Skip to Content

How To Make Espresso Drinks With A French Press

As a coffee fanatic and former barista, I am SO EXCITED to tell you that – with lots of trial and error – I finally learned how to make espresso drinks with a French press!


There are very few things I am more passionate about than coffee. From reading about it to making it to drinking it, coffee has been a huge passion of mine for the better half of the last five years.

Whether its ordering a venti iced chai tea latte with two pumps of caramel, a double shot, and sweet cream cold foam at Starbucks or making my own version of a peppermint mocha at home, coffee accounts for just about half of the liquids I drink each day.

But hey…don’t judge…teaching is hard!

So, I mean honestly, I’m generally pretty dehydrated, but I also know a lot about it!

When I was in high school, I worked at a coffee shop/bookstore and it was genuinely one of my favorite jobs I have ever had. 

There is something really special about the practice of sharing stories over great cups of coffee.

At just 16 years old, I was hearing the nitty-gritty gossip of a neighbor’s divorce and a couple of regulars arguing about the “destruction of the US via air conditioners.” 

There was genuinely nothing greater – haha!

After a while, a few of my coworkers and I began experimenting with drinks for our regulars. 

Word of Advice: Literal butter does not go into a butterbeer (yes, like in Harry Potter) latte…

In addition to my love for a great caffeinated drink, I’ve come to love the intentional practice of making coffee.

Multi-step drinks take time and precision. Making said drinks becomes a get to do practice rather than have to do chore.

The intentional practice of making coffee and enjoying it while reading a good book or doing my morning journaling has become a vital part of my day. 

I recently took about a month off from drinking caffeine and with it I lost the practice of intentional morning coffee. 

Last week, after fighting tooth and nail to stay awake without coffee for the past month, I began my morning coffee rituals again. 

With much trial and error, I found out that you can make espresso drinks using a French press!

(Before you begin, yes, I know it’s not traditional espresso, but it is very close!)

Let’s talk about the basics before we get into how to make it…

Espresso Intenso - Dolce Gusto

What is espresso? 

Espresso is basically just really strong, incredibly concentrated coffee. 

Espresso is traditionally made by forcing pressurized, hot water through super finely-ground coffee beans. (Unlike drip coffee that doesn’t require any pressure!)

Espresso is used to make lattes (espresso and frothed milk), cappuccinos (espresso, frothed milk, and milk foam), and lots more!

How do you make espresso in a French press?

It’s not as tricky as it may seem! Just follow these steps!

1. Ground Coffee

Add two tablespoons of ground coffee to the carafe of your French press.

Whether you grind your own coffee or buy it preground, a good cup of coffee starts with good coffee beans! 

If you want to grind your own coffee, purchase espresso roast coffee beans and grind them finely. It should be the consistency of fine beach sand. If you buy ground coffee, I recommend Cafe Bustelo Espresso Ground Coffee

2. Water

Heat up one cup of water to 185-205 degrees, or just really hot but not boiling haha.

Then, pour the water into the carafe; string until all grounds are wet.

3. Wait and Pludge

Wait four minutes and then press down slowly on the plunger.

French presses are meant for coarse ground coffee, which means it’ll be a little harder to press down with these grinds. It helps if you lift the plunger a little and then press down again. 

4. Mix Your Drinks!!

Call it the Vermonter in me, but I love a good maple latte! 

To do so, I make the espresso in my French press like steps 1-3 explain. 

Then, I place about four ounces of whole milk and a tablespoon of maple syrup into a tall glass, and microwave it for about one minute (or until hot). 

Using a handheld milk frother, I froth the milk until foamy before pouring it into a mug with the espresso. 

You can recreate this with any non-dairy milk and/or flavored syrups!

You might also like these coffee recipes:

It’s your coffee! Have fun with it!

❤️ Kayden