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The French press is for more than just coffee: try French press tea! It’s easy to use this versatile tool to brew up a steaming cup.

French Press Tea

The French press isn’t just for brewed coffee: try French Press tea! If you’re a tea drinker, there’s no need for a tea pot. Use the French press to brew up a steaming cup. It’s quick and easy, and great for using loose leaf tea since it strains automatically after brewing. Sip it straight, or use it to make delicious tea lattes. While we most often use our French press for coffee, we love that it’s so versatile and have started using it for tea too. Ready to get started?

What is a French press?

The French press is a small pitcher with a plunger that’s used to brew coffee and other drinks. Despite the name, the French press is actually Italian: it was patented by an Italian designer in 1929. Other names for this coffee brewing tool include coffee press, coffee plunger, or cafetière. Most people use it for coffee but don’t know that it’s great for making tea or other beverages (keep reading).

Ingredients and tools to get started

Ready to make French press tea? All you really need a French press, but there are a few more optional items that are helpful:

  • French press coffee maker: The Bodum brand has been making this coffee tool since the 1940’s. We use this Bodum 34-ounce (1 liter) French Press.
  • Tea of any type: You can use green tea, black tea, herbal tea or whatever you have on hand. Each type of tea has a different seep time.
  • Electric kettle (optional): To easily measure temperature of water, use an electric kettle. It automatically shows the temperature on its display. It’s also great for making pour over coffee or French press coffee.
French Press Tea

Temperatures and tea seep times

Each type of tea requires a slightly different water temperature and seep time. We like a stronger sip of tea, so after you try this recipe, you can adjust the amounts and timing to your taste. If you buy tea in a package, we recommend consulting the tea packaging for specific temperature and steep times. Here’s the basic idea for French press tea:

Type of teaWater tempSeep time
Green tea180°F2 minutes
Oolong tea180°F 2 minutes
Black tea210°F4 minutes
Herbal tea210°F 5 to 10 minutes

How to make French press tea

Once you’ve got your tea and French press, it’s smooth sailing. Here’s what to do:

  1. Heat the water: Heat 1 cup water using an electric kettle to the temperature corresponding to your tea type above.
  2. Add tea leaves: Add 1 ½ teaspoons (2 grams) tea leaves to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add water and brew: Fill the French press with the water and stir again. Set a timer and wait for the time specified in the table above..
  4. Plunge: Place the lid on the French press and slowly press the plunger all the way down. Serve immediately.
French Press Tea

Tea drinks

Once you’ve got your French press tea, you can drink a cup straight or use it in tea drinks! Here are a few ideas:

Other ways to use a French press

There are lots more ways to use a French press: for coffee and more! Here are a few other methods:

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French press tea

French Press Tea

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The French press is for more than just coffee: try French press tea! It’s easy to use this versatile tool to brew up a steaming cup.


  • 1 ½ teaspoons loose leaf tea (2 grams)
  • 1 cup water


  1. Clean the French press thoroughly if you’ve previously used it for coffee. (If you make both regularly, we recommend a separate French press for tea.) Before you start, review the tea packaging for specific temperature and steep times, but the recommendations below are what we use.
  2. Using an electric kettle, heat the water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit for green tea or oolong tea, or 210 degrees Fahrenheit for black tea or herbal tea.
  3. Add the tea to the bottom of the French press, then add the water. Brew for 2 minutes for green tea or oolong tea, 4 minutes for black tea, and 5 to 10 minutes for herbal tea.
  4. After brewing, press down the plunger and pour the tea into your cup. (Adjust the timing to your preference for the next brew time.)
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Brewed
  • Cuisine: Tea
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: French press tea

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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