How to | The Perfect French Press Coffee

How to | The Perfect French Press Coffee

Perhaps one of the easiest ways of brewing coffee loved by coffee connoisseurs is using a French press coffee maker. Some common questions are: What is the French Press Coffee Method? Do French Press coffee makers brew good coffee?  Does French Press Coffee taste different than brewed coffee?  Does French Press require special coffee beans?  The answers to all of these questions are a resounding "YES"! Here are a few reasons:

  • A French Press coffee maker is generally an inexpensive way to brew coffee compared to auto drip machines. You can of course, get quite fancy with some of your pieces but using the standard French press to brew coarse ground coffee does the job perfectly. Most French press coffee makers are dishwasher-safe and heat-resistant. 
  • The French press brewing method is full immersion, meaning that the water is fully immersed with the ground coffee, which extracts more flavor from the beans.
  • The correct coffee grind is critical with a French Press.  It is always best to purchase whole bean coffee and grind it at home.  It is essential that you get the correct grind of coffee grounds.  The grind size will be a coarse grind so that you do not have coffee grounds that get into your cup of coffee. To explore the differences between grinders check out our burr grinder vs blade grinder blog and discover how to get evenly sized coffee.
  • No paper filters are required.
  • It's a pretty easy method to use, with no real recipe required, some would even call it "fool-proof" as long as the grind of coffee is correct. 
  • A French Press coffee maker produces a full-bodied cup of delicious coffee and isn't that more difficult than to brew coffee in a traditional coffee maker.
  • You get to explore with Dark Roast, Medium Roast, and Light Roast coffees to find the different taste characteristics. You can also take the coffee and make it into a cold brew concentrate or iced coffee. 

Ready to give it a try? Here is the equipment you'll need:

    • French Press Coffee Maker
    • Grind a cup of coffee using your coffee grinder to weigh out 40 grams of coarsely ground coffee. It is very important that you weigh your coffee beans on a scale to ensure the weight is correct and that is is coarsely ground coffee and has been freshly ground. Remember the importance of it being coarse ground coffee. There is no need for it to be an espresso or dark roast coffee, you should choose a coffee that fits your taste. Of utmost importance is the grinder you choose to get the correct coarse ground coffee that you need.  Need a coffee grinder? Try this one.
    • 700+ milliliters of water 
    • Stainless steel double-walled kettle
    • Scale
    • Plastic or wooden spoon that is BPA free for stirring your delicious cup of coffee

    If you don't have a stainless steel kettle, you can heat water on the stove. No scale? No problem, just use the coffee scoop that is included in the Bodum presses we sell such as the Bodum Chambord which are great Press coffee makers. Some other popular brands are Espro, Espro P7, Espro P3 French Press which are a bit more expensive models.


    Use 1 part coffee to 18 parts water (or a 1:18 coffee to water ratio) for French Press coffee. You should definitely experiment with the French Press coffee brewing method to find the strength of coffee you prefer, but a 1 to 18 coffee to water ratio is a great way to start.  

    Step 1- Bring water to a near boil in your stainless steel kettle. You can add a good splash of water to the French press and swirl it around to heat it up. Discard the water in the French press.

    Step 2- Add 40 grams of freshly ground coarse coffee to your French press. If you don't have a scale, this is equivalent to just under 1.5 ounces or 3.2 tablespoons.

    Step 3- Start a timer for 2 minutes and then begin adding water from the stainless steel kettle over the top of the course coffee grounds, about 100 grams or 4 ounces. Pick up the French Press and swirl or use your spoon and stir to ensure that all of the coffee is saturated.

    Step 4- Add hot water to the top of the carafe and place the lid on the French Press coffee maker, without plunging.

    Step 5- When the timer reaches 4 minutes total, gently and slowly push the plunger of the French Press to the bottom. 

    Step 6- Pour directly out of your French Press and enjoy!

    So you can see that the French press coffee method is very simple.  

    If you are not going to drink the whole glass beaker of coffee right away, remove it from the French press to prevent oversaturation and bitterness so that you will have a clean tasting cup of coffee.  

    Finally, when cleaning out your French Press, don't dump the grinds down your sink! This can clog  your sink and nobody wants their morning cup of coffee to damage your sink.  Instead, consider adding them to your compost pile or work the coffee grounds  into your garden soil for a lovely fertilizer that adds nitrogen to your soil and repels some pests.


    Some common misconception in the French Press Brewing Method are:

    1) You can only use dark roast or espresso coffee.  Use your favorite coffee in your French Press whether it be Medium Roast, Light Roast, Single Origin, but we do recommend using 100% Arabica coffee for the best cup.

    2) Will the coffee be clean tasting using the French Press? Yes, as long as the you are using coarsely ground coffee beans  the ground coffee beans should stay in the bottom of the French Press and you will have a cup of delicious coffee. 

    3) Does it take a long time to make?  The French Press Method is a very easy way to brew coffee.  It does take a minute to grind the coffee to ensure that you have the correct coarse ground but it is a very simple recipe.  Using the correct coffee beans, making sure the grind size is correct 

    4) Can you make cold brew in a French Press Maker?  Yes, absolutely.  You should adjust the recipe for the coffee to water ratio and let the coffee grounds sit for a longer period of time.  This can make a cold brew concentrate, similar to sun iced tea that you then add water to for a delicious cup of Cold Brew Coffee.