How to make espresso with a French Press and save pounds

There can’t be many of us who don’t have a French Press nestling in the kitchen cupboard. Many don’t see the light of day but maybe you use yours regularly. After all it’s quite satisfying to use a French Press or cafeteria to make the morning coffee. But you may not have thought about using it to make espresso. Which is a shame.

You can use your French Press to make espresso in just a few minutes and use the coffee as a base for cappuccino, latte, flat white together with the foam you whip up with a milk frother. Making espresso is an easy to follow five step method which will save you the expense of buying a barista coffee machine.

We explain elsewhere on this site how you can combine a French Press with a milk frother to save over £200 on buying an expensive coffee machine. You can read that article here.

But, let’s return to using your cafeteria to make your espresso.

How to make espresso with a French Press

Step 1 – Grind the beans

You can purchase ready ground coffee beans but grinding your own is always fun. You can get a decent electric grinder for less than £20 or you can go full on retro and use a hand grinder.

For espresso you need a fine ground and be sure to use a good quality bean. There is nothing worse than cheap coffee so buy the best quality beans you can. But do make sure you remember to adjust your grinder to a fine setting.

Step 2 – Heat your water

First of all fill the French Press with warm water. Leave it to warm for a couple of minutes. The warmer the Press the better the coffee will be. At the same time boil a kettle of water – this will be used for making the coffee.

Step 3 – Add the beans and water

At last the fun bit. Add your finely ground beans into the Press. Remember you’ll need at least twice the usual volume of coffee compared to when you use coarse ground beans. Add a very small amount of water and let the coffee begin to brew. Leave it a minute or two for the flavour to ferment.

Step 4 – Add the rest of the water

Pretty self explanatory. Once you’ve added the water give it a good stir and pop on the lid of the French Press. This will ensure the coffee remains hot. Leave the coffee for another minute or two.

Step 5 – Make your espresso

Push the lid of the French Press down very slowly.

That’s it. You’ve made espresso in your French Press.

Admittedly it may take a couple of attempts before you nail it but it’s worth persevering with to avoid having to shell out for an expensive coffee machine.

Must reads – Milk Frother vs French Press

How to froth milk without a milk frother

What can I do with my French Press espresso?

You can not either slug a shot on its own or use your freshly brewed espresso as the base for your cappuccino or any other frothy coffee.

The trick to making great frothy coffee with the help of your French Press is to make sure the espresso is ready at the same time as your frothed milk.

You can use any type of milk frother for this. If you’re not sure about frothers read this article in which we explain what a milk frother is and how you use it.

You can choose an automatic frother or a handheld one such as the Bonsenkitchen. The process of making a cappuccino for example is pretty straight forward.

1 – Prepare your espresso using the process we outlined above. At the same time begin frothing your milk.
2 – Pour your espresso into a cup.
3 – Add your warmed and frothed milk to the coffee.
4 – Top with the rich foam left in your frother.

latte or Cappuccino with frothy foam latte art

Remember a good cappuccino is made up of equal parts of:

  • Espresso.
  • Warm/steamed milk.
  • Rich creamy foam.

Which French Press should I buy?

As we mentioned at the top of the page most of us will have a French Press in the cupboard. But, in case you fancy a nice sparkling new one, and are in the mood to treat yourself, we’ve listed this week’s best sellers on Amazon.

You can see the top five sellers below though there are dozens of others on Amazon and your local supermarket will also stock them if you want to pick one up with your weekly shop.

Must read article: Coffee machines for the office

French Press best sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
BODUM 1913-01 Caffettiera 3 Cup French Press Coffee Maker, Black, 0.35 l, 12 oz
  • French press coffeemaker serves 3 cups
  • Made from heat resistant borosilicate glass
  • Stainless Steel Frame and filter parts
Bestseller No. 2
Bestseller No. 3
Cafe Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker - Heat Resistant Glass with 4 Level Filtration System, Stainless Steel Housing - Brews Coffee and Tea - Large 34 Oz Carafe Coffee Presser
  • ☕Never Again Make Muddy Cups of Coffee: Our coffee press has a 4 level filter system with 2...
  • 🧹No Big Mess of Hot Coffee and Broken Glass to Clean, Ever: Made with high quality...
  • 💰The Last French Press You'll Buy: The carafe housing, filter, handle, and top lid of our...
SaleBestseller No. 4
Kichly - 304 Grade Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker 34oz (1.0 Litre) with 4 Level Filtration System - Double Walled Insulated Cafetière with 2 Extra Filters (Silver)
  • Steel double wall coffee press to get the brewed coffee at home or for camping trips without...
  • It is sturdy enough to be used for extensive commercial purposes like in restaurants or hotels
  • It removes all grounds from your coffee giving you an amazingly smooth cup of coffee
Bestseller No. 5
Shinhony French Press Coffee Maker, 304 Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, Double Wall Metal Insulated Coffee Tea Maker with 4 Level Filtration Systems for Home Office (1L/32oz)
  • ☕1 Liter Stainless steel French Press coffee maker. Both the exterior and the interior are...
  • ☕Upgraded 4-Level Filtration Systems: Thanks to the 4-level filtration system, our French...
  • ☕Hold Heat In, Keep Heat Out: Our insulated French press with 304 stainless steel...


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