French Press Coffee Brewing Guide - How to Use a French Press to Brew Exceptional Coffee

Commonly referred to as full-immersion because the grounds are allowed to steep, the French Press is undoubtedly one of the most popular manual brew methods and one that has quite literally stood the test of time. 


The French Press is very forgiving

  • The French Press is a very forgiving brew method. In this case, "very forgiving" means that you don't have to do everything exactly right to get a great cup, like with some pour over devices (we're looking at you, V60).

Simple and affordable

  • The French Press's simple design and construction it is an affordable way to make consistently good coffee. The brew method is effectively the same no matter the device's cost.

Rich and full bodied cups

  • This is many coffee lover's sweet spot for a cup of coffee. Silky, full-bodied, and sweet, coffee from the French Press is renowned for its quality. 

Can make a lot of coffee

  • Very few other manual coffee makers can make the volume of coffee that the French Press can put out. There are some BIG French Presses out there, too, if you find yourself needing coffee for 4 or more people.

Learning how to use a French Press is simple, just stick with us and we will get you brewing in no time! 

With these instructions and a little care, your cup of coffee will be heavy, silky, and full of flavor.


  • Filtered Water

  • Kettle

  • Fresh Coffee, ground coarsely

  • French Press Brewer

  • Stirring Utensil (not metal)

  • Timer

  • Digital Gram Scale, Tablespoon or 2 Tbsp. Coffee Scoop

How to use a French Press - A chart illustrating suggested water to coffee ratios for common sized French Presses.

We like a 1:15 coffee to water ratio (ex: 40 grams of coffee to 600mL water).

Using the right coffee to water ratio is key to making exceptional coffee, consistently.

Your desired strength (i.e. how much water to coffee you use) may vary. And that's totally okay! Some people love a "strong" cup at 1 part coffee to 14 parts water. Others may prefer a "weaker" cup at 1:18.

Here, we use something closer to 1:15 as our preferred sweet spot. 

  • 3 Cup (makes 1 serving): 17-19 grams coffee to 290 grams water (3-4 tablespoons coffee to 10 oz water)

  • 8 Cup (makes 2-3 servings): 50-56 grams coffee to 784-850 grams water (10-11 tablespoons coffee to 30 oz water)

  • 12 Cup (makes 4-5 servings): 82-88 grams coffee to 1350 grams water (1 measuring cup of coffee to 47 oz water)



1. Heat your water up to 195-205F (Bring water to a boil then let it rest for 30-60 seconds).

  • TIP: Try cooler water - 190-195F for darker roasts

2. Preheat French Press with some of that hot water for a better extraction. Don't forget to discard it before adding your coffee!

How to use a French Press - A photograph of a french press being pre-warmed with hot water.
3. Weigh or measure your coffee (see chart) then grind on a coarse setting (around the #30 on the Baratza Encore).
How to use a French Press - A photograph showing a shot glass filled with coffee beans being weighed on a digital kitchen scale
4. Add the ground coffee to your French Press.
How to use a French Press - A photograph of coffee grounds being poured into a French Press.
5. Start your timer and quickly pour proper amount of water over the coffee

  • TIP: No gram scale? Fill until the water line reaches around the top of chrome ring.

How to use a French Press - Photograph depicting water poured into French Press with a timer in the foreground for set to 4 minutes.
6. Give a gentle stir to ensure all the coffee grounds have been evenly wetted.

  • TIP: If you have really fresh coffee, pour half of the water in, wait 30 seconds, stir, then add the rest so you don't overfill the brewer.

How to use a French Press - A photo of a wooden spoon being used to stir the coffee in a French Press.
7. Set the plunger into the top of the brewer to retain heat, but do not press yet.
8. After 4:00 minutes, gently press the plunger all the way down. The more gentle the press, the cleaner (sludge-free) cup you will have.
How to use a French Press - A photograph of a hand pressing the plunger of a French Press.
9. Serve and enjoy!

How to use a French Press - A photo of coffee being poured out of a French Press into a coffee mug.

  • If you want a cleaner cup and have a little patience, wait about 4-5 minutes after you would normally, then press the filter down just below the water level (so as to not agitate the grounds at the bottom) and decant gently.


  • All components of the Chambord product line are dishwasher safe

  • After each use:

    • Discard spent grounds from glass beaker, rinse and clean

    • Unscrew the filter assembly and clean

    • Don't pour those spent grinds down your drain, compost them!


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    1 comment

    • Video instructions are different from the written instructions. If you are instructing us on how to make French Press coffee, why confuse the issue with 2 sets of instructions??

      Gail Hill

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