Want To Make Coffee Like Your Favorite Coffee Shop?

Download our FREE guide to learn how to brew coffee like a barista at your favorite coffee shop. Just enter your email address to download the guide today!

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Get our FREE Coffee Lover Newsletter

Sign up for a free newsletter to help you brew amazing coffee at home.

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.
  • The Complete Guide to French Press Coffee

    CLICK HERE to subscribe to our weekly emails on finding and brewing amazing coffee!
     

    If you’ve never had French press coffee, it’s smooth, rich, and indulgent. Very … French. Pair it with a fluffy croissant or some crêpes Suzette, and you’ll be in paradis. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t have it every day. You absolutely should! But maybe you could be making it a little better. In fact, we’re sure you could.

    Just so you know, if you click on a product on RoastyCoffee.com and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

    No other coffee-brewing method works quite the same way as a French press, making it a favorite among coffee connoisseurs, us included. While it does take a bit more patience than using a drip coffee maker, you can master the process in no time. Just make sure you start with a good French press coffee maker.

    At A Glance: Our Top 6 Picks for French Press Coffee

    The Complete Guide to French Press Coffee

    Quick Summary: The Best French Press Coffee

    Yama Glass 6 Cup Coffee/Tea French Press (30oz)Yama Glass 6 Cup Coffee/Tea French Press
    • Stylish look
    • Hand blown premium glass does not absorb odors
    • Built to last
    Check on Amazon →
    The Original French Press Brewing Bags - 50 Easy To Use Fine Mesh Disposable Coffee Filters For Your French Press - Perfect for Cold Brew in Mason Jars, Beer Hops, Tea, Spice Sacks (50 Pack)Plum Labs Disposable French Press Brewing Bags - 50 pack
    • High quality
    • Custom design
    • Versatile
    Check on Amazon →
    Bellemain Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainers, Set of 3 Graduated Sizes with Comfortable Non Slip HandlesBellemain Stainless Steel Mesh Strainers with Non-Slip Handles
    • Stainless steel
    • Non-slip
    • Dishwasher Safe
    Check on Amazon →
    Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 51 Ounce, 1.5 Liter, ChromeBodum Chambord French Press
    • Heat-resistant borosilicate glass
    • Stainless steel frame
    • 3-Part stainless steel mesh
    Check on Amazon →
    Le Creuset Stoneware 27-Ounce French Press, CaribbeanLe Creuset Stoneware French Press
    • Stainless steel plunger and mesh press
    • Non-porous enamel finish
    • Made of durable
    Check on Amazon →
    French Press Double-Wall Stainless Steel Mirror Finish (1L) Coffee/Tea Maker: Double-Screen System 100% No Coffee Grounds Guarantee, 18/10 Stainless Steel, Rust-Free, Dishwasher Safe, 2 Bonus ScreenSterlingPro Double Wall French Press
    • Double-Wall 18/10 Stainless steel
    • Rust resistant
    • Dishwasher Safe
    Check on Amazon →
    KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless Steel Filter, Large Comfortable Handle & Glass Protecting Durable Black ShellKONA Stainless Steel French Press
    • Comfortable handle
    • Dishwasher Machine Safe
    • durable & sturdy
    Check on Amazon →
    French Press Coffee Maker - 34 Oz, Large - The Only Encapsulated 304 Stainless Steel Lid NOT Plastic - 4 Level Filtration System & Double German GlassKitchen Supreme French Press
    • Impeccable french press glass
    • Built to last
    • Stainless steel frame
    Check on Amazon →
    Ritual French Coffee Press (New 2019 Version), Bamboo Wood, Borosilicate Glass, and Copper Color Frame, Coffee Maker with Bonus Filter 36oz/1000mlRitual Bamboo French Press
    • Stylish look
    • Stainless steel
    • Easy to clean
    Check on Amazon →
    French Press Double-Wall Stainless Steel Mirror Finish (Euro) Coffee/Tea Maker: Double-Screen System 100% No Coffee Grounds Guarantee, 18/10 Stainless Steel, Rust-Free, Dishwasher Safe, 2 Bonus ScreenSterlingPro Double Wall European Style French Press
    • Stainless steel
    • Rust resistant
    • Dishwasher Safe
    Check on Amazon →
    French Press Coffee Maker by Coffee Gator - Hotter-For-Longer Thermal Brewer - Plus Travel Jar - Large Capacity, Double-Wall Insulated, Dishwasher-Safe Stainless Steel - 34oz - OrangeCoffee Gator French Press
    • Double-walled stainless steel
    • Professional-grade in every way
    • Plunge into next-level coffee
    Check on Amazon →
    Bodum Travel Press Coffee and Tea Press, Stainless Steel Insulated Travel Press, 15 Ounce, RedBodum Travel French Press
    • Quick and easy
    • Stainless steel
    • Durable design
    Check on Amazon →

    What is a French Press?

