How Does a French Press Work?

Despite being called French, the first patented Fresh press was actually made by an Italian and has since gained a lot of popularity among coffee lovers all over the globe. This method of preparing rich coffee provides a strong flavor that coffee lovers swear by, so how does a French press work? Keep on reading to find out.

What is a French Press?

To make coffee, the French press steeps coffee grounds in hot water. Once the steeping is done, a metal mesh filter presses the coffee to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid, releasing all the oil and flavor, so you can drink delicious coffee. Moreover, some of the fine particles pass through the mesh filter to make sure that your coffee has a rather thick body that tastes delicious.

The Fresh press is made of 2 different parts, the top part, and the bottom part. We will study them in detail.

Top Part: Lid, Plunger, and Filter

The mesh filter is made of metal that doesn’t react with the nutrients in the coffee. It presses the coffee grounds to extract the oils and allows the smallest particles to pass through. This way, you can guarantee that your coffee won’t be runny or have a weak flavor, unlike other methods of brewing.

This filter is connected to a metal rod that passes through the top plunger. You press this plunger to push the filter in a downward motion to release the oils and flavor from your coffee grounds. The released thick liquid is then collected in the base part of the French press, which is made of the beaker, so you can later empty the liquid into your coffee mug.

The top lid snugly fits on top of the French press to trap the flavors inside. The lid covers the side to make sure that no water, heat, or coffee particles will escape while you’re using the French press.

Bottom Part: Beaker, Base, and Handle

The beaker of your French press is usually made of glass, so it can withstand the heat of the water and doesn’t react with the nutrients in your coffee. However, in some models, it might be made of plastic, stainless steel, or ceramic. If you’re buying a plastic beaker, make sure that it’s BPA-free free and made of food-grade plastic.

This beaker holds the water and coffee until your coffee steeps. When you use the filter to separate the grounds from the liquid, the remaining rich liquid will be collected in the beaker, so you can pour it into your coffee mug.

The body or base and handle help you to carry your beaker around and pour coffee into your coffee mug. It’s usually made of plastic that doesn’t transfer the heat, so you can use the French press safely.

What Do You Need to Make French Press Coffee?

One of the reasons why the French press is so popular is that you don’t need anything except coffee, hot water, and your French press, of course. You don’t need to buy paper filters or connect your machine to electricity to enjoy delicious coffee whenever you like.

You can enjoy better-tasting coffee if you invest in a high-quality burr grinder that you can use to grind your coffee beans on the spot. Coffee grounds tend to oxidize and lose some of their intense flavors, especially if you don’t store them properly. Having a ready to use grinder guarantees that you’ll enjoy incredible coffee every time.

Since you’re using your favorite coffee beans instead of pre-ground coffee, you can enjoy your coffee just the way you like it. Moreover, the burr grind produces grounds of a consistent size, which improves the taste of your coffee. It guarantees that the smaller particles won’t get overly extracted, which can make your coffee taste more bitter, and that you won’t have larger particles that make your coffee taste flatter.

How Does a French Press Work?

You don’t need much to prepare your Fresh press coffee. This is what you’ll need.

  • Hot water.
  • Ground coffee or coffee beans and a burr grinder.
  • A French press.

To make sure that your coffee tastes great, you need to understand the coffee to water ratio. The brew strength is a matter of personal choice, and you can adjust it every time you prepare a cup of coffee. For 300 ml of coffee, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of ground coffee for the mild brew, 4 tablespoons for the medium brew, and 5 tablespoons for the strong brew.

Heat the Water

Heat clean filtered water to a full boil or use a thermometer if possible. The best temperature is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grind your Coffee

Refer to the desired coffee to water ratio that helps you to get the brew you want and ground your fresh coffee beans. If you use pre-ground coffee, you won’t need this step.

Warm the French Press

Use hot water to preheat the beaker, especially if it hasn’t been used for a long time. Add some water and press the filter to clean any coffee leftovers.

Add Coffee and Water

Add the amount of coffee determined by the desired coffee to water ratio and shake the ground coffee to level it in the beaker. Add the water according to the scale. Stir the coffee and water.

Let it Steep

Place the lid with the plunger on top of the beaker and wait for about 3 to 4 minutes to allow for maximum extraction. There will be a crust of floating grounds on top of the steeped coffee. If you want rich-flavored coffee, break the crust and stir it in. Remove the crust if you like light coffee.


Place the plunger and press it all the way down. If the ground coffee is too coarse, the plunger will go too fast. If the coffee is too fine, the plunger will go down too slow. Pour your coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy it to the maximum.


A French press helps you to prepare tasty coffee in no time. You don’t need anything except some water, coffee, and a well-made French press. Make sure that you understand the right coffee to water ratio to prepare the desired brew. You can also try several coffee beans to find your most favorite flavor.

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