5 Easy Steps to Making “Espresso” in a French Press

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Last updated on January 7, 2024


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Espresso machines are crazy expensive—most home brewers purchase ones between $300-$700. 

Let’s be real: that price tag is not accessible for most people out there, myself included. 

Hence the need for alternatives like the AeroPress and today’s culprit: French press espresso, which you can make quite cheaply at home.

The only problem is that it’s not actually espresso. It’s French press-o, as I like to call it. 

In this article, you’ll learn...

  • How French press espresso measures up against traditional espresso
  • Steps to brew French press espresso successfully, learning from our initial failures
  • The best French press to choose for less sediment in your coffee
  • Four critical variables that can make or break your French press espresso
  • The most suitable coffee types for French press espresso
  • How to create specialty coffee drinks with your French press espresso
  • Answers to the most common questions about French press espresso in our FAQ section

Can You Really Make Espresso in a French Press?



Espresso is the product of pressurized water and fine grounds—two things that French presses are not designed for or equipped to handle. Notice any significant issues yet?

However, with a darker roast and a couple of tweaks, you can make a similar enough drink at home. Remember, it’s espresso-strength coffee brewed in a French press, not espresso. 

But to be clear, the Instituto Espresso Italiano (IEI) would not approve of this espresso-style brew.  

But despite French press-o having different qualities from true espresso, it can still produce a great cup of coffee. 

In fact, our editor loves it so much it’s her preferred choice of coffee.

Machine-Made Espresso vs French Press Espresso


When it comes to brewing espresso, French presses, while amazing, are no match for an espresso machine. 

They lack two key components: high pressure and extremely fine grounds. 

Because French presses are an immersion brewing method, there’s no significant source of pressure. And definitely not the 9-10 bars of pressure (130-150 psi) required to make espresso. 

Espresso machines push near-boiling water through a compacted puck of finely ground beans. As the water is forced through the grounds, the fat content of the beans mingles with the water and creates crema. Which is yet another major factor of espresso that French presses can’t replicate. 

Now, let’s get scientific for a second. 

Machine-made espresso should have an extraction yield between 18%-22%. That’s pretty intense considering that only 30% of coffee’s composition is even soluble (meaning 30% is the maximum amount of coffee that could be extracted from the grounds). If you’re curious about how you can measure extraction yields, check out this brief experiment from Medium. 

As you may have guessed, French presses don’t extract nearly as much.  

A study performed in 2012 evaluating extraction yields with different brewing mechanisms found that French presses extracted the most of the four methods compared, competing with Turkish, boiled, and Mocha Pot coffee. However, the French press’s greatest extraction yield was still below 10% (1). 

French press espresso simply isn’t espresso. 

So, what’s the point of French press-o? 

The immersion brew method eliminates much of the astringent flavors associated with darker roasts and intense coffee and instead brings out those nutty, chocolatey notes. Espresso has a similar flavor to French press-o—very thick and dark, compressed into a tiny shot of coffee. 

That’s what French press-os can replicate: flavor, not the espresso itself. Now, it also tries to replicate the strength of espresso, but my tongue (and subsequent alertness) could tell the difference. 

In short, it’s a bold shot of coffee but it doesn’t measure up to the caffeine punch as traditional espresso.

What You’ll Need to Make Espresso in the French Press


To make your own French press-o, you’ll need: 

  • Hot water
  • Whole or ground beans
  • Kitchen scale
  • French press
  • Stirring stick/spoon
  • Grinder (if using whole beans)

While you don’t technically need a grinder for this method, I do recommend one.

That way, you’ll be able to control your grind size and play around with your brews more.

Most store-bought pre-ground coffee is pretty fine, which is the grind size I struggled with the most. More on that later. 

5 Steps to Great Espresso in a French Press

After a few failed batches (and a few that were actually quite good), I’ve settled on a fairly simple French press-o recipe. 

With these five steps, you can almost replicate mankind’s greatest creation without an espresso machine! 

Total Time to Make French Press Espresso: 10-13 minutes, depending on what roast you’re working with. 