    If you’re only recently hearing about this brewing method, you might think the French press (also called a cafetière in England) is a new way to make coffee. While its origins are a bit unclear, it’s been around in various iterations for more than 100 years.

    The current design, however, was patented in 1929 by Attilo Calimani, who, surprisingly, was Italian—not French. The modern design itself is quite simple, consisting of a carafe (sometimes called a beaker) and a plunger assembly.

    French Press Carafe

    Typically made from a special type of glass, you’ll also find French press carafes made from stoneware, stainless steel, or plastic.

    French Press Plunger Assembly

    The simple mechanism inside your press is what really brings your French press coffee to life.

    How to Make French Press Coffee

    Before pressing the grounds to extract every drop of delicious oil, you’ll let the coffee steep in hot water to bring out its full flavor. It’s easy to brew coffee in a French press, but it takes a little bit of practice to brew the perfect cup.

    Coffee To Water Ratios

    If you’re new to this method, you’ll want to learn how to grind coffee beans first. Freshly ground beans make the best coffee, regardless of the brewing method you’re using.

    1. Add coarsely ground coffee, preferably freshly roasted and ground, to your carafe. Use one tablespoon per serving.
    2. Boil the water in a kettle, then allow it to cool to 205°F. You’ll need one cup per tablespoon of grounds.
    3. Pour about half the water into your French press, and allow the coffee to bloom for one minute.
    4. Add the remaining hot water, then let it sit for at least three minutes to allow the coffee to steep. If you want a strong brew, you can let it steep a little longer.
    5. Press the plunger gently, using just the weight of your hand, as far as it will go.
    6. Serve immediately for the best flavor.

    Cold Brew in a French Press

    Not a fan of hot coffee? Enduring a hot summer but still want to enjoy your daily coffee? Give cold brew a try.

    1. Add one tablespoon of coarse coffee grounds per serving to the carafe.
    2. Add one cup of room temperature water per serving, and stir.
    3. Put the lid and plunger back on without pressing the plunger down.
    4. Place the French press in your fridge overnight.
    5. Use your hand weight to depress the plunger and voilà! The next morning, you’ve got cold brew, French press coffee.

    Tips to Brew the Best French Press Coffee

    In addition to taking the time to let your coffee bloom and steep properly, you can do a few other things to ensure consistently delicious French press coffee.

    Nine Best French Press Coffee Makers

    You know enough historical tidbits to impress your fellow coffee snobs connoisseurs, plus some pro tips to brew the best French press coffee on the block. Now put it all together and get yourself a good-looking, high-quality French press coffee maker.

    Yama Glass 6 Cup Coffee/Tea French Press

    Yama is known for its high quality, premium borosilicate glass. The folks at Yama are known for being masters of this production technique and it shows in this french press.

    One thing that stood out for us on the coffee maker is that its size makes it perfect for brewing coffee or tea which is a nice feature.

    Yama French Press Coffee Maker

    Another thing we love is the sleek look of a metal cover,  which feels very high end compared to competitors who use a plastic cover or cheaper materials.

    We were lucky enough to get a free one from our friends at Yama, and I can confirm that all the materials and the look feel very high end compared to similar models I’ve used. 

    French Press Coffee and Mug

    Bodum Chambord French Press

    This is our top choice for a full 51 ounces of coffee. It’s a classic glass French press with a stainless steel frame and heat-safe, BPA-free plastic handle. The glass is borosilicate to prevent breakage from heat exposure. It will keep your coffee hot, while remaining safe to touch.

    Its three-piece mesh filter is perfect for extracting every ounce of flavor, while allowing little to no coffee grounds through. This press is well designed and easy to use and clean, making it the perfect French press for daily, regular use.

    Le Creuset Stoneware French Press

    From the well-known French company that’s created enameled cast iron cookware in bold colors since 1925, this French press will fit right in among your Le Creuset pieces. If you’re not a collector, the stoneware press is still a beautiful piece for your kitchen. Its exterior enamel is resistant to odors, stains, chipping, and cracking.

    The glossy enamel comes in sixteen Le Creuset colors, including Caribbean, Cerise, Marseille, and Soleil. This stoneware alternative to the standard glass French press has a stainless steel plunger and mesh press, plus it’s dishwasher safe.

