How To Use A Cafetiere: 8 Steps For The Perfect Cup

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A cafetiere, also known as a French press or coffee plunger, is an excellent way to make a cup of coffee. It’s easy to use and there are many benefits for its use. If you want to learn how to use a cafetiere and some of the best tips for using one, this blog post will help you out!

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What Is A Cafetiere?

A cafetiere is a cylindrical coffee pot with a flat filter attached to the lid via a long handle. One of the most popular ways to make coffee is with a cafetiere. They’re also known as a ‘French press’. A great deal of ground coffee is placed into the bottom of the pot, then hot water is poured over the top so that it begins brewing and filling up to create a drink with intense flavor.

A cafetière is a glass jug with a coarse wire filter that sits in the neck and can be lifted to allow coffee through. When brewing coffee, you put grounds into it but keep the strainer in place so only liquid flows out.


Coffee as we know it has been around for about 500 years, but cafetieres on the market today are a fairly recent invention. Cafetiere makers patented dozens of coffee makers in France in the mid-19th century. Some were designed to boil water while others used to pressure or passing water through the grounds to make the coffee.

Despite the apparent primitive designs, English-speaking people use the word “cafetiere” to refer specifically to this invention. In French, it means “coffee maker.” This was also the time when coffee drinking rapidly gained popularity throughout Europe and emerged in America.

One way to make coffee is with a French Press. The French press has been around since 1852 when it was first patented by Henri-Otto Mayer and Jacques-Victor Delforge, which allowed you to filter your coffee just seconds after pouring it rather than letting all the grounds settle in your cup and saucer.

The problem of how to make coffee was solved in 1929 when Italian inventor Attilio Callimani patented a revised coffee plunger with a mesh skirt and fine grill. The modern device is today known as the cafetiere!

His design was refined further in 1957 By Faliero Bondanini who patented a system using flexing fins to create the perfect seal. From the mid-1960s onwards, coffee plungers became more and more popular with assistance from several large distributors and the popular Bodum French presses.

An Italian inventor named Attilio Callimani patented a new type of coffee press with an improved grill and mesh skirt in 1929.

How Does A Cafetiere Work?

By boiling the water and brewing with pressure like a traditional coffee machine, cafetieres produce a stronger brew, a richer taste, better mouthfeel, and an all-around better brew than brewing under pressure or with boiling water.

A common misconception with cafetieres is that it’s difficult to use. However, this isn’t the case! Read on for tips on how to incorporate a cafetiere into your home.

How To Use A Cafetiere

The way to use the cafetiere is surprisingly simple. Follow these steps to make a perfect cup of coffee:

  1. Boil the water, add it to the cafetiere and allow for about 30 seconds or so before adding your ground beans.
  2. When the jug is warm, grind your beans to a medium-coarse consistency. You can use pre-ground coffee, but if you want a cup bursting with freshness, it’s best to grind your beans.
  3. To prepare a cup, empty the hot water from the jug and add 70 grams of coffee to the base. The amount of coffee you use depends on how strong you like your drink – use one heaped teaspoon for every cup or roughly 1.5 tablespoons per liter as a guide (note: A cup is around 240ml).
  4. For a cafe-quality brew, use hot water. For best results, don’t pour your water right from the kettle – let it cool off a bit first.
  5. Put on the top filter holder with the lid screwed open loosely until you are ready to press down with the plunger. Place plunger over the coffee grounds before steeping
  6. Allow the coffee to infuse for 4 minutes.
  7. Place your coffee maker over a cup or mug, pressing down with your fingers until the plunger is released to make sure all water has been pushed through into the cup.
  8. Pour your coffee and enjoy.


It brews 6-8 cups at once, perfect for large gatherings.

When you use a cafetiere, it is easy and inexpensive.

A cafetiere is a space-efficient way to make coffee. Unlike large, electronic coffee machines that take up lots of countertop space, you can store your cafetiere in the cupboard after it has been used.

The whole cafetiere can be reused, there are no paper filters or coffee pods to discard.


It’s difficult to keep hot water in the device for very long because it is made of glass.

The glass carafe may break, but replacements are widely available. The plastic or metal handle and plunger are reusable.

There may be sediment at the bottom of your cup, which sometimes happens as fines escape through a filter.

How to Make Cafetiere Coffee

Preheat the cafetière with a splash of boiled water and dump it out.

Add 1 tablespoon of ground coffee per cup.

Fill (or empty) the coffee maker with water that is around boiling point.