Step 1: Prep


Step 1 Time: 2 minutes (less when using pre-ground coffee)

Go ahead and start your kettle; set it to 195 - 205°F (90.5 - 96°C), if you have a fancy one. 

If using whole beans, grind them on a medium-coarse setting while your water is beginning to heat. For this recipe, I set my Shardor to 10. 

Once the water is ready (that’s just under a full boil for those who don’t have a built-in thermometer), pour a bit of hot water into your French press and swirl, especially if it’s glass. 

Pre-warming it can help prevent cracks as well as keep your French press-o nice and toasty! 

Now, pour your ground beans into the carafe. 

I tested both the 1:4 and 1:6 ratios and preferred the latter. So, for one shot, you’d measure 10 grams (~1.5 heaping tbsp) of ground beans for 60 grams or milliliters (~2 fl. oz) of water.


Tablespoon users beware: the 1:6 ratio applies to weight, not volume. So don’t try to multiply the number of tablespoons of coffee by six (you’ll end up with quite a bit more than the 2 fl. ounces of water that this recipe calls for).   

In fact, the only way this ratio would work using imperial units would be to start with the weight of the coffee. That would be .35 ounces, the equivalent of 10 grams (mind you: that’s ounces of weight, not fluid ounces, in this case). So multiplying .35 x 6 gives us a weight of 2.1 ounces of water. And, in an ironic twist of fate, 1 fluid ounce of water does weigh 1 ounce. Hey, didn’t we say above that you’d need about 2 fluid ounces of water for this recipe? 

The moral of the story? If you’re working with a coffee-to-water ratio given in grams but you don’t have a scale, remember that 1 level tbsp of medium ground coffee weighs approximately 3.5 g, and make sure to derive the appropriate quantity of water directly from the grams or milliliters (not by multiplying your tablespoons).  

Pro Tip

How to make more than a single serving of French press-o: I’m recommending a double or triple-shot because, with the minimal amount of water (60 ml/ 2 fl. oz) needed for the single serving, the fully depressed plunger won’t even reach the surface of the coffee. I ended up using mine as a sieve instead. If you want the satisfaction of a full plunge, I recommend at least tripling your recipe (unless, of course, you have a miniature French press: in that case, the single shot might work). 

Step 2: Bloom 


Step 2 Time: 1 minute and 45 seconds 

Next, bloom the grounds by evenly pouring a small amount of hot water onto them. Try to use around ¼ of your hot water when blooming. 

For example, if I’m making a 1:6 double shot of French press-o, I’d pour 30 out of 120 milliliters (1 out of 4 fl. oz) over the grounds to bloom. 

Once completely damp, let it sit for 30-45 seconds.

And try not to skip blooming your grounds. It’s necessary for a smoother, less bitter cup.

Step 3: Pour in Remaining Water & Stir


Step 3 Time: 30 seconds

Add in the rest of your water. If you’re using the 1:6 ratio for a double shot, you should have around 90 grams (6 tbsp or 3 fl. oz) of preheated water left after the bloom. 

Then, gently stir the slurry with a (preferably wooden or plastic) spoon or stick. Aim for around 10 seconds of stirring, enough to completely swirl and dampen everything. 

Step 4: Steep


Step 4 Time: 6-8 minutes 

Set a timer for 4 minutes, and let the coffee steep. 

Once 4 minutes have passed, gently stir the slurry once or twice. You do not need to stir it as vigorously as before.

Then, place the lid on the carafe and plunge till the filter is sitting just above the surface of the coffee.

Set another timer for 2-3 minutes, depending on how strong you want your French press-o to be. I liked my brews best when I waited between 3 minutes on dark roasts, less for medium. 

Step 5: Plunge & Enjoy


Step 5 Time: 30 seconds

You can either plunge all the way down or stop once the filter is just past the surface. For the latter, you’re using the filter as a sieve, instead of a compressing barrier. 

