French Press

French Press

The French Press method is a manual coffee brewing technique where coffee grounds are soaked in hot water, which on pressing a plunger through a metal or nylon mesh filter yields a rich full-bodied, flavorful coffee.

Table of Content

French press shown with coffee beans

What is French Press

A French Press is a manual coffee brewing method that uses an immersion technique. Under this method, the coffee is immersed in hot water for a while for the flavors to extract. What sets the French Press apart is its exceptional control over brewing variables, including the flexibility to adjust water temperature to your preference. To prepare a coffee using the French Press method, a French Press coffee machine is required. There are two types of French Press coffee makers available which include a Thermal French Press and a Traditional Glass One.

Various Names of French Press

Coffee press

History of French Press

  • The French press, also referred to as a press pot or coffee plunger, has its origins in France. In its basic form, the first French Press featured a metal or cheesecloth screen attached to a rod, which users would press into a pot filled with hot water and coffee grounds.


  • In 1852, the first patent for the French press was applied by two Frenchmen named Jacques-Victor Delforge and Henri-Otto Mayer. This early version did not incorporate a seal around the filter.


  • As time passed, the design of the French press evolved, resulting in the diverse versions available today. In 1928, Milanese designers Giulio Moneta and Attilio Calimani made significant changes to the French press and patented a version that had a spring mechanism to seal the filter.


  • This innovation was subsequently patented in the United States in 1929. Further refinements to the design were made in 1958 by Faliero Bondanini, who applied for a patent for his version. It was manufactured in a well-known French clarinet factory named Martin SA and was renowned under the brand name "Melior."


  • The French press gained notable recognition when it was featured in the 1965 Michael Caine film "The Ipcress File." Its popularity continued to grow across Europe, thanks to companies like Melior-Martin in France, Household Articles Ltd. (La Cafetiere) in Britain, and Bodum (Chambord) in Denmark.


  • Today, the beloved French press has a narrow cylindrical beaker made from either glass or plastic. It is equipped with a metal or plastic lid featuring a plunger that fits right into the cylinder and incorporates a fine nylon mesh or stainless steel wire filter.
First French press design

First French press design. Delforge and Mayer 1852.

Significant changes in French press design

Significant changes. Calimani and Moneta. U.S. Patent Office, 1929

Faliero Bondanini's French press design

Faliero Bondanini's French press design. US Patent Office, 1958.


Roast level

Medium or Darker Roast


Grind Size



Water temperature

90°-93° C


Steeping time

4-5 minutes

Best Coffee to water ratio







French Press Parts Explained

French press parts explained

How to use a French Press

Step 1: Make your French Press ready for brewing

Rinse the french press with some lukewarm water, plunge 4-5 times and then discard the water into a vessel.


How to Make a French Press Coffee Stronger

Step 1: Try a finer grind

Grind your coffee to a fine consistency. The fine grind will help extract more consistent flavors leading to a rich concentrated cup.

Step 2: Add more coffee

Add some more coffee for a concentrated cup but make sure the ideal coffee-to-water ratio is maintained.

Step 3: Use hot water

If your water is not hot enough it might result in weak coffee. Make sure you use the ideal water temperature i.e. between 195° F - 205°F.

Step 4: Let it steep

Let your coffee steep for around 5-6 minutes instead of the usual 4 minutes. This will allow it to yield a bold and robust flavor.

Step 5: Stir your coffee well

Once the water is added, give your coffee a great stir to make sure all the grounds are fully immersed. It will help you to extract maximum flavors and yield a stronger cup of coffee.

French Press Cleaning Guide

Want to clean your French Press thoroughly? Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure a flavorful cup.


Step 1: Disassemble your French Press.

Begin by disassembling your French Press. Remove the plunger and the filter for a thorough cleaning.


Step 2: Rinse your French Press.

Give it a good rinse. Start by rinsing your French Press thoroughly to remove any stubborn stains or debris.


Step 3: Prepare a cleaning solution

Mix 2-3 drops of dish soap and some baking soda. Pour this solution into the French Press and use a sponge or brush to clean it.


Step 4: Rinse again.

Rinse your French Press thoroughly. For a deep clean, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse & dry with a microfiber cloth.


Why French Press

Complete control over brewing

With a French Press, you can hold complete control over the brewing process. You can adjust the coffee-to-water ratio, water temperature, and steeping time as per your coffee preferences.

Flavorful coffee

French Press utilizes the immersion brewing method to extract maximum flavors and oils from the coffee grounds, yielding a rich and robust taste.

Simple design

French Presses are easy to use and have a simple design which makes it perfect for both beginners and experienced baristas.


French Presses are made of top-notch materials like glass or stainless steel, due to which they can withstand rough use and last longer.


Apart from brewing flavorful coffee, French Presses can also be used to steep tea or infuse other beverages.

Environment friendly

French Press generates minimal waste in comparison to coffee pods or filters that can be used just once.


When it comes to cost, French Press is cost-effective. Also, it doesn't require special filters or machines.

Variations of French Press

  • French Presses are easily portable as compared to other coffee makers. It has different travel mug versions with a secured sealed lid, made of tough plastic which is best for travelers desiring a perfect coffee on the go.


  • Some other versions of French Press include stainless steel ones designed to keep the coffee hot which portrays a design similar to thermos flasks.


  • Most South Indian households use a stainless steel version without insulation to make kappi by mixing decant with milk and sugar. One another variation of French Press portrays a "pull" design: where the coffee grounds are placed in a mesh basket and then pulled into the lid after brewing, trapping the grounds out of the coffee.