    SterlingPro Double Wall French Press

    Brew just enough coffee in the morning for two—34 ounces to be exact—in this modern, stainless steel French press. It features double wall construction for durability and insulation, plus a dual filter screen, which SterlingPro guarantees will keep grounds out of your coffee.

    It’s easy to disassemble and fully dishwasher safe. The stainless finish is so shiny it looks like Christmas, and it won’t ever rust.

    KONA Stainless Steel French Press

    The insulated, protective frame of this press gives it a bit of artistic character. It’s available in black or red, and gives a little extra protection to the borosilicate glass. The frame is made from rust-proof material.

    It’s also dishwasher safe, and since the press and frame are connected, you can pop the whole thing in your top rack. The KONA French press brews 34 ounces, which is perfect for you to share.

    Kitchen Supreme French Press

    This German-made coffee maker consists of a shock-resistant glass carafe with a stainless steel frame. It comes with some helpful accessories to get you started—a long, stainless steel spoon, coffee scoop, and a recipe book. It brews eight cups of coffee, and the screen boasts four filters to keep out even the finest grounds.

    Ritual Bamboo French Press

    You’ll find little variation in style and design among the many glass French presses on the market. If they make great coffee, you don’t necessarily need them to look especially ornate. However, if you want a press that produces delicious coffee and has a distinctly stylish look, this bamboo French press is perfect for you.

    It features a metal frame in stainless steel or copper with a bamboo handle that stays cool, and non-slip feet to prevent accidents. The glass is thermal borosilicate that keeps your coffee hot while resisting breakage.

    SterlingPro Double Wall European Style French Press

    The gleaming mirror finish and curvy design of this stainless steel French press give it a unique aesthetic that looks beautiful on your counter. It holds 34 ounces of coffee, which is perfect for a couple, or if you’re single, more for you!
    Its double-walled stainless steel construction keeps coffee hot for hours, while keeping the exterior cool to the touch. It’s also fully dishwasher safe. It has the same SterlingPro dual screen filter as their standard press, also guaranteed.

    Coffee Gator French Press

    Vacuum-layered, double-walled stainless steel sides make this French press practically bulletproof. While it won’t actually replace a good Kevlar helmet, the military-grade metal does mean it can handle a lot more abuse than its glass competitors. You’re not limited only to shiny stainless steel, either. You can choose from matte grey, orange, or pink finishes also.

    The carafe hold 34 ounces of coffee, and will keep it hot for hours. It comes with a matching steel canister, which holds enough coffee for two more cups, just in case you want a little afternoon jolt at work.

    Bodum Travel French Press

    All you’ll need to brew an excellent cup anywhere is coffee grounds, hot water, and this travel mug with integrated press. You use it just like a regular French press coffee maker, except after pressing the grounds all the way down, you drink the coffee straight from the cup.

    It’s made from stainless steel to keep your java hot for hours, plus it has a silicone sleeve that stays cool to the touch, and comes in some fun colors. It makes 15 ounces of coffee, and is the same size as a typical travel mug, so you really can take it with you anywhere.

    Despite the time it takes to heat up water in a separate vessel, then allow your coffee to properly bloom and steep, you’ll find that ten minutes making yourself a cup of French press coffee is really time well spent.

    French press coffee makers come in so many beautiful materials and designs, it’ll be difficult to choose just one. But when you finally do choose, after a few practice runs, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious cup of French press coffee every time you brew.

    How to Clean Your French Press

    We mean it—dirty coffee makers brew disgusting coffee. No matter which type you have, be sure you know how to clean your coffee maker.

    Coffee made in a French press won’t be tainted with mildew or limescale, like it can be in a drip machine that isn’t cleaned often enough. But it’ll still taste much better coming from a squeaky clean carafe.

    Most French presses are easy to disassemble for cleaning. The secret to quickly and easily cleaning your French press is having a mesh strainer on hand.

    1. Remove the plunger from your French press.
    2. Fill it about halfway with warm water. Swish the water around to loosen any coffee grounds stuck at the bottom.
    3. Hold your mesh strainer over the kitchen sink, and pour the contents of your French press into it. Now you can dump your strainer full of coffee grounds into your garbage. Even better, put the used coffee grounds into your compost.
    4. Add a little warm water and bit of dish soap, then put the plunger back in.
    5. Pump it a few times to remove oil or coffee stains.
    6. Use a bottle brush with baking soda to scrub away any stubborn residue.
    7. Rinse well, then dry with a soft cloth.

