How Many Coffee Grounds for French Press?

Randolf Fredric

If you’re a coffee lover getting ready to brew a pot using a French press, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the whole process, especially when it comes to figuring out the right amount of coffee grounds to use. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll break down the seemingly complex task of determining the perfect coffee-to-water ratio for your French press in simple and relaxed English. So sit back, sip your morning cuppa, and let’s demystify the art of brewing a fantastic French press coffee together.

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 that allows coffee enthusiasts to brew a fresh and robust cup of coffee. It consists of a cylindrical glass or stainless-steel container, a plunger with a metal filter attached to it, and a lid with a handle.

The French press brewing method extracts the coffee’s essential oils and flavors by steeping the coffee grounds in hot water. This results in a full-bodied and aromatic cup of coffee with a rich taste and texture.

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Why Use a French Press?

There are several reasons why coffee lovers prefer using a French press over other brewing methods:

  1. Full Flavor: The French press allows for maximum extraction of the coffee’s flavors, resulting in a bolder and more robust cup of coffee.
  2. Control: With a French press, you have full control over the brewing process. You can adjust the brewing time, water temperature, and coffee-to-water ratio according to your preferences.
  3. Simple and Portable: French presses are easy to use and portable, making them ideal for home use, office, camping, or traveling.
  4. Eco-friendly: Unlike single-use coffee pods or filters, the French press is a reusable and eco-friendly brewing device.

How to Brew Coffee in a French Press

Step 1: Gather Your Equipment

Before brewing coffee in a French press, gather the following equipment:

  • A French press
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • A grinder
  • A kettle for boiling water
  • A timer
  • A stirrer or spoon

Step 2: Grind the Coffee Beans

Grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency. The ideal grind size for French press brewing is similar to breadcrumbs.

Note: Avoid using pre-ground coffee as it may have lost some flavors and aroma. Freshly ground coffee provides a superior taste.

Step 3: Heat the Water

Heat the water to around 200°F (93°C) or just below boiling point. Boiling water can scorch the coffee grounds and result in a bitter taste.

Step 4: Add Coffee Grounds

Add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the French press. The golden ratio is typically 1:15, which means 1 gram of coffee per 15 milliliters of water.

Example: For 300 ml of water, you would use approximately 20 grams of coffee.

Step 5: Pour the Water

Slowly pour the hot water over the coffee grounds in a circular motion. Ensure all the grounds are saturated.

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Step 6: Stir and Steep

Using a stirrer or spoon, gently stir the coffee grounds and water to ensure even extraction. Place the lid on the French press, but do not press the plunger yet.

Let the coffee steep for about 4 minutes. Adjust the steeping time based on your taste preferences.

Step 7: Press and Pour

After the desired steeping time, slowly press the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. Apply gentle and steady pressure.

Serve the freshly brewed coffee immediately by pouring it into your mug or cups.

Advantages and Disadvantages of French Press Brewing

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Rich and bold flavor
  • Fully controls the brewing process
  • Simple and portable
  • Eco-friendly (reusable)
  • May have sediment in the cup
  • Requires coarser grind size
  • Steeping time affects flavor
  • Breakable glass chambers

Tips for Using a French Press

Here are a few tips to enhance your French press brewing experience:

  • Use freshly roasted coffee beans for the best flavor.
  • Experiment with different coffee-to-water ratios to find your preferred strength.
  • Preheat your French press by rinsing it with hot water before brewing.
  • Invest in a high-quality French press with a durable construction.
  • Clean your French press thoroughly after each use to prevent coffee residue buildup.

Difference between French Press and Drip Coffee

French press and drip coffee are two popular brewing methods, each with its unique characteristics:

French Press Drip Coffee
  • Full-bodied and bold flavor
  • Thicker texture
  • More control over the brewing process
  • Clean and lighter flavor
  • Smoother texture
  • Convenient and quick brewing


In conclusion, French press brewing is a wonderful method for coffee enthusiasts looking to extract rich flavors and enjoy a full-bodied cup of coffee. With its simplicity and portability, the French press offers control over the brewing process and the ability to customize the coffee-to-water ratio and steeping time.

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Remember to use freshly roasted coffee beans, grind them coarsely, and adjust the steeping time to achieve your desired taste. Although French press brewing may have some minor drawbacks, such as sediment in the cup or the need for more gentle handling of the glass chamber, the advantages outweigh them for those seeking a robust and flavorful coffee experience.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: How much coffee grounds should I use for a French press?

Answer: The recommended ratio for a French press is 1:16, which means using 1 ounce (28 grams) of coffee grounds per 16 ounces (475 milliliters) of water. However, this can be adjusted according to personal preference. Some people prefer a stronger cup of coffee and may use a higher ratio, while others prefer a milder taste and use a lower ratio.

Q2: Can I use pre-ground coffee for a French press?

Answer: While it is possible to use pre-ground coffee for a French press, it is recommended to use freshly ground beans for the best flavor. Pre-ground coffee tends to lose its freshness and aroma faster, impacting the quality of the brewed coffee. Grinding the beans just before brewing ensures a more flavorful and aromatic cup.

Q3: What grind size is suitable for a French press?

Answer: For a French press, a coarse grind size is ideal. The coarse grind allows the coffee to steep longer, enhancing the extraction process and resulting in a fuller-bodied cup. A fine grind can lead to over-extraction and produce a bitter taste. Therefore, it is recommended to use a burr grinder to achieve a consistent coarse grind for the French press.

Q4: Does the brewing time affect the strength of the coffee in a French press?

Answer: Yes, the brewing time plays a crucial role in determining the strength of the coffee in a French press. The recommended brewing time is around 4 to 5 minutes. Brewing for a shorter time may result in a weak and under-extracted cup, while brewing for too long can lead to over-extraction, resulting in a bitter taste. Adjusting the brewing time can help achieve the desired strength of the coffee.

Q5: Can I reuse coffee grounds for a second press in a French press?

Answer: While it is technically possible to reuse coffee grounds for a second press in a French press, the resulting brew will be significantly weaker. Most of the flavors and caffeine are extracted during the first brew, so reusing the grounds will only yield a diluted and less flavorful cup. It is generally recommended to use fresh coffee grounds for each brewing session to enjoy the best taste and aroma.

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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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