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How To Make Espresso in a French Press

how to make espresso in a French press

Making espresso in a French press might be old school, but it is a very inexpensive and satisfying process that gives you delicious and perfectly brewed coffee every time. Keep reading to learn how to make espresso in a French press. You may never go back to your old way of making coffee after using the French press.

What is a French press?

A French press is known all over the world by different names like cafetière, cafetière a stantuffo, cafetière à piston, coffee press, press pot, or coffee plunger. It is a device that brews coffee without needing electricity and is one of the best and traditional ways of making espresso.

Why should you make espresso in a French press?

french press

Here is why you should make espresso in the French press:

  • It is affordable as compared to a coffee machine.
  • It is portable, and you can take it anywhere you want.
  • You get just the right flavor and extraction.
  • You can control the extraction by increasing brewing time for a more robust flavor.

Equipment needed

coffee grinder

Before we move to the recipe, you will have to keep all the equipment in place. Here is what you will need for making coffee in a French press:

  • French press: now you can’t make French press coffee without a French press, can you? You can easily buy a good quality French press from any departmental store. Make sure the glass is food-grade and of durable quality.
  • Grinder: you will need a grinder to grind the coffee beans. Thankfully, almost all grinders are preprogrammed for espresso coffee. So, you just have to select expresso, and the grinder will give you coarsely ground coffee.
  • Espresso cups: you can use small cups for espresso shots which are more traditional. However, you can use regular cups as well.

Ingredient breakdown

espresso coffee beans

Making espresso in a French press is super easy. Here is what you will need:

  • Coffee: You can get your coffee in two forms, i.e., coffee beans and ground coffee. Although both have their perks, I prefer using coffee beans. When buying coffee beans specifically for espresso, make sure you choose medium to dark roasted beans. That’s because the dark roast will give that intense flavor. If you are grinding it at home, go to coarse ground. Similarly, if you are buying coffee ground, you will have to skip the whole grinding at home thing. It is more convenient for some. Again, be sure to use coarse ground for espresso. Some brands label their ground coffee specifically for espresso.
  • Hot water: The next thing you will need for making an espresso is hot water. If you have a thermometer, it’s the best time to use it. That’s because the optimum temperature for coffee to release those oils and flavor is between 195 to 200 degrees F. Anything higher or lower than this will not give you that perfect flavor

How To Make Espresso in a French Press

espresso cups

Making espresso in a French press is convenient and easy. Here is what you have to do:

Step 1: Start by boiling the water and prewarming the French press.

Step 2: Add ground coffee into the French press and pour a small amount of water into it. Let it sit for a minute. This will bloom the coffee and will help in extracting the oils and flavor.

Step 3: Now, pour the remaining water and cover it with the lid. Let the coffee sit for 3 to 4 minutes to brew. It is the optimum time for getting a perfect espresso. You can let it brew for 5 minutes f you want a stronger flavor.

Step 4: Once four minutes have passed, press the plunge downwards until it is halfway through. Then pull it upwards and press again to the bottom. This will create some foam in your expresso.

Step 5: Pour into cups and enjoy!

Tips to remember

Making coffee is an art. And to get maximum flavor out of it, you need to keep in mind a few points. Here is how you can make the best espresso in a French press:

  1. Before you start making coffee in the French press, prepare it so that the instant contact of hot water with the glass doesn’t break it. No matter how good the quality of the glass is, it can happen. So, to avoid any inconvenience, it is better to prewarm the French press. All you have to do is pour warm (not hot) water in it and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes so that the glass warms up. Pour the water out before adding hot water for the expresso.
  2. You can adjust the brewing time according to your espresso strength preference. For instance, if you want a stronger expresso, brew it for 5 minutes. And if you want mildly strong, brew it for 3 minutes. Make sure you don’t under or over brew the espresso, or it will lose its flavor entirely.
  3. Make sure you keep the hot water’s temperature between 195 to 200 degrees F. This is the optimum temperature for extracting maximum flavors out of the coffee. Also, if the water temperature goes above 200 degrees, let it sit for about 2 minutes so that the temperature comes down.

How to Make Espresso in a French Press

french press coffee maker

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 2


  • 2 tbsp coarsely ground coffee beans
  • 1 cup hot water


  1. Boil the water until it reaches 195-degree F.
  2. In the French press glass container, add coarsely ground coffee.
  3. Pour a small amount of hot water into the container and let it sit for some time to bloom the coffee.
  4. Pour in the remaining water and place the lid.
  5. Leave it to brew for 4 minutes.
  6. Once the coffee is brewed, press the plunge downwards until it is halfway. Then pull it upwards and press again to the bottom.
  7. Pour the espresso into cups and enjoy!

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