How to use a French Press?

How to use a French Press?

Don’t worry, we know what it’s like to look at a French Press with confusion. While these beauties are incredibly simple to use, they can be a little intimidating as well - but a few pointers will set you on the right path. What’s special about this brewing method is that it’s more gentle than drip coffee or stovetop brewing that heat the water and can scald the beans, resulting in a bitter brew. 

The French Press works by immersing ground coffee in hot water, and separating the grounds from the coffee by plunging down the filter. To get good coffee each time, it’s important to disassemble and clean your device. Leftover grounds can leave a rancid taste in your cup.


  • Preheating your French Press is important! All you have to do is add some hot water to the press, swirl it around till it’s warm to touch, and discard the water. This will stop your brewing temperature from fluctuating, as the cold device and hot water can result in low brewing temperatures and inturn lower extraction.

  • It’s time for coffee, and the secret is all in the grind! Choose a medium coarse grind, which is uniform and consistent throughout. Coarse, large grinds may clog the filter, while very fine grinds pass through the filter, resulting in a muddy cuppa. How much coffee you use will depend largely on the size of the press and the amount of coffee you want, remember to use a scale!

  • You’re looking for 12 parts of water for 1 part of coffee, which should be at about 93DEGC to optimise the extraction of flavour. Careful - any hotter and your coffee could taste burnt. Any cooler, and the brew may be under-extracted, tasting flavourless and watered down.

  • Add the coffee grounds, followed by a little hot water into your device. Give it a quick stir to ensure that all the grounds are properly immersed in water and then add the remaining water.

  • Standard steep time is about 4 minutes, after which you slowly press the plunger down. Make sure to press it down all the way, or your coffee will continue to brew and over-extract. 

Tip: if there’s too much resistance when you plunge, then your grounds are too fine. If there’s little to no resistance at all, that means your grinds are too coarse. It’s all a balancing act.

And your French Press is ready! We recommend decanting the coffee immediately, as the longer your brew sits with the grounds, the more flavour it’ll pull out — which isn’t necessarily a good thing, unless you like really bitter coffee. The best part? You can even use your device to brew loose leaf tea - enjoy!
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