How Much Coffee for a French Press?

Randolf Fredric

Have you ever found yourself standing in your kitchen, bleary-eyed and in dire need of caffeine? If so, chances are you’ve considered turning to your trusty French press for a fresh cup of joe. But here’s the burning question – just how much coffee should you scoop into that delightful little contraption? Fear not, fellow coffee lovers, as we’re about to crack the code and uncover the perfect coffee-to-water ratio for your French press brewing adventure. Prepare to bid adieu to those sleepy mornings and say hello to a robust, flavorful cup of coffee that will kickstart your day!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to make the perfect cup of coffee using a French press! In this article, we will explore the various aspects of making coffee with a French press, including the right amount of coffee grounds to use. So grab your favorite mug and let’s dive in!

What is a French Press?

A French press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is a simple yet effective coffee brewing device. It consists of a cylindrical glass or metal beaker and a plunger with a fine-mesh metal filter attached to it. The French press allows coffee lovers to extract the full flavor and aroma of coffee beans in a relatively quick and straightforward manner.

Why Use a French Press?

Using a French press offers several advantages over other coffee brewing methods. Firstly, it allows for full immersion brewing, which means that the coffee grounds are fully saturated in water for an extended period, resulting in a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. Secondly, a French press allows you to control the brewing time and temperature, giving you the flexibility to experiment and find your preferred taste. Lastly, it is a relatively affordable and portable brewing device, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts.

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How Much Coffee Do You Put in a French Press?

The right amount of coffee to use in a French press depends on various factors such as personal preference, the size of your French press, and the desired strength of your coffee. As a general guideline, a ratio of 1:15 or 1:16 coffee to water is commonly recommended.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on determining the ideal amount of coffee for your French press:

Step 1: Determine the Size of Your French Press

French presses come in different sizes, typically ranging from 8 to 36 ounces. Knowing the capacity of your French press will help you calculate the appropriate amount of coffee to use.

Step 2: Calculate the Amount of Coffee

To calculate the amount of coffee to use, you can use the following formula:

French Press Size (ounces) Coffee Amount (grams) Water Amount (milliliters)
8 oz 14 g 250 ml
12 oz 21 g 375 ml
16 oz 28 g 500 ml
32 oz 56 g 1000 ml

Feel free to adjust the amount of coffee based on your personal taste preferences. If you prefer a stronger brew, you can increase the coffee-to-water ratio slightly.

Step 3: Grind Your Coffee Beans

For a French press, it is recommended to use a coarse grind size. A coarse grind allows for optimal extraction and helps prevent the coffee grounds from seeping through the mesh filter. You can either grind the beans yourself using a burr grinder or purchase pre-ground coffee specifically labeled for French press brewing.

Step 4: Add Coffee and Water

Once you have measured the desired amount of coffee grounds, add them to the French press. Slowly pour hot water that is just off boiling (around 200°F or 93°C) over the coffee grounds. It is essential to maintain the appropriate coffee-to-water ratio to achieve the desired flavor profile.

Step 5: Stir and Steep

Give the coffee and water mixture a gentle stir using a wooden or plastic spoon to ensure that all the coffee grounds are fully saturated. Place the plunger with the filter on top of the French press but do not plunge it down just yet. Let the coffee steep for about 4 minutes.

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Step 6: Plunge and Pour

After the steeping time has elapsed, slowly press down the plunger, forcing the mesh filter to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. Once fully pressed down, your brewed coffee is ready to be poured and enjoyed!

Important note: Make sure to pour and consume your coffee immediately after brewing. Leaving the coffee in the French press for an extended period can result in over-extraction and a bitter taste.

Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup of French Press Coffee

Here are some additional tips to help you elevate your French press coffee brewing experience:

1. Use Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

The quality of the coffee beans plays a significant role in the final flavor of your brewed coffee. Opt for freshly roasted beans and store them properly to preserve their freshness and flavor.

