How to Make Perfect French Press Coffee Every Time

So, you want to make coffee with your French press? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

It wasn’t long ago when only the professionals knew how to make a truly unique cup of coffee. Now with all the equipment being readily available, anyone can learn how to make a cup of Joe fit for royalty.

If this is your first-time making coffee with a French press then you’re in luck! I’ve been using this amazing coffee maker for almost a decade and I love everything about it. The manual coffee-making method makes me feel in control of my coffee and the taste of my final brew.

Did you know the former CEO of Starbucks said the best cup of coffee he ever had was made at home with a French press? That’s saying a lot, isn’t it? Once you see how personalized your coffee is about to become, you’re definitely going to become a French press enthusiast like the rest of the coffee community.

How to Use a French Press?

How to Make Perfect French Press Coffee

Step 1

The first step in making the best French press coffee is boiling the right amount of water. You’re going to need more water than just what you expect to drink.

I always boil 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of coffee I want to brew. Since water will make up 99% of your coffee make sure you are boiling filtered or bottled water.

Let the water sit for 30 seconds after boiling. 

Step 2

While the water is heating up, turn to your coffee grinder and shred 2 tablespoons of fresh coffee beans for every cup of coffee you want to make.  The grind should be coarse.

If the grind is too coarse it will make the coffee taste weak.

If the grind is too fine, it will make the coffee taste bitter.

French Press Grind Size

Refer to my coffee grind size guide for more information.

I recommend using a burr coffee grinder to get an even grind across your batch.

Step 3

Use 2 parts water and 1 part coffee when starting to brew.

Don’t pour all the water into the carafe.

Usually, that means around 2 tablespoons of coffee and 1 cup of water. You want to pour the coffee into the French press first, followed by the water.

  • When using a French press, the best coffee to water ratio is 2:1
  • 50 grams (1.8oz) of ground coffee per 1 liter (34fluidoz) of water
French Press Coffee Water Ratio

Step 4

Stir the coffee gently and let the French press rest for 30 seconds. This process is known as blooming.

Blooming is important for a good-tasting cup of coffee when using a French press. This process helps in removing CO2 from the coffee grounds. In simple terms, it just gives us a smoother and more even extraction going forward.

Step 5

Pour the rest of the hot water into the coffee maker and cover it with the lid. It’s important not to press down on the plunger just yet.

The coffee needs to steep for 4 minutes.

Step 6

After four minutes begin to gently press the plunger down.

If you feel the filter drop to the bottom immediately it’s because your grind is too coarse. On the other hand, if you are finding it hard to press the filter down it means your grind is too fine.

It shouldn’t take more than the weight of your hand to push the plunger all the way down. Plunge only once and leave the filter at the bottom while pouring your coffee.

Getting to Know the Variables You’re Dealing With

Water

Since water will make up 99% of your coffee make sure you are boiling filtered or bottled water. If you know that your tap water is safe to drink, use cold water fresh from the tap. It’s a good habit to let the water run for a few seconds first. Filtered or natural spring water will provide the best-tasting coffee.

Grind Size

To get the most out of your French press you want to use coffee ground coarsely. That’s because the flavor extraction process needs maximum water surface area to be fully effective. Leaving the grind too coarse will result in a weaker brew, on the other hand, a grind too fine will result in bitter-tasting coffee. To get the most consistent outcome I recommend using a burr grinder.

Best Coffee to Water Ratio for French Press

In simple terms, I recommend, two heaping tablespoons of coffee for every cup of water.

Your coffee to water ratio should be 50 grams (1.8oz) of ground coffee per 1 liter (34floz) of water. Add more coffee for a stronger brew, alternatively do the opposite if you want your cup to be a little less bold.

How to Store Coffee

If you are thinking of storing the container in the fridge, STOP. The significant change of temperature can result in humidity inside the coffee when taken out of the fridge which, can adversely affect your cup of joe.

If you’re interested in keeping coffee at its fullest potential, here is a helpful guide on keeping coffee beans fresh for longer periods of time.

Quick Notes

To make a perfect French press you’ll want to:

  • Boil water. Preferably filtered.
  • Let the water sit for 30 seconds after boiling.
  • Pour freshly ground beans into the French press.
  • Add a little water to the French press.
  • Allow the coffee to bloom.
  • Stir the coffee in the beginning.
  • Brew for 4 minutes.
  • Plunge the press only once and keep the filter at the bottom.
  • Ready to serve the coffee.

Tips

Some like to pour the brewed coffee from the French press into a separate container before pouring the coffee into cups to avoid any over brewing.

Using a scale to determine the amount of coffee you are using will produce a more constant taste each time.

Related Questions

How Does French Press Coffee Taste?

The coffee you get from a French press is bright and flavorful. It’s ideal for anyone who enjoys the taste of real coffee. The flavor tends to be more intense because the brew sits directly in the coffee grinds.

What So Special about French Press Coffee?

A French press gives you more control over the finished product than almost any other coffee maker. If used successfully the coffee can be brewed to your specific liking each time.

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