Dos and Don’ts

There are hundreds of guides on the french press out there on the world-wide-web, and most of them are of a decent quality. But if you’re looking for simple dos and don’ts for the french press, you’re going to have to sift through countless guides and forums. Nobody wants to do that. So I’ve compiled a small list of dos and don’ts that can easily be implemented into your normal routine. Check them out!


French Press Filter

Photo by Mark Morgan

Do clean the filter

You definitely do want to clean the filter after every brew. Just use warm water and run your fingers around the filter to get stuck grounds out.

Do soak all the grounds evenly

If you distribute the water evenly between the coffee, the finished cup will be well-balanced. If not, some of the beans will be over extracted, while some will be under extracted. Make sure when initially filling the press to pour evenly, then two minutes into the brew or so, use a spoon to push down the floating grounds to get them all saturated.


My little timer

Do set a timer

Set a timer, otherwise you will walk off and forget you ever started brewing coffee. Then it’s going to be nasty. Four minutes is typical for the french press.

Do remove the used grounds

Cleaning out the press is lame, but it must be done! Scoop out those used grounds and rinse the rest out. If you don’t, you run the risk of smells and stains that will taint the rest of your coffee made in that container. If after many months of use you find coffee oils sticking to your press, just soak it in a teaspoon of cafiza for a couple minutes.



coffee stirrer

Camping spoon converted to coffee stirrer

Don’t use a metal spoon

Hard metal is going to crack the glass in your french press. Stick with wooden or plastic and you’re golden for when you need to stir or remove used grounds.

Don’t press and wait

If you let the coffee sit in the french press after you’ve plunged, you are allowing it to continue extracting slowly. It’s important to decant immediately with a mug or another carafe to stop extraction while it’s still perfect.

Don’t use soap

I’ve heard many reports of french press coffee tasting like soap. That’s because they washed it with soap and didn’t rinse it out properly. If you do wash with soap, make it a rare occurrence (it’s really often necessary), and rinse very well – especially the filter, which likes to trap soap bubbles.

Don’t use if you struggle with high cholesterol

There have been a number of studies conducted confirming that unfiltered coffee, like that of the french press, can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol significantly. Get more details here.

And there we go! I hope this simple list of dos and don’ts has progressed your understanding of the french press and the coffee it produces. Make sure to check out the French Press Guide and my review of the Bodum Brazil French Press!