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Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee In A French Press

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

If you’re new to the world of the French press, you might be asking yourself “can you use regular ground coffee in a French press?”

Well, while it might seem like a good idea, the truth is, this isn’t the best choice. Using regular ground coffee can impact the flavor of your brew, and not in a good way. 

Do you still have questions? Then you’re in the right place. As an ex-barista, I’ve put together a complete guide on getting your grind right for the French press.

Let’s jump in!

Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee in a French Press?

french press

Regular ground coffee is the standard size grind that pre-ground coffee is sold in. It’s a medium-size grind that’s not too fine and not too coarse. 

Regular ground coffee is designed to be used with drip percolation machines

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Many people will use this grind of coffee in their French press since it’s so readily available. However, this is a mistake. 

Regular ground coffee beans are too fine for the French press mechanism. As a result, the coffee steeps faster than it would if you used a coarse grind, which is intended for French presses.

Since the coffee steeps faster, it will typically give your cup of coffee a bitter taste. 

What Is the Best Grind Size for French Press?

The best ground size for a French press is a medium-coarse grind. The size of the ground beans should be similar to table salt. 

Medium-coarse grinds can easily be filtered out by a French press filter, but still don’t take too much time to brew.  Some grocery stores and coffee shops will grind the beans for you so that you can get the right grind size. 

However, the easiest way to perfect the grind size is to buy an at-home grinder such as this cheap adjustable grinder

If you want something a little more high-end, this device is another great pick. 

How to Use a French Press

how to use

Now that you know what grind size to use for your French press, let’s talk about how to use your device to make the perfect cup of coffee. 

To make a pot of French press, you’ll need: 

  • A tablespoon measuring scoop
  • Freshly ground coffee
  • Water
  • A French Press

With those items in hand, you’re ready to get to work brewing this beverage! Here’s how:

  1. Bring the water to a boil, either in a kettle, on the stove, or using the microwave. 
  2. Next, measure out the correct amount of coffee. You should include one scoop of coffee for every four ounces of water. 
  3. Add the coffee grounds to the French press. 
  4. Slowly pour the hot water into the beaker.
  5. Allow the coffee to brew for three minutes. 
  6. When the time is up, slowly push down on the plunger. 
  7. Serve hot.

Voilá! Making a pot of French press coffee couldn’t be easier!

Tips for Brewing a French Press


If you want to step up your barista game, there are a few things you can do. 

For one thing, it’s always best to buy your beans fresh. The fresher the beans, the better the coffee will taste.

You should also only grind your beans right when you’re going to use them. That way, you get the most flavor out of them. 

Another pro tip for brewing French press coffee is to warm up the pot before you use it. You can do this by adding a small amount of water to the press and then throwing it out before you add the coffee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have a few questions about using coffee beans in a French press? I hear you.  Here are a couple of frequently asked questions to help you put your questions to rest. 

How Much Coffee Do You Need for a French Press?

Experts suggest using one tablespoon of coffee for every four ounces of water. If you have a 16 oz pot, you’ll want to use four tablespoons of coffee.

Of course, you can adjust this amount based on your personal taste. It also depends on how strong you want your coffee to be.

What Is the Best Type of Coffee for French Press?

French presses can bring out some great flavor in your coffee. That’s why you can get creative! Opt for balanced coffee with floral notes in the background.

You’ll be surprised at how many subtle flavors you can taste with a French press?

Purchase the Perfect Coffee Beans

So, can you use regular ground coffee in a French Press? The truth is, maybe not.

In general, it’s better to use medium-coarse ground coffee for your french press. That’s because regular ground coffee can make its way through the filter and leave your coffee with a bitter taste. 

You can either purchase pre-ground beans designed for the French press or you can buy a grinder to use at home. Either way, I’m confident you’ll be able to whip up a great cup of coffee. 

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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