Brew U: How to Make Perfect French Press Coffee


Many of our customers love using a French press, also known as a press pot or plunger coffee, because it can produce a full-bodied flavor and rich taste. The filter used in a French press is a bit more open than in other brewing methods, allowing tiny coffee particles and oils to pass through, creating a coffee with a heavier mouthfeel and a bold flavor.

If you're using Lancaster County Coffee single brew cups, you're starting with excellent coffee. Next, you must determine how much coffee to use. Because this method produces a more potent brew, we recommend a 1:12 ratio of coffee to water. For example, 2 cups, or 12 ounces, requires 340 grams of water. So weigh out 28 grams, or about three tablespoons + one teaspoon of coarse ground coffee.

With French press pots, you start with ratios, but the brewing time also affects strength. Before changing the ratio, we recommend you begin with a 1:12 ratio and experiment with longer brew times for more robust coffee or shorter brew times for a milder brew.


As with any brewing method, the grind size is an essential component of French press coffee making. If you're grinding your own beans, create a coarse grind. Coarse grind has distinct, noticeable particles. The bigger particles make it feel gritty or rough to the touch.

 French presses soak the grind in water, so getting the grind right allows the water to pick up the flavors and aromas of the beans at an optimal level.


The mechanics of a French press are simple. You add water and coffee, let it brew, and then press the grinds to the bottom and pour the coffee. But the details are what make your coffee perfect.

 Start with great water. Distilled or filtered will produce the cleanest-tasting brew.

If you're making a hot brew, fill the press with hot water to heat the vessel and let it sit for a few minutes. Discard that water, and add your coarsely ground coffee to the bottom. Very slowly, pour 212°F water over the coffee and wait one minute. Gently stir the coffee at the bottom to help release any trapped flavors or aroma, and then put on the lid and wait for three more minutes.

If you're making a cold brew, there's no need to heat the press. Just add the coarsely ground coffee to the bottom, slowly cover it with cold water, and set it in the fridge for 12-24 hours. The coarseness of the grind prevents bitterness during this slow extraction process. 

Whether your brew is hot or cold, steadily press down the plunger once the coffee is steeped for the recommended time. Slow, even pressure while pushing will help you avoid stirring up the grounds and keep them away from the final brew.

Next, pour and enjoy!

Cleanup is simple. Discard the used grinds, hand wash, and air dry. Check the manufacturer's instructions before putting a French press in the dishwasher.


Written by Lancaster County Coffee

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