French Press Coffee 101: All About French Press

What is the French press?

Like the V60, flat drip, Vietnam drip, Turkish, french press, Chemex, and many other manual brewing methods, using the french press is one of the best ways to brew a great coffee. French press is also called cafetière, cafetière piston, press pot, coffee press, or coffee plunger.

French Press Coffee 101: All About French Press

The term "french press" was given because it was invented by two French people, Mayer and Delforge, and patented in 1852. The french press that is currently used is the design of two Italians, Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta, and patented in 1929. Then, in 1958 a Swiss named Faleiro Bondanini patented his french press and mass-produced it under the brand name “Bodum.”

With an affordable price and easy to use, you can make coffee easily by the french press brewing method. Its small size does not take up much space when stored. The french press is in the form of a cylinder with a height of about 20-30cm, made of glass and stainless steel, and it is equipped with a filter attached to a lever that can be moved up and down and functions as a filter for brewed coffee.

The existence of this filter makes the coffee brew free from coffee grounds. When you brew coffee using a french press, the result retains more natural oil than the coffee press or any other brewing method because the french press does not use a paper-based filter like the V60 brewing method. Coffee oil can make flavorful coffee.

French press is often found in your local coffee shop and also it is suitable for coffee lovers who want to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee without buying expensive brewing equipment. The absence of a paper filter on the french press means that the brewer doesn't have to spend extra money and effort.

The french press produces better coffee. Unlike other coffee equipment, a french press does not absorb flavors and adds small bits of coffee grounds in the cup, increasing the aroma of the coffee. French press coffee has a stronger taste than filtered coffee.

Good coffee to use for French press is medium and dark coffee. Medium and dark coffee has more oil, flavor, and character when brewed. For more delicious coffee, choose caramel, earthy, sweet, woody, smokey, cacao, French-roasted, full-bodied, and creamy coffee beans.


What is the difference between french press and coffee press? 

The difference between French press and coffee press lies in the oil extraction process. When brewing using a French press, the coffee is brewed with hot water, submerged, and removed from the oil. When brewing coffee with a coffee press, the warm water passes through the coffee grounds and extracts the coffee oil.


Brewing coffee with a french press

1. Preheat your press

Heat your french press to adjust the temperature of the french press and hot air when brewing coffee. A preheated French press will also make the coffee warmer.

2. The ratio of coffee ground and water

To make great french press coffee, use 12g of coffee beans with 240-250ml of hot water if you are using soft grind coffee. If you use coarse-grind coffee, use 15gr of coarse ground beans with 200 - 210ml of hot water for a strong coffee flavor. It is better to use coarsely ground coffee (adjust your coffee grinder grind size). The bigger size of coffee is not easy to escape from the french press filter so your coffee will not be mixed with the coffee grounds. Coffee beans that are ground too finely can also make the brew taste bitter because of the excessive extraction process.

3. Water temperature and quality

Avoid using tap water so that the taste of coffee does not change because tap water contains too many minerals. Distilled and reverse osmosis water are also not good to brew coffee because the lack of minerals will make the coffee taste sourer, lighter, and less flavorful. Use enough mineral water so that the coffee taste is more optimal. The recommended water temperature for the best coffee is 90-95℃, don't use boiling water. You can use a stovetop kettle or an electric kettle to know the temperature easier.

4. Brewing time

Put the coffee grounds in a french press, pour in the water, stir a bit with a spoon so that the coffee grounds and water mix well, close the lid. Let the coffee sit for 3 minutes if you are using finer coffee grounds and 4-5 minutes if you are using coarse coffee grounds. Then attach the press, press it down gently to ensure there are no coffee grounds to escape the filter. Pour the entire coffee immediately into the glass when you're done. Coffee left in the french press will turn bitter because of over-extraction. Voila! you're ready to sip the best french press coffee.


  • Rinse the french press tube with hot water before pouring the coffee grounds
  • Make sure no coffee grounds are left on the plunger
  • After the brewing process ends, press the plunger slowly and gently so that the coffee does not spray out.


Making Espresso with A French Press

  • In making espresso, it takes roughly 28.3 grams of coffee (coarsely ground coffee) beans for each cup.
  • Heat one cup of water to 69°C or super hot.
  • Add coffee grounds into the press. half of the water into the French press to bloom coffee for one minute. Wait 3-4 minutes, press the plunger on the French press slowly, steadily, and evenly. Pour the coffee into the cup.


How french press works for making other drinks

How french press works for making other drinks

Besides being used to brew coffee, french press can be used to make other drinks.

1. Making cold brew

Put the ground coffee into the french press. Pour in room temperature water. The ratio for water and coffee is 1:10. Stir a few times and close the French press. However, do not press the plunger. Place in the refrigerator for 9-12 hours. The next day, press the plunger and the cold brew is ready to be enjoyed. For clearer coffee, pour your cold brew onto a paper filter.

2. Brew tea

Not only coffee but tea can also be brewed using a french press. The brewing method is almost the same as coffee. Put the tea leaves in the french press, brew with hot water, let it sit a few minutes, then press the plunger. Your tea will be clean of tea leaves and twigs.

3. Making milk foam

Making milk foam can be done with a french press if you don't have a coffee machine. Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave and don't let it boil. Then, put it into the french press tube. Pump the milk with a french press plunger until the milk turns into a creamy foam and is ready to use. Don't press the plunger to the bottom, press it to the middle, then your foam will be perfect. You'll have milk foam to make a great cup of latte.


Cleaning and storing French press

1. Throw away the coffee grounds immediately after brewing

The leftover dregs will settle and get stuck in the filter in the french press plunger and interfere with the next brewing of coffee.

2. Clean with baking soda

Start by washing the french press under running water. Then prepare a container of hot water, baking soda, and lime. Soak the entire french press for an hour. Then rinse with running water.

3. Store the french press in a dry state

Storing the French press dry helps prevent bacteria build-up.