French Press Water Temperature for Your Perfect Coffee Brew

LJ in the kitchen
Linny Jane
updated January 21, 2023

The rule of thumb for coffee preparation in any coffee machine is that the temperature of the water should always be slightly below boiling point. This is the optimal temperature for extracting flavors from the coffee grounds.


Get the water temperature wrong and coffee becomes weak and unpleasant or bitter.

2 cup French Press machine next to a coffee mug for size comparison

Find your ideal water temperature for French Press coffee on this links

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    Water temperature for French Press coffee

    How do I get to optimal water temperature?

    Boil the water and then leave in the kettle to sit for around 30 to 40 seconds while it cools slightly. The temperature of this water should then be between 190° and 195°Fahrenheit


    For the perfectionists, check the temperature with a thermometer. However the ‘boil and sit’ method should have you close to this temperature.

    Check price of thermometer


    Troubleshooting flavor

    My coffee tastes weak and unpleasant

    My coffee tastes bitter

    Preheat French Press

    For the best results, warm the French Press before you pour in hot water to make your coffee.


    If you’re using the French Press for the first time, avoid bringing water to the boil. Water should just be steamy.


    By this I mean as soon as you see steam rising, take the kettle off the stove and pour the water into the press.


    Maintain water temperature for longer

    Pre-warm receptacle. Add very hot/boiling water to the glass beaker and let stand to warm the glass. Swirl and discard. This can be done while you’re preparing coffee beans.


    The reason for warming the glass is to avoid the instant water cooling effect that naturally occurs when adding hot water to a cold receptacle.


    I like to wrap a small hand towel around the outside of a glass French Press when I’ve made the coffee. It helps to keep coffee warm, especially when it’s a bitterly cold day.  You can enjoy several cups without having to worry about the coffee getting cold.


    Coffee bean to water ratios

    A reasonably strong coffee is a 1:12 ratio. That is 1 coffee and 12 parts water.

    1:10 ratio will produce a bold, heavy or thick coffee.

    1:16 ratio will produce a mild, subtle, light flavor.

    As a rule of thumb, you should be on-point with your preferred coffee to water ratio.


    You may want to try these ratios when starting off. 1:15, 1:16 coffee/water scale and then tailor to your taste.

    French Coffee maker sizes, 1 cup, 4 cup and a large 8 cup Bodum Chambord

    French Press coffee to water formula

    3 cup French Press, 300 mls water (10.1fl oz) – 19 grams of coffee

    4 cup French Press, 600 mls water (20.2 fl oz) – 38 grams coffee

    8 cup French Press, 850 mls water ( or 28.75 fl oz) – 53 grams coffee

    12 cup French Press – 1400 mls water (47.3 fl oz) – 88 grams coffee



    How many cups does 1 large mug equal?

    1 large mug usually equals 2 cups or 16 fluid oz of water.


    How many grams of coffee in a teaspoon?

    A level teaspoon of ground coffee is approximately 5 grams. However for an accurate measurement you should use a Coffee scale.


    What is a Coffee Scale?

    We’re talking about a science formula when we talk about coffee to water ratios. And once you’ve found your sweet spot, you’ll be able to replicate your formula endlessly.


    But the only way to be consistent and accurate with your measurements is to use a coffee scale.


    I can’t say much more than ‘a coffee scale is so worth the investment’. Take out the guesswork of scoops and know that when you take that first sip of your coffee, it’s exactly what you’ve been waiting for.


    The scale just keeps on going. You’ll use it at least once every day, so ‘cost per use’ becomes negligible and it really makes a difference for that repeatable formula.

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    Coffee strength equation table

    Coffee strength 12 fluid oz (1.5 cups)
    Mild Coffee 18g / 3 tablespoons
    Water 300ml / 10 oz
    Medium Coffee 23g / 4 tablespoons
    Water 300ml / 10 oz
    Strong Coffee 30g / 5 tablespoons
    Water 300 ml / 10oz

    French Press ratio for the ‘quick fixers’ among us

    If you’re just not up to getting too technical but still want to make a decent cup of coffee, take a full tablespoon of your favorite coffee grounds and a single cup of water for a standard ratio.


    Note,French Pressed coffee is usually enjoyed a little stronger than this, so increase the amount of coffee as per your taste and preference. Some coffee lovers take a full tablespoon of coffee grounds and just half a cup of water for a strong rich taste.

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