How to Make the Best Coffee Using a French Press


French press is one of the most basic methods of coffee brewing. French press coffee is great because of the oils it extracts and capturing the flavors and aromas of the beans, giving it a distinct taste.

These are some tips to help you get the best out of your French press, whether you are a French press coffee lover already or looking to make a better cup of coffee than your standard drip coffee machine.

What Is French Press Coffee

Using my French press

I’m going to assume you already know about French Press, and that’s how you landed on this article. For those of you who aren’t that familiar, here is a quick overview:

The French press is a coffee brewing device invented in the early 19th century. It is a simple yet effective way to make coffee without the use of electricity or paper filters. All you need is hot water and ground coffee beans.

To brew using a coffee press, simply add ground coffee to the beaker, and pour hot water over the top. Stir the mixture of grounds and water. After four minutes, slowly push down on the plunger with the mesh filter down to the grounds. Pour the coffee into your mug and enjoy!

If you’re looking for a rich, flavorful cup of coffee, then you should definitely try brewing with a French press. This method of coffee making is sure to produce delicious, rich results.

Plus, it’s a great way to impress your friends and family with your barista skills!

Why I Love My French Press

I have to admit. Sometimes I can be a bit of a coffee snob. I love going to coffee shops and trying different brewing methods and bean varieties. But my absolute favorite way to make coffee at home is using my French Press.

There is something about the process of slowly pressing the plunger down and watching the rich, dark coffee fill up my mug that just feels so satisfying.

With a French press, you can make rich and flavorful coffee right at home.

The result is always a deliciously strong cup of coffee. The French press always brings out their best flavors, whether I’m using light and fruity beans or dark and chocolatey ones.

If you’re looking for an easy and foolproof way to make fantastic coffee at home, then you need to get yourself a French press if you don’t already have one.

Tools and Ingredients Needed for French Press Coffee

French Press – To make this coffee, you will need a French press, obviously, right! I use a Bodum 12oz coffee press most of the time, but I have a few and one made of metal that I take camping.

Bodum is a famous brand; I’ve had it for years and as long as you take care of it, your French press will last for years too.

I did break my first one by dropping it. It was entirely my fault. Other than that, it was durable with small drops into the sink while washing it.

This is the French press I use now, you can see if it’s still available here.

Wooden Spoon You are going to stir your coffee after pouring in some water. With most French presses being glass, use a wooden spoon so you don’t scratch or break your coffee press.

Quality Water – If you want great-tasting coffee, don’t skip out on high quality water. To make coffee, I use water that has been filtered in a Brita Pitcher. You can also use bottled water too if that’s what you prefer.

Good quality filtered water is recommended when making coffee with any method. You can find the water filter I use here.

Coffee – Use whole coffee beans and grind them yourself. More on this later, but French press takes a larger grind size compared to other methods.

How To Grind Coffee For A French Press

Don’t skip this step!

Coffee grind size chart

If you don’t have a grinder, you’ll want to invest in one. The coffee you pick up from the store is usually for drip coffee; think Folders. This is the grinder I’ve used for years and I love it.

You’ll also want a grinder that can product fine to coarse grounds. Different coffee-making methods require different size coffee grounds.

As someone that likes to change it up, I grind my beans differently almost every time.

For a French press, you’ll want to use a coarse grind.

fine grind vs coarse grind coffee
Fine Grounds on the left (espresso) and Coarse grounds on the right (french press).

If you’re using a standard 8-cup French press, you’ll need about 2 ounces, or 56 grams, of coffee. If you like your coffee on the stronger side, you may want to use a little less water and adjust the ratio accordingly.

How to Make the Perfect cup of coffee with a French Press

Pouring filtered water in French Press

A good rule of thumb is to start with a 1:16 ratio of coffee to water. This means that for every one gram of coffee, you’ll need 16 grams of water (or about 2 1/2 tablespoons).

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making the perfect cup:

1. Start with freshly ground coffee beans. You’ll need about 2 1/2 tablespoons.

2. Boil some water and let it cool for a minute. Coffee is best at around 200f. You don’t need a thermometer. Just let boiling water cool for a minute. Pour the hot water over the grounds. This will help them bloom and release their flavor.

3. Stir the grounds and water, then let them steep for 3-4 minutes.

4. Slowly press down the plunger until all the grounds are at the bottom. Use the weight of your hands, and avoid slamming the plunger down.

5. Pour your coffee into a mug and enjoy!

Making coffee in a French press is really that simple, there’s not much to it besides getting the grounds to water ratio right. Once you make a few pots, you’ll find what balance you like.

Best Coffee Beans For French Press

French press is a great way to brew coffee beans of all flavors and roast levels. The most important thing is to find gourmet coffee beans you like, as long as you understand how to use a French press properly.

