Are you looking for a reliable and delicious way to make your coffee in the morning?

French presses are an affordable and versatile option that allows for customizable options, plus they help bring out complex flavors from each bean.

With so many French press sizes available, deciding which one is best suited for your needs can be difficult.

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about French press sizes—from their features to their benefits—so that by the end, you’ll have all the information needed to buy your perfect coffee brewer!

Which French press sizes are there?

You can purchase a French press in four main sizes. From small to big, those are:

French press size:Capacity in ounces:Capacity in liters:
3-cup12 ounces0.35 liters
4-cup17 ounces0.5 liters
8-cup34 ounces1 liter
12-cup51 ounces1.5 liters

The first thing to note when buying a French press is how cups are measured.

For example, the 3-cup French press only holds 12 oz (0.35 l) of coffee, making a cup of coffee only 4 oz (0.12 l) per serving.

I usually like an 8-ounce cup when I think of coffee, which can be quite confusing.

Homemade red eye coffee.

That’s why I’ve also listed the ounces of coffee the French presses will produce in the list above.

That way, you’ll be sure to choose the right size for your needs:

How do you choose the right French press size?

When choosing your French press size, you’ll want to consider how many cups of coffee you typically drink each day and if you plan on making enough for several people.

As a rule of thumb – a single-serve model is good for an individual, whereas larger ones are great when entertaining multiple guests or serving more than one person in your household.

Additionally, keep in mind that it may be tempting to opt for a smaller size when starting out with making coffee since it requires less quantity.

Two French press sizes next to each other.

It still might be wise to purchase the mid or large-sized options just in case you decide later on down the line that making other drinks (such as cold brew) interests you.

To sum up, I recommend the following when choosing a French press:

  • A 3-cup French press is great for one or two people who want small batches of coffee at once. It takes up less counter space than its larger counterparts, so it’s ideal if you have limited storage and counter space.
  • A 4-cup French press is perfect for up to four people or two large mugs worth of coffee in one go. It’s slightly bigger than the 3-cup variety but still relatively compact – perfect if you don’t have much room in your kitchen.
  • An 8-cup French press is where things start to get serious! This type has more capacity, so it’s ideal if you need lots of coffee quickly – like when entertaining guests or hosting an event – and would normally require multiple pots with other methods like drip pot brewing.
  • Finally, a 12-cup French press offers a maximum amount of coffeemaking convenience in one fell swoop! Perfect for large families or those looking to serve up numerous cups quickly.

What can you use a French press for?

A French press is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances out there. It’s a great tool for making both coffee and cold brew.

When it comes to brewing coffee, French presses enable you to get maximum flavor from ground coffee beans.

The process involves placing coarsely-ground beans in the lower part of the press, adding hot water just off the boil, waiting a few minutes for the flavor to steep into the liquid, and then pressing down on a plunger that separates grounds from the brewed liquid:

"Adding the plunger to the French press beaker."

This technique creates an exquisite cup of deep-flavored java that’s strong enough to wake you up in mere moments, and you can learn more about it in this article!

French presses are also fantastic tools for making excellent cold brew – an increasingly popular beverage with a smooth finish and rich flavor profile.

To make cold brew using your French press, add coarsely ground coffee beans and room temperature water into its lower chamber, stir them together until fully incorporated, and place on the top lid without a plunger attached to the body of your French press:

Covering the fine ground cold brew coffee with a lid.

Let it sit overnight (or at least 8 hours) before slowly pressing down the plunger until fully pressed through all grinds; enjoy once strained through a cheesecloth/fine sieve!

I prefer steeping my cold brew coffee for 15 hours, as this is the sweet spot for the taste profile I’m looking for. You can learn all about making cold brew at home in this article!

How to make cold brew coffee at home.

French presses can be used to create sensational coffee or cold brew drinks depending on your available time (hot versus slow steeping).

If minimalism is your thing – but yet still want premium quality java drinks – then I highly recommend investing in one today!

What are the pros and cons of a French press?

The French press (also known as a cafetière, coffee plunger, or press pot) is an excellent way to make delicious, freshly brewed coffee.

The full-bodied flavor of this method of brewing can’t be beaten. But like any other brewing style, some pros and cons come with using a French press.

You can have a look below for some of the pros and cons of this coffee brewer:


  • The taste of the coffee made in a French press is unique and very strong, making it great for really enjoying the flavor profiles of high-quality coffees. Plus, you get all the essential oils from the beans, which no other method can give you!
  • Brewing with a French press requires little effort and no special equipment such as filters or pods – just hot water, ground coffee beans, and your favorite mug/cup. This means you can brew wherever you go without needing any extra accessories.
  • Many enjoy the ritualistic nature of brewing their own coffee every morning with a French press before beginning their day – it often serves as calming practice used to collect their thoughts before work begins.


  • The lack of filtration means that some sediment and oils are left in your cup when using this method which you may find undesirable.
  • Since there’s no timer, you must keep track of how long they’re steeping for manually; if not careful, time spent making could be more than necessary, leading to an over-extracted cup which isn’t ideal either!
  • Lastly, heat loss happens much faster than in an automatic machine since hot water is mixed directly with grounds during the extraction process. This leads some users to have trouble keeping optimal temperature throughout the entire preparation period, thus resulting in subpar cups being served up unintentionally at times!

If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of the French press, have a look at this article!

Is a French press worth buying?

Absolutely! A French press is a great way to make excellent coffee at home. Not only is it more affordable than other brewing methods, but it’s also straightforward to use and makes exceptionally rich coffee with minimal effort.

One of the greatest benefits of a French press is that it allows you to have full control over your brew.

In addition to giving you complete control over taste preferences, a French-pressed coffee can be made without needing any special skills or equipment such as filter papers.

It’s also incredibly easy to clean up since all you have to do is rinse out the carafe and plunger after each use – no baskets or grinds leftover!

Letting the clean parts of the French press dry.

You can learn more about the easy cleaning steps in this article.

And because no paper filters are used when making your cup of joe with a French press, there won’t be any additional waste produced either (making them an eco-friendly option).

Ultimately if you’re looking for delicious cups of coffee and convenience, then investing in a quality French Press would certainly be worth considering!

In the overview below, I’ve listed some of the best options for the four main French press sizes:

02/18/2024 11:20 pm GMT

FAQs about French press sizes

You might have additional questions about choosing a French press size or brewing coffee with it.

Have a look below, as I’ve answered some questions about it:

What is the most common French press size?

An 8-cup French press is the most common size and can be used to brew 34 ounces of coffee at once. It’s also used to make cold brew coffee at home.

What size French press for 2 cups of coffee?

A 4-cup French press that holds 17 ounces of coffee is the perfect size for two cups (8 ounces per cup).

Can you use regular ground coffee in a French press?

It’s best to use coarse-ground coffee. Use regular ground coffee when necessary and shorten the brewing time to avoid over-extracting your coffee.


All in all, choosing the right French press size for you will depend on what kind of coffee-drinking experience you seek.

If you want a small, personal cup of coffee at home, go with a small, single-serve French press.

But if you’re looking for more coffee cups, go with one of the 4 or 8-cup French presses.

If your family or friends want to join in on the coffee-drinking fun, then you can opt for the 12-cup size.

The different sizes give various options that are sure to meet your needs and provide an excellent cup of joe every time!

Finally, no matter which size of French press you choose, be sure to clean it periodically to ensure it’s in optimal condition to brew delicious coffee each time!

Learn more about coffee

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