How to Use a French Press? Step by Step Guide

Are you a coffee lover but have to deal with the instant machine coffees throughout the day? Not anymore! 

Let us introduce you to a revolutionary product known as “French Press,” invented in the 1800s, has changed how people can drink good quality fresh coffee. 

The French press is a simple and classic coffee brewing method, which can be used to make the best coffee without a bulky machine. You can relish the heavenly taste of freshly brewed coffee in minutes and with just a few simple steps using hot water and coffee beans. This machine can save so much time either on a busy or relaxed day and still give you the best coffee in minutes. 

French Press plungers are a much-underrated product, which has evolved with time, but not everyone is quite familiar with it. Adding this small compact coffee machine will make your life so much simpler, more comfortable, and convenient. 

What to Consider While Buying a French Press Plunger?

If you are looking for a French Press coffee maker best suited for your needs, what components should you consider before buying? Let us find out. 


The primary and perhaps the most critical factor that you should be considering is the material and parts of the machine. A typical French press coffee maker is made up of- carafe (which holds the water and coffee), a small sprout attached to the carafe to pour out the coffee, a plunger that consists of a handle and filter. 

The carafe can be of 3 different materials- stainless steel, plastic, and tempered glass.

 If are thinking of buying a stainless-steel body, you will not see the inside contents and the richness of the brewed coffee. 

Usually, stainless steel bodies are double-walled and insulated to stop the heat from escaping. You should also correctly check the quality of the steel used. It should be either 18/8 or 18/10 chromium to nickel made. Stainless steel lasts longer, but you will have to adjust without visuals of coffee grounds sinking in hot water. 

Tampered glass looks gorgeous, you will have to be very careful and gentle as it might break easily. But every time, you will enjoy an amusing visual of coffee blending with water. But as you may have seen, there is a metal or plastic brace at the bottom to protect it from damage. 

And lastly, plastic French Press, though it is a little cheaper compared to the other two, it may react with the hot liquid in the container and the toxins may cause harm to your body over time.

So, choose the best fit according to your use. If you ask us, we suggest you go for the more sustainable one – glass or stainless steel; unlike plastic, you do not have to worry about harmful chemicals entering your body besides coffee. 


When choosing a French press coffee maker, make sure you select the correct quantity for you and your family’s needs. Ideally, they come in different sizes- 3-cup, 6-cup, 8-cup, and 12-cup, where each cup measures 4 ounces. 

For each size, the amount of ground coffee to be used varies, which will be mentioned in the user manual.

If you are a family of 3-4, we suggest you go for the 6-cup one, as it will serve you a little extra coffee on days you feel lazy and will also be useful when you have guests over. 


Another essential component of the machine is the filter attached to a plunger. The plunger is nothing but a metal screen attached to the rod, which pushes down the ground coffee particles to the bottom of the cup and on top remains the brewed coffee. 

Many plungers have multiple filters that enable 3-4 levels of filtration. The more the number of filters, the more ground particles get trapped into it and ensures that you enjoy a great cup of coffee every time. 


If you are investing in a product, you must check its durability and portability. There are many varieties of French press coffee machines which are available.

  • The one for the road is a highly functional French press that brews and stores the coffee in the same cup. A normal-sized holder in your car can hold the machine. Not only does it store, but it also keeps the coffee warm. It keeps away the ground particles, ultimately, to ensure you have a rich experience. 
  • The traveler French press is for people who love coffee on a campsite. You will not be happy with broken glass pieces. So, this French press is designed with BPA free plastic and can hold 50 ounces. The insulating boy makes it easier to maintain and also keep it warm. Due to the extra ounces, feel free to share your coffee.  


When you are buying a French press coffee maker that you will incorporate in your life daily, sound quality is crucial. And with the right brand name, you can be assured about the product’s quality and durability. 

One classic brand that has become very popular is the Bodum Chambord. It is cheap, user-friendly, very sturdy, and the best French press coffee maker for beginners. It is a powerhouse in itself, and we highly recommend you give it a try. 

Our next best French press is the Espro Press P7. Slightly on the higher end, but no makes no compromises on quality. Besides having an insulated double-layered wall that traps all the heat inside, its appearance is highly sophisticated.


Q: Is French press coffee better? 

A: When we talk about French press coffee, how do you differentiate from instant coffee? A lot of coffee lovers believe that French press coffee tastes much better than instant coffee. This is, however, debatable in terms of taste. But other factors determine that French press coffee is better than instant coffee. 

– It is cheaper than any other bulky coffee machine, hence light on the pocket

– It is environment friendly as there are no plastic or unnecessary trash generated except for the organic coffee ground, which can be used as fertilizer

– It brews not only ground coffee but also loose tea leaves. 

You can control the coffee’s bitterness, which will probably be better with the trial and error method. 

The taste of the coffee purely depends on the coffee-to-water ratio. But in comparison to instant coffee, the French press coffee is more potent and richer in flavor. 

Q: How much coffee do I put in a French press?

A: To make the best coffee every time and with a consistent taste, you need to understand the coffee-to-water ratio. It actually varies for individuals, depending on their taste and preference. There are extensive calculators available online to measure the exact amount of coffee. But we are going to make a cakewalk for you. 

The basic rule is to use a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water. To explain that, you will need 1 gram of coffee for every 15 grams of hot water. There can be three categories for the strength of the coffee- mild, medium, and strong. 

For example, if you wish to make 3 cups of coffee, which is medium-strength, you will need 23 grams or four tablespoons of ground coffee and 10 ounces of hot water. Then again, the taste differs from person to person, and so does the ratio. 

Q: Which coffee is best to use in French press?

A: You can choose any kind of coffee you like, and it does not matter. It can be anything like the Egyptian, Columbia, Arabica, or anything you want. What matters is the grounded coffee texture. Coarse ground coffee suits the French press coffee making machine the best. 

