French Press Coffee Maker Instructions

A French press is the best option if you want a coffee with body and flavor. French presses are hand-operated coffee makers that feature a cylindrical carafe, a plunger, and a filter that percolates the coffee as it is brewed. For about four minutes, freshly boiled water is allowed to steep coarse grinds.

This method is gentler than others, such as those involving drip coffee makers or stovetop brewing, which can scald the beans by bringing the water to a very high temperature. Since the coffee doesn't sit on a warming plate after being brewed in a French press, it doesn't "cook" and become bitter as it would if left to do so in a drip coffee maker.

For those curious, here's how a French press brews their favorite cup of joe

Using a French press, you can prepare coffee by soaking ground beans in hot water and then filtering them out with a press of the filter. The ideal temperature for flavor extraction from water is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee should never be served at temperatures above 185 degrees Fahrenheit (water boils at 212 degrees F). Under-extracted coffee that's too cool to drink will lack depth of flavor and aroma.

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French press benefits and drawbacks

French press brews coffee with the most robust flavor and creamiest mouthfeel because they remove more of the ground coffee's oils and sediment than other methods. Here are some things to think about as you decide whether or not to make it your go-to coffee method:


  • Super simple to use and maintain
  • Affordable on a scale
  • Leaving a minimal imprint
  • Useful for making hot or cold iced tea from loose leaves.


  • Additional tools needed (coffee grinder, kettle, scale, thermometer)
  • Required to keep an eye on the brewing time, coffee grind size, and water temperature.
  • To avoid over-extracting, prompt service is required.
  • Imperative health risks

Cafestol and kahweol are found in the oily substances in coffee beans, which are called diterpenes. Some worry that French press coffee is unhealthy because it contains more cafestol and kaweol than coffee brewed with paper filters. This is because French press filters allow more oils to pass through. Fortunately, research suggests that it takes five cups per day to show an increase in serum cholesterol and triglycerides, as stated by Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CDN, Registered Dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute. The words of Sassos Keep French press coffee for special occasions and in moderation. ”

Needs for a pot of French press java

Most coffee makers have straightforward brewing instructions in their owner's manuals: put ground coffee in the carafe, add hot water, let it sit for four minutes, plunge, and enjoy. Perhaps, with a little luck, you make the best coffee, but as everyone knows, the devil is in the details. What You'll Need is Listed Below:

  • Use filtered water; generally speaking, coffee should be brewed with the same water that you intend to drink. Filtered water removes chlorine and other chemicals that can leave an unpleasant aftertaste in your coffee.
  • Coffee beans: Although opinions vary on what constitutes the "best" coffee, most people agree that a cup made from high-quality, freshly roasted beans is the way to go. French press aficionados typically favor medium to dark roast beans because they allow for a more gradual release of the coffee's oils, flavor, and character during the brewing process. French roast, smooth, full-bodied, smoky, chocolate, cocoa, woody, nutty, earthy, spicy, and caramel are all descriptors to keep an eye out for when purchasing coffee beans.
  • You can get the best coffee flavor by grinding your own beans at home, which is why we sell coffee grinders. The flavor of pre-ground coffee may have deteriorated due to oxidation. It might also have picked up some of your kitchen's odors if it wasn't stored properly. A burr grinder, which lets you choose the size of your grinds and thus produces consistently ground coffee, is our top pick.
  • A kettle, either stovetop or electric, can be used to boil water in advance, making it much easier and safer to pour into the French press when it's time to brew. Before pouring the hot water over the coffee grounds, an instant-read thermometer can be used to get a rough idea of the temperature if an electric kettle is not being used.
  • The use of a scale or a coffee scoop to measure your ground coffee may seem like overkill, but it's the only way to ensure consistently delicious coffee every time. As a result, you'll never have to guess how much coffee ground to use again. Alternatively, you could use a coffee scoop or a measuring spoon. Ground coffee scoops should always be level to ensure uniformity.

Tips for making coffee in a French press

We suggest using one ounce (about six tablespoons) of coarsely ground coffee for every sixteen ounces (two cups) of water when brewing coffee in a French press. You should also use a coarse grinder if you're making coffee at home, as the flavor of coffee brewed from coarsely ground beans is enhanced by a slow extraction. Over-extraction (likely harsh and bitter), clogged filter, and an extra gritty, unpleasant cup of coffee result from using finely ground coffee.

  1. After the water has boiled for about 30 seconds, take it off the heat and let it cool to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put the coffee grounds in the carafe and then pour the boiling water over them. After one minute, the coffee grounds will rise to the surface, forming a crust. Gently pierce the crust with a wooden spoon and stir the The soil will eventually fall to the ground.
  3. Then, cover the carafe with the plunger all the way up and let the tea steep for three minutes.
  4. After three minutes, carefully push the plunger all the way down and serve the coffee immediately; otherwise, it will continue to brew and turn bitter.

Each time you use your French press, give it a good cleaning. Your coffee will taste bitter if you use the same carafe and filter you've used before. Disassemble the nested filter as directed by the manufacturer and wash it thoroughly, paying special attention to any oil deposits.

Headshot of Myo Quinn

Myo Quinn

Myo Quinn is an accomplished professional in the culinary world, with experience in the kitchen, in the media, and in the publishing world. New York City's Central Park is where Myo can be found chasing her three sons when she's not in the kitchen or planning meals. She will not rest until she finds the ideal vanilla ice cream, which for her must have the following qualities: be both creamy and icy, have a pleasant aroma, contain small bits of vanilla bean, and be free of any overpowering sugars. Aside from that, she is testing the waters of improv.   

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