The Proper Way to Use a French Press

Among the many different methods of brewing coffee, using a French press is one of the most popular procedures. However, did you know that 90% of the people who use a French press uses it wrong? That’s crazy, right? But making great coffee using this method is actually quite simple if you follow proper rules.

If you have a French press at home and you don’t know how to properly use it, or if you’re thinking of buying one, we are here to help you. Today, we are going to teach you how to use a French press the right way. After you finish reading this article, you will be making consistently delicious coffee, better than what you have been brewing lately. Meanwhile, if you want to find out the best French press in Canada, visit

How Does a French Press Work?

brewing coffee in a French press

Before we give you a step by step guide on how to use the urban elements French press, let us understand first how it works. It is actually quite simple.

The main part of a French press is the beaker. It is where the coffee grounds and hot water are placed. The base and the handle are attached to the beaker, and they are used to prevent you from burning yourself or the surface it will be placed on. Then, it has the lid with the attached plunger and filters. The French press is fairly intuitive to assemble, but the whole setup is simple. And unlike other brewing methods, the French press does not require the use of paper filters as the grounds are directly soaked in hot water.

French press brewing is a form of immersion brewing. The coffee grounds are submerged for a few minutes in hot water. And to be able to get food coffee every time you use your French press, it’s also essential that you know how to disassemble and clean it.

Where to Buy
Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee and Tea Maker, 12 Ounce, Black
Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee Maker, 1.5 Liter, 51 Ounce, Black
Mueller French Press Double Insulated 310 Stainless Steel Coffee Maker 4 Level Filtration System, No Coffee Grounds, Rust-Free, Dishwasher Safe


Choose the Right French Press

After knowing how a French press works, you also need to choose the best one. It’s because using a cheap and crappy press pot to brew will give you a difficult time making great coffee. The standard size of a press pot is between 4 and 8 cups. Keep in mind that a “cup” is much smaller compared to a typical mug of coffee.

Here are the different options you have:

  • Small French Press: If you are the only one who will drink coffee on a regular basis, using a small French press is ideal for you. Typical sizes can be 3 and 4 cup presses.
  • Large French Press: If your whole family drinks coffee, then a larger French press, which is about 8 to 12 cups are perfect for you. It can produce several cups of coffee in a single batch. This is also great for serving visitors.
  • Metal French Press: Aside from a glass French press, you can also find a metal French press in the market. They are more durable and can retain heat better than glass. This is a great choice if you live in a cold place.
  • Electric French Press:This type of French press is perfect for those who are always on the go. It can heat the water, brew coffee, and keep it warm after it’s ready.

Step by Step Guide on How to Use a French Press Properly

a French press beside a bowl of coffee beans

Now, let us go to the main topic, which is how to use a French press properly. There are actually two ways to make coffee using the French press, which is the basic and advanced methods. Today, we are going to teach you how to do the basic method properly.

Step #1: Preheat the French Press

The first thing that you need to do is to preheat your French press. Simply add some hot water to the French press and swill it around until it is warm to the touch. After that, discard the water.

This is a very important step in all types of coffee brewing methods.It stops your brew temperature from fluctuating as the cold equipment and hot water even each other out. Aside from that, it also helps in keeping the coffee hotter for a longer period.

Step #2: Measure Your Coffee Grounds

The next step after preheating your French press is to measure out your coffee grounds. The measurement depends on the size of your French press and the amount of coffee you want to make. It’s also great if you used a coffee grinder to freshly grind the coffee beans. For the basic method of French press brewing, a medium-coarse grind is perfect.

Step #3: Measure the Water and Check the Temperature

After measuring your coffee grounds, the next thing to measure is the amount of water. The core ratio that you should aim for is 1:15, or 1 part coffee for every 15 parts water. Also, weighing the water instead of measuring it with a spoon is better, as it will give you greater control and facilitate more consistent results.

After measuring the water, you also need to check the temperature. You can heat the water in whatever way you like. You can use a stovetop or gooseneck kettle. The recommended temperature of the water in the coffee press should be 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step #4: Put the Coffee Grounds and the Hot Water in the French Press

After measuring the water and coffee, put them to the preheated French press. Pour in the coffee grounds first, then add the right amount of hot water afterward, all in one pour. After that, get a spoon and give the coffee a quick stir to make sure that all the coffee grounds are immersed properly in the water.

Step #5: Put the Lid on and Start Your Timer

Once all the coffee and water are in the French press, put the lid on to insulate the press and keep the heat inside as the coffee brews. Set a timer of 4 minutes or even later, depending on your preference, and wait.

Step #6: Press the Plunger Down Slowly

After enough time, press the plunger of the French press down slowly. Make sure that you press it down all the way, or else your coffee will continue to brew into over-extraction. If the plunger resists too much, it means that the grounds are too fine. And if there’s not enough resistance, then your grounds are too coarse.

You can also transfer your coffee before serving it because the longer it is in the container, the more flavor will be pulled out.

Step #7: Serve the Coffee and Enjoy

You can now enjoy your freshly brewed coffee.

These are the steps you can follow on how to use a French press properly. By following these steps, you will surely be able to make the best French press coffee, like those served in restaurants and coffee shops.