Then, gently pour your French press-o into your preferred cup, keeping a finger on the lid to make sure it doesn’t pop off. It may take a while for everything to drip out—there’s not much water at the bottom of the press, and everything is compacted and sludgy, so you’ll have to really tilt the press to get every last drop into your cup. Think of the long, slow, and dense drip as an exercise in patience.

Make sure to pour out all your French press espresso in one go, either into your mug or a container. If left to sit on top of the grounds, your coffee will continue to steep and potentially over-extract (taking on some of the harsher qualities of the coffee bean).

Pro Tip

Unfortunately, only pressure can produce true crema, but who doesn’t love a good fake? Once your coffee’s done brewing, plunge the filter halfway down and then lift it back up. Repeat that at least two to three times vigorously, before stopping to check your mock crema.


What’s the Best French Press to Use for Espresso?

When making espresso in a French press, your main concern—aside from the lack of true espresso—lies in the grounds. Fines are almost certain to pierce through the mesh filter and float around in the French press-o. 

So, the best French presses for espresso-strength coffee have extremely fine mesh filters, ones that come with high reviews. 

You can’t go wrong with an Espro French press, since they have dual micro-mesh filters. You can even throw a paper filter in there, but that will also eliminate some of the oiliness (and, the oils are what make French Press coffee so unique and tasty).

Of course, you also don’t want a giant French press—with so little liquid, your plunger won’t even hit the surface! 

A Deeper Dive into Espresso in the French Press

Espresso is expensive—whether you’re purchasing it every day at a coffee shop or investing in an espresso machine. There’s nothing wrong with looking for an alternative, so long as you know it’s not actually espresso. 

If you’re ready to up your French press-o game, watch out for the four most common errors and double-check that you have the right roast on hand. 

The Top 4 Ways to Mess Up French Press Espresso


Not to sound like a broken record, but French presses can’t make espresso, only replicate the flavor of it. Again, the jury’s out on whether or not they actually replicate the strength in terms of experience. (We saw above that the science says that a French press just isn’t capable of extracting as much coffee as an espresso machine, but the super concentration of French press-o might just give you something that tastes akin to espresso-strength coffee. 

This also means that one mishap can really wreck it. 

My trials and tribulations revealed that there are four main culprits behind crappy French press-o: grind size, water temperature, ratio, and steep time.

1. Grind Size

Espresso beans are usually ground extremely fine, but that won’t fly in a basic French press. Why? Those fine grounds are 100% going to escape the filter and land in the bottom of your cup. 

French presses usually call for coarse grounds, not fine. 

So, we compromise! Aim for a medium-coarse grind size, leaning towards medium. My experiments—AKA my failed batches of French press-o—revealed that extremely fine grounds are difficult for a number of reasons. 

  • Sediment in your cup (fines pass through the filter)
  • Extremely hard to pour once brewed (fines and water to create slurry)
  • Burned, astringent flavor and aftertaste (fine grounds easily over-extract)

If you thought waiting for your French press-o to pour out was arduous, then brewing with finely-ground beans is not for you. The finely ground beans create a thick slurry, so much so that I only managed to squeeze about half of the liquid out before giving up completely. 

There is a time and place for finely ground coffee beans, but unfortunately, French presses are not it. 

Pro Tip

If you prefer to grind your beans somewhere between medium and fine, consider pouring your finished brew over a cheesecloth or paper filter before sipping. That second filter should remove most of the fines and grit. 

2. Water Temperature 

Here’s the key to perfecting your water temperature: don’t use boiling water. The ideal temperature is somewhere around 195°F (90.5°C), or a few degrees above.

If your kettle isn’t programmed to reach certain temperatures, that’s okay. Simply bring your water to a boil and then wait approximately 2-3 minutes before pouring. 

3. Ratio

There’s no one-size-fits-all for French press-o ratios

In general, try to stay between 1:2 and 1:6. My favorite—flavor-wise—within that range was 1:6. However, 1:2 - 1:4 most closely resembled an espresso’s thick, velvety mouthfeel.

Those of you that love dark, overpowering espresso may want to stay somewhere between 1:2 - 1:4. For the rest of us, 1:4 and above! 

