The Coffee Rush
Making Coffee in a French Press

Making Coffee in a French Press is Easy for Beginners

So you are new to making coffee from freshly ground beans? Making coffee in a French Press is an economical and easy way for a beginner fresh coffee drinker to get going. You are able to make a quality drink without investing in expensive coffee machines.

Making Coffee in a French Press produces very rich, aromatic and tasty coffee. It uses coarsely ground coffee that basically steeps in the brewing water for several minutes allowing all the flavours to fully extract from the coffee grinds. 

For the best results, it is advisable to use whole coffee beans in either single – origin or blended coffee beans, according to your tastes and use a coffee grinder to grind them to the correct grind for this procedure.

Because of the filtering system in a French Press, there is always some sediment that is liable to settle at the bottom of the cup which you may not like.

A French press coffee maker has two parts: a straight-sided container usually made of glass, and a filter-plunger that pushes through the water to filter out the coffee after it has steeped. This plunger also serves as the lid. There are some models of French Press that are insulated which is good for keeping things hot while it steeps.

To brew coffee with a French Press, you should preheat the carafe while you boil your water. It is preferable to use a water filter to prepare your water and be rid of any chemicals used for purification of the water supply to your home.

Two Procedures for making coffe With a French Press

1. The Most Common

  • When the water has boiled and you are ready to proceed, empty the carafe, add your coffee, and then add your brewing water.
  • You may wish to stir the coffee grinds around to be sure all of them are in contact with water. You should now put the plunger/lid on the pot to help retain heat. DO NOT press it down yet, it needs to steep for about four minutes (a little more or less depending on the coarseness of the grind).
  • Once you feel the coffee has brewed enough, slowly depress the plunger trapping the grounds on the bottom. Do not force the plunger. If it doesn’t want to go down, simply lift the plunger up slightly and try again. The filter can jam on grinds that are too fine. Just take your time and it will work. The reason for the slow action is to prevent stirring up the coffee grounds an have them ending up in your cup. Simply not what you want to happen for your first thing in the morning waker-upper!


2. Adding an Intermediate Step

This is the method that the coffee aficionado’s follow when making coffee in a french press:

Don’t fill the French Press when you add the water. Just add enough to cover the coffee grounds and leave them to soak for four minutes. If you watch the video included on this page, this is approximately the process followed.

  • Return when the four minutes have passed to stir gently and remove any husks and particles that have floated to the top.
  • Then proceed to fill with the remaining hot water.
  • Leave for eight minutes while preparing your breakfast!
  • Only then return to depress the plunger slowly.

Following this method, the dreaded sludge at the bottom of the cup is prevented and the result will benefit best from extracting the flavours and tones of the beans you have used.

Despite there being many different opinions on this, it is usually best to decant the coffee into an insulated serving pot. If you leave the coffee in the French Press it will remain in contact with the grinds and keep brewing. This will quickly ruin your coffee.

The most important reason to pour your coffee off is to keep it warm. French Press pots are not well insulated and coffee cools off very quickly if they are of the glass cylinder variety.  That’s why in recent years double-walled stainless steel  French presses have become available. If you are setting out I suggest you get one of these, which won’t be too much more of spend to do.

Experiment with the brewing time and coarseness of the grind when you’re making coffee in a french press until you get the result that you prefer as your drink in the morning.

Once you’ve done that you will have some of the tastiest coffee-making sessions to enjoy using your French Press, Coffee Maker.

Watch the video below for a clear guide to making coffee in a french press:

Of course, life gets busy and the morning rush to get done and leave the house may make this too slow a process to follow.

Instead of making coffee in a French Press, you may want to consider investing in a fully automatic grind and brew coffee machine. That way you can set and forget it in advance and have it all ready to pour when you are done with the morning chores and ready to enjoy your coffee before the days’ work begins.


We trust that this post about making coffee in a French Press will be a help in managing that first brew of delicious coffee.

Read more about the French Press.