Melitta Drip Coffee; French Press Coffee

French Press

By Cat, March 2020 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve not made my own coffee for years, as I can get delicious French Press or Espresso coffee where I eat my lunch. But with the new coronavirus pandemic, I’m self-isolating and eating all meals at home.

In the early 70s, I learned how to make drip coffee using a paper filter set into Melitta drip cone set above an empty cup. It was so much better than percolated coffee. That was my coffee preference until I discovered the French Press…

Years ago (late ’70s-early ’80s), I did long-term child-sitting for a couple who often went on month-long trips. The husband was from New Orleans, and taught me how to make French Press coffee, something I’d never had before. I loved it, and bought a press to use at home. The recipe, below, is basically how I learned to make it, with a few hints from The Kitchen (1) added. See also Epicurious (2) for an alternate – more detailed- way to make it.

  • See also: 1. Beverages Menu; 2. Misc. Menu
  • Other sites: 1. EqualExchange video: How to Make a French Press Coffee (3)

Basics for Drip Coffee

Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer & Mug

Image, right, from Melitta (5).

  • Equipment:
    • I use a Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brew Cone & Travel Mug Set (image, right Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer & Mug ), with a Melitta #2 paper filter (see Amazon ASIN B000FKJNNA to purchase more filters). It makes enough to fill my ceramic mug twice, or I can take the original mug with me in my car.
    • Or a Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer & Stainless Steel Carafe Set Melitta (see Amazon ASIN B0080J2N8A) – I’d prefer this, but it wasn’t available when I needed one
    • Alternately, you can use any brew cone with paper filter of the right size for the cone, and set it above your coffee mug.
  • Coffee grounds: the general recommendation is 2 tablespoons of drip-grind coffee to six ounces of water; preferably the coffee is ground just before measuring. However, if you are making more than 2 cups at a time, you will need a lower ratio of grounds to water – experiment to determine your preference. I use 2½ Tbsp drip-grind coffee for my Melitta set.
  • Use filtered water, heated to between 195°F and 205°F; 200 °F is ideal. You can bring the water to a boil (212°F), then let it sit for a minute before pouring over the grounds. I pour water over the grounds twice, to fill the travel mug.
  • Let it brew for about 5 minutes before drinking.

For more information, see Coffee Brewing Methods (4).

How to make French Press Coffee

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Ingredients:
  • coarse-ground, dark roast coffee beans (best to grind just before using), about 2 Tbsp coarse-ground/cup water
  • filtered water
  • Equipment:
  • Whistling water kettle for boiling water
  • French Press – a glass pot with a filter attached to the lid, that is used to press the coarse-ground coffee through the hot water to the bottom of the pot.
  • Spoon for stirring before pressing


  1. Grind your beans to a coarse grind; measure grind for desired amount of coffee (2 Tbsp per 6 – 8 oz water) into the bottom of your press.
  2. Warm the press: Pour some filtered, boiled water into press to warm it.
  3. Add more water to kettle and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat to rest 1 minute (to allow water to cool from 212°F to 195°F); use a thermometer to check temperature, if desired.
  4. Pour warming water out of press.
  5. Add measured, ground beans to press.
  6. Re-fill with desired amount of water into the press;
    • Alternately (2), pour part of the total hot water over the grind in the press in a circular fashion so all the grind it moistened, to off-gas the grind; then add lid (but do not press yet), and set timer for 30 seconds. Remove lid and add remaining water.
  7. Stir vigorously with an up/down motion to mix well.
  8. Steep: Place lid with attached press-filter onto press (leave filter at top – don’t press down, yet), and allow to steep 4 minutes – set a timer (as you experiment, you may need more/less time, depending on its flavor, and how strong you like it).
  9. When timer goes off, if desired, give it a stir again, then slowly plunge the press into the pot.
  10. Pour into cup(s), add milk/cream and sweetener if desired.
  11. Enjoy!
  12. If not using it all right away, pour it into a thermal carafe (or thermos) where it will keep warm.


  3. EqualExchange video: How to Make a French Press Coffee (

About Cat

See my 'About' page
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