How To Use A French Press Coffee Maker

  • French press coffee is fast, easy and delicious.

    French press coffee is fast, easy and delicious.

    Photo: Getty Images
  • Image 1 of 18

    French press coffee is fast, easy and delicious.

    French press coffee is fast, easy and delicious.

    Photo: Getty Images

    How to use a French press coffee maker

    1  /  18

    Back to Gallery

    French press coffee is one of the easiest and best ways to make coffee; in just a few minutes, you can have a flavorful cup of coffee, and you don't even need electricity. You just need a French press pot, course-ground coffee and hot water to make yourself a great cup. The real advantage comes from the fact you can make multiple cups of coffee at the same time, unlike with a pour-over or an Aeropress. And you don't have to worry about turning your pot off or scalding your coffee like with a drip coffee maker.

    Picking a French press pot

    Bodum makes a number of high-quality French press pots. For under $20, you can get the Brazil French Press pot:

    Bodum 1548-01US Brazil French Press Coffee and Tea Maker

    Or if you're looking to step up, you can find the Chambord French Press often for under $30.

    Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

    Both of these are great options, and they function mostly the same. The big difference is the Chambord has a sturdier, metal build, while the Brazil has a plastic build. But you can find a French press for as little as $7.99 from Ikea, or up to $75 for a stoneware version from Le Creuset.

    How fancy you get is really up to you; just realize that no matter which pot you choose, the means of making a fresh pot are almost entirely the same.

    What coffee to use in a French press

    Using the right grind and adding the right amount of coffee are essential to French press coffee. You'll want to use a rough grind; if you grind your own beans, it'll be the roughest setting on most bean grinders. The key is not grinding too fine; otherwise, the grounds end up sneaking through the filter, and you don't want to be drinking grounds.

    How dark or light of a roast your use is really up to your taste. But there are all sorts of great coffee subscription services out there, like Trade or Blue Bottle.

    Whatever roast you choose, you'll want to use about 1/2 cup of beans for every 4 cups of water. For reference: The Bodum French press pots listed earlier are 34 ounces each, or about 4 cups (34 ounces = 4 cups, 2 ounces).

    How to make French press coffee

    Once you've ground your beans, pour the coffee into the bottom of the French press pot. Then it's time to add hot water. You want to bring your water to a boil, but allow it to cool between 30 and 60 seconds before pouring over the coffee grounds. You want hot water, but now lawsuit-hot water. Otherwise, you can scorch the grounds.

    Pour in just enough water to get the coffee wet so it "blooms," then pour in the remaining water. Do not use the plunger yet. Stir the coffee so the grounds are not floating at the the top. Allow to brew for three to four minutes.

    Once three to four minutes have elapsed, place the lid on your French press and gently plunge. Immediately serve your fresh brew.

    Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

    Ryan Craggs is the Director of Content Marketing for Hearst Newspapers. Email him at ryan.Craggs@hearst.Com.