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How to Use a French Press

French press, simply put, is a highly popular coffee machine used in households as well as commercially. Coffee lovers across the world are usually well-versed with the functioning of a French press. However, it is always a good idea to read up on it if you are using it for the first time. So, if you’re a newbie in the universe of French press coffee, this step-by-step guide will surely help you through it.

The Basic Function of a French Press

A French press uses the immersion brewing technique to brew the coffee grounds. In this process, the coffee and water are steeped together for an extended period of time. As the coffee finishes steeping, you press the metal mesh filter of the machine to the very bottom of its beaker. This filter holds down the coffee grounds, but not their natural oils. So at the end of it, you get a thick and flavorful cup of coffee to yourself.

How to Use a French Press

  • The first step is to bring some water to a full boil. The amount of water depends on the quantity of coffee that you require.
  • Next, grind some coffee beans into a coarse powder. You can use pre-ground coffee if that’s what you prefer, but a fresh grind is always advised. The quantity of coffee grounds you use should be in accordance with the brew strength you are going for.
  • Now, pour some of the boiling water into the empty beaker of the machine. Push the metal plunger all the way down to the bottom of the beaker and then pour out the water. This is the pre-heating step that helps clear out the filter.
  • It’s time to pour the ground coffee into the French press beaker. After that, pour the hot water into the beaker quickly.
  • Gently stir this water-coffee blend for 5-7 seconds to make sure all of the grounds are soaked. Now, set the timer for around 4 minutes and let the coffee and water steep together without disturbing the machine.
  • As the timer goes off, lift the lid and you will find a crusted layer of coffee on the surface of the water. Remove and discard this layer using a spoon.
  • Put back the lid and start to press the plunger down with a very light hand. Once the plunger reaches all the way down, carefully pour your coffee into the mug.
  • The last 8-10% of the coffee left in the French press beaker tends to have an excessive amount of silt. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid pouring that into your mug.


Using a French press becomes fairly easy once you get a hang of it by doing it a couple of times. While pushing the plunger down, if you don’t experience any resistance, it means your ground was too coarse. Initially, every time you make a cup, it will be a learning opportunity for you. And you’ll notice that your coffee is getting better with time.