  • Other such products work the same using shutters that can be closed using the top of the press, sealing the grounds completely. 

Other Uses of French Press Coffee Maker

As Loose-leaf tea maker

French Press is an excellent tool used to make loose-leaf tea. Just add your tea leaves, pour hot water, steep, and press – delivering a perfect cup every time.

As Cold brew coffee maker

Transform your French Press into a cold brew maker. Though it requires patience (around 18-24 hours), the result is a smooth and concentrated cold brew that's worth the wait.

Milk frother

Impressively versatile, the French Press can be converted into a milk frother. Create frothy milk for your cappuccinos or lattes by simply pumping the plunger vigorously.

Straining broth or stock

When making homemade broth or stock, use the French Press as an efficient strainer. It makes sure that your liquid remains clear and free from any residue.

Rinsing grains and pressing tofu

The French Press serves as a helpful tool for rinsing grains like quinoa and rice. Additionally, it can be utilized to press excess water from tofu, providing an easy and mess-free method.

Mixing and infusing cocktails

The French Press is perfect for mixing and infusing cocktail ingredients, allowing you to craft unique and flavorful drinks.


Common Mistakes

Avoid using boiling water

While brewing coffee, avoid using boiling water as it can cause over-extraction and result in a bitter taste. To preserve the flavor, it's best to heat the water below boiling temperature, at around 200°F.

Make sure you grind the beans well

Ensure you grind your coffee beans well, as the size of the grind is crucial for proper extraction. Using a fine grind can lead to over-extraction, resulting in a bitter taste.

Opt for freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans

Choosing fresh beans is essential to ensure a robust and flavorful brew.

Avoid excessive steeping

A steeping duration of 4 minutes is enough to extract the coffee's rich flavors.

Overfilling the French Press

Overfilling the French Press can lead to a weak brew, as the water won’t have enough room to circulate. Make sure to leave enough room for water and grounds to mix.

Not preheating the French Press

Preheating the French Press aids in maintaining a consistent temperature. Fill the press with hot water and let it sit for a while before brewing.

Accessories to Enhance French Press Brewing


Frieling Coffee Stirrer

It works as a scoop to measure and dispense ground coffee, while the other end has a flat spoon surface handy for stirring.


Jetboil Silicone French Press camping stove

Made of high-quality silicone and standing the test of time, this coffee maker camping stove is perfect for travelers who crave coffee while on the go. It works perfectly like a traditional cafetiere plunger.


Scoof French Press Tool

This tool can easily reach your French Press's hard-to-reach areas, ensuring that it is maintained well for years. Its ease of use and its small size make it a perfect travel companion.


Zeal French Press Cover

Made of high-quality silicone, this French Press cover is easy to use and clean and ensures that your coffee remains hot for up to two hours.


CozyBlue Digital coffee scale

If you love precision then this coffee tool is a must-have. It allows you to weigh your coffee beans, making sure that you get the ideal coffee-to-water ratio every time.


OXO Brew conical burr coffee grinder

This coffee grinder comes with 15 grinding settings which makes it perfect for consistent brewing.


BloomThe initial phase where coffee grounds release gasses, resulting in a foamy top.
Immersion Brewing Immersion brewing is a coffee brewing method where coffee grounds are fully submerged in water during the brewing process. Methods like French press and cold brew use immersion brewing.
SteepingThe process of soaking coffee grounds in hot water to extract flavors.
PlungerA central rod with a mesh filter that is pressed down to separate coffee grounds from the liquid in a French Press.
Brew timeThe time duration taken to brew a coffee batch.
Thermal French PressA type of French Press that has a double-wall construction designed to keep coffee hot for a longer time.
Coffee-to-water ratioThe amount of coffee grounds used for the amount of water.
SedimentCoffee grounds that settle at the bottom of the cup.
Learn James Hoffmann French press method

Learn James Hoffmann’s French Press Method

Step 1: Begin by boiling water

Boil fresh, filtered water and let it cool for a minute or two until it reaches 195°F to 200°F temperature. James Hoffmann doesn’t really stress much on the water temperature. So, you can modify it somewhat.

Step 2: Grind your coffee beans

While the water is boiling, start grinding your coffee beans. take around 60 grams of coffee for 1 liter of water. Hoffmann suggests using a medium-coarse grind, with a texture similar to coarse sea salt.

Step 3: Add ground coffee and water

Put the coffee grounds in the French Press, pour hot water over them, and let the coffee steep for at least 4 minutes.

Step 4: Stir the crust

You will notice a crust has formed on the surface. Stir the crust gently with a spoon ensuring all the grounds are completely saturated with water. Then, spoon out the foam and bits on the top using a teaspoon.

Step 5: Wait for a while

Put the lid on the French Press, but don't plunge it. Let the coffee steep for an additional 5-8 minutes. This is the core step of James Hoffmann’s coffee. Here all the particles are allowed to settle at the bottom of the cafeteria.

Step 6: Push the plunger slowly

After the steeping is completed, slowly and steadily push down the plunger. Make sure you apply even pressure and avoid any sudden or jerky movements. Remember not to plunge in once.

Step 7: Pour and enjoy

Pour the coffee into your favorite cup and enjoy! Hoffmann recommends transferring the coffee to another container after brewing to prevent it from over-extraction and tasting bitter.


Download E-book

We have curated all our French press knowledge in this ebook to aid beginners and baristas. To learn more and improve your brewing, download it today and brew flavorful coffee.