How to Use a French Press? A Super Simple, & Easy Guide for Beginners

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How do you like your coffee? Do you get it from your favorite coffee shop, or do you brew it yourself? If you want to start making your coffee or if you are tired of your old brewing method, whatever the case may be, you can use a French press.

A good cup of fresh coffee can easily make a day, and if you use French press the right way, you are sure to have a flavorful coffee every day.

How to use French press?

The French press may be a familiar term for coffee enthusiasts, but not everyone knows how it works.

In this guide, we will walk you through everything that you need to know about the French press and how to achieve that incredible coffee you love.

What Is A French Press And How Does It Work?

A French press is a famous brewing device first patented in Milan, Italy. The French press’ appeal to everyone is mostly because of how easy it is to use.

The mechanics of this brewing device is straightforward. To quickly get a hold of how a French press works, it is essential that you first familiarize yourself with its parts.

The French Press has two main parts, the beaker with the base and a handle and the lid with the plunger and filter.

The beaker is the central part that holds the coffee grounds and the hot water. Other models use plastic, ceramic, or metal. But the most common is a beaker made from glass.

Attached to the beaker are the base and the handle. The base’s purpose is to ensure that you do not burn the surface where you put your coffee maker on.

On the other hand, the handle helps you avoid burning yourself and making it easier to pour the brewed coffee into a mug.

French presses are equipped with a filter. This filter helps make sure that only the fine particles and natural oils from your coffee grounds pass through the coffee maker and into your cup.

Better models use multiple micro filters. It helps achieve that rich and flavorful cup of coffee.

The filter is linked to a metal rod that goes through the top, referred to as the plunger. The plunger is used to push the filter down and press it to the bottom of the beaker.

A lid is fitted on top of the beaker to prevent any coffee particles from pouring out every time you press,

In a nutshell, a French press works by adding coffee grounds and hot water into the beaker. Put the lid on and gently press the plunger to filter the coffee.

After just a few minutes, you can now have your much-needed coffee. But don’t worry, we will go into the step-by-step process of using a French press in the later part.

What You Need To Make Coffee Using A French Press

Before we delve into the step-by-step instruction on properly operating and making a coffee using a French press device, let us first look into the preparations that you need to do.

To make the process easier for you and to ensure your coffee’s quality taste, you need to remember to prepare and consider the following aspects.

The minimum ingredients you need to make a coffee using a French press device are water, ground coffee, and the French press.

French press

empty french press

Choosing the right French press mainly depends on one’s preference. But you have to know that there are different sizes of French presses that you can find in the market. The smaller ones can make 3 to 4 cups of coffee while the larger ones can make 8 to 12 cups.

For those who prefer less hassle in making their coffee, an electric French press may be the right machine for you. This model can heat the water, brew the coffee, and keep it warm until you are ready to drink it. It is relatively easy and convenient.

Filtered water

pouring water for french press

To ensure safety and, of course, to keep the rich flavor of the coffee, it is better that you use filtered water to make your coffee. Filtered water is already cleaned from any odor and other impurities that may affect the taste of your coffee.

Coffee beans

coarse ground coffee

The quality of your coffee beans will have a significant impact on the overall taste of your coffee. Experts and baristas prefer medium and dark roast coffee for better brewing and extraction of oils and flavor. Make sure to use high-quality and fresh coffee beans for a great cup.

In using the French press, you will also need other optimal tools to achieve that perfectly brewed coffee. These are the coffee grinder, kettle, scale, and timer.

Coffee grinder

Freshly ground coffee beans ensure a better-tasting coffee. Because once the coffee is already ground, this begins to lose flavor because of oxidation.

Mostly if not stored correctly, the pre-ground coffee will absorb smells, and the richness of the flavor will lessen over time.

Related: Best Grinders for French Press

That is why it is better to own a coffee grinder and grind your beans before making your coffee.

A burr grinder is the most recommended one. It allows you to set the grind size and ensure a uniform size of coffee particles.

A uniform size is particularly essential because smaller particles will get over-extracted while the bigger ones will get under-extracted. Evenly sized particles ensure a perfectly balanced cup of coffee.

