Brew guide

French Press

Before you start, you may want to check out our Intro to coffee brew guide for a few tips on getting the most out of your coffee. The top tips are:

Fresh coffee

Get all the good oils, flavours and aromas of fresh coffee.

Coffee grinder

If you can, use whole beans and a grinder (rather than pre ground coffee) to grind the coffee as you need it.

Filtered water

If you can. The better the water, the better the coffee.

Step-by-step for beginners

The French Press basics.

If you're new, a good starting point is 30g of coffee to 400ml of water.

Preheat the French Press.
  • Boil water.
  • Preheat your French Press with some of the boiled water and then discard.
Get your coffee.
  • Remember to measure or weigh the amount of coffee you are using.
  • Grind the coffee (if you're using a grinder) to medium-coarse (like sea salt).
  • Put the coffee Into the French Press.
Get your water.
  • Add the water, measured out with either scales or measuring cup.
  • Brew for four minutes.
  • Then, press the plunger down slowly (not all the way - avoid stirring up the coffee grinds).
  • Serve straight away or transfer to a carafe. This is to prevent the coffee from stewing.
  • Enjoy as is or add milk of your choice.

The French Press coffee grind

When it comes to coffee, grinding just before you brew is best - if you can.

How do I grind for a French Press?

For French Press, you want a medium-coarse grind, more like sea salt than table salt.

How can I tell if the grind isn't quite right?

If you feel like the French Press plunger is too easy to push or it’s moving too fast, your grind could be too coarse. And if it feels hard to push or it’s too slow, your grind could be too fine.

What if I don't have a grinder?

Just be sure to store your coffee in an airtight container, and then a cool, dark place.

Your coffee to water ratio

The amount of coffee and water you use when making your brew will affect the taste – just like when you’re making a cordial or G&T. Find a ratio you like and stick with it.

What ratio should I use?

For French Press, a good place to start is 30g/400ml. Give this a go and if it’s too strong or not strong enough, adjust the amount of coffee accordingly.

How do I stick to this ratio?

A quick and easy way to measure out your coffee and water is with a measuring spoon and cup. If you want more accuracy, digital scales are another option. Put the French Press on the scales > tare > add the coffee to the desired weight > tare > add the water to the desired weight.

A little finesse

If you’ve got the time and/or inclination, there are a couple of extra steps you can take to reduce the amount of sediment and coffee grinds in the finished product.

Stir the coffee.
  • After it’s brewed for the four minutes but before you press, stir the coffee crust that’s sitting on the top
Scrape the crust.
  • You’ll be left with some foam and some coffee bits, use a couple of spoons to remove the bulk of the coffee grinds
Wait a little bit longer.
  • Wait for another 5 minutes to allow the coffee grinds to drop.
  • Press slowly but not all the way (so you don’t stir up any of the coffee grinds).