    If you’re short on time, most French press coffee makers are dishwasher safe. You may be risking breakage or glass etching if you rely on a dishwasher for cleaning your French press all the time, but it can be convenient for the occasional deep clean.

    Grind Matters

    Now, we’ve mentioned that you need to use a coarse grind for your French Press. But you may be wondering “Does that really matter?” or “Can’t I just go with whatever grind my favorite pre-ground offers?”. 

    Yes, grind does really matter when brewing with a French press, and no, your run of the mill pre-ground probably isn’t going to cut it. Here’s why:

    What Happens if It Is Too Fine

    You need a coarse grind for a French press for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it helps the filter do its job better. Fine grounds will likely get through the plunger’s filter and into your cup. Not only will this make your coffee grittier, it will also probably lead to a bitter, over-extracted flavor. 

    Additionally, too-fine grounds will make it rather difficult to press down the plunger. You’ll risk either breaking the tool or improperly extracting the grounds with too much pressure. 

    However, for higher-quality French Presses, you do have a bit of wiggle room. They tend to have finer screens and can handle more finely ground coffee. Nonetheless, we wouldn’t recommend venturing passed a medium or medium-coarse grind. 

    As always, we encourage experimentation and finding the method that works best with your personal tastes. But, we can pretty confidently say that most people probably prefer a clean cup and an unbroken brewer. 

    Grind Guide

    All our talk about coarseness is probably lost on you if you have no clue what these sizes actually mean. And you won’t be able to judge what kind of coarseness levels your grinder is. offering if you don’t have a point of reference, so here’s a quick guide to help you figure it out.

    For French Press, coarse to medium-coarse grinds are the best options; however, some people do go as far as extra coarse and medium grinds. It’s all up to you!

    Why You Need to Grind Your Own Beans

    As we said, experimentation is definitely encouraged so that you can find what works for you. One thing that will definitely prevent you from doing that is buying pre-ground, grocery store beans. With these, your options on appropriately coarse grinds are often slim, and you won’t be able to tweak your grind size if what comes in the bag isn’t ideal. 

    Though it can be intimidating at first, buying a grinder is truly the key to stepping into the world of Third Wave coffee. You won’t be able to appreciate even the most expensive, fanciest beans if they aren’t freshly roasted and ground. So, just like you should be checking those roast dates, you should also be buying whole bean and grinding at home. 

    This is especially important for a manual brewing tool like a French Press, that requires a specific gri and size and invites the influence of personal preference and flair.

    Is French Press Coffee Bad For You?

    Navigating the world of health science can be a little overwhelming. If you’re researching French Press coffee you may have seen some ominous headlines referring to “LDL” or “bad cholesterol” while others are listing the health benefits of the brewing method.  So what’s really going on?

    About Types of Cholesterol

    Firstly, let’s talk about LDL (low-density lipoproteins). The current belief among health experts is that there are good and bad types of cholesterol, and LDL is classified as the latter because having too much of it can lead to cholesterol buildup in your arteries. 

    The Tea on the Coffee Studies

    What’s that have to do with French Press coffee? Well, because the French press does not use paper filters, it leaves a substance called Cafestol, which studies have shown can increase LDL levels. However, this article only suggests that this is an issue if you are drinking five to eight cups a day. That’s way above average consumption in the US (about 3 cups).  

    Additionally, the study (linked above) that initially suggested this result was found when consuming Swedish and Turkish coffee which are boiled coffee methods that leave coffee grounds in your cup with little to no filtration. 

    The Verdict

    If you are drinking 5+ cups of French Press coffee a day, yes, it can definitely be an issue. But drinking five or more cups of ANY coffee would be an issue because you’d be bordering on a caffeine overdose (seriously, we’ll explain in a second).

    So if you are drinking a reasonable amount of French Press coffee, it shouldn’t negatively impact your health. That said, if you are already having issue with high cholesterol level, all you need to do is put a paper filter, like these, in your plunger with the regular permanent filter when you brew.

    Nonetheless, if you ARE having issue with high-LDL level, your French Press coffee probably isn’t the main cause of them. Things like grains and sugars, high fructose corn syrup, unbalanced diets, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, and stress can also cause those levels to rise. 

    What about the caffeine?

    As many of you likely already know, caffeine is a stimulant. That means it is possible to OD on it, and the magic number for that is 600mg. But how much coffee does that equate to?

    For the full low-down on the caffeine content in coffee, mosey on down to this article. But for those of you just looking for the quick answer, a typical drip brewed coffee is widely varied (between 80-200mg). But French press coffee tends to fall around the 100mg range per cup. (Though this also varies greatly based on how much coffee you’re using and what kind it is).

    So, if you’re drinking more than 5 cups of a particularly strong brew, not only are you risking increased LDL levels, but you’re also probably overdosing on caffeine. That means insomnia, diarrhea, headaches, and irritability or, in more severe cases irregular heartbeat, vomiting, trouble breathing, etc. 

    Thus, there CAN be too much of a good thing. Please stay aware and drink responsibly.

    Are there health benefits?

    Don’t let all of this scare you away from a good cup of Joe. Consuming a reasonable amount of coffee can actually have some health benefits. Here are just a few:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much coffee should you use for a French Press?

    The recommendations you’re going to get on this front are hugely varied. Some will say 1:16 of coffee to water while other’s will suggest 1:6 as the best ratio. Honestly, this really comes down to personal preference. However, there are some general guidelines on how to balance your ratio with grind size and brew time. 

    If you are using a smaller grind size, your coffee is going to be stronger. So you don’t need as much coffee in relation to water in order to accomplish a nice strength. 

    On the other hand, if you are going with a particularly coarse grind, the flavors will extract more quickly but usually won’t get as strong. In that case, you can use more grounds and less water to get a stronger brew. 

    We say go with what tastes good to you. Our above ratios fall on the lower coffee to water ratio with a coarse grind. That’s a good place to start for most people, but if you want it stronger, play around with steep time and that ratio. 

    How long should you steep French Press coffee?

    Speaking of steeping, this is another factor that’s has plenty of room for personal preference. We wouldn’t suggest going for any less than 3 minutes, but for your typical coarse grind 6 to 8 minutes is a much better target time. 

    If you go too short of a time, your coffee is going to taste weak and flat, no matter how much you up that grounds to coffee ratio. On the other hand, if it’s immersed for too long it’s going to be over-extracted and bitter. 

    The latter issue can occur if you make too much coffee and leave the brew in the French press with grounds at the bottom. The plunger keeps the grounds from getting in your cup but does not actually stop extraction. So your best best is to use the amount of water appropriate for how many cups you’re making at once. 

    Why is my French Press coffee gritty?

    There are a number of factors that could be causing this issue. The most common one is using a grind that is too fine. As we discussed earlier, using too fine of a grind in a French press allows the grinds to get past the filter and into your cup.

    Another factor that can cause this issue is the quality of your kit. Obviously the French Press you use is important as it’s the thing actually doing the filtering. However, your grinder is actually just as important. 

    Using a low-quality grinder can lead to an inconsistent grind, and even on a coarse grind setting, you may be getting fines or “coffee dust.” Higher quality burr grinders don’t generally have this issue because their grind is more precise. Though even with these you should make sure to periodically clean the burrs to keep things clean. 

    Additionally, investing in a quality grinder will give you more wiggle room on your grind size for experimentation, a you can go to a medium-coarse or just plain medium grind (for higher quality fresh presses) without getting fines that’ll ruin your coffee. 

    Happy Caffeinating!

    Recommended Reading

    16 Mistakes You Probably Make When Brewing Coffee
    If you are serious about brewing the best cup of coffee, you should take the time to recognize your mistakes and correct them so you can enjoy the best cup of coffee each and every morning.
    How to Make Stovetop Percolator Coffee
    Contrary to what you may have heard, this isn't the worst way to make coffee. You may even find brewing with a stovetop percolator to be a fun challenge.
    French Press vs Pour Over: The Choice of Manual Brewing Tools Simplified
    You've decided on making delicious coffee using either French press or pour over, but you're not sure which one is better. We've got the full rundown of pros and cons on these 2 popular coffee brewing methods.
    Best Coffee for French Press: C’est Si Bon
    If you're an aspiring at-home barista, chances are you have a french press. But if you aren't getting the delicious coffee you expected, there might be a few reasons why. Read this guide on the best coffee for French press to get a couple suggestions and tips to try out.
    How to Make a Traditional Turkish Coffee
    Learn how to make traditional Turkish coffee in your very own kitchen so you can enjoy this exotic coffee without having to travel to another country.
    7 Things You Can Do With Leftover Coffee
    Pouring good coffee down the drain is such a waste! If you've ever wondered what to do with leftover coffee, wonder no more. Stop throwing it out, and put that leftover coffee to work.
    Roasty Coffee

    Learn to Make Barista-Level Coffee From The Comfort of Your Home

    The Home Barista Coffee Course 14-lesson video course about brewing consistently amazing coffee at home. Stream or download the entire course to learn how to make coffee as good as your local barista for a fraction of the cost.

    Click Here To Learn More