The 12 Most Common French Press Coffee Questions, Answered

How much coffee should you use? How long does it take? Get all your french press coffee questions answered here!
french press coffee questions
✍ Written by: Cheryl De Torres
📅 Published: November 9, 2020
🗃 Filed under: BREWING

When you search for the best brewing device you can use to prepare a simple but delicious coffee, it’s hard to beat the beloved french press.

french press coffee questions

The French Press steeps hot water and grounds together in a cylindrical glass carafe. When brewing is complete, the plunger forces coffee grounds to the base of the cylindrical glass carafe, moving the extracted coffee moves to the top. 

Though French Press brewing only involves plunging to extract coffee, it still requires great attention. Any miscalculation on coffee to water ratio, temperature, and timing can result in a bad coffee.

As a beginner, it’s important that essential questions regarding the How’s and Why’s of French Press must be addressed so you can learn to prepare a delectable pressed coffee.

We’ve gathered answers to the 12 most common French Press coffee questions for you. Enjoy!

#1 What Equipment Do I Need to Make French Press Coffee?

You can make delicious coffee with the French Press using essential items available in your kitchen: hot water, coffee grounds, and a French Press. It’s that simple and one reason why the French Press is ubiquitous worldwide.

If you’re an aspiring at-home barista want-to-be then we recommend keeping a burr grinder, scale, timer, and thermometer as an added ammo to your coffee making arsenal.

Read: 3 Reasons You Need A Coffee Scale

#2 Does French Press Taste Better?

French Press tastes richer and bolder than your drip coffee, Pour-over, or Chemex because it doesn’t use a paper filter. It’s something worth celebrating in making coffee because French Press allows the natural oils and flavors of the coffee beans to land in your cup.

Whether you call that “better” is a matter of personal preference, but in our view… yes!

#3 What Coffee Beans are Best for French Press?

Many coffee lovers will rally to your house to inform you that coffee tastes best when you brew medium to dark roast with French Press. The device lessens the coffee beans’ perceived bitterness while giving you a “chewy,” smoky dark brew. Who would not want to enjoy a French Press coffee with shiny, black color and a refreshing aroma in the morning?

If you’re looking for the best roast you can brew in your French Press, check out this most comprehensive list of the best dark roast coffee.

#4 What Type of Ground is Suited for French Press?

French Press involves steeping coffee beans to extract the oils and flavors of the beans effectively. Therefore, the best grind size to use for your French Press is a coarse grind. This type of ground slows down the rate of coffee extraction. Also, it prevents you from over-extracting the coffee beans, which can result in an awful, bitter coffee.

Other reasons why coarse grind is suited for French Press is that it won’t get stuck or push its way through. If there’s a grind size, you should never try on your French Press, it is finely ground. That’s because it would make it difficult to press the filter down, lots of grounds will land in your mug, and it can make coffee taste bitter due to over-extraction.

Read: A Review Of The Kohipress, A Portable French Press And Travel Mug

#5 What are the Best Brands of Coffee for a French Press?

The best brands to brew with your French Press are those that offer single-origin coffee beans sourced from sustainable farms. Single-origin coffee has a unique flavor profile in each coffee region where it is cultivated. Most of the single-origin coffee is grown in volcanic soils rich in minerals and has the best growing condition. With French Press, you’ll be able to taste the unique flavor profile raw because the device doesn’t use paper filters.

Suppose you want to try a single-origin coffee with your French Press, check out this list of the best sustainable coffee brands that offer their finest single origins here.

#6 Do I have to Pour Out All the Coffee in a French Press?

Yes! As long as the coffee grounds are in contact with water, the extraction continues. It will significantly affect the flavor of the coffee, which is why it’s best to transfer the coffee extract to a thermal carafe after pressing the plunger down to avoid over-extraction and also to retain the temperature of your coffee.

Read: The French Pull Method

#7 How Much Water to Coffee Ratio?

The water and the coffee ratio applicable to your French Press depends on how hardcore a coffee drinker you are. Some coffee drinkers prefer a strong coffee in the morning, while beginners are recommended to start with 7 grams of coffee and 4 ounces of water.

Here’s our full guide to brewing ratios for dummies.

The body and flavor of your coffee do not only begin and end with ratios. Another factor to consider is the water quality, where mineral water can help you prepare a fantastic coffee, while distilled water won’t give you a good coffee experience.

#8 How Long Does it Take to Brew?

Making coffee using the French Press is an art itself. It’s not a one-minute wonder coffee machine because it requires 4 minutes to steep. If you want to further enjoy the unique flavor profile of the coffee bean, some coffee drinkers steep the coffee grounds longer or shorter than the standard 4 minutes.

#9 What Size of French Press Should I Use?

French press coffee measurement uses cups, which are based on the European small size cups that are around 100ml or 4 ounces. Don’t mistake cups for the American standard mugs because its measurement is bigger than the European cups. So when you shop for a French Press, the following standard measurements will guide you on what to choose:

  • 3-cup French Press can prepare 12 ounces or 354 ml of coffee.
  • 8-cup French Press can prepare 34 ounces or 1005 ml of coffee.
  • 12-cup French Press can prepare 52 ounces or 1508 ml of coffee.

#10 Can I Make Cold Brew in a French Press?

Absolutely! Among home coffee brewing devices at home, French Press is the most recommended to use in preparing a cold brew. It doesn’t need any paper filters to extract the oils and flavors from the coffee beans. So when you steep your favorite coffee bean, you’ll extract coffee in its purest form. If you want it more chilly, just transfer the coffee to another container and refrigerate it for 12 hours.

Looking for a great cold brew coffee to try on your new French Press? Volcanica has a specific cold brew roast that you can in your French Press. Plus, they’ve got awesome medium and dark roast coffee blend if that’s your preferred roast.

#11 How Do I Clean a French Press?

To make sure your next coffee with French Press is residue-free, you’ll need a spatula, dish soap, water, and sponge to clean it. Here are simple cleaning instructions that you can follow to clean your French Press.

  1. Cool the French Press first before you empty the grounds.
  2. Add liquid soap and water to the French Press carafe.
  3. Plunge the plunger up and down until the water becomes bubbly.
  4. Dump the soapy water and rinse the carafe. Afterward, add liquid soap and water before you scrub the carafe with the sponge. Plunge it again then rinse it until the water comes clean.
  5. In cleaning the small parts, use a bottle brush on disassembled components.
  6. Reassemble the components once dried.

Read: Kuissential Versa Travel French Press Review and Brewing Guide

#12 Why are there Coffee Grounds in my Mug of Coffee?

French Press won’t be able to sieve 100% of the coffee grounds. There may be some that land in your mug because not all coffee grounds have the exact same size. Some bits are too big to pass through while there are fines due to inevitable shattering. If there’ll be a small amount of fine coffee grounds in your mug, don’t panic, it’s perfectly fine and normal. If you don’t like that sludge building up in the bottom, you can just pour out the last bit before you make your next coffee. 


You really can’t go wrong with a french press. This quintessential brewer — the pride of the coffee industry — is simple enough to use and brews a delicious and bold cup. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to the pros at Big Cup of Coffee — they’re happy to help!


Guest Author: Cheryl De Torres

Writing content for 3 years and it wouldn’t be possible without a cup of coffee in the morning. And yes! The stronger, the better.

Garrett Oden

Garrett Oden

Coffee Industry Writer

Welcome, fellow coffee lover! 👋

The entire purpose of this blog is to empower you to explore the wonderful world of coffee. There’s much to learn and experience, so get to reading!

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