4. Steep Time

There are tons of recipes out there that claim that 4 minutes of steeping is plenty for French press espresso. 

My experiments proved them undeniably wrong. When I steeped mine for only 4 minutes, my cup tasted a lot more like normal, American coffee than the dark, bold espresso flavor I was aiming for. 

But when I steeped it for too long (8 or 9 minutes), I ended up with one heck of a bitter mess.

My sweet spot was around 7 minutes overall, but yours might be closer to 6.

Steeping time is also affected by what kind of beans you use. If you’ve already got dark roast, you’re good to go. The recipe above is specifically tailored to them! 

If you only have medium roast, I recommend shaving a few minutes off the second round of steeping. Seriously, start at 1 or 2 minutes for the second round and experiment from there. Over-extracted medium roasts do not make good French press espresso. Trust me, I speak from bitter experience.

What Kind of Coffee is Best for French Press Espresso?


There isn’t a type of bean specifically curated for espresso, which can make the “espresso bean” bags at grocery stores a little confusing, to say the least. 

These beans aren’t actually made for espresso. They’re just blends or roasts that work well for high-pressure, rich-flavored espresso. 

So, don’t let the “espresso bean” label control you! When shopping, look for high-quality beans that are still fresh (10-14 days post-roast), preferably leaning towards a dark roast.

1. Dark Roast

This is hands down the best roast for French press-o. 

Dark roasts bring out the bold flavors we associate with espresso and can handle the lengthy steeping times required for the semi-velvety mouthfeel. 

French press-o will never taste exactly like espresso. But with a dark roast, you can get closer.

2. Medium Roast

Would I recommend a medium roast for French press espresso? Not if you have other options. 

Will it work in a pinch? 

Sure, but it couldn’t resemble espresso any less.

I used Peet’s Big Bang Medium Roast for my third batch of French press-o, and it didn’t wow me. To be frank, it tasted a lot more like regular coffee than espresso-strength coffee. 

But if you’re going to doctor it or throw it in an iced caramel macchiato, it’s not a terrible choice. 

3. Light Roast

I left my Peet’s Costa Rica Light Roast for last, knowing it would probably be the worst. But still, some secret part of me was hoping for the best. 

My optimism was swiftly extinguished.

My cup was extremely sour. So much so, that I took my first sip and said, “That is some bad coffee.” I couldn’t even bring myself to finish it. 

My opinion…

Don’t waste your light roast on French press espresso. It’s just not worth it.

Single-Origin vs Blends


I love single-origin coffee. Each harvest is unique and incredibly distinct: some fruity, some floral, and none of them oily diner coffee. 

But most espresso is made with a blend, and for good reason! (It’s all about consistency).

Single-origin beans are inconsistent, both in terms of flavor and availability. 

Since each one has incredibly specific flavors (like chicory, cigar smoke on a humid night, or a dusty bottle of bourbon), there is less of a broad “coffee” or “espresso” taste, as we know it. For better or worse, you’ll be able to pick out more individual notes. 

Not to mention that the same exact single-origin beans will taste different depending on what time during the year they were harvested. As the growing conditions change with the seasons, so does the flavor of the beans. 

Even if you find a bean that you love, chances are in a few months’ time, it’ll be out of stock, and you’ll have to shop around again. 

Since most espresso winds up in a latte, cappuccino, or some other flavored drink where you can’t appreciate the single-origin flavor, coffee shops tend to use blends. 

Blends are more repeatable and consistently good. 

Remember, most single-origin beans are a one-time deal. They harvest the crop for all its worth, but once it’s gone, it’s gone! So, why would a coffee shop build a brand around their own take on espresso when it would have to change every few months? 

With blends, once you have your recipe down pat, you won’t have to alter it again—most likely. Blends will also appeal to a wider audience, more forgiving than single-origin.  After all, if someone doesn’t like cherries, for example, they might not like an espresso that tastes a whole lot like them. And they usually stay fresher for longer, post-roast, thanks to their homogenous flavor, whereas the individual notes in single-origin can fade or sour more quickly. 

