How To Make French Press Coffee (Brew Guide)

Most people brew French Press Coffee the wrong way, which is crazy considering it’s one of the world’s most popular coffee brewing methods.

Making great coffee using a French press is actually quite simple if you follow a few rules.

When we’re done showing you how to use a French press the right way, you’ll be making consistently delicious coffee that is way better than what you’re brewing now.

At a Glance

Brew time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

What You Need

  • A good quality French Press (2 cup)
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring tablespoons
  • Coffee grounds
  • Just off boiling water
  • Water thermometer (optional)
  • Stovetop kettle (optional)
  • Stirring spoon

Steps By Step: How To Use A French Press

1. Preheat Your Press

The first you need to do is preheat your french press. This is an important step in all coffee brew methods.

Preheating your brewing equipment will stop your brew temperature from fluctuating as the cold equipment and the hot water even each other out.

All you need to do is add some hot water to the press, swill it around until it is warm to the touch, and then discard the water responsibly. As an added bonus, preheating your french press will also help you keep your coffee hotter for longer.

2. Measure/Weigh Your Coffee Grounds

What you measure out depends largely on the size of your coffee press and the amount of coffee you want. I hope you used a good burr grinder for coffee press to freshly grind your beans. See the FAQ’s below for the right grind size. To start with, you want a medium-coarse grind but if you’re following the advanced bonus steps, you want a medium grind.

Refer to the table below the instructions if you need to. For bonus points, measure your grinds using a scale rather than a spoon.

3. Measure/Weigh Water And Check Temperature

Refer to the table below to get your coffee to water ratio for coffee presses but the core ratio you should aim for is 1:15. This means 1 part coffee for every 15 parts water.

PRO TIP: Weighing rather than measuring your water with a spoon, just like with your coffee, will give much greater control. This will facilitate more consistent results.

Heat the water in whatever way works for you. I recommend using a stovetop or gooseneck kettle: If you have a thermometer or a kettle with temperature control, the recommended coffee press water temperature is 80 – 90 C.

4. Add Coffee Grounds And Hot Water

Add the your coffee grounds to the preheated french press and then add the correct ratio of hot water afterward, all in one pour. Then you need to take your spoon and give your coffee a quick stir to ensure that all your coffee grounds are properly immersed in your water.

5. Put The Lid On And Start Timing

Placing the lid on will help insulate the press, keeping the heat inside as your coffee brews. Set your timer, and then play the waiting game! The standard coffee press steep time is 4 minutes, but you can later adjust this to suit your preferences.

6. Slowly Press Plunger Down

Once enough time has passed, slowly press the plunger down. Make sure you press it down all the way, or your coffee will continue to brew into over-extraction.

If there is too much resistance when you plunge, then your grounds are too fine. Not enough resistance and they are too coarse. 

6. Decant Coffee

We recommend decanting your coffee before serving because the longer your coffee is in a container with the coffee grounds, the more flavor will be pulled out.

You don’t want over-extracted, bitter coffee!

7. Serve And Enjoy

You did it! Rejoice and be glad, for coffee has been made. 

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it: the right way to make french press coffee! Make it right and you’ll brew amazing coffee.

Water / Coffee Ratio

3 CupMild
4 Tbsp/22g
5 Tbsp/30g
6 Tbsp/35g
4 CupMild
5 Tbsp/31g
7 Tbsp/42g
8 Tbsp/50g
6 Cup Mild
7 Tbsp/44g
10 Tbsp/59g
12 Tbsp/71g
8 Cup Mild
10 Tbsp/63g
14 Tbsp/84g
17 Tbsp/101g
12 Cup Mild
16 Tbsp/94g
21 Tbsp/126g
25 Tbsp/151g

Best Coffee for French Press (Recommended)