How to Use a French Press with Ground Coffee: A Guide to Making the Perfect Cup

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With 2.25 million cups of coffee consumed every year, coffee is considered as the second most drank beverage in the world. Today, there are so many ways on how you can brew coffee and each of the methods produces the perfect cup depending on your preferences.

One of the well-known and straightforward brewing techniques is the French press method. A lot of people love the full-bodied flavor this brewing technique produces but knowing how to use a French press with ground coffee correctly is crucial to achieving such.

How to Use a French Press with Ground Coffee: The Basics

Using a French press in preparing a cup of coffee is straightforward but doing it incorrectly will have an effect on the taste and overall quality of your cup of coffee.

The Method


In general, here are the things that you should have at hand every time you prepare a coffee using a French press and ground coffee.

  • Water
  • Kettle
  • French press
  • Burr grinder
  • Your preferred coffee beans
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Timer


The following instructions should be followed accordingly to avoid any mistakes and inconsistencies.

  • Boil some water

Aside from coffee, water is the other main ingredient in making a cup of brew. If you are using a French press with a glass beaker, it would be better to use hot water instead of boiling water to protect the glass even though it is heat resistant. Also, preheat the French press by rinsing it with hot water because this helps keep your coffee warmer longer.

  • Grind some coffee beans

If you are aiming to have the best cup using a French press, you should use a burr grinder because this grinds coffee beans coarsely and they come out in even sizes. This is important because when the coffee grounds are too small, they might pass through the filter of the French press which is not so ideal if you want to have a smooth coffee.

  • Measure the coffee grounds

Using your measuring spoon, scoop some coffee grounds and put them in the French press. The amount of coffee that you will put in will depend on how strong or mild you want your coffee to be.

  • Pour the hot water

The strength of the flavor of your coffee will also depend on how much water you will put in. For a milder flavor, add 10 ounces of water to three tablespoons of coffee grounds and for a stronger flavor, use five tablespoons of coffee for the same amount of water. However, these are just suggestions, so try to experiment with your coffee-to-water ratio so that you can find the ideal flavor for your taste.

  • Stir

Gently stir the coffee and water to make sure that all the grounds are wet. If you are using a French press made of glass, use a wooden spoon instead of a metal one so that you don’t risk breaking the beaker. Put on the lid with the plunger up once you see that all of the coffee grounds are wet.

  • Set the timer and steep

The ideal brewing time in a French press is four minutes and to ensure that you will get perfectly brewed coffee, set your timer so that you will know when it is ready.

  • Press the plunger, pour, and enjoy

Once the timer goes off, immediately press the plunger to push down the coffee grounds. Pour the coffee into your favorite mug right away, but note that you shouldn’t pour the last 10 percent of the liquid because this contains a lot of silt. You may also add sugar or creamer on your coffee depending on your preference. Savor the aroma and enjoy your perfectly made French press coffee.

Some Important Tips

  • Never use boiling water because this will burn the coffee grounds which will result in a bitter flavor. Over-brewing also causes bitterness, so immediately pour your coffee once the timer goes off and if you have any leftover, transfer it into a carafe to keep it warm.
  • Use good quality coffee beans to ensure that you get the perfect cup. Although the best ones are expensive, there are also variants that are not too costly but of good quality. Also, always grind the coffee beans before brewing to keep the aroma and flavor. It is important as well that you store your coffee beans properly to make sure that you are using good quality beans every time.
  • Always brew your coffee in a clean French press. If possible, disassemble the filter so that you can clean it very well because old coffee stuck in it will affect the flavor of your new brew.

Coffee Brewing: Other Popular Methods

As we have mentioned, there are a lot of coffee brewing techniques, so here are other options that you might want to consider.

  • Moka Pot: This is a stove-top brewing method where it uses the pressure of boiling water to brew coffee. This brewing method requires you to use finely ground coffee beans.
  • Aeropress: The Aeropress is a plastic coffee brewer where it uses air pressure to extract the coffee flavor. Although it’s relatively new, it’s becoming popular because it creates a full-bodied coffee flavor.
  • Chemex: Chemex is actually the glass flask used in brewing coffee. This is a type of pour-over brewing technique and it requires the specially designed Chemex paper filter where the coffee grounds are put, and the hot water is added.
  • Single Serve: This brewing method is very popular among those who are always on the go because it can provide you coffee in less than a minute. All you have to do is place your mug under, pop in the coffee pod and press the brew button and it will make you the perfect cup right away.
  • Traditional Coffee Maker: This coffee machine never gets old because, even though there are other brewing methods are available, a lot of homes still have this coffee machine. Some people still prefer this because it is easy to use and it can make you a cup relatively quick.

Final Words

It is always imperative to learn how to use a French press with ground coffee if you intend to be a connoisseur. The French press brewing is also great if you are a beginner who is starting to learn about coffee because this method has been around for so long that it’s a no-fail process already. In addition, it is a fun way to make coffee because you can see the process while it is brewing, that is if you are using an all-glass French press.

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