Man holding french press coffee maker

17 Common French Press Questions (With Detailed Answer)

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

We know someone who had a strong itch to get themself a French Press but barely had any idea on how to use it to make great coffee. There’s another friend who got a French Press as a gift and had no clue what to do with it.

And then there was someone who knew how the press works but had a huge list of French Press questions in order to ace the perfect cup of coffee. If you relate to any of these people, then you have reached the right place. 

We have put together the ultimate question bank for common French Press questions that will solve all your queries about this amazing coffee maker.

We are sure you’ll find suitable answers to clear those question marks about the right grind size, the strength of your coffee, bitterness, cleaning the French press, and everything else that matters.‍

Common French press questions that usually confuse beginners

1) Will French press coffee go bad if you leave it overnight?

If by ‘bad,’ you mean that the coffee will transform into a disgusting, moldy brew overnight, then no, French press coffee won't go bad. However, if by ‘bad,’ you mean that the coffee will taste stale and unpleasant, then yes, French press coffee will definitely go bad if you leave it overnight. So, our advice is to drink it up while it's fresh or make a fresh pot in the morning.‍

2) Can you add milk directly to a French press?

Sure, you can add milk directly to a French press if you want to make a creamy, dreamy coffee concoction. However, you might end up with some milk particles floating around in your coffee, which can make it a bit grainy. But if you don't mind a little texture in your coffee, go for it!‍

3) Why is my French press coffee so grainy?

Well, there are a few reasons why your French press coffee might be a bit on the gritty side. First off, you might be using coffee that's too finely ground, which can slip through the mesh filter and into your cup.

Alternatively, you might not be using the mesh filter correctly, or you might not be pressing the plunger down firmly enough. So, play around with your grind size and press technique to see if that helps!

4) How can I make French press coffee less strong?

If you're not a fan of strong coffee, there are a few things you can try. The simplest way of making a mild cup of coffee is using fewer coffee grounds per cup of water. Besides that, you can use a coarser grind size, which will result in a less concentrated brew. You can also dilute your coffee with some hot water or milk after it's brewed to your liking. 

5) How does one get rid of water that gets stuck in the bottom of an empty French press?

Getting rid of water that's stuck in the bottom of your French press is a bit like trying to catch a greased pig – it's not easy, but it can be done! One way to do it is to carefully tilt the French press to one side and pour the water out slowly.

Alternatively, you can use a paper towel or cloth to soak up the water, or you can just let it evaporate on its own. But whatever you do, don't shake the French press too vigorously, or you might end up with a wet coffee disaster on your hands.

6) What is the best way to make French press coffee less bitter?

If you're looking to tame the bitter beast that is French Press coffee, there are a few tricks you might want to know about. First off, try using cooler water to brew your coffee.

Boiling water can extract more bitter compounds from the beans, so try using water that's around 195-205°F instead.

Additionally, you can try using fewer coffee grounds or coarsening your grind size. And finally, you can try steeping your coffee for a shorter amount of time to reduce bitterness. 

7) Can you make French press coffee with espresso grinds?

Using espresso grinds in a French press might result in a pretty strong and intense brew. If you're up for a flavor explosion, you can add espresso grinds to your press. But if you're looking for a more mellow coffee experience, you might want to opt for a coarser grind size.

8) Why wouldn't a French press push down properly?

A French press that won't press down properly is a home-brewer’s nightmare. There are a few reasons why this might be happening. First off, the coffee grounds might be too fine or too plentiful, which can clog up the mesh filter.

Additionally, the mesh filter might be misaligned or damaged, preventing the plunger from pushing down smoothly. So, make sure your grind size is appropriate and that your filter is in good shape.

9) How do you use fine ground coffee with a French press coffee?

Well, we all know that fine ground coffee is a big no while working with a French press. It is believed that using fine-ground coffee in a French press is tricky. However, it's not impossible. 

First, make sure your grind size is consistent, so you don't end up with some particles that are too fine to filter out. Next, use a shorter brewing time to minimize over-extraction. And finally, pour the coffee through a paper filter or fine mesh sieve to remove any unwanted grittiness.

10) Who invented the French press?

Some say it was invented in France in the 1850s, while others attribute its invention to an Italian designer named Attilio Calimani in the 1920s. What’s this mystery?

To know more, have a look at the French press history.‍

11) How do you clean an enameled cast iron French press coffee maker?

The answer to keeping your French press sparkling clean is quite simple - with soap and water! To be more specific, you'll want to use gentle soap and warm water to clean the enameled cast iron body of your French press.

Don't forget to give the plunger and mesh filter a good scrub too. And whatever you do, don't put it in the dishwasher. Trust us, it won't end well.‍

12) What size of French press should you buy?

When it comes to French presses, the size you should buy really depends on your coffee-drinking habits. Are you a solo coffee connoisseur or do you prefer to share your caffeine fix with friends?

As a general rule of thumb, a 12-ounce French press is perfect for one person, while a 34-ounce press can make enough for a small group. Of course, you can always go bigger as per your needs.

13) Can I make cold brew coffee with a French press?

Why not? Making cold brew coffee with a French press is a great way to fix yourself some refreshing coffee without heating anything up.

Simply add coarsely ground coffee and cold water to your French press, let it steep in the fridge for 12-24 hours, then press down the plunger, and voila! You have some delicious cold brew coffee to sip on.

14) Can I use flavored coffee beans in a French press?

Well, you certainly can use flavored coffee beans in a French press if you wish to. Just keep in mind that the flavoring may leave residue in your French press and affect the taste of future brews. So maybe just stick to regular ol' coffee beans and save the flavored stuff for your latte.

15) How do I prevent sediment in my French press coffee?

Here are some hacks to minimize the amount of sludge in your brew. First and foremost, use coarsely ground coffee beans. This will prevent the fine particles from slipping through the mesh filter and ending up in your cup.

Then, letting the coffee steep for only 3-4 minutes before plunging makes a huge difference. The longer the coffee sits, the more sediment it will produce. Now, when you pour your coffee, do it slowly and carefully to avoid disturbing any remaining sediment at the bottom of the press. 

16) What is the best way to store a French press?

When it comes to storing your French press, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure it's completely dry before putting it away to prevent mold growth. Second, keep it in a cool, dry place to avoid any potential warping or damage from moisture or heat.

Third, disassemble the press if possible and store the parts separately to prevent any scratches or cracks from forming. Finally, don't store anything on top of the press, as this can put pressure on the glass or plastic and cause it to break.‍

17) Can I decaf my coffee using a French press?

Yes, you can use a French press to make decaf coffee, and the process is the same as making regular coffee. In order to decaf your coffee, you will need decaffeinated coffee beans or decaf instant coffee. To avoid any flavor contamination, make sure that you use a separate French press for your decaf brews. ‍


These were a few common French press questions that usually mess with the minds of home coffee brewers. We hope our suggestions help you clear your head of the French press coffee confusion.

If you have more such questions regarding this fancy yet humble coffee equipment, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer them. Also, don’t forget to share this with the French press fanatics if you know any.


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
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I am a coffee aficionado based in Seattle. I have devoted my passion and expertise to perfecting the art of home coffee brewing. I became known for my exquisite pour-over and espresso creations. I source coffee beans from local roasters and explores ...