Kettle

kettle

A French press will require you first to boil the water that you will put into the beaker. You can use any kettle to boil your water and pour the hot water into the French press when you start brewing your coffee.

Scale

Coffee beans have different properties and densities, depending on how they were processed.

To ensure consistency in your cup’s quality, you can use a scale to measure your ground coffee. You can also use a coffee scoop of a spoon if a scale is available.

Timer

french press timer

You can use the timer on your phone. A timer is essential to keep track of the time that you have to process your coffee. If left to soak for too long, your coffee will be over-extracted, affecting its taste. You can use the timer on your phone.

how to use french press guide

French Press Recipe for Beginners: Super Simple, Quick, & Easy

Cuppabean
This super simple french press recipe takes around 4-6 minutes only. I use this recipe at home, so I hope you guys will like it!
Prep Time 2 mins
Brewing Time 4 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, French
Servings 1

Equipment

  • French Press
  • Kettle
  • Teaspoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Timer

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tsp. coarse ground coffee beans
  • 250 ml. hot water

Instructions
 

  • First step in making this quick french press recipe is to boil the water using a kettle.
    kettle
  • Preheat the cup and french press by pouring the boiled water on each & letting it stay for 30 seconds. Drain afterwards.
    empty french press
  • Measure 3 tbps. of coarse ground coffee, and put in the french press.
    putting water on french press
  • Pour 250 ml. of water on the french press. Mix gently, and cover with lid.
    pouring water on french press with coffee
  • Set your timer and brew your coffee for 4 minutes.
    french press timer
  • Once the timer is off, gently press the plunger down gently.
    pressing plunger down french press
  • Pour your french press cover on your preheated cup. Serve, and enjoy!
    serving coffee from french press
Keyword coffee, french press, french press coffee

How to Make Your Coffee Using French Press (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Now that you already know what you will need to make coffee using a French press brewing machine, it is time to make your favorite coffee cup. We will guide you through this step-by-step instruction.

  1. Boil water

pouring water for french press

The first thing you need to do is to prepare the hot water for your coffee. Bring water to a boil using a kettle. As aforementioned, using filtered water is much better to prevent any impurities from affecting the taste of your coffee.

The ideal brewing temperature is at 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Preheat the French press

empty french press

Likewise, the preheating process is essential to stop the brew temperature from fluctuating, ensuring a consistent temperature throughout to efficiently brew your coffee.

The preheating process also helps clean the beaker of any particles that may be present. But this step is only optional.

You can use the water you boiled earlier to preheat your French press. You need to pour some hot water on the beaker and gently let it swirl around the press until it is warm enough to the touch.

After using, pour and discard the water properly.

  1. Measure the coffee grounds

coarse ground coffee

As we have mentioned, it is better to have your coffee beans freshly grounded before using it. We recommend coarsely ground beans for slow extraction.

After, you need to measure your coffee grounds. The amount that you need depends on your French press’s size and the amount of coffee that you want to make.

  1. Measure the water

The ratio of coffee and water is 1:15. This measurement means that for 1 ounce of coarsely ground coffee for every 15 ounces of water.

Weighing your water using a scale is better to get the proper measurement. But if you don’t have a scale at home, you can use a spoon or scoop in measuring.

  1. Add coffee ground and hot water

putting water on french press

After getting all the measurements done, you can now add your coffee grounds into the French press. Level it out before adding the correct ratio of hot water.

Add the water in one pour and make sure that it gets all of the coffee wet.

After pouring, take a spoon and gently stir the coffee to ensure that every particle is wet and immersed in water.

pouring water on french press with coffee

  1. Place the lid and start timing

french press brewing

After pouring everything in and making sure that the water and coffee ground is appropriately mixed, place the lid on top of the beaker to keep the heat inside and ensure that no particle will flow out from the beaker.

The plunger should be pulled up. Set your timer at 4 minutes and let the coffee steep.

