expensive way to enjoy a gourmet cup of coffee, for those who are familiar with drip-style coffee makers or expensive one-cup brewers, the idea of measuring and grinding beans, and allowing the coffee grounds to float in the hot water seems kind of bizarre. That's okay! While the process may seem unfamiliar at first, we will walk you through the basic steps to creating the best coffee you have ever tasted.

VIDEO: 10 Tips for Making Better French Press Coffee

Prep and Brew Time:
  • Prep time: ~5 min.
  • Brew time: 4 min.
  • Total time: ~9 min.
Gear you need:
Preheat the Coffee Press
The first step to brewing coffee with a French Press Coffee Maker is to preheat your carafe by pouring boiling hot water into it. This will warm the French Press and help your water temperature stay more consistent throughout the brewing process.
Tip: preheat your coffee mug by pouring hot water into it as well.
Weight Your Coffee
You will need about a heaping tablespoon of ground coffee for each cup of coffee that you want to drink. There's no particular "gold standard" for measuring, other than your own personal preference and your palate. If you prefer stronger coffee, use a bit more grounds, but if you like it weaker, it's okay to use a bit less.
How To Find The Best Coffee Beans In The World - VIEW GUIDE »

French Press Coffee to Water Ratio Calculator

Tip: start with 8 grams (1 tbsp.) of coarse ground coffee per 4 oz. (118 ml.) of water, then add or subtract coffee grounds to your taste.
Coffee Press Size
Ground Coffee
3-cup (12 oz)
16-24 grams (2-3 tbsp.)
5-cup (20 oz)
32-40 grams (4-5 tbsp.)
8-cup (34 oz)
56-64 grams (7-8 tbsp.)
Boil water
Bring your water to a boil. However, don't pour it too soon. Ideally, water temperature for French Press coffee should be between 195 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to measure the the temperature, and note the time it takes for the boiling water to drop to this preferred temperature. The next time that you make coffee, just wait the required amount of time before moving on to the next step.
Learn how to Enhance Your Brew's Flavor - VIEW GUIDE »
Tip: If you do not have a thermometer to measure the temperature - allow the water to sit for a 30-45 seconds after it has come to a full boil, it will cool to the ideal temperature.
Grind Coffee Beans
Selecting the correct grind is a crucial part of making a great cup of French Press coffee. For French Press, you should grind your coffee beans to a coarse or medium-coarse grind. Any finer means that your French Press screen will clog. By the way, from the moment that you grind the coffee beans, the flavorful oils in the coffee beans begin to oxidize. Grind immediately before brewing for the most flavor and aroma.
Best Hand Coffee Grinders of the Year - VIEW GUIDE »
Tip: If you don't have good grinder (burr grinder recommended) have your local coffee shop grind the coffee beans for you.
Prep the French Press
Empty the warming water from the carafe, and add your measured coffee grounds to it.
Pour hot water and Stir
Add your hot water to your Coffee Press and stir it.
Tip: If you're using a metal spoon, be careful to not break the glass of your French Press. It's actually better to use a wooden stirrer for this step.
Wait and Relax
Place the lid (with the plunger pulled up) on the French Press Coffee Maker to help keep in the heat. Wait 4 minutes for the coffee to brew. Set a timer, and just wait for the magic to work.
Tip: Recommended brew time for French Press coffee is 4 minutes but some coffee lovers prefer a French Press brew time of 3 minutes, for instance, while others swear by 5 minutes. You will find your ideal time with some trial and effort.
Press slowly
Slowly press the plunger all the way down to filter the grounds out of the coffee. Don't rush through this step. A slow, firm pressure is what you are looking for.
Pour and Enjoy
Pour your coffee immediately from the French Press into your favorite coffee mug. Don't let the coffee sit in the French Press carafe for too long because the brew will become bitter.
Tip: If you need hot coffee for a longer period, immediately pour the leftover coffee into a thermos or carafe so it stays warm and stop extracting from the existing coffee grounds.
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Comments 2
  • James

    i was wondering if you have heard of or tried James Hoffman’s French Press method of never actually plunging the coffee but letting it sit for a longer time for a silt-free brew? anyway if so i would love to hear your thoughts

  • Thiago

    I’m new to french press and I’m wondering what’s the minimum quantity/volume I can make with it.
    Let’s say a 8 cup press. Can I make just 3 or 4 cups on it?

    Thank you!

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