Coffee Hack: How to Use a French Press to Make Espresso

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The title of this article might be a bit misleading. It's worth noting that you can't technically make a true espresso in a French press. Here's why: Espresso is coffee that's brewed by forcing a small amount of very hot pressurized water through finely ground espresso beans. This method creates a crema on top (a creamy, thick foam). It's impossible to recreate that without an espresso machine. However, that doesn't mean you can't brew ground espresso beans in a French press for a smooth, intense and delicious coffee. And there's a proper way to do it.

Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -

Things You'll Need

  • French press

  • Freshly ground espresso beans

  • 1 or 2 tablespoon measuring scoop

  • Hot water

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

Obviously, you need a French press. You can either purchase pre-ground espresso beans, or grind them yourself just before brewing. Use 3 to 4 tablespoons of espresso per 1 cup of water (depending on how strong you want it). For hot water, use either an electric kettle, an old fashioned tea kettle or a small saucepan.

Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -

Step 2: Heat the Water and Measure Out the Espresso

While the water is heating up, measure the ground espresso into the French press. You want the water to be just below boiling, at approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water comes to a full boil, allow it to sit for 30 seconds off the heat. This should bring it down to the proper temperature.

Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -

Step 3: Add 1/4 Cup of Hot water to the French Press

After adding approximately 1/4 cup of water, let it sit for 15 to 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom. This allows some of the natural gases to release and will result in a smoother tasting brew.

Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -

Step 4: Add the Remaining Water

Add the remaining 3/4 cup water and allow it to rest for 60 seconds.

Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -

Step 5: Press the Coffee

Place the lid on the French press, and slowly press down, separating the grinds from the liquid.

Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -

Step 6: Pour and Serve


Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -