How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker – 5 Minutes for Amazing Coffee!

There’s a lot of debate on how to make the best of coffee. To me, that debate begins and ends with the French Press. In this blog post we show you how to use a French press coffee maker. After you learn how to do this, this will be how you make coffee, when time permits. All of the other coffee makers pale in comparison. For all of us out there looking for non-electric coffee makers, the French Press is an excellent option.

Alright, we’ll start off with the essentials. What do you need to get started with using a French press coffee maker? Well, it’s pretty simple. You need the actual French press, some coffee (and maybe a burr grinder, more on that later) and something you can boil water with, whether that be a good old-fashioned pot or a water boiler or a microwave. (*Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you use them to purchase we get paid a commission at no extra cost to you.*)

My French Press of Choice

The French press I use is the Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee and Tea Maker. There are different sizes available on Amazon. The one I went with was the 34 oz. version. I usually make myself about 16 oz. of coffee in the morning as I fill it up around halfway, but if I have a guest I can fill it up the whole way and it makes four cups of coffee. This is the only French press I have used so I can’t really compare it to others, but all I can say is it has never failed me.

Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee and Tea Maker

Which Coffee to Use and Do You Need a Grinder?

So what kind of coffee should you use? That’s up to you. Odds are if there is a coffee you enjoy in a traditional coffee maker, you will like it even more when you use it with a French press. My blend of choice is the Starbucks Passport Series: Guatemala Casi Cielo. It comes and goes at Starbucks, so when I see it I make sure to grab a couple of bags of it. And there’s usually someone selling it on eBay.

Starbucks Passport Series: Guatemala Casi Cielo
Photo Credit: Starbucks

Okay, so earlier I mentioned how you may need a coffee grinder. I have my own grinder and just purchase whole bean coffee and grind it myself. When making a French press, you use the burr grinder setting when grinding it. The grinder I use to achieve this is the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Coffee Grinder with 18 Custom Grinders. This coffee has lasted me a couple of years. Any coffee grinder that has the burr grinder function will suffice.

Let me give you some words of advice: do NOT use a non-electric coffee grinder. I went through a couple of them and they don’t last long. Not sure if it’s my incredible strength or I just bought crappy ones, but if you pony up the $30 or $40 for a good grinder, it will be a strong investment. 

Now some of you might want nothing to do with grinding your own coffee. That’s no problem. You can purchase coffee that comes already packaged in a burr or coarse grind. A recommendation of this type of coffee from me would be the Gevalia Special Reserve Guatemala Coarse Medium Roast Ground Coffee. This is usually available at your local grocery store if you don’t want to order your coffee on Amazon.

Then the other option is to simply tell your coffee shop barista to grind your coffee for use with a French press. How simple is that? 

How Much Coffee to Use?

Okay, for example’s sake we are going to use the 34 oz. French press that was mentioned earlier. To fill it up with coffee you will use about eight tablespoons of coffee. Or if you’re more into measuring then you are going to need about 56g of coffee. If you like your coffee strong, go with a little more, but this is a good baseline to start with the first time you make one.

Okay, Now Let’s French Press!

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s do this!

  1. Get a pot of water boiling. Boil enough water to fill the French press you are using.
  2. Add your properly ground coffee to the French press. To fill the entire thing you will need eight tablespoons of it. If you want less, adjust proportionately. For instance, half of a press will take four tablespoons.
  3. Add 1/2 of the amount of water you need to your coffee maker. So if you’re making 34 oz. of coffee then pour the thing half full and make sure all of your coffee grinds are immersed in water.
  4. Wait one minute and then stir the coffee.
  5. After one more minute fill the French press the rest of the way with coffee. You will want the lid on top with the handle pushed all the way up.
  6. After one more minute push the handle all the way down.
  7. Pour your fresh batch of French press coffee into a mug and enjoy.

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Now you know the right way to make a French press. Trust me, you’ll never go back.

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