How do you make coffee in a French press coffee maker?
Press down the plunger to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee.
Using a French press is the simplest way to make delicious coffee. The brewing process is easy to learn and forgiving enough to execute while half asleep. But you’ll still have control over every variable in the brewing process for maximum customization. French presses are also very versatile when it comes to how much coffee you want to make.
Below you’ll find everything you need to make an excellent cup of coffee with a French press, how to control every element of your brew, plus troubleshooting tips if it doesn’t taste how you expected it to.
Quick tip: If you’re looking to buy a French press, check out our top picks for the best French presses according to our testing.
French press basics
Coarsely ground coffee French press allows you to customize each one, but there are a few things you should know about each before you get started: Choosing the beans: The coffee beans you use are going to have the biggest effect on the outcome of your coffee. Taste is subjective when it comes to roast profile, growing region, and flavor notes, so go with beans you love. The biggest thing you can do to improve your coffee is to make sure it‘s fresh. Coffee is usually at its best when brewed within two weeks of roasting. Storing your beans in an air-tight container in a cool and dark area will also help keep them fresh.
Grinding: Grind your beans coarsely, roughly to the size of sea salt. French presses usually use metal or mesh filters, which allow more dissolved solids to pass through. A coarse grind helps prevent some of that mud and grit that often settles at the bottom of a French press. Most coffee grinders allow you to select the degree of coarseness, so you can dial in and find the right fit. Blade grinders produce notoriously inconsistent grinds, so if they’re not recommended; use a burr grinder instead. If you don‘t have your own grinder, most cafes and roasters can grind to your preferred coarseness as well. Ratio: Coffee experts generally recommend a ratio of about one part coffee to eighteen parts water. French presses come in many different sizes, so using ratios is the easiest way to figure out the measurements for your specific press.