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What Is A French Press?

You cannot call yourself a proper home barista if you don’t know what French Press, coffee press, or Cafetière, is. With French Press, you decide how much coffee, water, and pressure you need to prepare this delicious brew’s concentrated flavours.

This cylindrical press pot has a plunger and mesh filter, allowing for a more hands-on experience. I use one every morning, and it takes me just 4 minutes. Best of all, the flexibility of this brewing method allows for a more nuanced variation of coffee each time.

french press parts

What Is A French Press Coffee Maker?

French Press is a coffee brewing device made from metal or glass. With French Press, you press down the coffee to get a filtered brew. This method is called manual brewing because you are using your own hands for the brewing process instead of a machine doing it for you.

With some pouring methods . . . you have to be much more careful about how you pour water and not to do it too fast. With the French Press there’s no such risk. It’s almost infallible.

French Press is simple-to-use and quite forgiving for at-home baristas starting out (1).

Fill French Press with coffee beans, add just-below boiling water in a circular motion, and slowly press the plunger down a couple of minutes later.

French Press comes with the following: plunger, lid, spout, rod, handle, spiral plate, mesh filter, cross plate, frame, beaker, and base. Although it comes in many different sizes ranging from three to twelve cups, a standard French Press size can brew four cups, which is half a litre, which is enough to make two full mugs of coffee (2).

Home Grounds has compiled a comprehensive review of the top 9 best French Press coffee makers of 2022, detailing the coffee presses for you.

What Is A French Press Used For?

French Press is used for making rich-tasting coffee by allowing the natural aromatic oils from the coffee to imbue your brew with tons of flavour.

Pressed coffee is a meditative way of making coffee by giving you more control over the quality of your brew.

Micro grounds allowed through the mesh filter boost the brew flavour even further, giving it a greater sense of fullness (3).

How Does A French Press Work?

French Press works by way of immersion brewing. This involves submerging the coffee grounds to steep in hot water for several minutes and then plunging them down to separate the resulting brew from the remaining grounds. Learning how to prepare French Press coffee properly is key to avoiding burning your coffee or taking the plunge too early. Alternatively, other coffee brewing methods are available if you want to try less of a hands-on brewing experience.

Final Thoughts

French Press is worth it, especially if you want a quick, reliable, and cost-effective way of making your daily morning coffee. This pressed coffee method is perfect for unleashing your at-home barista skills while saving on time and valuable counter space.


The main difference between French Press vs a drip coffee maker is that the coffee grounds used for French Press are steeped in hot water for longer. A drip coffee maker instead allows for hot water to quickly pass through the coffee grounds to extract the necessary natural oils from the coffee as it does so (4).

To know what coffee is best for French Press, check out these coffee beans for French Press brewing with high-quality recommendations from Arabica beans. In general, you should use a medium or dark roast coffee for more of an intense flavour. Earthy, nutty, and caramel notes work best, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference (5).

Coarse grind is good for French Press. It should be small enough to avoid getting caught in the mesh filter, yet large enough to not slip through it. We do not recommend small-size ground coffee in French Press.

For more grind details, refer to this coffee grind chart. Also, ensure you use a good grinder for your coffee press to get the right grind every time.

  1. Otero, M. (2020, August 13). Improving Your French Press Coffee Brewing. Retrieved July 17, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/08/improving-your-french-press-coffee-brewing/
  2. Driftaway Coffee. (2017, August 26). The Complete Guide to French Press Sizes. Retrieved July 17, 2022, from https://driftaway.coffee/french-press-sizes/
  3. Oden, G. (n.d.). 5 Common Beginner French Press Coffee Questions Answered. Retrieved July 17, 2022, from https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/french-press/beginner-french-press-coffee-questions
  4. Owly Choice. (2022, March 2). Brew like a pro: difference between French press and drip coffee brewing [2022 edition]. Retrieved July 17, 2022, from https://owlychoice.com/french-press-vs-drip-coffee/
  5. Quinn, M. (2020, March 17). How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker. Retrieved July 17, 2022, from https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/coffee-maker-reviews/a31213888/how-to-use-a-french-press/
Dasha Toptygina
I am a writer who delves into all manner of things related to coffee, cats, and characters. I started drinking coffee daily in university and now my entire work, life, and personality all revolve around procuring the perfect brew. I start every morning with yoga, French Press coffee, and some special creative time devoted to working on a magical cat café story... but, more on that later.

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