How to Use a French Press

How to Use a French Press

Start the day off right with the perfect cup of French press coffee! Making French press coffee is a lot easier than you think. You don’t have to be a coffee genius to produce the perfect cup of coffee in under 15 minutes.

We love starting the day off with a cup of coffee and a little something sweet, too. Check out some of our favorite morning sweets like our amazing oatmeal recipes or maple cinnamon rolls!

A pot of French press coffee brewing.

Nothing beats a good, strong cup of coffee in the morning. Using a French press coffee maker is easier than you think. All you need is some boiling water, coarse ground coffee, a French press, and you’re set to go.

It should come as no surprise that we are big coffee drinkers here at Fit Foodie Finds. Do we drink too much coffee? Sometimes. Do we try to balance our days off with water and tea? You betcha.

What makes the perfect cup of coffee you ask? Hot, strong, and no cream! But, that’s just our opinion.

Why we love french press coffee

We prefer a pot of French press coffee over a coffee machine because we have a bit more control over water temperature, how long the coffee brews, and it is usually the perfect amount of coffee for 3-4 people.

A French press is great for making a small batch of great coffee.

You can control how strong or weak your coffee is.

No need for a paper filter when making French press coffee.

What is French Press Coffee?

French press coffee is a method of brewing coffee that uses a device called a “French Press.” A French press is like a plunger that meets a strainer. It allows you to brew ground coffee in a container by brewing, pressing , and straining all in one.

After the coffee is brewed, you press the ground coffee beans to the bottom of the beaker with a fine mesh strainer, which leaves you strong, bold, beautiful coffee.

why our recipe is a little different

Typically French Press coffee is created by weighing your coffee grounds to get the most perfect water ratio to ground beans. However, we know that weighing your coffee beans isn’t always in the cards.

This is why we are using cups to measure both beans and water.

What is the Best French Press?

First things, first. What is the best French Press? We are personal fans of the Bodum‘s French Press products. It is a tried and true French press that all three of us own and use. We love that it’s glass and that the handle doesn’t get hot when you pour the water in. It’s affordable and reliable.

In addition to Bodum’s French press, we also love their other coffee accessories as well! Check them out below.

Pouring coffee from a french press into a mug.

How to Use a French Press

Check out the tips and tricks below on how to make French press coffee and a step-by-step tutorial on exactly how to make the perfect French press coffee.

To keep things simple, we broke down the four most important things to keep in mind when you are preparing a pot of French press coffee:

  • Coffee beans
  • Grind size
  • Water temperature
  • Brew time

You’ll have a perfect pot of French press if you follow a few simple guidelines, but always remember it’s your coffee and it’s ok to make changes. Like anything you prepare in the kitchen, feel free to experiment and cater your French press to your preferences!

Choosing Coffee Beans

Our number one piece of advice: use whole bean coffee over pre-ground coffee when you can! The flavor and freshness of your coffee is a heck of a lot better when you use whole beans.

Pre-ground coffee tends to have a staleness to it because it has already been broken down. Buy your favorite whole bean coffee and get ready to grind!

no scale? No problem!

We know that many of you don’t have a scale and on a day-to-day basis, we don’t use a scale to prepare our French press coffee either. Below are the general measurements we follow using a measuring cup. 

How much coffee beans for French press?

  • 2 servings –> 1/4 cup coffee beans + 2 cups water
  • 4 servings –> 1/2 cup coffee beans + 4 cups water

So remember, for 4 servings of coffee, use 1/2 cup of whole beans. First, grind coffee beans to a medium-coarse grind and pour grounds into the bottom of the French press.

Want stronger coffee?

Making French press coffee is like an art. You need to do what works best and tastes best for you. This means it will likely take some practice to figure out what you like. To get stronger coffee here’s what you can do:

  • Use less water and the same amount of ground coffee.
  • Use the same amount of water, but more ground coffee.
  • Brew your French press coffee longer than 5 minutes.