If you’re looking to try some new coffee beans, these are my recommendations.

Breakfast blend American Roast

Brooklyn Coffee

Looking for a fresh, roasted cup of coffee? Look no further than Breakfast Blend American Roast Whole Bean Coffee. Their coffee is roasted in small batches in New York and sealed in air-tight, valve-sealed bags to maintain freshness and flavor.

They have plenty of blends from Columbia, Brazil, and Guatemala. You’re sure to find your next favorite daily mix.

Check to see if it’s still available here.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

What makes Hair Bender so crazy good? It’s the blend of coffees from three major growing regions; Central and South America, East Africa, and Indonesia.

Its complexity is what allows for a harmonious flavor profile of sweet citrus, milk chocolate, and caramel. This is a sweeter coffee, so be aware of that.

You can see the current price of Stumptown Coffee here.

Koffee Kult Dark Roast Whole Coffee Beans

Koffee Kult Dark Roast Whole Coffee Beans

Looking for a robust and bold coffee that’s still smooth and not bitter? Look no further than our Breakfast Blend American Roast Whole Bean Coffee.

Small batch roasted and hand packaged, this coffee is made with 100% Arabic dark roast beans from Columbia, Guatemala, Brazil, and Sumatra.

It’s the perfect choice for French press or Aeropress. With its rich flavor and long finish, it’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning coffee lover. So start your day off right with our Breakfast Blend American Roast Whole Bean Coffee. You won’t be disappointed.

You can see if it’s still available here.

What About an Aeropress Coffee Maker

AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press

I’m including this at the bottom because this article is about French press coffee, but I’ve had great results with my Aeropress as well.

I wanted to include the Aeropress if you’re not satisfied with French press. Maybe the reason you are looking for tips on how to make a better cup of coffee, is because it’s not working out for you. It might be time you give Aeropress a try as it has a few advantages.

What Is an Aeropress Coffee Maker

The Aeropress is an espresso-style brewer. It produces a cup similar to French press by steeping the coffee grounds for the same amount of time.

The difference is that it pushes coffee through a thin filter paper into your cup. Most people, including myself, usually only make one cup at a time.

How to make multiple cups with an Aeropress:

  • Double or triple the amount of grounds you usually use.
  • Add the grounds to the main chamber.
  • Fill with 200f water.
  • Steep for four minutes.
  • Push the concentrated coffee into a cup.
  • Fill multiple cups, and cut with hot water.

Cutting the stronger coffee with hot water won’t degrade the taste. This is the same way we make a Caffè Americano-style coffee. By adding hot water to a concentrated amount of coffee/espresso.

The paper filter prevents any oil or sediment from exiting the Aeropress. This gives it a cleaner taste and distinct flavor notes.

If you’re interested in trying different styles of coffee. We have a great list in our article, What Types of Coffee Drinks Are There: 15 new drinks to try!

What Types of Coffee Drinks Are There

French Press Coffee FAQs

Why is my French Press Coffee Weak

Two things could be wrong. The first is that you might not have allowed the coffee to steep for enough time. 

Use a timer to ensure that the coffee is brewed for at least four minutes. A wrong grind could also cause weak coffee. Coffee beans that are too coarsely ground will usually result in weak coffee. Next time, grind your coffee beans to a medium-coarse.

Is It Possible To Use Coffee Already Ground in a French Press

If it’s for a drip coffee maker than you won’t get the best results. You should grind your beans yourself or purchase coffee specially ground for French Press.

Do You Stir French Press

Give the coffee/water mixture a quick stir before closing the lid (if your coffee press has a cover). This allows the coffee grounds to fully absorb the water, which results in a better brew.

If you don’t you might end up with coffee clumps that have never touch the water.

Stirring is enough to make sure everything is well combined. It is best to stir once only, as this can cause the steeping process to be disrupted.

Why Don’t You Stir Your French Press With a Spoon Made of Metal

You must be careful not to scratch the glass coffee press. You won’t scratch the glass accidentally if you use a wooden or plastic spoon.

How Can I Clean My French Press

Although it might seem tempting to rinse the coffee out and put it away for tomorrow, cleaning your coffee press after every use is essential. If coffee is left in glass containers, it can stain and leave a film that can be difficult to remove.

Use a spoon or your fingers to remove the grounds from the bottom gently. Wash all pieces with warm soapy water. Allow it to air dry before using it again or putting it away.

Wrapping Up

These have been my steps to get the most out of my French press. Remember, you can always play around with the coffee-to-water ratio until it hits the sweet spot!

If you have any tips you’d like to add, leave a comment below, and I’ll add them to the list.

We’ve compiled a list of surprising ways to keep coffee fresh for a long time. You can find all our tips here, 11 Tips To Storing Coffee the Right Way.

How to store coffee

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