Can you use regular ground coffee in a french press?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you use regular ground coffee in a french press?” and how to use a french press?

Can you use regular ground coffee in a french press?

It is not recommended to use regular ground coffee in a french press. Proper use of french press requires coffee that is very coarse and not finely ground. The use of fine grains will cause problems with sedimentation. You can also face issues with the plunger not going down if you use the fine ground.

A French press is a method to brew coffee that uses a plunger and a strainer. It is preferred over a coffee machine because it gives you a lot of autonomy over the brew strength, the water temperature and you can make coffee for 3-4 people easily at a time.

Read on if you want to know what problems can arise if we use a regular or fine grind in a french press and how to solve them.

Why is a coarse ground preferred in a french press?

Using coarse and even ground for the french press will yield a clear and flavorful concoction. On the other hand, if you use a finer or regular ground, you might end up with a cloudy or muddy brew with a bit of bitterness. 

The bitterness occurs when you use the same temperature water and brew time as with the coarse ground. The fine or regular grind offers a larger surface area for extraction and leads to over-extraction if adjustments are not made.

Moreover, regular and fine coffee grind contains coffee dust that contributes to the silt in the brew. This problem also occurs when you use a low-quality grinder to grind beans at home resulting in uneven coffee grinds.

How to use finer grinds in the french press?

Follow the instruction below to use fine or regular grinds in the french press.

  • Use coffee sieves to remove the finest and the largest particles. This will help you to get a clear brew.
  • Use water at 200° F . after pouring the water in the coffee, stir it gently, cover the lid and lower the plunger just above the coffee. Use the plunger after 7-10 minutes when the fines have settled at the bottom.
  • Pour the brew carefully without tipping the glass so that the fines are not disturbed.
  • Using water at 200°F to brew finer grounds will make the brew bitter. Use water at a lower temperature i.e 195°F. Extract for a little longer to get the right level of boldness in the brew.

Why is french press coffee so hyped-up?

The filters in the french press allow the flavorful oils and microscopic coffee grounds to seep into the brew resulting in a full-bodied brew with the most intricate and exotic flavors. 

How to use a french press?

One should keep in mind the following considerations when breaking coffee in a french press.

Coffee beans

It is preferred to use whole beans instead of pre-ground coffee to extract every bit of flavor out of the original coffee bean. You might miss out on a lot of intricate flavors if you use pre-ground coffee.

Coffee ground thickness

Using too coarse coffee ground will result in a watery and flavorless coffee. While too fine grind will make the extract very thick.

Water temperature

Using hot boiling water for the french press will lead to burnt coffee flavor. While water that is not warm enough will fail to extract all the flavors. It is recommended to remove the hot boiling water from the flame and let it sit to release some of the what.

Brew time

Brewing the coffee for 5 minutes is just the right time for the perfect brew that is neither bland nor bitter.

Other FAQs about Coffee Maker which you may be interested in.

Can you put a glass coffee pot on the stove?

How does the coffee press work?

How long should French press Coffee steep?

Mistakes to avoid when brewing French press coffee

Not grinding the beans properly

The coffee beans should have a coarse and even ground for the french press to extract the maximum flavors out of them.

Using the wrong quantity of coffee

It is recommended to weigh the coffee to get the perfect coffee to water ratio each time. The rule of thumb is to use coffee and water in a 1:10 ratio i.e use 1g of coffee for every 10g of water.

Leaving the coffee in the french press after brewing

Do not leave the concoction in the french press past the brewing time. As time will pass, bitterness will overpower the flavor of your coffee. Immediately pour out the brew once you are done.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you use regular ground coffee in a french press?” and how to use a french press?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.