how to use a french press; how to make french press coffee; how to use a french press coffee maker; how to use french press; how to brew with a french press

The French press is a hand-brewing staple because of its simple but elegant design

French press coffee is known for being rich, smooth, and bold.

Our French press recipe gives you everything you need to know to brew up a perfect pot of your favorite roast!

How to Make French Press Coffee

If you dream about the perfect cup of rich, robust coffee, there’s no better coffee brewing method than the French press to help you achieve that bold yet smooth flavor profile.

Here at U3, we want you to have all the knowledge, tools, and techniques to show you how to use a French press coffee maker to highlight the incredible flavors of your favorite roasts. Whether you’re new to the French press, expanding your hand-brewing repertoire, or a French press veteran on the hunt for new tips and techniques, we’re here for you!

We’ve done the research, run the tests, polled the experts, and have distilled it down into one perfect French press technique. Ready to take the plunge (pun intended)? Let’s talk about how to brew with a French press! But first…

What Is French Press Brewing?

The French press has been a staple for coffee lovers for more than six decades, and for good reason. The brewer itself is both simple and elegant, and the French press technique can accommodate a wide range of roasts. Once you understand the basics of how to use a French press coffee maker, you can easily brew anything from a single cup to a pot worthy of sharing. And the all-in-one design of the French press means it’s one of the most eco-friendly ways to brew up your perfect morning cup!

French Press Coffee Equipment

With the right tools, you’ll be able to craft delicious brews that hit your flavor sweet spot every time. Here’s what you need for a stellar French press coffee:

  • French press brewer
  • Coffee grinder
  • Kettle
  • Scale

How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker

Step 1: Choose Your Ratio

Before you dive into the hands-on steps of the brewing process, you need to know the ideal ratio of coffee to water.

Here at U3, we find the ratio that works the best for the widest variety of roasts and beans is 1:15. That means for each 1 gram of coffee, you’ll need to add 15 grams of water.

Looking for a guide to choosing the right beans for you? We share our secrets in this here!

Step 2: Heat Your Water

The ideal temperature range for French press brewing is between 198°F and 205°F. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll want to use the higher end of the range for light roast coffees and the lower end of the range for dark roasts.

You can use a variable-temperature kettle to get a spot-on reading.

Check out our favorite electric kettle—the Stagg EKG Electric Kettle—in the U3 Marketplace!

Or you can use a standard electric kettle or stovetop kettle—bring the water to a rolling boil, then let the water cool for 30 to 60 seconds.

Step 3: Measure Your Coffee

You can opt for pre-ground coffee while you’re experimenting with your technique, but keep in mind that the ones you’ll typically find on store shelves will usually be too fine for the French press and can leave you with a silty cup of coffee. But we’ve got you covered—when you order ground coffee from the U3 Coffee Exchange, we’ll grind it based on your brewing method of choice!

Check out our tasty assortment of sustainably sourced ground coffees in the U3 Coffee Exchange!

Grinding whole beans yourself also allows you to customize the size of the grind and will preserve the freshness of your beans until their big moment. At U3, we think a medium-coarse grind gives the best results—look for a texture similar to coarse sand. We love the Opus Conical Burr Grinder because it creates an ideal uniform grind, which will help you achieve ideal extraction and ensure there aren’t small fines that will escape through the mesh filter and muddy up your brew.

You can find our curated selection of whole bean coffees in the U3 Coffee Exchange.

Whether you choose ground coffee or whole bean coffee, use your scale to weigh out the right amount of coffee for the serving size you plan to make. Our favorite is the Hario Coffee Scale because it’s super precise and includes a built-in timer that to track your bloom and brew times.

Step 4: Prep Your Press

Remove the lid and plunger. Take a minute to make sure that the filter on the bottom is tightly secured and free from any residue. For now, we’ll be setting it aside, but this is a good time to make sure that it’ll be ready to go when you need it.

 Add the ground coffee you measured in Step 3 to the bottom of the brewer. Then set the carafe on your scale, make sure your scale is set to measure grams, and tare it—in other words, zero out the weight. From here on out, we’ll only be measuring the weight of the water we add in order to maintain our ratio.

Step 5: Bloom

Keeping an eye on your scale, slowly pour half of your water over the grounds, which creates your “slurry”—the mixture of coffee grounds and water—and set a timer for one minute. Now we’re going to give the slurry a chance to “bloom.”

Check out our favorite Hario Coffee Scale in the U3 Coffee Exchange!

As soon as you wet your coffee grounds, they’ll begin releasing carbon dioxide. That CO2 can leave your finished cup with a harsh, sour taste, so we want to give our coffee a chance to de-gas before we start to brew.

When your timer goes off, give your grounds a gentle stir, just enough to make sure they’re fully saturated.

Step 6: Brew

Again, with an eye toward your scale, add the rest of your water to the grounds and set a timer for three minutes. Set the lid with the press on top to help retain heat (in other words—don’t press yet!) while we allow the grounds to brew and fully release all of those magnificent flavors.

Step 7: Press

Here’s the step we know you’ve been waiting for—the signature move that makes the French press fun! It’s time for the press!

Gently, and with even pressure, start to push down on the plunger. This will push the filter down to the bottom of the press, filtering out the grounds from the brewed coffee.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy!

Now’s your moment to sit back and enjoy all of your hard work—from choosing the perfect roast and ratio to achieving the ideal grind and nailing the brew. If you’re not serving up your whole pot at once, pour the remaining coffee into a serving carafe. As long as the water is in contact with the coffee grounds, the water will keep extracting, which can leave your second cup tasting bitter and harsh.

If you’re looking for more pro tips, tricks, and troubleshooting on how to make French press coffee, check out our in-depth guide here!

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Now that you know how to brew with a French press, you’re ready to press your way to the perfect cup of smooth, rich French press coffee.  Remember, coffee brewing is a personal journey, so we encourage you to experiment, adjust, and discover what truly lights up your palate!

Embrace the ritual, enjoy the aroma, and relish the satisfaction of having crafted a cup that reflects your appreciation of the perfect cup of coffee.

Cheers to you for diving deep into the world of coffee with us! U3 Coffee exists to create the most meaningful coffee experience for millions of mindful, motivated humans like you. Let’s learn, empower, and celebrate the journey from bean to cup. Because here, we’re United by Coffee.

Related posts

Share Your Coffee Story