Peace Coffee

our favorite

coffee beans

We are big fans of Peace Coffee. Any of their whole beans will do the trick, but we love their medium blend.

Coffee Bean FAQs

How do I store my coffee beans?

Store your coffee beans in a cool, dry place, in an air sealed container. Your coffee will stay fresher, longer!

What are the best coffee beans to buy? 

We love Peace Coffee Whole Bean Coffee Beans, but Aldi has a delicious Organic Brand that is delicious. What type of coffee bean you buy also depends on how you like your coffee (light, medium, or dark roast)!

Do I need to weigh my coffee beans?

Many people like to use a scale to measure out their beans and their coffee. If you have a scale and you love preparing your French press coffee that way, go for it!

Getting The Perfect Grind

The grind of coffee beans is one of the most important variables when preparing French press coffee.

If you grind your coffee beans too much, you will have a muddy and thick cup of coffee. If you don’t grind your coffee beans enough, you will have a flavorless and watery cup of coffee.

When it comes to a coffee grinder you have the choice of a burr grinder or a blade grinder. The difference between the two types of grinders is the type of blade that they grind with. Both types of grinders will work.

How to set your Coffee grinder

Coffee beans in a jar.

Quick tip on pre-ground coffee beans

If you do buy pre-ground coffee beans, use a heaping half cup per 4 cups of water. 1/2 cup of whole beans coarsely ground is a little more than 1/2 cup ground, unpacked.

Water Temperature Matters

Water temperature is so important when making French press coffee. If you pour water that is too hot, you could scald the coffee grounds and end up with burnt coffee.

The perfect water temperature for French press is 200ºF. You can set some water kettles to the perfect temperature and some you’ll have to check manually with a thermometer.

If you don’t have water that is hot enough it won’t extract the flavor out of the coffee grounds. The trick is to bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and then remove it from its heat source and let it sit for at least a minute before pouring it over the coffee grounds.

For 4 servings of coffee, bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 minute before pouring over your ground coffee beans.

Pouring hot water into a French press.

How Long to Brew French Press Coffee

After pouring the water into the French press, and giving the grounds a nice stir, it’s time to let everything sit.

We have found that the sweet spot is 5 minutes. Anything less than that and the flavor of the coffee isn’t quite there. Anything over 5 minutes can leave the coffee tasting a bit bitter!

After stirring the grounds and the water together, let coffee brew for 5 minutes! Pour into your favorite coffee mug and enjoy!

Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso


Brown Sugar Shake Espresso

Looking for fancier coffee drink? This u003ca href=u0022 Brown Sugar Shaken Espressou003c/au003e is so delicious.

A pot of French press coffee brewing.

Other Ways to Brew Coffee

There are many different brew methods to prepare a perfect cup of coffee for yourself in the morning!

Pour OverWhen I am home alone and just need one delicious cup of coffee, pour over is my favorite way to go! We have a tutorial on how to make the perfect cup of coffee that walks you through the perfect cup of pour-over coffee.

Machine Drip CoffeeGood ole Mr.Coffee to the rescue. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a machine drip coffee maker. It is all about convenience, personal preference, and if you get the ratio of grounds to water just right you’ll have one amazing cup of coffee!

AeroPress: The AeroPress uses pressure to extract flavor from coffee grounds. It produces delicious coffee, but also can only produce one cup of coffee at a time. We love taking our AeroPress camping. It is packable and perfect for calm mornings when you have the time!

Espresso MachinesNespresso and Keurig machines are good options for those of you who need a quick cup of coffee in the morning! They use prefilled coffee pods to produce a cup of coffee or espresso.

We are partial to the Nespresso machines because they have a great recycling program for their pods!

Percolator: A percolator is a small espresso maker that involves preparing your espresso over the stove! It produces strong espresso that makes a great Americano!

Pouring cream into a cup of coffee.

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.

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