What is French press coffee?

A Cafetiere, or French press, is a coffee machine that brews coffee by immersing ground coffee in hot water and then separating the grounds from the coffee by pressing down the filter. When using a French press, it’s important to keep the temperature within a range of 90-100 degrees c, depending on your desired flavour profile. If you brew coffee below 90 degrees C, you won’t extract the full potential from the coffee resulting in an undesirable cup.

The biggest advantage of this brewing method is that you can use any type of ground coffee with it. You don’t have to buy pre-ground coffee, which doesn’t always taste as fresh as whole beans, unless freshly ground and roasted as Iron and Fire do! Our coffee bean experts have handpicked a range of coffee beans that we feel will work well when brewed using a cafetiere. See our cafetiere coffee brew guides for help and check out our suggestions below for the best coffees for a cafetiere.

Showing all 18 results

What is the Best Coffee for Cafetiere?

The cafetiere’s total immersion process makes it harder to over-extract your coffee. This simple saturation method makes the cafetiere an ideal brewing method for beginners. There is not much that can go wrong, and it generally provides a rich, robust, full-bodied cup of cafetiere coffee.

Coffees from South and Central America, as well as Indonesia, can often work well with the cafetiere, as these countries often provide coffee beans with nutty and chocolate tones that work well with the French Press method.

In addition to the flavour profile, there are types of roasts that best suit the cafetiere brewing method. While you can brew any coffee with a cafetiere, fuller-bodied, more decadent coffees or medium and dark-roasted coffee beans are, in broad terms, appropriate for brewing with the cafetiere. A dash of milk works well with the earthy, chocolatey flavour it tends to bring out of the profiles.

Our coffee experts recommend looking for nutty and rich flavours such as hazelnuts, almonds and chocolate.


The Ideal Grind for Cafetiere Coffee

The best grind size for your cafetiere is a coarse grind, similar to kosher or sea salt. Grind size is not as important for cafetiere as with other methods; however, the advantage of going coarse means you are less likely to get coffee solids in your drink.

When using a cafetiere, it’s also important to keep the temperature within a range of 90-100°C, depending on your desired flavour profile. If you brew coffee below 90°C, you won’t extract the full potential from the coffee resulting in an undesirable cup.

Don’t have your own coffee grinder? We stock a range of high-quality coffee grinders, ensuring that you have the perfect coffee grind!


History of the French Press

Unsurprisingly, it was a Frenchman who created the very first French press. It was created by necessity when he noticed that he had not added coffee to his already boiling water. He needed something that would press down the coffee into the water, or it would float at the top, and he wouldn’t enjoy his coffee.

He found a passing merchant, a stick, and a piece of metal, allowing him to plunge. The French press has come a long way from that and has become one of the most popular home coffee brewing methods which produce a rich cup of coffee.

Frequently asked questions

Is french press coffee worth it?

This coffee brew is great if you love richer, full-bodied coffee and this brew method really favours chocolatey roast profiles a lot. However, you can brew almost any coffee with a cafetiere with great success. They are really user friendly, and perfect for a fuss-free coffee.

How much coffee do you put in a french press?
We recommend using a ratio of 1 part coffee to 15 parts water, or 20g of coffee to 300g of water. This is a great starting point and then if you prefer your coffee a little stronger you can reduce the ratio to suit your tastes. If you prefer weaker coffee then just add more water. Use a brew time of around 4 minutes to fully extract the coffee.
Can you use regular ground coffee in a french press?

We recommend using a coarser grind of coffee for your cafetiere, which we can grind for you. If you have a pre-ground coffee, just reduce the brew time for the finer grind size.

What is the ratio for french press or cafetiere coffee?
We normally opt for 1 part coffee to 15 parts water as a good starting point.
How long should coffee steep in a french press?
We normally recommend around 4 minutes as guide to steep your coffee in your cafetiere, then adjust to taste.
Can you make cold brew in a cafetiere?
Absolutely you can make cold brew in a cafetiere! You will need to increase the time of brewing to fully extract your coffee and you will need a coffee filter for afterwards but we have a blog post here that gives you a step by step guide.
How do you make coffee in a cafetiere?

Cafetieres are really simple and make a great coffee. First add your ground coffee to your cafetiere, and top with your off-boil water. Give it a quick stir to ensure all the coffee is wet and leave to brew for 4 minutes. Add your plunger, and plunge through the water until it is half way through and pour. Read our step by step guide here.

How much coffee do you put in a cafetiere?

How much coffee you put in your cafetiere will depend on the size of your cafetiere, but usually, one serving, anywhere between 15g and 20g of coffee, is a good starting point. Adjust with more coffee or more water to taste. Read our step by step guide here.

What is the difference between filter coffee and cafetiere?

Filter coffee is classed as perculated brew where water passes over the coffee to extract it and usually filter out using a paper filter. This results in a lighter cup of coffee with less oil or residue. Cafetiere is an immersion brew, where the coffee is steeped for a period of time to extract, this usually leads to a fuller bodied cup, with a little bit of oil and silt present in the cup. Read our blogs for tips and brew recipes