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Can You Use A French Press For Tea?

By Koby Pederson
making loose leaf tea in french press

So can you use a French press for tea? The answer is Yes! A French press, also known as a cafetière or coffee press, is a simple and convenient way to brew coffee and tea. It consists of a cylindrical glass or stainless steel pot with a plunger and a metal or nylon mesh filter.

To use a French press, add coarsely ground coffee or loose-leaf tea to the pot, pour hot water over the grounds or leaves, and let the mixture steep for a few minutes. Then, you press the plunger to separate the brewed liquid from the grounds or leaves.

One of the main benefits of using a French press is that it allows you to have full control over the strength and flavor of your brew. You can adjust the amount of coffee or tea you use, the brewing time, and the water temperature to get the perfect cup. This versatility makes a French press great for people who like to experiment with different brewing methods and flavors.

In addition to being able to make both coffee and tea, a French press is also a convenient option for people who like to make large batches of coffee or tea at once. Many French presses have a capacity of 4-8 cups, making them perfect for entertaining or for a family.

Overall, a French press is a simple and versatile way to brew coffee and tea, allowing you to have full control over the strength and flavor of your brew.

Ratio of Loose Leaf Tea to Water in a French Press

The ratio of loose-leaf tea to water in a French press will depend on the tea you are using and your taste preferences. Here are some general guidelines to follow when brewing tea in a French press:

  • For most types of tea, a good starting point is 1-2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea per 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of water. You can adjust the amount of tea up or down based on your preference.
  • Some types of tea, such as black and oolong teas, can handle a higher ratio of tea to water without becoming bitter. You can try using 2-3 teaspoons of tea per 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of water for these types of tea.
  • For lighter teas, such as white and green teas, it’s generally best to use a lower ratio of tea to water to avoid bitterness. You can try using 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of water for these types of tea.
  • Keep in mind that the strength of your tea will also depend on the steeping time. 3-5 minutes of steeping for most teas is sufficient to extract the desired flavors. However, you can adjust the steeping time to suit your personal preference.

As for the ratio of coffee to water in a French press, a good starting point is 1:15, meaning 1 gram of coffee for every 15 milliliters of water. This ratio can be adjusted based on your taste preferences and the coffee beans you use.

Can I Make Iced Tea in a French Press?

Yes, you can make iced tea with a French press. Here’s one way to do it:

  1. Fill the French press with cold water and add your desired amount of loose-leaf tea.
  2. Place the French press in the fridge and let the tea steep for at least 4-6 hours or overnight if you prefer a stronger flavor.
  3. After the tea has finished steeping, press the plunger down to separate the brewed tea from the leaves.
  4. Pour the brewed tea over a glass full of ice. If desired, you can sweeten the iced tea with sugar, honey, or your preferred sweetener.
  5. Serve and enjoy your iced tea.

Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the ratio of tea to water and the steeping time based on your preference and the type of tea you are using. You can also try making iced tea with different tea leaves to find the flavor you like best.

How to use Tea Bags With a French Press 

To use a French press to make tea with tea bags, follow these steps:

  1. Bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil.
  2. Place the tea bag in the French press.
  3. Pour the hot water over the tea bag, making sure to submerge it completely.
  4. Let the tea steep for the recommended time, depending on the tea you are using. 3-5 minutes of steeping for most teas is sufficient to extract the desired flavors.
  5. After the tea has finished steeping, press the plunger down to separate the brewed tea from the tea bag.
  6. Pour the brewed tea into a mug or teapot and serve.

Keep in mind that using a French press to make tea with tea bags may not give you as much control over the strength and flavor of your brew as using loose-leaf tea. However, it is a convenient and easy way to make tea if you don’t have loose-leaf tea on hand.

Pros & Cons of Making Tea With a French Press vs Tea Press

There are pros and cons to using a French press and a tea press to make tea.

Pros of Using a French Press

  • Convenient and easy to use: A French press is a simple way to brew tea. All you need to do is add the tea leaves and hot water, let it steep for a few minutes, and then press the plunger down to separate the brewed tea from the leaves.
  • Makes large batches of tea: Many French presses have a capacity of 4-8 cups, making them perfect for entertaining or for a family.
  • Allows you to control the strength and flavor of your brew: A French press gives you full control over the number of tea leaves you use, the steeping time, and the water temperature, allowing you to customize the strength and flavor of your brew.