Fill the cafetiere to two circles from capacity and place the plunger on. A standard brew time is four minutes until you see a milky coffee at only one end of the brewing chamber, this indicates that it has finished extracting.

Slowly and steadily pour



Depending on personal taste, one scoop per cup is a good starting point. The amount of coffee you brew depends on three main things:

The coffee drinker decides on the strength of the coffee.

How finely ground your coffee beans are

The mineral content of your water

As a general rule, use one scoop of coffee per person or mug (approximately 70 to 75g) into every liter of water.

This is a general rule, but for stronger coffee, you might want to use more grounds and for less strong coffee, you’ll need less. You will also need to consider the tastes of different drinkers: use more grounds if the drinker likes it stronger or fewer grounds if they prefer it weaker.


It should be just off boiling so you want to boil the kettle, then wait a minute before pouring the water into your cafetiere.

Use fresh, boiled water that has been allowed to cool for a second or two before pouring it like you would when brewing tea.

Choosing a Cafetiere


One of the most important decisions when buying a cafetiere is to choose the right size. Luckily, they are labeled with how many cups it takes-usually one that will make a 4½ ounce or 125-milliliter cup. This gives enough space for milk in a 6-ounce (or 175 milliliters) mug for your morning coffee

As a rule of thumb, three cup cafetieres can be shared with two people or used for personal use. The larger 6-cup, 8-cup, and 12-cup can be shared among four to six people or used for a small gathering at home.


Insulated stainless steel coffee maker

Cafetieres can be made from a variety of materials, which can make choosing difficult. Polycarbonate is affordable and unlikely to break, but it’s not as refined or luxurious as glass. Due to the popularity of cafetière (French for coffeepot), it has become common practice to use glass as the material from which they are made from. This is because there is a premium feel and transparency with brewing, giving users control over how dark or light their coffee should turn out.

Stainless steel and aluminum options offer the benefits of sturdy polycarbonate with a decidedly modern design. The downside is that you’ll need to keep an eye on your brew as it’s brewing!


Most cafetieres feature the main breaker switch. It can be useful to browse through different types of coffee makers to find the one that suits your requirements.

Brewing With A Cafetiere

Once you’ve chosen your choice of coffee beans, precook the filter in water to avoid cracking or breaking during brewing.

Now, it’s time to grind the coffee beans. If you’re unsure how much to grind, follow this rule: one heaping tablespoon per cup of coffee. While grinding coffee beans, start boiling water in a separate pot or teakettle. When the water has reached 200 degrees Fahrenheit (a good standard), your task is complete and you’re ready to brew your perfect cup of coffee else you’ll end up with a cold, watered-down beverage.

Pour the ground coffee into the bottom of your cafetiere. Once you put the filter back on and pour boiling water, release a little pressure while stirring to let some steam release but make sure not to stir too much and break up the grounds. Add another layer of coffee then repeat until you’ve reached your desired amount.

Tip: keep the filter plunger in an upright position to ensure that grounds continue to blend with the hot water. Set a timer for three or four minutes, depending on your taste preferences, to allow enough time for them to fully steep.

When the timer shrinks to zero, press down steadily on the plunger to push the grinds through as slowly as possible while separating your brew from the coffee grounds. Once you have carefully collected all the liquid in your cup, it’s ready!

Cafetiere For Tea

However, Faliero Bondanini’s 1929 patent for a coffee plunger ‘described his invention as “a device for the filtration of infusions such as tea or coffee. Cafetiere is ideal for brewing loose leaf tea, as they leave no need to worry about drinking the leaves. While teabags provide the necessary separation, it is often better to use a cafetiere when brewing loose-leaf tea. It is easy to over-compress and releases unwanted flavors by using too much pressure.

If you prefer tea to coffee, you can also use your cafetiere to brew a great cup of tea. Loose-leaf tea provides the same type of filtration as a cafetiere but requires direct brewing rather than immersion. This recipe calls for light pressing and should be followed more closely to limit bitterness in the tea.


Do you need to preheat the cafetiere to stop it cracking?

Cafetieres are made from toughened glass, so they don’t need to be heated before use.

How do you use a glass cafetiere?

Add half a liter of hot tap water and stir. Fill with water to the top. Place the lid on the top of your cafetiere without plunging it down. Set a timer for 4 minutes. Alternatively, watch the clock to check when it’s been four minutes.

How long do you leave coffee in a cafetiere?

You should leave coffee in a cafetiere in 4-5 mins


Have some fun experimenting with your cafetiere and find new flavors. With a bit of practice, you’ll be a master in no time.

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