2. Use Filtered Water

Using filtered water can greatly enhance the taste of your coffee. Tap water can contain impurities and minerals that may interfere with the coffee’s flavor profile. Filtered water ensures a clean and pure brew.

3. Experiment with Brew Time

While the recommended brewing time is around 4 minutes, you can adjust the steeping time to suit your personal taste. Shorter steeping times may result in a milder flavor, while longer steeping times can extract more oils and intensify the taste.

4. Preheat Your French Press

To help maintain optimal brewing temperature, it is advisable to preheat your French press. Simply pour some hot water into the empty French press, let it sit for a minute or two, and then discard the water before starting the brewing process.

5. Practice Consistency

Once you find your desired coffee-to-water ratio and brewing time, try to replicate it consistently. This will allow you to fine-tune your brewing technique and achieve a consistently delicious cup of French press coffee.


Making coffee with a French press is a rewarding and enjoyable process. By using the right amount of coffee grounds and following the proper brewing steps, you can experience the rich and robust flavors that this brewing method offers. Remember to experiment, adapt, and ultimately find the brewing parameters that suit your palate. Now go ahead, get brewing, and savor the delightful cup of French press coffee!

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: How do I determine the right amount of coffee to put in a French press?

Determining the right amount of coffee to put in a French press depends on the size of your French press and personal preference. As a general guideline, a ratio of 1:15 to 1:18 coffee to water is often recommended. For example, if you have an 8-cup French press, which holds 34 ounces of water, you will need around 56 to 63 grams (2 to 2.25 ounces) of coffee. However, you can adjust the amount based on your taste preferences by testing different ratios. Additionally, the grind size of the coffee can also affect the strength of the brew, so experiment to find what works best for you.

Question 2: Should I use whole bean coffee or pre-ground coffee for my French press?

It is generally recommended to use whole bean coffee and grind it just before brewing for the freshest and most flavorful cup. Grinding the beans just before brewing helps to preserve the aromatic oils and flavors, resulting in a more satisfying cup of coffee. However, if you do not have access to a grinder or prefer the convenience, you can still use pre-ground coffee. Just make sure to choose a coarse grind specifically for French press brewing. Using finer grounds intended for other brewing methods can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste.

Question 3: Can I adjust the strength of the coffee by changing the brewing time for a French press?

Yes, you can adjust the strength of the coffee by changing the brewing time in a French press. The recommended brewing time is usually around 4-5 minutes for a French press. However, if you prefer a stronger brew, you can extend the brewing time by a minute or so. Keep in mind that brewing for too long may result in over-extraction and a bitter taste. Conversely, if you prefer a milder brew, you can shorten the brewing time slightly. It is essential to experiment and find the brewing time that suits your taste preferences.

Question 4: Is it okay to use tap water in a French press?

Using tap water is generally fine for a French press, but the quality of your tap water can affect the taste of the coffee. If your tap water has a strong chlorine taste or other impurities, it is recommended to use filtered water. Filtered water helps to remove any unpleasant flavors or odors, allowing the natural flavors of the coffee to shine through. Ultimately, using filtered water or even bottled spring water can enhance the overall brewing experience and result in a better-tasting cup of coffee.

Question 5: Can I reuse coffee grounds for a second brew in a French press?

Yes, you can reuse coffee grounds for a second brew in a French press, but the resulting cup may be weaker in flavor compared to the first brew. The coffee grounds have already gone through an initial extraction during the first brew, so they will have released many of their flavors and oils. Reusing the grounds will extract any remaining flavors, but the resulting brew will typically be less intense. If you decide to reuse the grounds, it is best to adjust the brewing time accordingly since it may require slightly shorter brewing compared to a fresh batch of grounds. However, for the best flavor and quality, it is generally recommended to use fresh coffee grounds for each brew.

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Randolf Fredric

Randolf Fredric

A young brewmaster of words, crafting captivating tales over coffee's rhythmic symphony, stirring minds with each blog post.


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