How to Make One Cup of Coffee in a French Press: A Step-by-Step Guide

I love starting my day with a fresh cup of coffee. The rich aroma and bold flavor wake me up and prepare me for the day ahead. One of my favorite methods of brewing coffee is using a French press. It’s a simple yet effective way to make a single cup of coffee that tastes amazing. In this step-by-step guide, I will walk you through the process of making one cup of coffee in a French press.

Gather your materials

Before you begin making your cup of coffee, make sure you have all the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

French press

Invest in a good-quality French press that can hold at least 12 ounces of water. This will ensure that you have enough room for your coffee grounds and water.

Coffee beans

Choose high-quality coffee beans that have been freshly roasted. The type of beans you use will greatly impact the flavor of your coffee, so it’s worth investing in good beans.


To get the best flavor, it’s essential to grind your coffee beans just before brewing. Invest in a burr grinder for a consistent grind size.

Hot water

You’ll need hot water to brew your coffee. Ideally, the water should be between 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C) for optimal extraction.

Grind your coffee beans

Once you have gathered all your materials, it’s time to grind your coffee beans. Here’s how to do it:

Measure your coffee beans

For one cup of coffee in a French press, you’ll need about 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee beans. Adjust this amount based on your preference for a stronger or milder cup of coffee.

Grind your coffee beans

Set your grinder to a coarse setting, as this is ideal for French press brewing. Place the coffee beans in the grinder and grind them until you achieve a consistent coarse grind size.

Prepare your French press

Now that your coffee beans are ground, it’s time to prepare your French press for brewing. Follow these steps:

Heat the French press

Fill your French press with hot water and let it sit for a minute or two to heat up. This step will help maintain the temperature of the brewed coffee.

Discard the rinse water

After the French press has been heated, discard the rinse water and dry the interior of the press.

Add your coffee grounds

Place the ground coffee into the bottom of the French press.

Pour the water and steep

Now it’s time to pour hot water over the coffee grounds and let it steep. Follow these steps:

Heat the water

Boil the amount of water you’ll need for your cup of coffee. Remember, for one cup of coffee in a French press, you’ll need about 12 ounces of water.

Let the water cool slightly

After the water has boiled, let it sit for about 30 seconds to a minute to cool slightly. This temperature range will ensure optimal extraction and prevent scalding.

Pour the water

Slowly pour the hot water over the coffee grounds in the French press. Start by saturating all the grounds evenly, then continue to pour until the French press is nearly full.

Stir the coffee grounds

Carefully stir the coffee grounds and water mixture to ensure all the coffee grounds are fully immersed in water.

Place the plunger on top

After stirring, place the plunger on top of the French press, but do not press it down yet. Let the coffee steep for about 4 minutes.

Press and serve

The final step is to press the plunger down and serve your delicious cup of coffee. Here’s what you need to do:

Press the plunger

Slowly and gently press the plunger down, using even pressure. This will separate the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee.

Pour and enjoy

Pour the freshly brewed coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy it while it’s hot. If you have any leftover coffee, transfer it to an insulated container to keep it warm for longer.

Clean your French press

After enjoying your cup of coffee, it’s important to clean your French press properly. Here’s how to do it:

Dispose of the coffee grounds

Remove the plunger and discard the used coffee grounds. Avoid pouring the grounds down the sink, as they can clog the drain.

Disassemble the French press

Carefully disassemble the French press, separating the plunger, filter, and beaker.

Rinse and wash

Rinse all the parts with warm water to remove any remaining traces of coffee. If necessary, use a mild dish soap to clean the plunger and filter.

Dry and reassemble

Thoroughly dry all the parts and reassemble the French press for future use.

Experiment with different variables

Now that you know how to make one cup of coffee in a French press, feel free to experiment with different variables to find your perfect brew. Here are a few variables you can adjust:

Coffee-to-water ratio

Try using more or fewer coffee grounds to adjust the strength of your coffee.

Grind size

Experiment with different grind sizes to see how it affects the flavor and extraction of your coffee.

Brewing time

Adjust the steeping time to find the perfect balance between boldness and bitterness.

With practice and experimentation, you’ll quickly become a master at brewing one cup of coffee in a French press. Enjoy the process and savor every sip of your homemade coffee.

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