How to Use and Clean a French Press: A Beginner’s Guide.

This is a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to make the perfect cup of coffee! We’ll take you through all the steps, from washing your French Press, making water-pressed coffee (of course!), and cleaning it.

The best part? This guide has everything you need to do that– no more searching online or frantically asking people how to use their different types of presses.

1. What is a French Press: 

A French Press, also known as a press pot,  is one of the most effective ways to make coffee. It is also probably the simplest! The device is stainless steel with a plunger attached at its head.

When you put ground coffee beans in the vessel and pour boiling water over it, the combination creates your desired cup of Joe.

2. Why Use:

The pros of using a French Press over something like an automatic drip machine is that you have the control to decide how strong or weak your coffee will be.

The plunger can also keep grounds out of your cup for a more refined drink, and it’s easy to clean up after. If you use filtered water, French Press gives you one of the purest cups of coffee you’ll have.

3. How to Use and Clean:

How to Use and Clean a French Press

Using a French Press is actually pretty simple, and this guide will help you every step of the way. While they’re convenient for any skill set, they can be intimidating to first-timers.

Many instructions online are incomplete (and sometimes conflicting)  so we’ve combined all the steps into one comprehensive guide!

a. Now that you know, how do you make one?

Step 1:  Wash:
This is an extra step not typically used when making coffee using an automatic drip machine.
When you use water to make coffee through the press, it will be in contact with the previous batch that was made without washing first. That means the residual flavors from the last time will get added to your next brew.

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Step 2:  Grind Your Coffee Beans:
Ground coffee beans are important for a consistent brew, so you’ll want to get your beans ground at your local grocery store or coffee shop before using them with your French Press.
The best way to do that is by using a burr grinder. These grinders reduce the beans to much smaller segments than automatic machines, which makes for better extraction when you’re making coffee in your press. If you don’t have one at home, ask your local shop to do it for you.

Step 3: Add Ground Coffee Beans:
Instructions say that you should use 2-3 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water. If you prefer milder or stronger coffee, adjust accordingly. For more specific instructions on ratios, click here .

Step 4: Pour in your Boiling Water:
The last step is to add boiling water and mix everything together before you put on the lid.
It’s important that you don’t submerge the plunger in water or it will get stuck when brewing begins. If you do happen to see your plunger go under, pull it up immediately!

Step 5: Wait for 4-6 Minutes:
Once hot water is poured over coffee, let it rest for 4-6 minutes. During this time, the hot water breaks down the cellulose walls of coffee and releases all those delicious flavors we love so much. The longer you wait, the stronger your brew will be!

Step 6: Press the Plunger Down:
With a steady hand, press down on the plunger. You’ll want to be careful not to let it go under water, as that can cause a mess.
If you’ve been patient with your coffee, the plunger should slide down easily and separate the grounds from the liquid coffee.

Step 7: Serve & Enjoy:
You’re finished! Clean by separating the lid from the plunger. The grounds should stay on top of the plunger while clean water can be poured out from the spout on the lid.
Your coffee is ready to be served! Enjoy it hot or cold, with or without cream and sugar.

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b.  Clean:

How to Use and Clean a French Press

To begin, separate the Lid from the Plunger. The plunger can stay in the carafe while you clean it; just don’t submerge the base of the carafe in water.

Use a mixture of hot water and white vinegar to get rid of any lingering flavors or odors, then rinse with fresh water. When finished, reassemble your French Press by placing the plunger into the carafe and tighten the lid onto top.

4. The Benefits of Using:

There’s no doubt about it: many of us like the convenience that comes with using an automatic machine to brew our daily coffee.

But even though they’re convenient, there are plenty of benefits to making coffee at home every day.

Many coffee experts will say that using a French Press is one of the best ways you can make your morning cup, thanks to the uniquely rich cup of coffee it produces.

Brewing with a French Press is cost effective: Although prices vary depending on where you go, making your own daily brew at home will typically be less expensive than buying that same amount at your local coffee shop or fast food store!

Because you’re in charge of the process, you get to decide how much ground coffee and water to use. In other words, you can adjust your ratios so that you get more cups for less money.

Brewing with sustainable: Not only will brewing at home save you money each morning, but it’s also good for the environment!

By skipping out on those expensive cups of coffee every day, you’re not only saving the environment from paper and plastic cups, but you’re also reducing your own carbon footprint.

5. Troubleshooting Tips:

How to Use and Clean a French Press

a.  If your French Press is taking too long to brew:

If it’s been a few minutes and you notice that there aren’t any drips coming from the plunger, chances are that either your water isn’t hot enough or you need to stir with a spoon before pressing down on it with the plunger.

Keep in mind that you want nicely brewed coffee, so it’s important to keep your water hot and wait until the last minute before pressing.

b.  If grounds are getting in-between and under the mesh filter:

Not all French Presses come with a protective covering on the plunger, but if yours did then you’ll want to make sure that it’s in the right place.

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If you’re using a Twin Walls French Press, then this protective screen helps keep all of your coffee grounds inside while you pour your cup or travel with it.

c.  If your coffee is tasting bitter:

There are a few reasons why this might be happening — and none of them have to do with the fact that your coffee was made in a French Press! Rather, it could be that you’re not using enough or too much ground coffee.

Or maybe there’s too much loose space between the plunger and the mesh filter (i.e., if grounds are getting under the mesh).

6. FAQs about the use and care of your press:

a. How long will a French Press keep coffee warm?

How long your coffee stays warm depends on the type of French Press you’re using and how much coffee or water you added to it.

Coffee in a glass press, for instance, will stay hot longer than coffee in a plastic press because glass is better at retaining heat.

b. What kind of coffee can a French coffee press make?

A French Press can make any kind of coffee you want to make. It’s especially good for making strong drip or espresso, but it can also be used to make the same style of coffee you’d get from an automatic machine.

Just keep in mind that because of its metal mesh filter, you don’t want to use your French Press for anything other than coffee.

c. How many cups can I make with?

It all depends on the size of your press!


Using isn’t difficult, and it’s something that can be done quickly and easily.

Overall, making coffee in a French Press is cost-effective and environmentally friendly; not to mention, it tends to make better tasting coffee than machines do! If you want to get the most out of your money and enjoy richer-tasting caffeine, using a French Press is the best way to go.

As with everything there are some drawbacks, but if you follow these guidelines for using your press it should help improve your overall quality of life. With this knowledge you’ll be able to make the perfect cup every time! Good Luck!

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