There are two reasons for that- firstly, we do not want the fine particles of coffee to seep through the filter and enter our drink. Secondly, in the French press, hot water combines well with ground coffee. Coarsely ground coffee absorbs more water and hence releases more flavor than fine particles. It also does not allow the coffee to become bitter due to over-extraction. 

As for taste, we would suggest you have light or medium roasted coffee beans roasted in a coarse powder. If you roast your coffee beans to dark, you may become bitter. Lightly roasted coffee beans have more caffeine and are best for long extraction methods. 

Q: What is a Burr grinder, and why is it important?

A: Burr grinders are best for coarsely ground coffee beans, perfect for a drip type coffee. The French press machine needs equal size coffee grounds, bigger than other coffee granules. It is essential to have perfectly grounded coffee to bring out the best of flavors. 

If the granules are finely grounded, it does not leave enough room for them to grow and absorb water, making the coffee bitter. Also, if the granules are too fine, it may seep through the filter and enter the coffee, leaving behind a lot of sediment in our cup. 

All your coffee beans must be equally ground in the burr grinder. So, if you are considering having the perfect cup of hot coffee, invest in a good burr grinder. 

Q: Can we use a French Press to make tea?

A: Absolutely. Most of us use a French Press to make coffee, but we can use the same process to make yourself a cup of tea. The process, however, remains the same as brewing coffee. However, different tea types take different times to steep. 

For instance, black tea takes around 3-5 mins at 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit to be ready; green tea takes 2-3 minutes at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, herbal tea takes 5-7 minutes at 205 degrees Fahrenheit, etc. 

For tea, you will have to close the lid quicker to keep the flavor in. If you have already been using a French press to make coffee, make sure you clean that before, else it might disturb the tea’s taste and flavor. 


Q: How to clean the French press coffee maker?

A: One essential piece of  information you should always remember is to wash the machine after using it. The remains of the last brew may remain and hinder the taste of the next batch of coffee. So here are the steps to clean the French Press, coffee maker effectively. 

– Remove all the ground residue from the carafe, use the residue as plant fertilizer. 

– Add warm water and liquid soap to the beaker. Let it rest for a few minutes. Remember, you cannot wash it with your hands. 

– You will have to slowly press the plunger down to ensure all the oil residue and ground coffee gets dissolved.

– You need to repeat this process another 2-3 times to clean it thoroughly and air dry the machine.

Q: How much does an average French press cost?

A: For beginners, a standard French press coffee maker can cost you anything between 29$- 120$ depending on the size, quality, and brand name.  

How do you make French press coffee?

To use a French Press may look a little intimidating, but is very simple. 

Firstly, you will need some boiling water. You have to maintain a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve that, you need to boil the water, remove from the stove, and keep aside for 30 seconds. You will then have the perfect temperature to pour inside the carafe.  

For the next step, you need to have some ground coffee ready. Into the carafe, add the already boiled water and coffee grounds (strong or light depending on your taste) and let the coffee brew. 

In a few minutes, you will notice the coffee grounds have started to rise to the top and have created a layer, also known as “crust.” This is also known as blooming. Using a stirrer, gently stir the coffee, and the coffee grounds will start to go down. 

At this step, you need to add the filter/plunger pulled high up along with the lid. Keep it attached like that for another 3-4 minutes. 

Now you need to press the plunger down gently right up to the bottom. Do the press too hard at the bottom to bring out more flavor. That might make your coffee bitter. The plunger filters all the ground particles and on top remains your coffee. You are ready to serve yourself a cup of fresh, aromatic coffee. 


  • It is lighter on the pockets than most other coffee machines in the market
  • It does not use electricity and functions manually
  • It is easy on the environment as there are no paper filters used
  • Is a one-time investment as the filters do not get worn out quickly
  • Coffee brewed in the French Press is much richer in taste and has a high quantity of caffeine, which is good for the heart if taken in limits.
  • Light, compact, and easy to carry, best for office goers and avid travelers. 
  • Do not require repair and maintenance like most other expensive machines. 
  • Can brew large quantities of press coffee in one batch, without compromising the taste.
  • The highly efficient machine that does make the French press unique is you can use it to make both tea and coffee under a few minutes 


  • If you have not mastered the exact quantities of water and coffee, the taste will differ every time
  • Chances of sediment accumulation of coffee grounds at the bottom of your cup, if not brewed properly
  • Cleaning the machine can be a little tricky, especially with hand


If you are running late and still want to enjoy your favorite cup of coffee or are you feeling too lazy to make yourself a good cup, we highly recommend you add this machine in your life. 

While you let the coffee brew for a few minutes, you can get on to your other work at hand. And after about 4 to 5 minutes maximum, your coffee is ready. All you have to do is add hot water and ground coffee. 

And voila! Enjoy your hot cup of coffee. A French press machine is multi-functional to brew both tea and coffee. 

Expert Tip

  • If you are a coffee lover, you should already know that too much sun exposure and air may spoil coffee’s smell. 
  • Do not forget to clean it immediately after use 
  • If you want to have the perfect smell and taste of coffee, invest in a stainless-steel French press, as the filter is much more durable. 
  • You can lightly roast the coffee beans before grinding to reduce the bitterness
  • After roasting, pack it in an air-tight jar or vacuum-sealed pouch.

Did You Know?

  • The word Espresso means in Italian means “pressed out.” It means hot water is passed through the pressed coffee grounds. 
  • Black coffee without sugar contains just one calorie. 
  • You can also use coffee ground residue as a scrub for your skin, and it proves to be a great exfoliator.

With this, we hope that you get yourself a French press coffee machine and relish the taste of a freshly made cup of coffee.