  1. Press the plunger down gently

pressing plunger down french press

After, you can start pressing the plunger down to the beaker’s bottom. If it is hard to press down, it means that your particles are not refined or coarse.

  1. Serve

serving coffee from french press

Don’t let it remain in the container with the coffee grounds for a long time, as this will cause it to continue extracting and lose more flavor in the process.

After pressing, serve the coffee immediately and enjoy your freshly brewed coffee.

You may not want to pour the remaining 10% of your coffee, as that part has a higher silt concentration and may affect the taste of your coffee.

french press coffee

Make sure to clean your French Press after every use to get rid of any coffee particles and oils from your filter and beaker.

As you have seen, brewing coffee with a French press is relatively simple and easy to understand. Aside from getting the proper measurement, the whole process is a breeze. In just a few minutes, you can have your favorite cup of coffee ready.

What to look for in a French press?

The French press is a prevalent brewing method, and you will find many different units of French press brewing machines in the market. You can even get it for a relatively low price.

But before you choose your pick of a French press, you have first to make sure that it is just what you need. The following are just some of the general considerations you need to keep in mind before spending your money on a French press.

Related: Best French Press Coffee Makers

The capacity

French presses come in various sizes. You will find small French presses. This size can typically fill 3 to 4 cups of coffee. This size is ideal for those living alone or for smaller families. You can also invite some of your friends over for a cup of coffee.

For a larger group, a large French press is required. A large French press can make 8 to 12 cups of coffee. Generally, the size of your French press depends on your intended use of it.

The material

French presses can be made of glass, metal, or ceramic. The beakers of French presses are usually made from glass. This material looks best and elegant, but it is fragile, and it might easily break if you are not careful.

According to French lifestyle & decor expert Dean Signori, a French metal press, on the other hand, is the most durable. Metal is not breakable and is challenging. It also keeps and retains heat well, keeping your coffee in the container hot even after some time. The ceramic material is likewise durable and also retains heat well.

The price

If you are deciding on buying your French press, browse over everything, and compare the prices. Usually, French presses have the same features and almost similar quality with just different prices.

Related: Best Coffee for French Press

You don’t have to overspend way out of your budget to have a high-quality coffee maker.

You can always find a relatively cheaper option with good quality.

In choosing a French press, you have to make sure that it is consistent with your needs and your budget.

Is it worth it?

You have a lot of options where you get your coffee. You can spend money on coffee shops. You can also buy an espresso machine or a drip machine to brew your coffee. But the best choice we can give you is the French press. Is it worth it? Of course, and here are the reasons why.

French Press Is Economical and Practical

A French press does not use paper filters as it is already equipped with a filter inside. Paper filters tend to take out more flavors and oils from the coffee grounds.

With the French press, the flavor will be preserved much better compared to other brewing methods.

With a French press, you can get complete saturation of grounds giving you a better tasting coffee. You do not miss anything as the French press requires you to push the plunger down to the bottom getting all the coffee particles.

It Maintains the Temperature Better vs. Other Brewing Methods

The French press also maintains temperature better compared to other brewing methods. Drip machines, for example, cool down the water as quickly as it heats it.

Related: What is the Best Brewing Method for Coffee?

French press keeps a consistent temperature during the entire brewing process—consistent temperature results in a better-brewed coffee.

One of the main reasons why the French press is popular is because of how easy it is to use. After you have made all the preparations and measurements, you only need to add the hot water and ground coffee together, press, then serve. It couldn’t get any easier than that.

Summing Up

With a French press at home, you don’t have to spend money on coffee shops that admittedly costs a lot. But most importantly, with your coffee maker, you have full control over how you want your coffee.

You can control the amount and the taste of your coffee.

You can now make your own according to how you prefer your coffee. That is why investing in a French press is wise and worth it.

Now that you have read all about brewing coffee using the French press, its components, and how it works, we hope that this article has helped you in any way. Overall, the French press is efficient and makes the best coffee.

It is easy to use and relatively inexpensive.

If you are deciding which coffee maker to get, we highly recommend getting a French press. With it, you can enjoy rich, freshly brewed coffee every day.

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