Want to make the perfect French Press at home? A french press is one of our favorite brew methods for daily coffee at home. Learn to master the french press ratios of water and coffee grinds to form the ideal cup of joe with our simple formula below. Remember, you can always modify the ratios to make your coffee stronger or weaker.
Big thanks to Kimmie at AdventuresNSunsets.com for turning us on to the favorite French Press process at Patricia Coffee Brewers in Melbourne that inspired this article.
- Coffee Beans – ground coarsely or coarse grind from your favorite whole bean coffee. Check out our Favorite Coffee Beans to find the ideal bean for you.
- Boiling Water (205 F / 96C)
- French Press Coffee Maker ( Press Pot, Mesh Filter, Plunger).
Pro-tip: use an insulated french press to ensure your brew stays warm. We love the Mueller French Press Insulated 310 Stainless Steel as its is dishwasher safe, has nearly 5 stars on Amazon, and made in Germany.
Different French Press Sizes
***NOTE About French Press cup sizes***
French Press sizes (3 cup, 4 cup, 8 cup, etc are NOT actually cups by volume (1 cup is 8oz). Instead, these sizes are based on a small, “cup” of coffee that is 4oz (think cup and saucer that your grandma might still use!) To make things more confusing, your favorite mug could be 10, 12, or 140z! WTF? That’s probably one of the reasons you are reading this page. I hope this helps. No you are NOT crazy or bad at math. It’ll be fine once you get some coffee – I promise!
Small – 3 cup French Press
Produces 12 oz of brewed coffee so this is good for one mug. Our go-to for the small size is the tried and trusted Bodum French Press. It’s inexpensive and Bodum is a staple in the French Press arena.
Regular – 4 cup French Press
Produces 16 oz of brewed coffee ( maybe two mugs; maybe one). We love the Secura French Press Coffee Maker 304 Grade Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Press as it’s relatively cheap (between $30-50 depending on the season and sales), comes in a variety of fun colors, and is insulated.
Biggin – 8 cup French Press
Produces 32 oz (just about 1 L) of brewed coffee and perfect for two people to share a couple of mugs in the morning!). Our favorite Biggin sized French Press is the Veken French Press Double-Wall 18/10 Stainless Steel Coffee & Tea Maker. It is AWESOME because the double wall insulates the coffee and it will stay warm for much longer.
French Press Ratio
Measuring the Amount of Coffee
There’s some flexibility with the ratio of coffee to water. Do you like your coffee strong or a little weaker? Want to bounce you head to the internal band or just a slight pick-me-up? The french press ratio you use will determine the rest of your day.
Conversions: We realize that not everyone likes to nerd out in the same ways. Some like to relive chemistry glass or their days dealing drugs and have a kitchen scale available. If so, your best cup of coffee can be replicable as your accurate measures will lead to consistent brewing.
If you’re like most people, you (or someone in your household) has a set of measuring spoons in the drawer you can use.
If you’re an eyeballer, you may be able to eventually see the right amount for your ground coffee in each type of french press pot. You’ll still want to figure out the optimal amount and you may want to figure out the least amount necessary so you’re not wasting beans (and money) with no added benefit.
To start, 1 pound of coffee will weigh 454 grams (because a pound of “anything” will weigh 454g).
This should help you visual a gram because we can all visualize a one pound bag of coffee, right? But it’s still hard to divide it into almost 500 parts, so that’s where weighing or using a tablespoon can help.
1 Tablespoon (not a teaspoon!) = 5 grams of coffee
Is that easier to visualize? Can you visualize 90 Tablespoons in your pound of coffee? Probably not.
Our Ideal French Press Ratio
We recommend starting with the following ratios and adjusting according to your preferences and tastes.
* Fill to just below the nozzle so no grounds can pass the plunger when you press the coffee.
3 Cup French Press (12 oz of brewed coffee)
* Coffee: 2 to 3 tablespoons (10g to 15g)
4 Cup French Press (16 oz of brewed coffee)
* Coffee: 4 to 5 tablespoons (20g to 25 g)
8 Cup French Press (32 oz of brewed coffee)
* Coffee: 8 to 10 tablespoons (40g to 50 grams)
Now you can see how much coffee you should use. Personally, I like to make an 8-cup French Press every morning so my wife and I can each obtain our morning buzz.
We both like it strong so let’s say we use 10 tablespoons. According to my math, 50g of coffee per 8 cup french press coffee would mean 1 pound of coffee should last 9 days ( 9 x 50g = 450g).
- Boil Water.
- Measure Coffee.
- Grind Coffee.
- Place your favorite ground coffee into a clean french press.
- Let the boiling water stand for a few minutes.
- (If you’re an instrument fanatic, measure your water). If not, pour the hot water evenly, slowly, and in a circular motion over the ground coffee making sure to cover all of the grind evenly. The swirling motion will help the beans make contact with the water and start settling toward the bottom of the pot.
- Stir evenly in a circular motion.
- Let sit for a few minutes.
- Press the plunger to the bottom.
- Serve with a smile.