How Long To Leave Coffee In French Press? Tips For Your Tasty Coffee

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By Lucky

One of the keys to preparing a perfect French press coffee is determining its steeping time. The answer varies depending on several factors, and one determinant changes the outcomes.

How long to leave coffee in the French press? And what if you leave it there for too long? This article will help you explore. We also cover some tips to make your java taste the best. So, let’s get into it!

How Long To Leave Coffee In French Press?

The basic rule is to let French press coffee soak for around four minutes. The amount of time might vary, though, depending on the brewing method you’re applying.

For example, some people like three to four minutes of steeping time. Meanwhile, others prefer a steeping period of six to eight minutes.

Sometimes, you brew more coffee than you need. Then, you will leave the rest in the French press. However, it’s not a good idea because of the following reasons:

Coffee extraction

The French press coffee refers to an immersion brewing technique. It means that you have to immerse the grinds in water. Once the grinds come into contact with water, the extraction time will come.

However, the important thing about this method is that it will extract different parts of your coffee at different times. More specifically, it will work with the coffee and acids first and sugars later.

If you leave the coffee grinds in the water for too long after extracting the sugars, the coffee fibers will break down. Then, you will have a bitter and over-extracted coffee.

Hence, to protect your java’s flavor, do not leave excess grinds in the French press for long. This rule is true even when you brew more than you want to drink.

Coffee oxidation

When exposed to the air, coffee will oxidize and lose its flavor. But there is a difference between whole coffee beans and ground beans.

For example, the beans lose their flavor slowly because they have less surface exposure. Moreover, the solubles stay inside the beans.

On the other hand, ground beans contact the air more. So while the beans can last for months, the ground coffee will oxidize within weeks.

Brewing coffee is about extracting the coffee solubles from the beans and immersing them in the water. As a result, the coffee will oxidize quickly due to the lack of solubles.

Moreover, your brewed java may go stale within 30 minutes. The oils in your drink will also start to turn bad in a few hours.

Quick cooling

When left in the French press, your coffee will get cold. So when you reheat your drink, the remaining compounds may break down. Then, they ruin the flavor and aroma of the coffee.

Mold development

Old coffee will turn warm and moist. Unfortunately, it’s the favorite environment for mold to develop. It just takes two to three days to grow.

Moldy java is terrible. So if you experience this issue, soak it with a mixture of hot water and vinegar or soap water.

How To Make French Press Coffee?

We have just found out the correct steeping time for the French press. You are also aware of the consequences of leaving it for too long. Now, let’s learn how to make French press coffee properly.

Step 1: Grind the coffee beans

Grind the coffee beans first. For French press, you need coarse grinds so they won’t slip through the mesh filter.

But how much coffee is enough? A general rule is 15 grams of water for one gram of coffee. For example, if you need to fill a 16-ounce cup, you need 50 grams of coffee.

Step 2: Heat the water and cool down

Next, heat the water to the boiling point, around 212°F. When the water boils, allow it to cool down to 195°F. This method guarantees that the water won’t scorch your coffee.

Step 3: Steep coffee

After adding them to the French press, pour the hot water over the coffee grinds. Then, gently stir the mixture to distribute the water throughout the grounds evenly.

We have talked about how long to wait before pressing the French press. The answer is four to five minutes. After that time, press the plunger slowly to the bottom of the French press. This method will help you separate the brewed coffee from its grounds.

Now, your coffee is ready to serve. Simply pour it into your mug, and enjoy.

Pros And Cons Of French Press Coffee

French press coffee is a famous brewing method. However, it has pros and cons. So, consider both sides if you intend to prepare one cup of the French press.


  • French press retains the natural flavor and oils from the beans. Hence, you will have rich java.
  • You can control your coffee by adjusting some factors during the brewing process, such as the steeping time and water temperature.
  • This process doesn’t call for paper filters, making it an eco-friendly brewing method.
  • French press costs less than $30. You can also have multiple choices in terms of sizes.
  • The French press is easy to use because you just need to grind coffee beans, boil water, and immerse them in the beaker.
  • The machine has a few components. Thus, you can clean it fast.


  • Even a tiny change in the brewing process will impact the outcome. As a result, you can’t achieve consistent results easily.
  • The steeping time of French press coffee is longer than that of other brewing methods.

How To Make Lighter French Press Coffee?

If you don’t like French press coffee’s rich, bold taste, let’s find out how to make it lighter.

  • Grind the coffee beans, but make them finer than the classic French press. They should look like kosher salt.
  • Heat the water to 205°F.
  • Pour the water into your French press and start the timer.
  • Do not cover the pot.
  • Let your coffee steep for four minutes.
  • Break through the ground coffee layers with a tablespoon. When you’re doing this, you will see that most grounds drop to the bottom while the remaining stays on top. At this time, remember to scoop foam with a spoon so your java won’t be gritty.
  • Insert the plunger on the carafe, but do not plunge. You should instead wait about five minutes to let your coffee rest.
  • Next, depress your plunger until it almost hits the bed of coffee grounds.
  • Pour the java into your mug and enjoy.

Extra Tips To Make French Press Coffee

The steeping time is important to make a tasty cup of French press coffee. However, you should also learn extra tips to maximize your experience.

Choose the coffee beans

Coffee beans will ruin or make your coffee, no matter which method you choose. As a result, spend more time on this step.

The grind size must be the first thing to check. For French press, you need to select the coarse grind size to avoid your java getting bitter.

Another factor is the roast level. It would be best to go with medium to dark roast. On the other hand, light roast may lead to a sour and weak taste.

The quality of the coffee beans matters, too. Freshly roasted beans are the best for your French press, giving you a flavorful java.

Choose the coffee maker

Choosing the right French press is a part of success. The following tips will help you with that:

  • Size: French presses are available in various sizes, from 3 to 12 cups. In this regard, opting for the bigger size will be better. Then, you won’t have to worry when inviting guests.
  • Material: The most common materials used to make French presses are plastic, stainless steel, and glass. While glass helps you see the coffee clearly, stainless steel may last longer. On the other hand, plastic is the most lightweight and convenient.
  • Filter: This component is important, so you should choose high-quality products. With that thought in mind, steel mesh filters must be your way to go.
  • Price: A basic French press is enough for making tasty coffee. However, more expensive models have more features like timers and digital displays.

Extra tips

  • Preheat your French press before adding hot water. This tip will help keep the water temperature consistent and prevent your coffee from cooling rapidly.
  • Remember to stir the coffee thoroughly to saturate your coffee grounds evenly.
  • If you use a modern French press, use its timer to measure the steeping time exactly. Then, you will achieve your desired flavor.

You can also learn more interesting things about making French press coffee from this video:


Steeping is vital for making French press coffee. However, you shouldn’t leave it in the machine for too long. Instead, the steeping time of four to five minutes will suffice.

Making French press java is straightforward, as you must follow the three steps discussed above. Also, remember to check the pro tips to maximize the result.

Hopefully, this article has helped upgrade your coffee-drinking experience. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information.

Thank you for reading!

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