That being said—if you’re not a coffee shop and you want to experiment and tinker with your coffee, try out some single-origin beans! But if you’re making French press-o solely with the intention to doctor it, I’d stick with a blend.

Making Coffee Shop Drinks with French Press Espresso


Take it from me, you’ll enjoy your mixed drinks a lot more if you use French-press-o (rather than regular French-press coffee).

Any of the following recipes will add some extra appeal to your French press espresso (and possibly distract from the fact that it’s not espresso).

Making Milk Froth/Foam at Home

You can make milk froth/foam at home, but fair warning, it won’t be the same as what you’d get from an espresso machine. 

Steam wands are pretty amazing and make a huge difference. One relatively inexpensive option is the De’Longhi EC680M Espresso Machine.

A machine’s steam wand both heats the milk, vigorously whisks it, and introduces air into the liquid. There’s a lot going on at once.

With at-home methods, you can only accomplish one or two of those at a time, and usually to a lesser extent. Without the powerful infusion of air by a steam wand, the froth’s texture will be far looser with bigger air bubbles—not ideal for latte art. 

Some alternative frothing tools currently on the market:

  • Battery-powered stick frother (AKA frothing wand)
  • A manual frother like this one

If you’d rather experiment with tools you already have at home, you can try one of these methods: 

  • Whisk
  • Hand mixer
  • Blender 
  • Immersion blender 
  • The French press itself
  • “Jar & Shake” (just like it sounds)

Take extra care when frothing hot milk with high-powered methods that don’t have a lid.

If you don’t have it in your budget for an espresso machine, and you really want the “experience” of froth—whether for the texture or for the aesthetic, or both—one of these options will do. Just remember, none of these alternative methods is able to truly reproduce what the steam wand does. You’ll have to enjoy your dollop of foam without the tulip.  

Pro Tip

When heating your milk, aim for somewhere between 135 - 150°F (57 - 65.5°C). Any higher than 155°F (68°C) and the milk will taste burnt and unpleasant.

Iced Drinks — The Best At-Home Option

Ready to make barista-level drinks at home? 

All you need is ice! 

Iced coffee drinks completely remove the froth/foam element and make the assembly a whole lot easier.

As it turns out, ice and foam are not a good combination. So, instead of steaming or frothing or vigorously whisking to no avail, you’ll just pour your milk straight into the glass over ice and rejoice in the simplicity. 

Traditional Espresso Drinks


The Latte

Everybody loves a good latte! 

The most important thing to remember is that they have more milk than cappuccinos. Your ratio should be 1:2 (1 part espresso to 2 parts milk). It might look something like this: 

  • 3 oz (~90 ml) French press espresso
  • 6 oz (~180 ml) steamed milk

And then you’ll top it off with the foam produced by the steamed milk! You can also add in some flavored syrups (caramel, anyone?) if you’d like. 

You’ll find that some coffee shops use more steamed milk than the given ratio but to each their own. 

To make an iced latte, pour your French press-o over ice and then add milk (no steaming required). If you want to add a sweetener, pour your milk and syrup into a separate jar—shaking it thoroughly—and then pour it over your French press espresso and ice.

The Cappuccino 

Six ounces (~180 ml) max for a proper ”cap”—otherwise it’s a latte—typically, equal parts foam, milk, and espresso. The iced cap isn't really a thing because cappuccinos are typically served hot by default. Plus, foam is a defining feature of the cappuccino, and foam on ice just doesn’t work, but that’s an internet rabbit hole to go down if you want.

Your cappuccino ratio should have equal parts (1:1:1) of all three ingredients:

  • 2 oz (60 ml) French press espresso
  • 2 oz (60 ml) foam
  • 2 oz (60 ml) steamed milk

The Macchiato

There are now two types of macchiatos out there: traditional macchiato and Starbucks macchiato. We’ll cover the traditional one here. 

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy espresso. The foam adds a slight creaminess, without totally overpowering the flavor of the espresso. Cappuccinos and lattes, while delicious, do distract from the flavor of the beans. 