Cons of Using a French Press

  • May not be as effective at brewing certain types of tea: Some types of tea, such as fine-leaf teas or teas with small particles, may not brew as well in a French press because the metal or nylon mesh filter may not be able to separate the tea leaves from the brewed tea fully.
  • May be difficult to clean: A French press’s metal or nylon mesh filter can be difficult to clean, especially if you are using it to brew fine-leaf teas or teas with small particles.

Pros of Using a Tea Press

  • Designed specifically for brewing tea: A tea press is designed for brewing loose-leaf tea, with a fine-mesh stainless steel filter that can effectively separate the tea leaves from the brewed tea.
  • Easy to clean: The fine-mesh stainless steel filter of a tea press is easy to clean, making it a convenient option for people who want to brew multiple types of tea in a single day.

Cons of Using a Tea Press

  • May not be as versatile as a French press: A tea press is designed specifically for brewing tea and may not be as versatile as a French press when it comes to brewing other types of drinks, such as coffee.
  • May not be as convenient for making large batches of tea: Many tea presses have a smaller capacity than French presses, making them less convenient.

How to Choose French Presses for Making Tea

When looking for the best French press for tea, there are a few key factors to consider:

Size

Consider the size of the French press and how much tea you want to brew at once. If you want to make large batches of tea, look for a French press with 4 cups or more capacity. A smaller French press will suffice if you only need to brew a small amount of tea.

Material

French presses are typically made from glass, stainless steel, or a combination of the two. Glass French presses allow you to see the tea as it steeps, but they are more fragile and may be prone to breaking. Stainless steel French presses are more durable, but they do not allow you to see the tea as it steeps.

Filter

Look for a French press with a fine-mesh filter, as this will be more effective at separating the tea leaves from the brewed tea. Some French presses have metal filters, while others have nylon mesh filters. Metal filters are more durable but may not be as effective at separating small particles from brewed tea.

Nylon mesh filters are generally more effective at separating small particles, but they may not be as durable as metal filters.

Ease of use and cleaning

Consider how easy the French press is to use and clean. Look for a French press with a simple design and easy-to-use plunger, and consider whether the filter is easy to remove and clean.

Price

French presses come in a wide range of prices, so consider your budget when choosing one. Keep in mind that a more expensive French press is not necessarily a better option – you can often find high-quality French presses at more affordable prices.

The Best French Press Tea Brewing Options

Below we highlight some of our favorite french presses to make tea:

BaseCamp French Press

basecamp french press - Planetary Design

A large french press that comes in two sizes (32 and 48 fl. oz.) and features a patented fine mesh plate, the Bru-Stop™ Plate, that separates the brewed tea from the leaves.

Steel Toe 3.0 Travel Coffee Press

steel toe 3.0 travel coffee press - Planetary Design

Perfect for the on-the-go coffee drinker, the Steel Toe 3.0 travel coffee press is made of durable stainless steel and has a spill-proof locking lid.

ethoz® FLASK French Press

ethoz flask french press - Planetary Design

The beautifully designed ethoz® FLASK French Press delivers a clean, refined cup of tea or coffee. Made with the highest quality materials, it’s your new favorite way to brew at home.

Double Shot 3.0 Travel Press

double shot 3.0 travel press - Planetary Design

The perfect travel companion – the Double Shot 3.0 Travel Press from Planetary Design. This French press includes an insulated body and integrated bottom storage canister for a second cup!

OVRLNDR® Travel Press

ovrlndr travel press - Planetary Design

The perfect French press for traveling, the OVRLNDR® features a patented removable bottom that makes it easy to clean. Conquer your next adventure with this one-of-a-kind travel press!

Final Thoughts

French presses are a versatile and convenient option for brewing tea. If you have never tried using a French press to brew tea before, we encourage you to give it a try and let us know what you think. With its ability to control the strength and flavor of your brew, a French press is a great way to enjoy a perfect cup of tea.

Contact Us at Planetary Design if you want to learn more about how our french presses can be a great option for your tea brewing needs.

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