A true macchiato is an espresso “marked” with foam. So, you’ll pour your French press espresso into a 2-3 oz (60-90 ml) cup, and then top it with a dollop of foam. 

Easy peasy!

The Cortado

AKA the Gibraltar, which refers to the type of glass it is typically served in.

This Spanish drink is all about the milk, and not about the foam. 

Cortados are made with a 1:1 ratio of steamed milk to espresso.

  • 1 oz (30 ml) French press espresso
  • 1 oz (30 ml) steamed milk

The 1:1 ratio preserves the flavor of the coffee without making it overly milky or creamy. Cortados are also referred to as “Gibraltars” in certain states in the U.S., though they’re slightly different.

The Flat White

Many coffee shops these days have the flat white on their menu, as the novel drink has gained popularity, but they don’t always explain the difference between a flat white and a latte.

This drink hails from Australia and New Zealand, and while a flat white is very similar to a latte, they are not one and the same. 

There are three main differences: ratio, milk, and foam. 

Here’s a basic flat white ratio:

  • 1 part French press espresso (1 oz / 30 ml)
  • 3-4 parts microfoam milk (3-4 oz / 90-120 ml) 

Flat whites should be made with microfoam milk, which is both steamed and aerated. Aerating milk makes it velvety and light, so it thickens up your drink. Microfoam milk is not great at producing foam, so you won’t see any latte art on top of a flat white. 

Lattes are usually bigger than flat whites, as they need more milk. Flat whites will have a much stronger espresso flavor and a richer texture than lattes. It certainly won’t taste milky.

Specialty Espresso Drinks


The Caramel Macchiato 

Iced caramel macchiatos (Starbucks-style) are super easy to make at home, especially with French press-o! 

All you need is: 

  • French press espresso
  • Milk
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Caramel sauce
  • Ice

If you like them toasty, check out this hot caramel macchiato recipe. You’ll need to steam the milk for a hot one.

Iced caramel macchiatos are far easier to make and basically only require assembly. Read this recipe for a simple brew, or watch Hanbit Cho’s video for a step-by-step tutorial.

The Mocha

All mochas require three main ingredients: 

  • French press espresso
  • Chocolate
  • Steamed milk

To make one yourself, try Picky Eater’s homemade mocha recipe. 

Depending on your recipe, the chocolate ingredient may vary between chocolate syrups, chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, or hot chocolate powder. 

They’re easy to make iced too! Simply use chocolate syrup and mix all the liquid ingredients vigorously before adding ice. That way, your syrup will fully mingle with the other flavors and leave you with a smooth, cold mocha!

The Dirty Chai Latte

Dirty chai lattes are a personal favorite of mine, seeing as cinnamon is my lifelong obsession. Hot dirty chai lattes require more work, as you have to steam the milk, but iced ones are as simple as can be. 

Your basic ingredients for a dirty chai latte are:

  • 1-2 shots of French press espresso
  • Chai concentrate
  • Steamed milk

Chai concentrate takes away the need to steep tea, though there are plenty of recipes out there that include the tea bags too. 

If you don’t have chai concentrate or syrup on hand, you can always make your own. Simply Whisked has a great recipe for homemade chai syrup that you can save for future drinks. 

To make it iced, all you have to do is make your dirty chai latte with regular (not steamed) milk and then pour over ice.


Is French press espresso a good substitute for espresso? That depends on what you’re looking for. 

If you’re craving the dark flavor of espresso but can’t break the bank for an espresso machine (relatable), French press-o is a great option for you. 

If you want to practice making latte art at home, then I’m sorry to say it’s time to invest in an espresso machine. 

Whether you drink it black or throw in some caramel syrup, I hope you enjoy your French press espresso!




Can I Make French Press Espresso Ahead of Time?

Sure thing! The key to making French press espresso ahead of time is simple: immediate storage. 

While you’re brewing your French press-o, grab a mason jar, carafe, travel mug, or any other insulated container and set it to the side. The minute your French press espresso is ready, pour it all into your preferred container. 

Try to be quick! If the espresso sits on top of the grounds post-brew, it’ll continue to steep and become deeply bitter. 

And if you’re into iced drinks, brewing your French press-o ahead of time and keeping it in the fridge is the way to go. You can have your iced latte at any time of the day, with little to no work!

Can I Make Latte Art with French Press Espresso?

To quote my colleague, a specialty coffee master, “Not really.” 

Why? To make latte art, you have to pour steamed milk into the espresso crema, which French presses can’t produce. That steamed milk has to be very velvety in order for it to hold its shape. And French presses can’t froth milk, at least not to that extent. 

Since French press-o isn’t actually espresso and home-frothed milk isn’t true steamed milk, latte art is kind of out of the picture. You’ll need some special equipment to achieve that, and a French press doesn’t cut it. 

Is French Press Stronger than Espresso?

Well, if we were to organize a strength contest in the coffee world, espresso would be lifting the heaviest weights! Its secret? A high coffee-to-water ratio, higher pressures, and fine grounds. This combo extracts a robust flavor, leaving French press in the lighter-weight division. So in the coffee strength showdown, espresso takes the championship belt.

French Press vs Espresso?

When you compare French press and espresso, you're looking at two vastly different coffee experiences. With a French press, coffee and water enjoy a leisurely mingling, spending several minutes in full contact. This long steeping process extracts a wide range of flavors from the coarsely ground coffee, resulting in a full-bodied, bold cup. 

Conversely, espresso is all about speed and intensity. Water is forced through finely ground coffee at high pressure, in a process that takes mere seconds. This results in a concentrated, robust shot that's exceptionally rich in flavor and character. 

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your taste preference and how you like your coffee extraction journey—slow and thoughtful, or quick and powerful.

Best French Press Espresso Ratio?

There’s no one-size-fits-all for French press-o ratios

In general, try to stay between 1:2 and 1:6. I tested both 1:4 and 1:6 ratios. My favorite within that range was 1:6. However, 1:2 - 1:4 most closely resembled espresso’s thick, velvety mouthfeel.

Those of you that love dark, overpowering espresso may want to stay somewhere between 1:2 - 1:4. For the rest of us, 1:4 and above! 

Espresso Machine vs French Press?

An espresso machine and a French press differ significantly in terms of function, structure, price, and the coffee they produce. 

An espresso machine is complex and mechanized, using pressure to force water through fine grounds—it creates a bold, concentrated shot of coffee. They also tend to be far pricier but offer more precision and control. 

On the other hand, a French press is a simple manual brewer that steeps coarsely ground coffee in hot water. It's generally more affordable, easier to use, and produces a coffee that's rich, full-bodied, and textured. 

At the end of the day, the choice between the two depends on your coffee preference and budget.

Best Coffee Grinder for French Press and Espresso?

When it comes to finding a coffee grinder that can cater to both the coarseness needed for French Press and the fine consistency required for espresso, you'll want one with a wide range of precise grind settings. 

A solid choice is a high-quality burr grinder. 

Burr grinders, unlike blade grinders, provide a uniform grind size which is crucial for both brewing methods. 

There are both cheaper, manual versions and pricier electric versions. We recommend looking through the reviews to see what people say about uniformity and range of the grind. 

Please note that personal preferences and budgets vary, so it's worth exploring a range of models and brands to find what suits you best.


Zhang, Chen, et al. “Cafestol Extraction Yield from Different Coffee Brew Mechanisms.” Food Research International, vol. 49, no. 1, Nov. 2012, pp. 27–31, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2012.06.032.

About the author, Dolly

Dolly is a student at Goldsmiths, University of London and an avid cook. After managing a miniature organic farm for a year, she fell in love with the art of cooking and the taste of homegrown greens. Dolly first became plant-based eight years ago, and she is now a full-blown vegan; her plant-based journey has made her creative and experimental in the kitchen. If she’s not writing or cooking, Dolly can be found on her front porch, strumming her guitar and singing for anyone who will listen.